I am writing this on Tuesday evening after my last piece was posted. I have to do something or I shall become very upset. My oncologist rang just after we returned home and I have an appointment to see him tomorrow (Wednesday). Prior to seeing him I shall have my blood taken so the results should be with him when he sees me at 1.30 p.m. In addition, I shall have a chest x-ray. He has had a word with the head of radiography who confirmed that more radiotherapy can be given to reduce the neck swelling but further treatment of the throat would cause lasting damage which they want to avoid.
It all comes down to whether the lymphoma is isolated to the throat/neck area or whether it is apparent elsewhere. This may mean a bone marrow aspiration which is not pleasant. However, it could be that lymph nodes elsewhere are affected without the involvement yet of the bone marrow. At all events if there is disease present anywhere else, the most sensible course of action would be chemotherapy. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that any of this will work. The lymphoma is now more resistant to chemo and is growing back more quickly. I am in a place where I have never wanted to be.
After I was told that the transplant had not prevented the return of the lymphoma, I was informed that the future was uncertain and that it might be slow growing and there were a variety of treatments still to try. I think we can dismiss the idea that it is slow growing. I know that the medical personnel will do their best and try to keep up my spirits but it is not easy right now.
The festivities of Christmas and New Year have kept me going and apart from my thoughts in the small hours, I have managed to keep everything in proportion. Whilst I try to be positive, I can’t say I am optimistic. However, if I succumb to self-pity, it affects all the family so I must pray for the strength to cope and I hope that any regular readers of this blog will be kind enough to pray for that too.
This is the most difficult journey of all. I know that there will be good times and moments of laughter as well as tears. Other people in similar situations have maintained their hope, faith and good humour so I have plenty of examples before me. Writing should help to keep me better balanced. I don’t usually stay miserable for long as something pleasant invariably crops up not necessarily for me but for other friends and members of the family.
I wrote all this yesterday. I had received a couple of telephone calls which really lowered my spirits and Raymond was out for a short while. Although he is affected by all of this, he tries so hard to keep me positive. I did consider not posting this but I am not always strong and this indicates the way in which events have an emotional toll. I am feeling stronger today because we are actively doing something and we will take part in the decision making.