Thursday 21 May 2015

1 Down 5 To Go

I finished my first week back on chemo over two weeks ago now, and I'm glad to report that throughout there were minimal side effects. In fact, compared to the chemo/radio combo I was having before it was a real walk in the park. I became more tired and my stomach was slightly more upset than usual but nothing particularly noteworthy. For the next batch (starting on the 29th) I'm hoping to carry on with gym etc. for the entire time without any extra breaks.

As a by-product of my masses of free time I'm watching silly amounts of daytime TV (Judge Ringer and Paul O'Grady are practically my new best mates) and therefore a tonne of adverts. There is one advert in particular that I seem to notice more than I used to, the Cancer Research UK advert saying that as many people survive cancer as die from it. As promising as that sounds, when you couple that with the fact that they now say 1 in 2 people will be affected at some point in their life that means that 25% of all people will die from cancer. That's 16 out of the 64 million people currently alive in the UK. Fun fact for you all there! Not the slightest bit depressing.

To lighten the mood after that, here's a tweet from when Piri met a dog called Nando on her walk the other week:

From a non-cancer perspective the biggest update is the fact that Piri has been put on a diet due to her chubbiness and as a result is currently sat, staring at the oven because she's worked out that's where the chicken comes from.

My brother and his mates have also been making an appearance on Made In Cardiff promoting the fundraising they are doing though their page #BeatCancer. Here is their interview:

Thanks to Made in Cardiff TV for putting this together and for the exposure. Have a look at what we have been up to and will be getting up to over the coming months. If you could give it a share it would be greatly appreciated. Donate here:
Posted by BeatCancer on Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Sunday 3 May 2015


Before I begin I'm taking a moment to appreciate my cancer related word play in the title of this post.

*Takes Moment*

Okay, now I'll begin:

May 1st arrived and I was due back in Velindre to see the consultant about my next plan of treatment. So we headed back onto the M4, accompanied for the first time by my mother as this was the first doctors meeting that I could guarantee wouldn't be depressing as hell. 

On arrival we had a short wait for our appointment and the woman sat across from me was reading The Sun. The front page of which made me feel some actual anger about my situation for the first time. The headline in question was "I'm Eating Myself To Death" about a 65st man who eats 10,000 calories a day, has NHS care because of it and blames his situation on the death of his mother. 

This initially angers me because he's using the death of his mother as an excuse. If that were a reasonable claim the country would resemble the Axiom from Wall-E. I know the nation has an obesity problem but we're not all the weight of small cattle.

Even overlooking the fact that the NHS then has to send carers to feed the bloke (I'm assuming with a shovel and a wheelbarrow) and that he has posed for a photoshoot holding a bacon sandwich I am angered because I'm seeing this while sat in a cancer hospital waiting room, a room full of people who in many cases will have done nothing to warrant getting a life limiting disease. And here is a man who admits he is eating himself to death. If he's so keen to get off the planet he's welcome to swap with me. I'll go from 65st to shredded (albeit with a crapload of excess skin) in a few months and he can deal with a brain tumour. 

Rant over, and back to the appointment. 

I was weighed and found to be at my lightest since Glasgow. I wasn't best pleased by this, and now have my parents on a mission to force calories into me in a bid to get back to 70kg as soon as humanly possible. Following the weigh-in I gave some blood samples for the millionth time this year and went through to to see the Dr. 

As I had suspected my treatment plan will now be more chemotherapy. This will be tablets once again, but starting at double the strength of before (280mg of Temozolomide a day as opposed to 140mg) potentially rising in strength after 2 cycles if my blood counts are all good. This is to be taken for the first 5 days out of every 28 for 6 cycles.

I'm using my first month to try and judge the effects so that I can plan a bit in advance for things I want to do over the summer. So far (half way through my first 5 days of tablets) I feel the same as I did before, slightly dodgy stomach with problems eating certain things, but definitely no worse. But I'll be reserving judgement on it as a whole until the whole course is done and dusted.