Treatment Update

Evening all.

Just a quick update to let you know what’s happening with my treatment – we finally have a plan (well, somewhat!).

So we heard from both the Royal Marsden and Canterbury Hospital today – I will be having the radiotherapy locally, so as to save traveling to London day after day. In all other aspects the treatment will be the same between the two hospitals, so this makes sense – especially given the predicted side effects.

However, before we can begin in earnest I need to have an appointment with the consultant at Canterbury, so he can plan the treatment properly. Early indications suggest it’s all a bit more complicated that just turning up and having your head irradiated (which is actually very reassuring). They have to look at the scans, then calculate power, angles, and other things I don’t fully understand right now. Apparently some patients even have to have a special mould made for them before they can start (I expect they will probably want to do this for me to protect my incredible looks).

So I am due in on Thursday to begin that process – then the treatment itself should begin shortly after.

In some ways I was hoping it would be earlier – I guess when you have cancer it’s natural to want to hammer it as hard and as quickly as possible. But on the other hand, it is a bit of a reprieve – as I explained previously, it was the timing of all this brain stuff that was most upsetting. I had a whole list of things I wanted to do before I found myself wiped out and too tired with this treatment, so at least I now have a few days to get a move on.

While we wait then I continue with the steroids and painkillers to keep the symptoms under control. Speaking of symptoms, no real changes there to report – occasional head pressure still (but under control with painkillers), vision still rubbish (no better, no worse).

Today I actually left the house for the first time since Thursday – we decided after the last few days we would treat ourselves to lunch in town (ASK again). It was so nice to get out, and away from either the bed or the sofa, where I have almost exclusively spent the last few days. Although I did feel like a complete liability trying to navigate pavements, roads, traffic, lamp posts, and pedestrians (with umbrellas – the worst kind of pedestrian) with my limited vision.

When sat in the living room my vision now means I have to sit on the right-hand sofa, so that my good eye faces into the room. If I sit on the left-hand sofa it doesn’t really feel like I am sat in the room – my field of vision mainly encompasses the cupboard under the stairs (which while a nice cupboard, is hardly the highlight of the room) and I hear ghostly voices of the people sat to the right of me, who I can’t actually see. Which is very weird – I hope this sorts itself out soon.

Before I finish I just want to say another couple of thank yous…

Firstly to Sally, who decided yesterday that she would cheer me up by taking herself into town (in the pouring rain) and surprising me with some new clothes. She chose very well, every one was a hit – highlights included some nice shirts, and a Guns N’ Roses t-shirt.

And secondly to my Mum, who is still here and helping us out with Saskia, around the house, and just generally looking out for us. With me currently next to useless (or worse, a liability) we just couldn’t do this without another pair of hands.

Right, that’s about it for now.


Filed under Battle with Melanoma

8 responses to “Treatment Update

  1. Claire & Phil Leslie

    Hi Ben, great to get an update on the proposed treatment – I hope all goes well on Thursday and that everything gets underway asap, we’re all thinking of you as always – Nanny’s calling everyday for a blog update and sends all her love too. xxxx

  2. Dad

    Hello Ben
    Thanks for putting me in the picture. Lets hope it works well and hope that you can soon see more interesting things than the cupboard. You make your blogs interesting reading with a good splash of humour and a useful update on progress. We all wish you well here from the sanctuary for demented heather growers.
    Hope to see you soon
    Love from Trish and Dad x …plus slobberry lick from Gemma

  3. Lizzie

    We hope everything goes well on Thursday Ben. We’ll be sending you all our positive vibes! Hope to see you soon for some Windy Corner Shortcake 🙂 Love Lizzie, Liam & Eli xxxx

  4. Ron and Nancy

    Our best wishes to you this Thursday and glad to hear that some of your treatment can be at a hospital closer to home.
    Lots of love and positive thoughts to you, Sally and Saskia.
    Ron and Nancy xoxoxo

  5. Angela and John

    Hi Ben, glad to hear you and Sal are keeping ASK in business (Alice spent many long weekend evenings, when she was still at school, serving up pizza and pasta at the Worcester restaurant!) Hope you are printing off their vouchers from the internet – ‘buy 1 main get another for £2’ – Sunday – Thursday. Thank you so much for your very special posts – Ange and John x x

  6. Chris and Ivan

    Hi Ben,
    Just a quickie to say that we will be thinking of you tomorrow and hoping that they will be able to get on with your treatment promptly.
    Chris and Ivan x

  7. Tanya

    Hope it goes ok tomorrow. Thinking of you all and sending love. xx

  8. june and colin

    hi ben its me again… Thank you for setting up this blog…:) I can write to you and support you as much as i can…I wish i was living in England sometimes so i could take you out for a pizza or movie.. All these years and we never really talked much.. I guess sometimes we all get so wrapped up in work, family, whatever and i cant believe how time just goes so fast..
    When i finally learned about facebook about 8 months or so ago, its been great to be able to see and get in touch with so many people around the world… Im not much of a computer guy,but im sure learning fast! Ok mate,
    you take care of yourself and i know your strong and have such a supportive family….Good luck and keep us posted..
    your california connection.
    colin xxxx

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