Nige just walked from the lounge to the bedroom with little fuss. Earlier he walked from the lounge to the bathroom with little fuss. Sunday just gone this was a major ordeal. So what is going on? Yes the scan results today have shown that Nige’s cancer is stable/slightly improved. But his breathing has the majority of the time during the last few weeks, been worse than after his previous scan. Doesn’t make sense right? Maybe this will make sense. Every Friday Nige has chemo. As soon as he exits the chemical chair his breathing worsens. It stays this way or becomes more laboured as the weekend goes on. It’s not the allergic reaction that many on Paclitaxel (or Taxotere) can experience – this would mean an emergency hospital visit. No this is something else. But the doctors can’t explain it. At first we thought it was our old friend “Mr. Steroids” (you can just imagine him right?! Huge Popeye arms, tiny……) Anyway, the level of steroids Nige took didn’t seem to make a huge amount of difference, and this explanation just didn’t “feel right” if you get my drift.
Nige explained that it felt like he could take a deeper breath, but he was getting out of breath far more easily. But then he would recover quite quickly. And consistently his breathing would improve as the week went on. By the time it was time for his next chemo, he would be feeling almost chipper (lol – not quite), but then he would have the chemo and the cycle would start all over again, getting slightly worse as each week went on. To me it seemed obvious – the chemo is causing it! The accumulated effects were making Nige more and more fatigued, and somehow, effecting his breathing. But the doctors didn’t seem to think this was the case (they didn’t, however, have any other explanations – we’d ruled out anaemia, heart issues, fluid, and lymphangitis). And then it dawned on me. Nige is an anomaly. This is his fourth line of treatment and third chemo. Stage 4 cancer patients don’t generally get this far and/or react to every chemo they’re given. Nige can’t be compared to a newly diagnosed person having first line Paclitaxel, who would have a more robust immune system, and wouldn’t have yet built up resistance to chemo.
The doctor said he wouldn’t go so far as to call it a miracle (screw him lol), but it did say he was amazed. I think he’s starting to look like a bit of legend around Wellington hospital. Thanks to Nige’s hard work, my research, the private oncologist plus many other’s input! (Too many to name, but you’ll know who you are :)). But I’ll let doc take the credit, as long as Nige is heading in the right direction I don’t really care (ok maybe I care a smidgen ;)).
I believe the juicing and staying away from certain foods is helping. I believe a strong state of mind is helping. I believe smart treatment choices have helped. I believe supplements Nige is taking have helped. I believe that numerous things we have tried have helped in some way, they are too many to list here, and some might find a few flaky to say the least. But I also believe that the cannabis oil Nige has been taking since he was first diagnosed has helped. Immensely.
While we know these “good times” may not last forever, we can at least for the moment, take a breath and feel secure for a short while. It’s what we’ve got and we’ll take it. But Nige has already kicked 4-8 months to the kerb, he’s knocking on 22 months since diagnosis. And that to me and everyone who loves Nige, is enough of a miracle to celebrate. So celebrate. Have a drink, say a prayer, smile. Because you’ve helped us get here. And don’t forget to say Hi, we love to hear from you.