Just keeping you up to date with what is happening here in Spain with my treatment.
My Oncologist decided to take me off the Cisplatin/Gemcitibane regime that was causing my bloods havoc, as I constantly was receiving blood or platelet transfusions. I had no appetite, lost so much weight and my cancer marker rose by 100,
The next decision was to put me on Avastin + Xeloda, this is a treatment for colon cancer, supposedly to treat the ever increasing pain, 24/7, in my colon area and also in the abdomen area. At the same time I weaned myself off the morphine patches as they were making me feel so ill and not having any impact on the lower colon pain, only helping the pain in the abdomen. I presently survive by taking Paracetamol and the odd Tramadol, but only when necessary. Although I do have an appointment with a pain clinic a week on Tuesday, the earliest I could get.
I was ALLOWED - wow - allowed 6 weeks off treatment to get my port a cath fitted and generally give my body a rest and started on my new treatment Wed of last week. The only side effects I seem to be suffering at the moment are a hugely swollen tummy at the end of every day and the inevitable constipation. Before going back on chemo I was also able to have a colonoscopy and a gastoscopy to see if there was anything sinister lurking that could be causing me all this pain. Thankfully all was clear, although my colon is in a bit of a mess due to the large amount of surgery I had and is more twisted and curved than it should be. This combined with the constant constipation could be causing some pain but my Onc is still convinced it is cancer cells trying to settle within that area, hence the new treatment.
I mentioned to my Onc. about PARP inhibitor trials, they are not available in Spain and it appears, through usual UK bureaucracy, I am not eligible for treatment in the UK as I Spanish resident. Despite living in the UK for almost 55 years and paying full Nat Ins etc. and also receiving a UK pension over here. We have actually been told what the British Government is doing is illegal as I am still a British passport holder and of British nationality. We have written to the European Commission to clarify this. Strange that I was able to receive treatment in York hospital at Xmas and they didn't even want to see my medical card. But guess this was because I was emergency treatment. My Onc is amazed about this, as he said all Spanish born citizens are allowed treatment in Spain even if they don't live here. Anyway first of all I would have to have a gene test to see if I am eligible for the trials, can't get this on the Health system here nor will the Insurance Company pay, so if I could get on trials we will have to pay for the test.
Anyway as all Ovarian ladies I plod on with new treatment just hoping that Avastin will again come up trumps for me. My Onc. has had a few of his patients off the drug and then resumed treatment some months later, they have all responded well so I hope the same happens to me. In the meantime I just want to be free of pain and actually be able to do some retail therapy again. When checking my bank account the other day I realised the last time I actually went shopping, other than food shopping was 17th Nov 2011 - sad isn't it !!
Love Anna xx