Still Breathing

Cool

Dealing with cancer

So I had my third chemo and once again, everything went really smoothly:) chemotherapy hasn’t turned out bad for me at all (touch wood). I’ve had very little side affects, which include a little hair loss and thinning, loss of appetite, weight loss, sense of smell and taste have changed, and just being a real moody kid and fatigued.

I have to say at first I was all really cautious on my first chemo, didn’t really see anyone, didn’t really do anything… However in the last week and half I’ve had some really great times with all my friends, jamming on guitar and bass making some epic physcadellic rock.

On my last chemo I had a lady come do a survey/questionnaire on how I feel as for stress ad depression go. I told her I was feeling pretty sad and stressed and a little depressed. And that’s cause I miss m old lifestyle(which will return).

So she told me that there is no harm in having a beer or 2 aslong as I don’t get completely drunk. This was awesome news for me:) she asked why I was stressed other than financial problems and I told her having to have a cooked meal eveynight and and worrying about that. She told me that there would be no harm in going to a restraunt and having a meal aslong as I don’t eat salad or asian food.

This was amazing to know, it’s really changed my spirits and I feel about 95% :)

Let’s hope it stays this way on the many more chemo’s I have.

:)

Round 2 of chemotherapy


Today(7-11-2011) I went to the haemotology clinic chemotherpay lounge for my second round of chemotherapy. I got to my appointment with my dad at about 8:45am this morning and got into to the chemotherapy lounge at about 8:50am.

My nurse Louise got everything ready for my few hours of chemotherapy. The hospital finally got new needles in, which agreed and worked first shot into my shitty veins; the new needles made it a more pleasent experience and start to the day.

After the catheta was inserted into my arm; Louise went and got all the drugs to start the chemotherapy. Louise started by intravenously injecting a anti-nausea drug to make the chemotherapy go more smoothly and make sure i handle the ABVD drugs.

The first drug once again was Doxorubicin, which is a red colour and is the one the drug that will be the main cause of my hair loss. I found there was a little discomfort of this drug coming through this time, but nothing i couldn’t handle.

The second drug was Bleomycin was clear, and surigined into the drip. explained that is the drug that could affect my lungs. I have quit smoking which is good, however I did have one ciggarette last friday, and it was the worst taste i have ever tasted; it’s definatly put me off smoking. Hopefully after 6months of non smoking I will not return to it.

the next drug was Vinblastine which was just dripping through and going into my veins.Dacarbazine was the last drug which was also dripping down the tubes this one took around hour. I didn’t get a wierd feeling this time; which was good. However I was extremely tired for this round of chemotherapy, but i didn’t want to sleep because I’d rather do that at home, and be alert of everything that is happening.

My mum came and suprised me again with a visit and bought me some lollies, it was great to see her. Dad, Mum and I had a good laugh within that hour.

I just really like to thank the haematology care centre and the Chemotherapy lounge nurses and Louise and Dr Gavin.

Round 3 is on the 21-11-2011. Update you all then.

My First Treatment.

I woke up early this morning, about 7.30am. I woke up feeling nervous and a bit afraid of the unknown. I had no idea what to expect for my first chemotherapy treatment. My Dad picked up my girlfriend and I at 8am and we arrived early at the hospital. I was even more nervous having to wait in the waiting room of the haematology centre. Finally, Louise called my name and we made our way to the chemotherapy lounge.

There were about 10 chairs in the room and a couple of beds. I was in here for my BMA too except I had the comfort of a bed that time. There were only a few other chemo patients in the room, all of them were seniors. It felt strange to be the only young person.

I selected a chair and Louise met me with a trolley full of various medical paraphernalia. I could see the needle she would use.. I was dreading having it put in my arm; I figured my veins would collapse like the last few times.
Several attempts later, and I was right. My left arm failed and Louise attempted my right arm a few times before it went in. They are trialling some new type of catheter that just wouldn’t work so Louise ended up just using the old type but unfortunately, the gauge was bigger :(

Louise talked me through each drug as she slowly administered them through the drip in my arm. First saline, then an anti-nausea drug, and then my first chemotherapy drug; Doxorubicin. Louise used a big syringe to push it slowly through my drip. It was a deep red colour. I watched it flow down the clear tube into my arm. I was finally on the road to getting better.

,

The next drug (Bleomycin) was clear, it was also put into my body through a syringe into my drip. Louise explained that this was the drug that could affect my lungs. Again, she mentions I need to quit smoking. It’s gonna be tough but I think having a good reason to quit will give me an extra push to actually do it.

No more syringes. The last two are given to me through drip bags. Both are clear liquids. The Vinblastine went in fairly quickly but I had to sit for an hour while the Dacarbazine went into my body. Both of these gave me an odd feeling. I can’t explain it but it made my vein feel really funny every few minutes.

I had to have a little more fluid and then I was ready to go home. Whilst I was waiting for the last bag of saline to go through, I was staring down the corridor and noticed my mum walking down towards me:) It was a really big pleasant shock and surprise. A woman called Orietta came and spoke to me about Centrelink and various organisations like the Starlight Foundation. Turns out I actually get to make a wish which is awesome. I’ll have to work out what I’m gonna wish for before they call me.
My bladder was gonna explode after all those fluids so I took her card and ran for a wee. Just like Louise said; my urine was a dark orange colour from the Doxorubicin.

Louise organised my medication and my girlfriend and I went to pick them up. I had 4 different tablets to take home. I hoped my girlfriend was listening when the lady explained each medication. Thankfully, Louise left an information sheet.

I was exhausted when we got home. I went to sleep for a few hours with my girlfriend. When I woke up my Mum had cooked us pasta, chicken and salad for the next 2 days’ dinner. Surprisingly, I had quite an appetite. I hope that nausea, I’ve heard so much about, doesn’t kick in any time soon.

My next treatment is is on the 7th of November.
I’ll try to update my blog with how I’m feeling in the mean time

Chemotherapy start and having fun


I went to Gavin on Tuesday 11/10/11 to finalise the Chemotherapy trial. I’ve decided to go on the trial, for my sake, and to help them build a better study on curing Hodgkin’s lymphoma for anyone else who gets this type of cancer.

Before I start my chemotherapy on the 24th of october, I’ve had to undergo a few tests for trial. The two of the tests I’ve had so far are an ECG and Chest X-ray. I still need to have a CT Scan and a Lung function test which are booked in for thursday morning 20/10/11. I then need to have a blood test that day also. All these tests are to see how the Chemotherapy drugs ABVD and BEACOPP are going to affect my body.

But enough about the depressing stuff.

Myself and 4 of my good mates went away on the weekend to my good mate’s dad’s block of land in Denmark, WA. We hit Albany highway around 10ish and got there around 2:30pm. We stopped off at the bottle shop in Albany and got a carton of beer each for the 2nights and 3 days we were there. Then stopped off at the supermarket and got lots of sausages and munchie food etc. Then it was another 45minute drive from Albany to Denmark. We finally got there, and set up our swags and tent, and opened my mates dad’s caravan. It wasn’t long after that till we started drinking and having fun.

The next day we spent it at the beach in denmark and rode the quad bike and drove my car there and took an esky full of beer. I tried to do a bit of spear fishing but the waves and current were too rough and strong. After a few hours down at the beach we came back home and played a bit of footy. then built up a massive fire to see us through the night. We all sat around drinking and smoking. and then cooked up a feed of sausages and bacon, and chops. after that we all chilled out and watched a movie thanks to the caravan tv! Then the next day, we basically all got up and packed up our shit and hit the road again. it was a long tiring drive back home. But was so worth the shower! haha.

I also shaved my head the other week and thought i’d have fun with it so enjoy the photo’s!


The things you don’t want to hear…


Yesterday(07-10-11) I went to see my haemotologist Gavin for the results of my PET scan and Bone marrow aspirate.

Basically cutting to the chase, I am now diagnosed with Stage 3 hodgkin’s lymphoma. I got a weird feeling inside when he told me this, almost felt like my heart split into two…

Gavin wants to put me on a trial Chemotherapy.
The trial involves starting me with ABVD (Doxorubicin, Bleomycin, Vinblastine and Dacarbazine) chemotherapy for 2 cycles (one cycle is one treatment every 14 days) and then doing a PET scan. If the PET scan is negative for the lymphoma, they continue on ABVD because the disease is clearly very responsive to the chemo treatment and is likely to be cured after 6 more months of treatment. However, if the PET scan is positive for the lymphoma, they begin to treat me with a stronger chemotherapy called BEACOPP (Bleomycin, Etoposide, Doxorubicin, Cyclophosphamide, Vincristine, Procarbazine and Prednisolone). This is a much more potent cocktail of drugs.
Gavin told us that BEACOPP has only been used for about 10 years. It has a higher rate of survival and cure in the ten year time frame but a higher chance of developing a secondary cancer. Because of the short time they have been using this type of chemo, after the ten years they don’t really know what happens. BEACOPP can be given in two different ways; BEACOPP-14 and BEACOPP escalated (escBEACOPP). Gavin talked only about escBEACOPP so he must be more inclined to treat SharkBoy with escBEACOPP.

So i think i’m going to go with the trial. And i can pull out of it any time i want to.
Tuesday I will confirm this, and hopefully start my trial ASAP.


2 steps closer to chemotherapy

 

I went to hospital this morning (03.10.2011) for a PET scan (Positron Emission Tomography) and a Bone Marrow Aspirate.

I woke up at 5:30am this morning, and started mentally dealing with my visit to hospital. I did a little bit of house work before I went in, to try and take my mind off things.

Come 6am, my Dad had arrived at my front door to pick me up. Off we went to the hospital. The whole way I kept saying “I really don’t want to do this”. But let’s face it, we all knew I had to. 

We got to the hospital, walked to BLOCK G, went up in the elevator, and arrived at the WA PET Service and Nuclear Medicine Department. My appointment was at 7:10am. But we got there at 6:45am to start filling out the paper work. For the scan I had today, without a refferal, you’d be up for $950. Lucky for me I had a referral, so Medicare covered the cost for me, cheers Medicare!

After all the paper work was done, it was my time to shine. Now I was ready to go to my hospital room and get on the bed. I layed on the bed whilst a nurse put a catheter into my left arm. She injected a Radioactive substance into the vein. This would act as a marker for the cancer cells. I had to lay there for an hour in the dark without moving, to allow the substance to spread throughout my body.

Laying in the bed, I started to doze off, next thing I was asleep. Suddenly, a 2 year old baby came in and started screaming “I want a big boy water!” he was crying and really wanted a water. It was cute and sad at first, but after 30 minutes of it, it started to get really annoying!

Eventually the nurse came in and told me to go the toilet and then meet her in the scanning room. I layed on this small long tube thing, and it was the most fucking uncomfortable thing! I had to have my hands above my head for the whole 25 minutes. I was very sore and  uncomfortable, but then started to fall asleep. I think I was asleep for around 3 minutes, and then it was over! 

Finally, I walked out of the hospital and got some food with my dad. We killed off 2 hours before my BMA. After the 2 hours were up we walked to E BLOCK where the haemotology centre is. We waited there for about 5 minutes, then my name was called and it was time for the horrifying part of the day. However as we were walking to my bed, the nurse asked me if I wanted a sedative to feel sleepy and to dull the pain, before she even finished asking my answer was “YES!”

They put a 4cm catheter in my right arm, right away it started gushing blood everywhere; my dad started to worry. But all was fine. Because of the size of the catheter, it was very discomforting to move my arm. But I put up with the pain.

Then Gavin came to my bed and explained to me what he was going to be doing. He then injected with me with the sedative, and next thing I was out of it. I woke up in pain, and not really knowing where I was.



The actual wound looks small, but my bone is really aching at the moment, and I’m limping around ’cos it hurts to sit and walk.

I’m really glad this is all over with, and we can see the treatment plans on Friday for Chemotherapy.

Thank you Dad, for being there for me today and supporting me. 

You shall hear from me again on Friday.

rapt-spectator:

fuckyeahtattoos:

My grandfather has been battling bone cancer since last October and the sickness has pretty much divided and torn my family apart. Cancer can suck it. Done by Noelle at Divine Machine, she’s the bomb.

This guy has the right idea.This guy has nailed it. i should get this tatooed on my other arm, or under my still breathing tatoo. FUCK YOU CANCER!

rapt-spectator:

fuckyeahtattoos:

My grandfather has been battling bone cancer since last October and the sickness has pretty much divided and torn my family apart. Cancer can suck it. Done by Noelle at Divine Machine, she’s the bomb.

This guy has the right idea.

This guy has nailed it. i should get this tatooed on my other arm, or under my still breathing tatoo. FUCK YOU CANCER!

Lol so true

Lol so true

Results


Today, I went to see Hieu, the surgeon who perfomed my biopsy.
The results are; I have Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

It’s upsetting news, however it is a very treatable cancer; and not the worst one to have. But, it’s still FUCKED.

I am going to see my other specialist Gavin on friday. He will let me know more about what’s happening with my treatmeants and scans.
I already have a PET scan booked for monday. I still need to have my Bone Marrow Aspirate before I find out what sort of Chemotherapy I will need to go on.

Now it’s just a waiting game. I’m glad after all these months of having this lump, something is finally getting done!

My Dad has really taken an affect to what is happening to me, it’s amazing how much he cares about me. I love him, and would like to thank him for being my support through all of this. Same goes for my Mum, Sister, and Girlfriend. I love you all.

Until all of this all starts taking place, I figure I will keep positive and happy, and enjoy the time I have before going on chemotherapy. So until then, I’ll keep playing guitar, keep seeing my friends, and having an awesome time :)