Sunday, 20 December 2009

One week before Christmas

Two lots of good news, the BA strike is off so, weather permitting, I can still go for my treatment in Germany on the 3rd January. The second bit of good news is that Rick Hill has been told his Mesothelioma is now dormant after his chemoembolization treatments in Germany. This is fantastic news for the Hill family and for the rest of us currently undergoing this treatment. I would be interested to know how many of us in the UK are undergoing chemoembolization.
When are they going to try this in the UK?

This is now at least two UK people who have been treated by Prof. Dr. Thomas Vogl who have been told their cancer is now not growing. There is no treatment at all in the UK that has this outcome and this is why others and myself are going down this route. I am not sure what I would feel if I hadn't come across Debbie Brewer and her treatment. I think I would be feeling very scared and despondent. As it is I have hope and a possible future.

I love being snowed in and have enjoyed the lovely snow scenes. I know it is a nuisance for those who have to travel in it but it is a wonder of nature all the same.

Today's photo is of the view outside my bedroom window taken on the 18th Dec. Magical!

I would just like to wish everyone a very good Christmas and a happy and healthy 2010.

Yes, nuts still intact, although the mince pies need replacing!

Monday, 14 December 2009

Two weeks before Christmas

I hear today that BA cabin staff, in their wisdom, have voted to strike over Christmas and the New Year. We have booked BA to travel to Germany for my next chemoembolization, leaving on the 3rd January. They say the strike will end on the 2nd, so we are a bit anxious in case our flights are disrupted, or even cancelled. I have my treatment on the 4th.

We are getting more into the Christmas spirit now and have got most things we need for the festive season. My lovely Daughter in law, Hannah, has offered to host Boxing Day. This will take a lot off my shoulders as there will be about 10 people and we usually have it at our house.

I have read that some complimentary medicines can stop chemo drugs working properly. and
This hadn't occurred to me before. I will have to check out my anti oxidant drugs with the Prof. as
they contain vitamin C which can negate certain chemo drugs. Well, I learn something new every day!

What has happened to all the turkey crowns this year, I cannot find one anywhere. I guess it will have to be the whole turkey roast.

Todays picture is an ink and watercolour winter scene I did in 2007.

Saturday, 5 December 2009

A short sun holiday before Christmas.

We had a good week's holiday and the sunshine was most welcome. We cruised between the Canary Islands, Madeira and Morocco. When we left home I was feeling exhausted from the Chemo but the sun soon put a spring in my step. We met lots of interesting people and visited places we haven't been to before.

I get a nice gap now before my next chemoembolization treatment and intend to enjoy Christmas with my family.

I have been asked what I do to help my condition so here goes. I try to eat ten varieties of fruit and vegetables a day, as my son Stephen read of a Mesothelioma patient living for five years with his condition and this is what he accredited his longevity to. I don't often manage 10 a day but usually get in between 7 - 9, which I hope still helps. I also take 'Maximum Antioxidant', which I buy from Holland and Barratt for about £3-4.00 for 30 caplets; I take two a day. They also contain selenium with A, C & E + Zinc, and lots of other goodies. The fruit and veg and these caplets are all high in antioxidants, which helps to mop up any stray cancer cells. Or at least I hope they do.

My friend Debbie Brewer, who is doing amazingly has Mistletoe injections and swears by them. Certainly doctors in France and Germany advocate its use for cancer patients but I haven't tried this route yet, I am not sure why I hesitate, but I do.

I definitely feel that something has changed after my last treatment, I just hope it isn't just wishful thinking though.

I can now start on my Christmas shopping, if there is anything left in the shops!. I can't believe Christmas is only twenty days away!

Today's picture is of the floods that hit our village a few years ago in October 2000, it is an aerial shot.
I really feel for the people who have flooding this year.

It is our village Christmas Market today and it is a well attended do. People come from all over to it. It starts with children singing carols then has lots of stalls and hog roasts, mulled wine and street entertainers and a good time is had by all.

The nuts have survived amazingly.


Thursday, 26 November 2009

Passed the buck.

I have waited until today to update this blog as I was seeing my surgeon Karen Harrison-Phipps this afternoon. The x-ray she took was OK and she was pleased, it didn't look any worse than six months ago. I still feel a bit chemo'd out but am looking forward to the holiday, sunshine here we come.

I still feel a lot going on in my chest and I am sure it is the chemoembolization doing its job.

Three other ladies were diagnosed at the same time as me and I asked my lovely Macmillan nurse Sandra how they were fairing. Three of us are still going but one had died through complications with her second-round chemo. She caught pneumonia and was overwhelmed. I send my condolences to her family. This is one of the big risks with chemo, as your immune system takes a hammering, and why I won't see anyone in my first week of treatment each time.

I have passed the buck for most of my Christmas gift buying by sending cheques to my cousins so they can get their children something that is wanted rather than my choice which could miss the mark. So thank you cousins for doing this for me. This also has the effect of sorting out over 50% of the presents I have to buy, a result!
I will have 2 -3 weeks after the holiday to get the rest and this should suffice.

Today's picture is of one of my own paintings of a winter flower done a year ago. I must say it looks better small like this than the original size.

Still haven't touched the nuts but I keep noticing them, the temptation is soo strong!!!

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Day five after second treatment.

'I've been reading your blog, it's like watching someone you love having a car crash....................'
This is what my cousin wrote to me, it made me think. I write the blog to keep friends and family up to date but at the same time I am reminding them that I am ill. I am sorry that there is this side effect to the blog.

Feeling pretty spaced and not with it, about the same as I felt after the first treatment. It would help if I could get a good nights sleep but I seem to wake up several times in the night. I will feel like this for a few more days then should improve a lot. It definitely feels as if something is going on in my chest so I am hoping for an even better result at my next treatment on the 4th January.

I am looking forward to our holiday at the end of the month, a few days cruising between the Canary Islands, Madeira and Morocco. The sunshine will certainly be most welcome for us both as this is as hard for Rob as it is for me.

Rob had his swine flu jab today so hopefully this will help as I can't have one for four more weeks. That is if I do have it. After the Prof. telling another Meso patient that he shouldn't have it I am now not quite sure what to do.

Thank you for the several offers of translation, I now have an idea of the blood tests I will need to have before the next treatment, it seems I must get my GP to do them. I am to telephone the German hospital if my bloods are not back to normal before I go again. I wonder what would happen if I didn't get them done?

Today's picture is of the wonderful team I had racing with me in this years Cancer Research Race For Life in Maidstone in May. I am the one in the centre. We walked the 5km and raised over £4.000 between us, thanks to the generosity of our wonderful sponsors. I am hoping to be able to do the race again next year, God willing.

I must seriously start thinking about Christmas shopping when we get back from our holiday. For those who have read an earlier blog we still have our nuts!

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Day three after second treatment.

It is day three after my second treatment and I must say that this time I can feel a lot more going on in my chest. I am quite uncomfortable in the area that the Prof. has just treated.

Hopefully this is good news and shows that the chemoembolization is doing its job. I did get some soreness last time too but not so early and not so much. Perhaps this means that this second treatment will be more successful!

The Prof. will treat the top front of my lung next time, which is in January.

I have been quite sleepy today and managed a catnap this afternoon. The first week after treatment is the worst, it leaves me feeling exhausted and a bit nauseous, but nothing like conventional chemotherapy did.

I have been out to post my foreign Christmas cards today and I couldn't have even considered doing anything so soon last year on conventional chemo.

I am hearing about so many people with cancer now and it is quite distressing. It is amazing that we can get on the moon but can't cure this awful disease yet. However there are lots of things in the pipeline so I must be more positive.

My family and friends are a real inspiration to me and I really appreciate them.
I do feel a bit humble though when I read of these poor young men getting killed in Afghanistan, at least I have experienced the majority of my life.

Today's picture is of a canoeist I photographed having fun in the Medway near our home. Several groups use the river with varying skills. It is great to see them enjoying the water.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Results of first treatment

We arrived on Sunday night for the Monday treatment and found an Ethiopian restaurant called Gojo, I think, and we had to eat the food with our hands. This was quite a surprise. We had a sort of pancake, which we broke up into pieces and scooped up some meat mix. We couldn't use the pancake as a wrap as it was too fragile. The food tasted good but I think I prefer to use utensils. No, they were not having us on, they all ate that way!

Well, it is good news, The area of my cancer that was treated last time in Germany has improved by 5 - 10%. The Prof. was reluctant to put a figure on it but it is nice for me to have some idea of the amount of improvement. It hadn't shrunk but has less pressure, which means it is less aggressive. He says he treats the biology of the tumour. This is a relief, as the treatment could have had no effect. The Prof. seemed quite pleased.

I go again on the 4th January, 7 weeks away. I thought this a long time but the Prof. says it is OK. I had a rougher time of it this time as I had an adverse effect from the tracer they inject so the Prof. can see what he is doing. I went very hot all over, burning almost, and felt violently sick. I managed to hold on until he finished. The treatment takes about 5 minutes. Then I was quite sick for about half an hour until they gave me some extra strong anti-sickness on top of what they put into the treatment. I slept for the next four hours and felt better after that.

Today I was fine for the trip home and still feel OK. I will have to keep away from anyone who is ill for a couple of weeks while my bloods improve again after the chemo.

Apparently I was to have had my blood tested here in the UK before my second treatment but the instruction was all in German so I couldn't read them. Whoops, I know now. The Prof. still went ahead though. I now need to translate the paperwork so I know exactly what he wants for next time. Can anyone read German?

I managed to get my flu injection before I went but will have to wait until the end of December for the swine flu jab as they don't work with the chemo.
But Rob is having one Saturday so he doesn't catch it and give it to me as my lungs are compromised and it could be very serious if I got it.

Today's picture was taken on our holiday in Majorca, my hair was still quite thin but it doesn't show in this photo as it had started to grow very curly due to the last trial drug I was on.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Royal Marsden, Sutton.

I had my appointment at the Royal Marsden Hospital in Sutton on Friday. I spoke first to Dr Andre Brunetto about phase one trials and he explained that I would have to be off any other treatment for 4-6 weeks before entering any trials, as they wouldn't know if any subsequent results were from the trial or my previous treatment.

He also said that the whole point of the phase one trials is principally done to find a safe dose .

They give a low dose first, whilst staying in the hospital, then they increase the dose to the full amount the drug company says is appropriate. Then they monitor for a few days, then once a week to check on the side effects.

I also may not be given drugs that are meant for my condition, but they would be cancer drugs.

In fact one man with mesothelioma, the same as me, was given a drug for another type of cancer, but it seems to have had a remarkable effect on his own cancer. This is good news but does make me wonder if my doing trials is a good thing or not. I wouldn't like to be made ill for a drug that isn't even meant for my type of cancer.

I would however like to know the name of the drug that seemed to work for that one man!

The more senior Dr Banerji said that they don't know if the drug is good for mesothelioma, or just happened to really suit this particular man. They haven't yet had enough people try it. They like to have three people at each stage of the trial.
Both Doctors were able to answer my questions and said it would be entirely up to me. Also I could leave a trial at any time without question.
They currently have about thirty-five active phase one trials going on.

The upshot of the meeting was that I would continue with my German treatment, which I had already intended to do. Once the treatment was finished, or if it doesn't work after three treatments, they would see me again.

They did say that they would want me to exhaust any other treatments first. So I guess the trials are done as a last ditch attempt.

I have some thinking to do.

I have had all weekend to think about this matter and still haven't made a decision. I guess I will wait and see if the first German treatment has worked. There are three scenarios, either it didn't work and the cancer is still growing, or it is stabilised, or it has reduced in size. I will know by this time next week.

My photo is of a Cuban Lady. She earns her living by posing for photographers for one tourist peso per picture. This is worth ten of their own pesos and valued at about £1.00.

I have just got back from my ten pin-bowling league and got 136, 159 and 91. You can tell I'm not in the top end of the league can't you. I am somewhat of a erratic bowler.

About the same as my golf actually.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Bonfire night

I woke up yesterday morning with a nasty pain in my left ribs. Oh no, I thought, I don't want it to spread to my other lung. As they day went on the pain became worse and worse. Then it started spreading down to my hip. That was a relief as it couldn't be my lung that far down. Then later in the day my arm muscles starting hurting which is when I twigged that I had let off a few golf balls at the driving range the day before and that was why I hurt so much!

Now I have actually read the spiel on turmeric I eat a big pinch of it every day, so if you observe my skin going a very strange yellow colour just pretend you don't notice. You never know this may be the big CURE!
Well, OK it won't be, but I will try almost anything.

Today's' photo is of the sky from our old house taken in February about 4 years ago. It is one of my favourite photos, taken with a cheap camera.

I have just seen my neighbours small children having a picnic, in November, and on their doorstep!. But I must say they really seemed to be enjoying it. I think they are waiting for it to get dark so they let off their fireworks.

My friend Debbie Brewer is having radiotherapy on a lymph node and a biopsy on another this week, as well as moving house too. My thoughts are with her, I bet she will be glad when this week is over.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Trick or Treat

Well we had about 50 trick or treaters in the course of one hour. They had all made an big effort to dress up and were quite scary. All of them said thank you for the chocolate bar and wished me a happy Halloween, the children were a pleasure to see. We had a lovely evening and didn't get home until very late.

I have emailed the Prof. as I am quite uncomfortable at night and find it hard to sleep, I even get woken up with the discomfort. I have asked if he can treat my right side next as it is giving me jip, unless he thinks another area is more urgent.. He replied within five minutes and said he could, so that will make me more comfortable if it works, fingers crossed. I am not sleeping well and I always blub easily when I am tired and this can be vary wearing both for me and for others!!

I also have a list of questions to ask next visit as last time after six hours in hospital my brain went into 'institutional' mode and I couldn't recall anything I had wanted to ask. Next time it will all be written down as follows:-

Questions for Prof. Dr. Thomas Vogl.

  • What bit is being done next?
  • How many treatments needed?
  • How long does the plug stay in place?
  • Do I need Blood tests? (My oncologist seems to think so)
  • What is the first drip they give me?
  • Has the tumour reduced in size, if so by how much?
  • Have the other tumours grown?
  • What happens about the lymph nodes?
The picture today is of a deserted beach
in the Costa Blanca, we came across it on a visit to Valencia. It went on for miles and was beautiful.

I have just been on one of my walks and my curly hair is acting like a wolly hat and makes my head very hot, but the weather is really uplifting, there is nothing like sunshine to lift your mood.

Saturday, 31 October 2009


I have just come back from swimming, and yes I did remember my costume this time, I always feel virtuous afterwards.

My lovely husband Rob read my blogs yesterday and said he was hurt, as I hadn't mentioned how supportive he is. I feel guilty for this but it is only because I feel so safe, comfortable and loved by him that I am able to relax and not have to worry about how he is towards me. Rob has pretty much taken over the household chores and is a rock in my life. He is always alert to how I am and accompanies me on everything I do. This would be a different type of trauma for me if he were not around. I do worry about him, as this is as hard for him and my family as it is for me. He says he feels helpless but for me he is doing all he possibly could and I love him.

I am having some good feedback and being introduced to some sufferers and carers who are all going through the same thing. It is frightening how many people are getting this disease and that they are all having to pay to have treatment abroad when we could easily do it here as we do for other cancers. It is not a difficult procedure and would benefit those that do not have the funds.

I am going to bring the subject of chemoembolization at my appointment at the Royal Marsden. I wonder if they would be interested?

Today's photo is of some of the old cars that are around in Cuba. When they kicked the Americans out they left all their old cars and the Cubans still keep them going. Some are literally held together with duck tape and string, but they are lovely to see.

Each time I have chemotherapy my navel gets sore, has anyone else heard of this happening?

Tonight is Holloween and we get quite a lot of 'trick or treater's' calling, especially the youngsters from our close, they are so cute. I always wear a scary mask and make them jump when I answer the door.

I have to be careful though as one year a three year old knocked and when I opened the door with a big roar he ran off crying. I did feel guilty, but it was very funny, even his mum laughed which didn't help.

Our house is 20 years old and starting to show its age. We have inset light fittings upstairs that are expiring one by one. They just pop out of the ceiling and collapse. I have my friend Nick, who is a builder, coming to assess them today. We have about six of these lights and they started misbehaving straight after the roof laggers finished lagging out attic. Hmmm.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Kicking and screaming

The one thing about having a terminal disease is that you don't want to give in to it so I will, when the time comes, go out kicking and screaming. With this in mind it is always good to have a plan B if the current plan is not working. I hope upon hope that my current treatment does work and will find out if it does soon enough.

Meanwhile I have made noises to my Oncologist Dr. Riyaz Shah in Maidstone about the next step. He is very supportive and suggests that I have a talk with the Drugs Trial guys at the Royal Marsden Hospital in Sutton, Surrey. Dr Shah has got me my first appointment with them for the 6th November which was very quick. Both Dr Shah and my amazing Macmillan Nurse Sandra Wakelin have been so very supportive, they both always mention the positives in my condition and I feel blessed to have such good people routing for me.

Actually, apart from one grumpy Medic who I will excuse as being highly stressed at the time, I have found everybody I have come in contact with absolutely encouraging and willing to see me whenever I want to be seen, which is comforting if I am worried. Also they are more than willing to answer my numerous questions with infinite patience and concern. This includes The Prof.and his wonderful team in Frankfurt.

This is a picture I took in my garden last summer, the Bee posed obligingly for me!

To look at me you wouldn't know that I was ill, I look as fit as anyone else. The main problem at the moment is breathlessness, which catches me out every time if I have to go upstairs or up a slope. I can actually walk well on the flat and try a do an hour-long walk most days. Also I go swimming (when I remember my costume) maybe two or three times a month. It is meant to be weekly and I go with a couple of friends, but if they can't go I am not motivated or keen enough to go alone, so I don't, however we are going this Saturday.

We are also going to supper on Saturday to some very good friends and will meet up with other friends that we haven't seen for some years, so that will be nice.

My foray into currency speculation has backfired, the Euro has got weaker against the pound and I could have got a better rate if I had waited. Still, it is all a learning curve and I expect that over the whole Frankfurt treatment time I will come out about even on the rates; and we are only talking about a few pounds each time anyway.

Robert, my husband went to watch Arsenal play Liverpool last night and my son Stephen invited me over for a curry. I had a great time playing with Joseph, my grandson, and the food was good. Unfortunately Stephen's tonsils started to swell and get sore so I left as my immune system is down due to the Chemo in the treatment I am having. Still, it was a good evening. Also Arsenal won, so Rob was very happy.

I don't know if I have mentioned this but the drug trial I was on caused most of my hair to fall out. My hair is fairly straight normally so it was a surprise to find that the new hair has grown very curly. I now have a head of ringlets!!!. I don't know if it will stay curly or go straight again.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

My friend Debbie Brewer

I had quite a scare last night. Debbie brewer, who put me onto the treatment of chemoembolization, left a message on face-book to say that the mesothelioma had spread to her chemoembolization wound site and that she thought this was as a result of the treatment.

I am so sorry for Debbie that this has happened and also immediately got into a panic that the same would happen to me. Needless to say I had a pretty tough night worrying about it.

The good news this morning though is that the Prof. thinks that Debbie's problem is 'most likely it is a general lymphatic problem, there is no way for the meso to track through the vessel, because we never touched the cancer'. So we are keeping our fingers crossed and hoping that the enlarged lymph node at the wound site is just responding to infection and is hopefully nothing too serious for her.

Debbie has been a real inspiration to me and others stricken with this dreadful disease, and we all wish her well for a long long time to come.

I have to say I was quite worried and was turning over in my mind whether I would continue with the treatment. Of course I really have no choice but to continue as nothing else is on offer. It is good to know though that I don't have to worry now.

I am getting a bit nervous about my second trip to Frankfurt, as this is when I will find out if the treatment is working for me. Having just done another chemo drug trial that didn't work has knocked my confidence a bit.

This is a picture I took of the sunset from our hotel balcony in Havana, Cuba. I like to add a picture each time to break up the rhetoric a bit.

I just got a good price for the Euro for our December trip, which will be the third. By buying ahead I can get a speculative price by taking a chance that the rate won't change too much. Fingers crossed!

We have booked a holiday, we are going on a Mediterranean cruise visiting Madeira, Morocco and the Canary Islands and it should still be fairly warm too. We have to book pretty much last minute for holidays, as the future is a bit uncertain for me. Still, it is a good excuse to keep having short holidays and we also benefit with late booking prices, so an extra bonus for us!

I actually bought our nuts, yes nuts, ( you read correctly) for Christmas today as we had real trouble getting any near Christmas last year. All we have to do now is to NOT eat them now and then have to buy more!

Monday, 26 October 2009


Hello again.
Chemoembolization is a procedure where they put a tube into the femoral artery in the groin and feed it up to the vein feeding a part of the cancer. They then squirt into the vein a mix of a type of plastic mixed with chemotherapy drugs. This temporarily blocks the blood supply to that part of the cancer and starves it of oxygen, then the chemo drug gets to work to damage the cancer further.
This is done once to each part of the cancer hopefully getting to most of it. Then it is 'wait and see' to find out if the cancer becomes stable or even shrinks for a while.
This will give me a bit more time and increase the chance of still being here if they eventually find a cure. This treatment, funds permitting, can be repeated when the cancer starts to grow again.
Prof. Dr. Thomas Vogl has been doing this treatment for lung cancer in a trial for 3 years so far, the trial has another 2 years to go. Of the 500 or so patients he is treating about 22 have mesothelioma, and of these about 70% have responded well with either static disease or
I will take my chances with odds like this. At least this treatment gives me some hope, where there is none with conventional treatment.

I found out about Prof. Dr. Thomas Vogl through searching Google and coming across Debbie Brewer, who has successfully had this treatment. What an inspiration she is to like sufferers, she fights and is very vocal in helping the cause. She also runs a blog, have a look, it is on this link

We offer Chemoembolization in this country for kidney or liver cancer but not for mesothelioma. I don't know why, as this treatment seems to have a good success rate, certainly better than the current UK treatment on offer. There was a petition sent to the government and their response was useless, see it on this link .
This country considers mesothelioma as an old persons disease so doesn't warrant it high enough for putting money into it.
If you want to know more here is a question and answer session from Prof Dr. Vogl

Mesothelioma is caused by asbestos contact, which has been known to cause problems for over a 100 years, but still they condoned its use, in fact encouraged it in the 40's - 70's.

I can't really complain as I have had quite a good life. I am married with three wonderful children who are all so supporting of everything I am trying to do. They also all offered to re-mortgage or give me funds to help pay for the treatment. My sister and her son have also offered to help; what a great family I have. I also have a lot of support from my friends who have all been great, it is a big comfort knowing that others care.

I have had some pain in the area of my lung that had the first treatment, this is hopefully a good thing and shows that the procedure is having some effect, or it could just be my imagination!.

I will know on my next visit, finger crossed!

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Christmas Fair

Thank you for the positive remarks about my blog. Today has been good, I went swimming with friends but forgot my swimsuit (chemo brain) so we just sat and had coffee and chatter, very enjoyable. Trouble is I didn't as feel as virtuous as I would have had we swum. Still I have packed my costume now for next week!

We went to the WI Christmas craft fair and spent some money on one or two nice things, plus some Christmas cards from our local charity 'Gamble', who have built and finance a school in the Gambia. Do look at their web site, they are a charity that spends every penny raised on the school.
l also I won a raffle prize, yet to be delivered as we had left by then. It is some sort of shower gel or something... We walked there at a brisk pace to get maximum exercise given the swimming fiasco and the fact that I wouldn't have time for a long walk today.

Spent the afternoon in Maidstone with my lovely daughter Emily and did a bit of retail therapy and stopped for coffee and more chatter; very nice.

I had a phone call from my 2nd cousin Chris Lewis; what a lovely young man he is. I haven't spoken to him for about ten years but it was as if we had only spoken last week. I always had a soft spot for him.

We have spent some time working out the best way to buy Euros as we have to pay ourselves for the treatment in Germany. It is amazing how the rate varies according to whom you speak to. We have found a couple of good online suppliers who give near on commercial rates and this will save quite a bit over the course of treatments.

We go back to Frankfurt on the 15th November for treatment on the 16th, the air fares and the Hotel are already booked. The trouble with Frankfurt is that they have huge exhibition centres and people come from all over the world to them. This means that on exhibition weeks the hotels hike their prices by 300%+ and it gets difficult to find somewhere near to the hospital cheap enough.
The Professor and the staff at the hospital are all very sweet and make me feel comfortable. The hotel we stay at is on the other side of the Maine River and is a twenty-minute walk away; very handy.

We got the train last time to come home from Frankfurt main station but got on the wrong one for the airport. The people on the train were very kind and put us right. One charming lady even accompanied us back to the train station and took us to the correct platform. How nice and friendly the people are in Frankfurt and they all seemed to speak English too.

Friday, 23 October 2009

History, my first blog

I am going through that horrible stage of cancer when you know it is going to kill you but you want to do anything to delay the inevitable. I have Mesothelioma, a cancer caused by asbestos. There is no cure and no way of avoiding death.

I have had a pleurectomy done by Karen Harrison-Phipps, my surgeon at Guys Hospital in London. What an amazing lady she is.

I have had main line chemotherapy, Cisplatin and Pemetrexed. This halted the growth for a few months.

I have been on a drug trial for Sorafenib which made most of my hair fall out but unfortunately didn't work for me..

Now I am undergoing Chemoembolization with Prof. Dr. Thomas Vogl in Frankfurt who says he can help me. This is not a cure but may delay growth or even shrink the tumours for a while.

I am interested in anything anyone can tell me about the disease that may help me.

I did the Cancer Research Run for Life in May and raised an amazing £4500.00 with my team of six friends who were great. I would like to still be fit enough next May to do the race again. I say race, but I didn't run but walked the whole course. The whole team crossed the line together. An amazing experience.