So, yesterday we went to see Prof Hawkins at Christies in Manchester. And got there an hour early as I had 'Lewis Hamilton' driving. Better to be early than late though I guess. Christies is quite a small hospital really, it specialises in cancer only. Its quite modern and clean and has a nice little coffee shop in the entrance.
Anyway, I booked in at the Derek Crowther Unit (I wondered if he was a relation of Leslie) went and had some bloods taken and was shown into the 'Relaxation Room'. Now I know a lot of patients love these rooms - all pinky/purple lighting, comfy sofas and whale song piped in - but personally I HATE them. I must have stayed in there about 20 seconds, then, dragging Martin behind me made for the normality of the coffee shop.
We had a coffee, read the paper, and went back to wait to see Prof H....and waited.....and waited. He was in a meeting. 2 hours later we got to see him.
Then we had a shock. Apparently I AM eminently suitable for HD IL2. And this is what he is offering me, in fact strongly encouraging me to have. Im young (hurrah), have an excellent performance status, small tumour volume (the grading doesnt matter after all) and have the right 'type' of tumour. He is just waiting for one final result but he is very confident that HD IL2 will give me a 'very good chance'.
Well......we were both a bit shell shocked to be honest. He also used that little magic word 'cure' - twice. Im so wary of getting my hopes up yet again, but to be honest I cant help it. The chances of my responding to HD IL2 are approx 20%
Thats mainly because he thinks I can withstand the dreadful treatment well. 20% may not sound brilliant odds to anyone else but to me they are fantastic !
The treatment is pretty harrowing. And I will have to go to Manchester to have it, away from Martin and the kids. Its so toxic that you have to be in ITU and very closely monitored. I shall be in for 6 - 8 days at a time during which I have IL2 every 8 hours up to a maximum of 14 doses. But most patients only manage about 8 doses before their body cant take any more. Then you have a couple of days to recover and then go home for a week. Then back in again for another 6 - 8 days.
Then you have a couple of months off to recover, have a CT scan, and start all over again up to a maximum of 5 courses - so thats just over a year.
The side effects are horrific so Im not going into them here and now. Prof H. says Im not allowed to look at the monitors while Im being treated because as an ex nurse it will scare me to death!
I shall ban Martin and the kids visiting - I dont think Ill be up to visitors anyway and I really dont want them seeing me so ill.
So...Im just waiting for a phone call from him - with everything crossed.