No gain without pain

Today we met with the oncologist. A lovely woman really, considering the news she gave.

Question: Why is this incurable? Why can’t you cut out tumour and remove the affected bits of the liver?
Answer: The cancer is in the bloodstream.  The liver is quite affected by it. Paul’s liver has many, many spots. Even if removed, at a microscopic level, would still be there.

Question: What are the side effects of the chemotherapy in combo with radiotherapy? The drugs are  Cisplatin. Flourouracil.
Answer:
  • Tired, lethargic, nausea, vomiting.
  • If pre-existing hearing probs, hearing loss.
  • Kidney and liver function
  • Red and white blood cells
  • One of the drugs can cause heart attacks in people with history of heart problems. Let us know if chest pain. If severe, ring an ambulance.
Question: What can we expect from treatments?
Answer:
Paul is going to have a pump he has to carry around with him and a two-headed delivery system stuck in his arm.

Treatments start next week. Monday and Tuesday radiotherapy, Wednesday-Friday will be Radiotherapy plus chemo. Second week and third week will be radiotherapy. 4th week chemo. The doctor estimates he’ll be out of work for a month.

We have been advised that if we the public system for his treatment, we can save the out of pocket costs. However, as I have to keep on working and side effects include nausea, vomiting and tiredness – I want to keep him at the private hospital.

He will have to go to a liquid diet due to radiation treatments – so I’m going to go on it with him.

Question: How will we know if/when this chemo effective for now?
Answer: 6 weeks after chemo, symptoms will be better, if not, will know.
On the way out of Calvary Hospital, there were 3 or 4 people smoking. SMOKING CIGARETTES OUTSIDE THE ENTRANCE TO A HOSPITAL. It took all I had not to run to them and slap the cigarettes out of their hands or to scream at them to have some F*CKING RESPECT for people going in and out of a F*CKING ONCOLOGY UNIT.

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