So when we left you last week, we were just about to head out to a hotel for a Christmas dinner and dance with 24 great friends for a night of eating, drinking, dancing and making merry, which we were really looking forward to. While from a medical perspective Jo’s oncologist and the Royal Marsden had decided not to put her forward for any trial and instead wait to see how the Capecitabine performed.
Let’s start with the Party, we had a great night as always with our friends, lots of eating, drinking, laughter, Dad dancing and even ended up on stage dancing, hopefully nobody has any video!!. Thankfully we didn’t embarrass ourselves as much as others, some of the other tables had some youngsters, who clearly couldn’t handle their drink or choose an appropriate outfit to wear.
So after the weekend and back to normality we waited patiently to see if the Capecitabine would start to slow the spread, which had continued to expand over the previous few days but as the week went on and we reached the end of the cycle, no improvement could be seen.
We were next due to see the oncologist on the 13th December but we decided to call and try and arrange to see him earlier, as I felt we were only wasting time, if as it clearly looked it was still not working. His secretary came back to me and booked us an appointment for Friday (7th December).
Also during the week, I took Jo to her work, to discuss her options, she had been off since May and with the new incurable diagnosis, she was now highly unlikely to return, so we had a meeting to start off the process of retiring her on the grounds of ill health.
Friday came round and off we went to the Oncologist, Jo was nervous as she feared he might say there was no more they can do. He examined her and agreed that the Capecitabine wasn’t really working, also he advised that she had a small pleural effusion, which was causing some breathlessness and pain, especially when bending over. He had already made us an appointment with the Marsden for Thursday 13th to discuss trials and reiterated that if nothing was happening there, he would have us back straight away and on Eribulin before Christmas.
The pleural effusion is a bit of a worry as it is a sign the Cancer is continuing to spread now in to the pleural lining that surrounds the lungs. The Cancer in the lining then causes a leak of fluid into the chest cavity which causes the lung to get crushed slightly. She is also finding it rather painful to cough as well as any deep breathing. It can be fixed by draining the fluid, but is likely to fill up again if we don’t get something to reduce the Cancer.
The appointment with the Marsden is good news but we have to be prepared for nothing to come from it, at least we can see what they have, if anything, to offer, after all both of us were pretty sure the Capecitabine wasn’t going to work.
So we have quite a few plans that are at risk at the moment. We have a trip to Rome booked for next week, however I am not sure I want to take the risk of Jo flying with the pleural effusion, though the oncologist said it should be Ok. In my opinion I think it has worsened since he last saw her. Jo of course is quite determined to go, but we will have to see. We also have a night away just locally this Friday which should hopefully be Ok and we tend to have fun when we stay there.
We will let you know what happens at the Marsden and with Rome in the next blog!!