Yes, that is me – a photo taken not more than a few years ago. Since I looked pretty similar until about two months ago I thought I’d slightly cheat and tell that it is me, nearly, at the starting point of a very scary journey.
A little more than a month ago I was diagnosed with an inoperable stomach cancer that had spread to some other parts of my abdomen. After meeting with an extraordinary Oncologist, Dr P, at Ninewells Hospital, Dundee, Scotland, he persuaded me that my best chance was to accept chemotherapy for my ongoing treatment and palliative pain care management.
Now wait a minute, what was I really being told? Inoperable? Palliative care? Management? What are you telling me? How long would I have without Chemotherapy (6-8 weeks by the way)? What other options are there? (Not many apparently). As a former research experimental haematologist I know a bit about biomedical sciences: discovering the latest literature, my rights and how to ask awkward questions, so I did. I’ll share a litle more of these and other questions later, but for now …..
I and my wife, Elaine, spent at least two hours with this very busy medic and were satisfied at the end of the meeting that we had enough information to make a considered, balanced but very difficult and disturbing decision. We would go ahead with ‘Chemo’, as most of us know it. I was concerned about about any delays, given that I had already spent nearly 3 weeks getting from referral for CT scan and Endoscopy to a final conversation, but was re-assured that I was going to be scheduled for my first 3 week cycle of ‘Chemo’ no later that 7-10 days later, depending upon the results of a battery of blood and other tests.
Now that is a flying start in an overworked, overcrowded NHS on Tayside, I can tell you. What else can I tell you? Well, much more later ….. I just wanted to get started on this blog, on the off chance someone else reading it may draw any kind of comfort, or wish to share some of their own experiences of similar kinds with me. See (speak, really) to you later.