On Thursday Katie and I received the results of my latest scan, unfortunately these showed that pazopanib, the drug I've been taking for the last two months or so, has not had any effect on my LMS. The radiologist's report on the scan made for grim reading, it indicated that the tumours in my liver and abdomen have been growing quite significantly since my last scan, some of these tumours are getting alarmingly large now. I also had the results of a brain scan which showed that the area of abnormal tissue thought to be due to a lymphoma has enlarged slightly.
Although we were expecting the scan to show progression of my LMS both the extent of the growth and the news that the lymphoma appears to be active again are very disappointing. In response to this I have started taking steroids in the hope these will control the lymphoma and will start a new course of chemotherapy treatment next week for the LMS. I also plan to continue taking metformin which I've been taking for most of this year in the hope that it may have some positive effect on things.
The new chemotherapy will be administered using a technique know as 'metronomic therapy'. This involves taking a small dose of the chemotherapy agent every day rather than taking a large does once or twice every three weeks. When delivered in these low but continuous doses some chemotherapy agents have been found to produce much milder side effects whilst still offering control on the growth of tumours. You can read more at this link. The chemotherapy agent I will be taking is called cyclophosphamide, there is some evidence that this drug is effective against both sarcomas and lymphomas when delivered using metronomic therapy.
Katie and I like to go out to dinner the evening we get a scan result. If the result is good then we can celebrate, if it is bad going out prevents us from moping around at home! On Thursday we had booked a night in a very nice pub in the Cotswolds. Just a couple of hours after leaving the oncology clinic we were sitting in a beautiful pub garden drinking beer as the evening sunshine turned the old stone walls of the pub a glorious golden colour and swifts and swallows cut through the deep blue sky above. Staying at the pub was a great distraction from our news.
As I've been generally feeling reasonably well these last weeks Katie and I have been enjoying as many outings as we can. These photos are from a recent trip to Courts Garden in Wiltshire. The colours in this poppy caught me eye and I thought the second shot had some really nice details in the flower and its petals, I've gone for black and white on this one as the black and white version shows more detail than the colour (click or double click to see the images at a larger size).