I will not get carried away. I will not get carried away. I will not get carried away…
There’s no sign of cancer in my large intestine! Woo-hoo!!
Right, that’s enough, back to reality please.
Today I got the results from last month’s colonoscopy. Regular readers will know it was biopsies from my previous colonoscopy last November which identified the Mantle Cell Lymphoma in the first place, quite unexpectedly.
We’d arranged to meet my consultant at lunchtime, to get the colonoscopy results, discuss any other issues and – just a small point – sign consent for my Stem Cell Transplant.
The day actually started with me dropping off the little people at school and nursery. Didn’t want to make too much of a fuss but at the same time it could be the last time we see each other for a month so there was wee lump in my throat.
In theory the kids could visit if (a) they are bug free – a quite unusual situation in the Slorance hoose, and (b) that my condition is not too scary for them (well no scarier than normal anyway). So we’ll never say never but certainly won’t promise what we can’t deliver.
Then it was (snack) shopping, bag packing and off in the spring sunshine to North Edinburgh, with a quick visit to the dentist as first stop – everything from my wee gum procedure has cleared up nicely.
Then the consultant. I wish I’d recorded her words, but there were a few excellents, plenty very goods and more than enough positives to put a smile on my face.
Mantle Cell is an odd cancer. My consultant won’t talk in terms of a cure, though some respected organisations will at least say that being cured is “rare”.
This is partly to do with the relative newness of the disease and recent very positive advances in treatment. There are survivors in the 15 year category but as they are still alive and the disease may come back no one will say they are cured!
Whatever the situation, it’s still the case that although your current cancer might go into remission, there’s still a decent chance it will come back. It’s just a matter of when.
However, good news is good news whatever the caveats.
We were hopeful that the colonoscopy would come back looking good (if a camera up ‘there’ can look good…). But to hear that the large intestine is now “normal” and that there’s no visible or biopsy indication of cancer is bloody good to hear.
The consultant also reiterated the “very good” result of a CT scan I had a couple of months back. I had hoped for another follow up CT now which hadn’t been booked and which the Doc said she didn’t think was absolutely needed, but for peace of mind and to give us another ‘marker’ I’ll hopefully get one in the next few days.
Even if that’s clear, my consultant won’t say total remission as that really needs another venture into my hip bone for bone marrow. And neither of us is pushing for that at this time!
But on the day of admission for my Stem Cell Transplant process, I’m probably in as good a position treatment and response wise as I could have hoped for. Which is nice!
The Stem Cell Translant still happens, no matter the test results. The effects of the ‘re-setting’ of my immune system can add years to any prognosis. It’s a small risk well worth taking (please don’t let that be my epitaph!!)
Tonight I’m typing this in my new home for the next month. My own room with a view of Edinburgh Castle. Life ain’t all that bad.