... in my brain actually. My very own brain tumour

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Waiting, waiting, waiting

I have been waiting, waiting waiting for my treatment to start and am now getting frustrated. I just want to start. I can picture the tumour cells multiplying, growing, invading healthy tissue, getting bigger all the time. Why is it taking so long? This morning at gym I bumped into a good friend who is a retired professor of oncology and had a moan about how long things are taking. He just said, “John, the planning takes time. You have to be patient.” OK. I just wish I could be given a definite date.

Later this morning I had a call from the hospital to make an appointment for me to see the oncologist this Friday 22nd Feb to give me my chemotherapy pills and to run through the details of my radiotherapy which is now definitely scheduled for Monday 25th Feb. Good!

I will make a list of all the things I want clarified so that I can get answers on Friday.

In the meantime, life has been going on. I have been going to gym regularly and having a really wonderful workout in the mornings. It is quite alarming how weak I am and it is obvious that my muscles are continuing to waste. No matter what I do, I can’t seem to build them up again. The cortisone is to blame, I think. I will clarify this with the oncologist.

Over the weekend, I arranged for some very special friends to take Joan and me to the Silvermine Nature Reserve on Wednesday to climb up to the plateau and then find our way to the top of the Kalk Bay Peak. Thereafter we would look for an unusual rock feature called the Cochlear Rock that has eluded me in the past. I researched this carefully and got instructions as to how to find it. I was really excited at the prospect of doing some mountaineering again. The day after making this arrangement, Joan and I took ourselves off to the Artscape Opera House to see Swan Lake on Ice, having bought two of the best tickets in the house (at very extravagant prices). Walking up the steps to the auditorium, I was appalled at how difficult this simple task was. That night I suffered cramp in my legs. How could I think of climbing a mountain in Wednesday? I had misjudged my physical condition and next day phoned my friends to apologize and cancel the planned mountaineering expedition. They accepted the decision gracefully and we will now go out to Paarl on Wednesday to have a more sedate tea and scones or some such treat. Very nice. I am looking forward to it. For the time being, I must be more realistic about my physical state and take things easy.

Over the weekend, I found another blog by a man called Ian in Switzerland who also has a brain tumour and seems to have gone through many similar experiences to mine, particularly with regard to beliefs. I found it really interesting reading his blog. If you want to do so please click here to see it.

A few days ago I broke some rules and jumped into my car while Joan was at work and drove myself off to gym. I was very careful, first checking my peripheral vision, and timing my outing for a quiet period on the roads. It was wonderful to drive myself. I drove carefully, defensively and responsibly and it all went fine. No problem! This probably wasn’t the wisest thing to do, but I am now a bit more adventurous than I have been in the past, so what the hell . . . It felt good.

Until the treatment starts . .


Mady said...

John, Thank you for commenting on my blog and for being brave to share your own life and personal experiences in this blogging format as you move forward in your treatment against the anaplastic astrocytoma. I wanted to share another blog that I check in with frequently, http://teamtumorerradication.blogspot.com/, that I find can provide hope that there really CAN be a better prognosis... and people can continue LIVING with a brain tumor. I will keep my eye on you too! All my best, Mady

John said...

Thanks for your comment Mady.I have bookmarked the other site you mentioned and will read it soon. There is quite a community of brain tumour bloggers, hey? It feels so good to be surrounded by positive, understanding people. I am very positive, but also realistic. Lets see what Monday brings. . .