After my oncologist appointment last week I made the most of knowing that there was no chemo, for the next week or so at least, to go away for a few days to show C some of the sights of the Far North of New Zealand.
What did I learn at the oncologist appointment? I was pleased to learn that although my tumour markers had increased a great deal in the last month or so there are no new tumours. I have to admit that was one thing that had worried me that there were new tumours in my liver or that they had spread elsewhere. So far, so good.
The main gist of the scan was the larger tumour had grown fairly significantly since the last scan, in a period of just over 3 months on adriamycin it had increased from 5.1cm x 4.2cm to 6.7cm x 5.2 cm. The smaller tumour had not changed dimensions as such but had changed shape with the lower portion being more prominent and growing closer towards the outer surface of my liver. They confirmed the only chemo therapy option I have left is weekly Taxol and I would get scheduled to start it as soon as there was a bigger opening in the schedule than the one I currently had – I said I was ok with having a small break before chemo starting because I would like to go away.
So immediately after the appointment we came home and finished getting packed for our short holiday. The only thing that went wrong was that I packed up all my medication at the last minute into a bag and with a really bad case of miscommunication between OH and I it got left at home. Whoops, what was I going to do? I had enough in my handbag to get me through a day but we are lucky that R works for a logistics company and was able to organise couriering them to where we were staying.
The long drive in the car wasnt helpful to my pain as the lumbar support in the front seats increases the pressure on my ribs. We discovered by trial and error that it was better for me to sit in the back with some padding and a pillow that changed the angles of how my back sat against the seat and also soften the pressure that was remaining.
The weather while we were away was for the most part similar to the pictures in this blog post but the accompanying high temperatures did wear me out a little. As it was a fairly active trip with visits to the Cape (where I walked down to the lighthouse and back) and to the giant kauris etc, I almost felt like I needed a holiday to recover from my holiday.
We arrived home to find the date for me starting the new chemo had been scheduled to be the 7th of March so we made the most of that by booking another smaller trip away next week. This will be back to Tutukaka, the same place we went for our honeymoon 28 years ago and where we went back to this time last year. We have even managed to book the same unit as last year.
I start Uni next week as well. I have dropped back to just one paper for this semester and we will just see how I manage it. I feel like I need to keep going to uni to retain something normal in my life. I have my first class on Tuesday so OH will pick me up after class and we will head off straight away having packed the night before. I will remember to pack my meds properly this time. This will be much more of a ‘relax and enjoy the view from the motel’ type of getaway than the last one was so I hope to come back relaxed and refreshed and ready to start chemo the following week. Hopefully the weather is good and you will be treated to more pictures of stunning summer days and scenery.