Happy New Year!!
Though I would drop out a quick NY update with some "good" and "not really sure whether bad news or not". The good news.....in the main despite being nearly 9 months into this chemo regime, I really do feel physically and mentally very well / strong. Its also great to be able to say that despite the side effects being a little more intense on each chemo hit, the number of days I feel rough during each chemo cycle is not getting any longer - what I mean is that it still only generally lasts around 3-4 days out of the 14 days. After that, other than how I look (I'm no oil painting now unfortunately!...although bless the boys who keep saying "don't worry Dad, we cant notice anything" 🤣), I actually feel really good and life is pretty much normal. Even in the days when I have the pump on when I don't feel 100%, I can continue exercising so I really cant complain (in fact on the day immediately after being in hospital I can feel super charged with the steroids - ha ha!)
So onto the "not real sure if bad news or not".....as I think I have mentioned on previous posts, since the chemo started back in April on each cycle the CEA blood markers have shown a steady drop which demonstrates that the chemo is working. Unfortunately on the last cycle (last week), it has risen (from 17 to 37). As this is a fairly significant increase I am booked in for a CT next Tuesday to see what's going on if anything. Worst case scenario is that the chemo has stopped working and the cancer is growing / spreading. However, it could equally be that as I had an extra week off (3 week gap rather than 2 weeks during xmas), that this has pushed the number up a bit temporarily. The next bloods will be taken on Monday next week in readiness for the 19th cycle chemo on the 19th Jan....this will be a key result as it should show if they are either continuing to rise or have fallen back down. This, coupled with the CT scan on the Tuesday will mean that I have a really good idea on what is going on.
I cant lie and say that this news wasn't a big blow when I found out last week, as I have been getting really used to seeing the CEA go down on every cycle. However, now that I have had some time to process and get my head around, I am actually feeling ok with it....there are genuinely a number of reasons why this result has come through and so I will continue to be 'glass half full' on why. I figure there really is no point in worrying about and lets just see next week 👍
In the meantime, running and riding continue to be a complete crutch for me and without it I know I would be in a very different place both physically and mentally. It continues to be frustrating that I cant get my lung working as I would ideally like when running, however I guess if I am honest with myself, I have allow for the fact that the chemo over the past 8-9 months will have taken its toll and so to expect any 'performance improvement' is a bit naïve. At least with the bike it means I can keep going without having to stop (as is generally the case with running). The bottom line is that I can still do something everyday and that really is all that matters - if I can keep up the 150-200km of peloton and 20 odd km of running on the treadmill each week that'll do me nicely
In other news, only 12 weeks to go until the Maldives!! - we are all super excited....bring it on. I really cannot wait to spend this time with Catherine and the boys as part of our 'memory building mission'! 😁