Back up to London today for my Oncology Outpatients appointment and for my Zoledronic Acid infusion.
Given I was on the 09.07 train from Stortford it was fairly quiet although the tube was busier.
I made it to the hospital in good time. On arrival I was asked to wear one of their masks which was different from when I was here on Monday.
I checked in and made my way to the first floor reception.
My name was soon called and I was pleased to see that my appointment would be with Dr Mark Linch, the main man, I hadn’t seen him for months 😀.
He asked how I was and I told him I was feeling well apart from my back although I also said I was feeling much better.
He looked up my PSA and told me it was down slightly to 85 from 90 and a high of 1,585 a year ago.
Overall he was pleased at how the Lutetium Treatment had gone. The PET Scan showed that tumours had reduced in size and activity which was great news.
He also said that he felt that the Immunotherapy treatment I had 18 months ago may have helped to prime my immune system to help out with the Lutetium. He also said that the immune system can develop memory and may continue to attack cancer cells now that they have been shown what to do.
I have been wondering about the effects of immunotherapy and how long it stays in the body and active. Is it a permanent change or does it fade over time? I don’t think they know yet?
So now I am to go onto what is called Active Surveillance and keep an eye on my PSA. I am go have a blood test in around 6 weeks and if it is stable I will have an Outpatients Appointment in January 2021. If there is a rise then I should let them know and I will have an appointment sooner.
I also raised the point that I seemed to bruise easily and that my skin seemed very fragile, he thought this may be down to the Dexamethasone and so reduce my dose down to 0.5mg from 1.00mg.
So once the appointment was over I headed upstairs for my Zoledronic Acid infusion. While there wasn’t a lot of people around I did wait a while before being called into the Treatment Room.
I was then fitted with a cannula, again it was a struggle to get it in and while the piercing of the skin is not too bad the wiggling around and trying to get it in the vein makes me wince.
Again it took two attempts to get it in, both in my hand. They started with the bigger pink needle but then used the smaller blue needle the second time.
Once the cannula was set up I then had another wait for the infusion and it was about 12.10 before the infusion was started. Its 15 minutes for the infusion and another 10 minutes for the flush.
The infusion was no trouble at all and soon the cannula was being removed without the same amount of fuss as going in!
And then I was free to go and hopefully I will not be back at UCLH until next year 🤞😁.
I am really pleased with the news I had today and just need to think about what else I can do to help myself.
My back is getting better and I feel stronger so longer and more frequent walks. I need to be very mindful of my back as it is still very fragile so exercise that will not be a threat to that is a must.
I think I will also look at my diet again both in terms of health and cancer prevention but also with a view to losing weight.
So back on the train feeling happy and looking forward to the future.