Three down, three to go

Last week I had my third chemotherapy session (of six) followed by appointments with my GP and Oncology Consultant. The chemo session was very efficient and quick – we hardly needed the chit for the car to allow us to stay over two hours. The next session might be a little longer because of additional information needed for the Stampede trial.

It was very quiet when we went into CCHU yesterday to see the consultant, only one other patient there. It always seems a calm place but obviously there are patients with much more serious conditions. The Stampede trial nurse dropped a questionnaire on me to complete. Fortunately it is ‘yes/no’ or ‘a little/quite a bit/an awful lot’ type answers so I couldn’t answer “I can’t remember” to “Do you have problems with your memory?”. She also gave me an update newsletter for the trial. I am going to be very selective in my reading – happy with “docetaxel is a good thing” (I paraphrase) and skip statistics with five year survival rates less than 90%.

My consultant seems pleased with progress, although being a bit cautious about drawing conclusions from only a limited number of results. The improvement in my blood count and the reduction in my PSA levels almost to what they were ten years ago is encouraging. Back to see her again in seven weeks. A lot of patients on docetaxel end up in hospital – it is quite a serious dose that I am being given. So we will do our best to avoid a repeat of my first cycle ‘blip’ (Beetroot is not my colour).

stats

The lower the PSA the better while neutrophils should be between 1.7 and 7.5

How am I feeling? Pretty good considering and I suspect better than many; possibly a bit more tired and I suspect that I am not walking quite as fast as I used to. I am told sometimes I can be a bit befuzzled when a lot is going on, but of course I deny that – I am merely keeping focussed. Other than that my beard has thinned out but is still putting in an appearance.

So I am now seven weeks in, and halfway through, chemo. (17 weeks since my diagnosis was confirmed, 21 weeks since I saw the Urology Consultant and started on various tests, 23 weeks since the blood test that showed my raised PSA).  Do these numbers matter? Other than the latest PSA level they are all water under the bridge – it is now time to focus on the next nine or ten weeks and life beyond that.

See the links below for the previous post – and the next one .

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