Cancer Log 3
Brain cancer 3
I feel like it is time for an update
I finished my 10 days of taking my steroids, and they took away almost all of the symptoms that I had. I was pleased when I finished because I had mostly had trouble sleeping during that time. I was told that if the symptoms came back, I could contact the consultant about getting them restarted.
The next two weeks were pretty normal, except for regular heart palpitations in the night. I don’t know if this symptom has anything to do with the cancer, as I have had them off and on over the years. And when they happen I know how to slow and then stop them. I don’t take a blood pressure/pulse reading, but count the heartbeats per second. The worst ones my pulse is about 150 beats per minute - twice my normal - and many of them were not that high. But to sort out the problem, I lie on my back and deep breathe, trying to relax Normally I am back to normal within a few minutes. When it first happened, years ago now, I didn’t have a clue how to cope, and it was many hours before I managed to get the rate back - me being panicked about it all as well.
Then two weeks ago, I had some familiar symptoms returning - lack of stability in walking and terrible headaches. It coincided with my daughter (the very organised one) visiting me over half term with her 10 year old son
She quickly picked up on my returned problems, and tried very hard to get me to agree to contact the hospital. But I held out, thinking it was a phase I had to get through, and I didn’t want to be back in the steroid system either, as it has its own problems and side effects.
She evaluated me over the next few days, and decided my walking definitely needed some help. She gave me her father-in-law’s walking stick, but decided that I was more dangerous with it, as I had to keep looking on the ground and concentrating.
Then she talked me into going to a disabled shop, and after trying lots of other sticks which were equally not good enough, I bought a walking frame. It did make me feel very confident and I could walk at twice the pace as I normally do these days. It was a top notch type with brakes and a seat which lifts for storage
I finally agreed to let her contact the consultant, who came back with the fact that I was no doubt still having problems from my swollen brain - and as it could last a while yet, she gave me a choice. I could either soldier on and hope if quit quickly or I could go back on steroids but at a low dose - and these would be slowly dropping in amount each week So I chose that, and my daughter got the hospital to contact the GP right then and there, and then she asked the pharmacy to make sure they had the right stuff in, and it all worked. I would never have done any of that, but luckily she is much braver than I. The pills will last for five weeks.
So I started on my new dose just as the others went to the Peak District for a few days of sight seeing and bike riding. When they came back on Saturday, my grandson said, “ Grandma has gone from 80 to 60 in two days.” And I felt like that too - no headaches, walking seemed much steadier, my brain wasn’t foggy all the time.
But it hasn’t continued straight forwards. I have had a few good days, and then one which goes back to headaches and no sleep. But so far today I am dong OK and enjoying the feeling.
Yesterday I had my all body CT scan. This one is a bit more involved that the others I have had in the past. I spent 40 minutes drinking a chalky drink which coated all the areas that they scanned, so they were able to pick up the smallest deviation from normal. As I think I mentioned before, going from colon cancer to brain cancer is very unusuall and they probably suspect that there might be a spattering of cancer cells in all sorts of places on route from the one to the other. None so far has caused symptoms but they don’t until they are big enough to cause pain or some other unnatural symptom.
When the scan was finished, I was called to see one of the radiologists She said they had found blot clots in my lungs. So I had to go to have blood tests, and then would be treated with strong blood thinners for a month, and then less strong ones thereafter. There was no indication if these were in fact, brand new ones, or fragments of the ones I had before the colon surgery a year ago. But whichever, they would get the same treatment. If they haven’t gone, they should have done.
Next week we will fiend out the rest of the scan results, and hopefully more details about what my future holds for me.