Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Back on the venom-go-round

Oh well, here we go again. Yesterday I picked up my bumper bag of poisons from the pharmacy at the Beatson, this morning I started taking them again. Could be fine, could be another five days of unpleasantness. We'll see.

I should have begun this round of chemo last week, but it was deferred. My consultant said he was considering that anyway, to give me a chance to fully recover from May's horrors, when the nastiness didn't stop after five days but dragged on for a further three weeks courtesy of a wee food poisoning bug called campylobacter. But when he saw my blood test results, it was decided – although not terribly low, apparently they were below the allowable threshold. No chemo for me that week.

This week I'm much better and up for a good old envenoming once more. I'm a little anaemic, the nice registrar has confirmed, but not enough to put it off further.

It's harsh chemicals time.

It can't, I reckon, be as bad as last time. May's chemo not only burned its own trail of destruction, but kept my immune system suppressed enough to allow a bug I would normally have swatted in a few days get a proper hold to the full extent of its colon-tormenting abilities. I'm back to normal, now – surely I only have the chemo to worry about?

Well, as I said, we'll see.

There is always the chance I'll get through it with no side-effects at all. I'm not betting on that one, but you never know. I had none until I was moved onto this highest dose – 400mg of Temozolomide every day for five days, if you're interested – and apparently you can get used to it.

We'll see.

That would be good. Just as last month's little episode gave me some serious doubts about whether I was going to be able to attend my own wedding standing up, this weekend my wee cousin gets married. Partly because of me and partly because her husband-to-be has recently lost a relative to brain cancer she has decided not to give out favours on her big day but to instead donate the money to the Beatson. It's a generous sum, and I'm very grateful. The least I can do in return is pop along and eat and drink at my aunt and uncle's expense.

But, as I said, we'll see.

Even if I don't just sail through the chemo, with the campylobacter now battered out of my system I should at least expect to be back to normal by Monday. Which would be good not only because I've really had enough time off work recently as it is, but also because the following weekend some friends of mine have also very generously decided to hold a benefit gig in aid of the Beatson at GHA Rugby Club. It's a smallish affair, with only around 120 tickets, but they've already sold a lot of them for a suggested donation of £10 a pop (if it's a donation rather than a price, the Beatson can claim Gift Aid, too). Combined with a bit of a raffle, they should raise a very decent amount indeed – they're aiming for £2000. Colin, Graham, and the rest of The Ginhouse Rocks, I thank you. See their website for ticket info and a link to their JustGiving page for the Beatson.

Which brings me to another point. My own JustGiving page is currently sitting at £2550. With the proceeds from the gig, plus my cousin's contribution, we'll be looking at increasing that by quite a lot – quite likely to well over £4000. The sums won't necessarily go through my page, but they will go the Beatson, which is the important bit.

What would be really nice would be if anyone who enjoys this blog - either on or especially readers – chips in just a little, and we get the combined total up to £5000 this summer. That would be a tremendous result.

We’ll see what you can do. I'm sure you can.

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