Oncology Outpatients 21 Aug 2019

It seems like ages……

Ages since we have been up to UCLH for an Outpatients appointment, in truth it’s been 4 weeks but after being there weekly at some points it feels like a long time.

The Macmillan Cancer Centre seemed quite, perhaps because of the holidays.

I had a blood test at 8am and then met a friend for breakfast.

Back to the Cancer Centre for 11am so I could see the research nurse and get my observations done.

Everything was fine and we had a good catch up with the research nurses.

We then went to wait to see the doctor and I hadn’t even sat down when we were called forward.

We saw doctor that I hadn’t seen in ages so we had a good catch up on how I was. I mentioned the rash and he had a good look at it and decided it was Shingles.

The good news was that he thought it was on the way out and it didn’t need treating, he also thought that I would be ok for the Lutetium treatment on Friday.

On the bad news side he said my PSA was 700 in July, he didn’t have this mornings reading.

700 seems very high to me but he also needs to look at the bigger picture, my overall health etc.

He prescribed some more Dexamethasone which we collected from the pharmacy and then it was time to head home.

A Rash

It’s Saturday morning and I am just getting out of the shower when I look at my reflection in the mirror and I notice a light red blotch just above my left nipple.

I look closer and I see another two blotches.

Mmmm, I wonder what that is, I muse?

I touch them and feel no pain or discomfort, there is no itchiness or anything; If I hadn’t seen them in the mirror I wouldn’t have known they were there.

Over the coming days I keep an eye on them.

Something I should have mentioned earlier is that I have two radiation “burns” or marks on my back from where I had the radiotherapy a few weeks ago, these are almost square in shape and as itchy as anything, they also feel slightly raised.

So very different from what is on my chest.

Over the next couple of days I notice that the rash seems to be spreading under my arm and onto my back.

I have started to worry a little but with my oncology outpatients appointment in a day of two, I decide not to go to the doctors.

I do mention it to Barbara who then gives me a through examination but finds nothing else, the rash appear to start above my left nipple and in blotches spread round to almost the exact place on my back, if I had a nipple there!

I am sure it’s nothing major but that doesn’t stop my mind going into overdrive!

Thankfully it’s now the morning of my Outpatients appointment and we can get someone to look at the rash.

And the good news is, I have shingles, better than some of the options I had contemplated.

The doctor thought that it was caused because I was a little run down.

I have also had a cold sore which seems to tie in with being run down or maybe it’s just the change in the weather.

The doctor also thought that the shingles had mostly passed and that no treatment was needed.

Which was good.

So I can relax a little and try and recharge; with the cruise coming up soon it should be the ideal time to recharge and get back into better shape, I may take a few vitamin tablets and have a few more oranges to help me out.

Then on Friday I become a radioactive superhero as I have my first Lutetium treatment and who knows what that may bring, but fingers crossed.

Frustrating And Rewarding

Well it has been a fairly busy week.

I did some research on hospitals in Germany that offered Lutetium treatment and opted to contact the Munich Technical Hospital.

Partly because the consultant had recommended it and partly because it was a direct flight from Stansted.

And so after looking at their website I emailed the International Department with an outline of my history and what I was after.

And then I waited……

After the weekend I decided to phone them, it took several attempts to get through and I was passed around a bit but eventually I got through to the Nuclear Medicine Department.

I chatted to one of the doctors and he said he had seen my email and he would send through more information.

I felt optimistic.

Then I got an email from them stating that they were taking part in the Vision Trial and as I had been accepted onto the trial they could not offer me the treatment.

Which I suppose is fair enough although it did come as a surprise and a disappointment.

So I started to look at other hospitals in Germany when I got a call from The London Clinic saying that they could offer me treatment on the 29th of August, which was great news.

Needless to say, I accepted their offer.

Then a few days later I got another call from them saying they could do the 23rd of August.

I bit their arms off and accepted their offer.

This was great news and just the dates we wanted so no need to go to Germany.

It was also great timing as we had booked a cruise and this date would give me time to recover from the treatment if needed and also time for the radiation to cool down as it would have presented some challenges being on a cruise especially with the sleeping arrangements.

So overall a week or so of a rollercoaster ride, emotions up and down but everything worked out in the end.