Friday, 18 October 2013

Jersey and Oncology

Sunday was the usual Jersey Rally recover and rest day. We hung around the hotel all morning showing people the pictures I had taken, drinking tea and catching up with friends. Then we popped down to say bye to Martine, Chris and the boys in the ferry queue. Chris' car looked very sad with it's blistered paint and melted brake master cylinders. It appears the master cylinder had sprung a leak and dripped onto the exhaust manifold, causing a small fire. Fortunately, being a rally car, it had plenty of extinguishers and Martine was nearby with more extinguishant in her car.
We went for a drive from the ferry and explored some of the south coast bays and headlands. Had afternoon tea half way up St Ouen's Beach. Then we went back to The Merton, which seemed very quiet with most of the rally crews having flown and ferried out or gone home on Jersey. We decided to take the easy option and eat in the hotel restaraunt. At £20 each it was OK, but nothing special.
On Monday we went to The Durell Conservation Trust. Sharon is a member and that meant we got free entry. It wasn't the greatest of weather for animal watching, but I could have spent all day watching the Gorillas and Orangutans. The Gorillas are huge, muscular and so gentle. I am sure they could kill you if they wanted to, but they look like they could hug you to death too. After the zoo we worked our way along the North coast and ended up in the Cafe at St Catherine's Breakwater for fish and chips. Watching the sea is so relaxing.
After a trip into St Helier, Tuesday was a bit more south coast, including the War Memorial and a walk round St Aubin with luch in the gallery Cafe. Then we drove up the West coast and across the North, stopping at viewpoints, bays and headlands. It is like a coastal geography field trip all in about 20 miles. We ended up back at St Catherine's Breakwater, walked half way along and back, watching the sea. a drink in the Cafe to warm us up and back to The Merton. We ate in the hotel 'American Diner', Jersey Joes. Here we found another table footbal table. It is a good job we didn't discover it when we arrived on Thursday as we would have put our life savings in it and not gone out. I beat Sharon 6-4 and then let her have another 5-5 draw.
Wednesday was an early start so we could breakfast, pack and get out of the room by 10:00 am. We then explored some more south coast ending up back at the War Memorial looking at how rough the sea was. It wasn't going to be a good crossing. 500Tie ended up in the bows, on a ramp again and the crew were puting 2 straps on every car because, and I quote, "it's going to be rough". I didn't think it was too bad, I have had worse Sunday crossings in the past, but it did rattle everything of the shelves in the duty free shop and send people bouncing from wall to wall as they walked about. We got off the ferry in Weymouth, got something to eat and were home about 11:30 after a blast across the Dorset and Wiltshire countryside and onto the A34. An MGBGT with a 120 bhp engine, a moonlit night and open country roads. Bliss.
Thursday was spent recovering, doing some shopping and feeling like a wreck. Enjoying yourself is so much hard work!
Today I have been to see my Oncologist. She was armed with blood tests and scan results. I asked her at the very beginning "is there any good new" she smiled her caring smile and said "No". The pazopanib chemo therapy is having no impact according to the scan. The side effects are so risky and damaging that it is best to stop it if it is having no effect. So it has stopped. So we are now going to try Cyclophosphamide. I think this is going to have more of an impact as it comes with steroids. Regular readers will know how much I love steroids. Fortunately this steroid isnt dexmath, so maybe the impact won't be as bad. Dexameth does my head in.
The scan also shows that the tumour in my kidney is growing and there are 4 traces of cancer cells in my lungs. My liver function is back to normal, but there are cancer cells showing in my liver as well. Like she said, No good news. Today is the first time I have really felt I can see the end. Until now I have felt fine, the chemo has been bearable and I have still been hoping I can beat it or a miracle will occur. When I came out of the Churchill today I felt very flat and very sad.

I don't think it had been helped by the pharmacy experience. Dr Pratap said I could go round to pharmacy and pick up the new chemo drugs. The conversation went like this:
"Hi, Graham Whiting, Dr Pratap has just prescribed Cyclophosphamide for me."
"Have you got anything with your Hospital number on it?"
"Yes, here is a blood test envelope"
Pharmacist taps computer and looks at screen. " That isn't ready yet"
"OK, how long will it be?"
"Do you know the process?"
"Does anybody?"
"That was a question"
"OK, no I don't know the process"
"Well the doctor is supposed to make you aware of the process"
"OK, maybe you need to tell the doctors that they need to do that"
"We will, your prescription has only just been written, it needs to be screened before it comes to us and we can pick and dispense it, that's the process"
"OK, how long will that be?"
"I don't know, I don't know when it will be screened, I don't do the screening"
"OK, who does know that and where can I find out please?"
"You will have to wait whilst I phone and find out"
"OK, but I don't have long to live and I like to make the most of what I have left, how long will it be?"
"Take a seat."
5 minutes later
"I have contacted my colleague, it will be screened and with us in about 20 minutes and available about half an hour after that."
Sharon and I went and got some lunch and went back an hour later, the prescription was ready for collection. Why do I need to know the process? Why is it her colleague's fault or the Doctor's fault? All I want to know is how long will I have to wait? Why are all the pharmacists so anal? Everytime I have been delayed at The Churchill it has been Pharmacy who have held me up. Search back through the blog and see the Pharmacy issues.

Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

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