Friday, 8 August 2014

A surprise scan result

Katie and I met with my oncologist yesterday to get the results of the scans I had last week. We weren't feeling very optimistic given that I've had a few more issues recently. We were incredibly surprised and pleased then to hear that the scans show that my cancer has been stable since I started taking the most recent treatment, metronomic cyclophosphamide. The cancer was growing quickly before I began taking this drug so to have halted its progression is really positive.
This is the first good scan result we've had since September last year. It really was pretty stunning to hear the good news and it was quite difficult to take in immediately. We shouldn't get too excited however as it is only eight weeks of stability so far. Research papers and anecdotal information suggest that some people have six months of stability on this treatment, that would be very nice indeed! I will keep taking the cyclophosphamide and have another scan in eight weeks time.
There is research that suggests that it is useful to take other drugs and supplements that have anti-cancer properties at the same time as taking metronomic chemotherapy. I'm already taking the diabetes drug, metformin, for this reason. For the last couple of weeks I've also been taking melatonin and I am now going to start taking PSP (polysaccharide-peptide) too. PSP is an extract from the Chinese mushroom Coriolus Versicolor. There are some studies that show that PSP can slow the growth of sarcoma and lung cancer. The evidence for the beneficial effects of PSP is far from conclusive at present, however it is not thought to have harmful side effects and the risk of taking it is, therefore, low.
I recently spent a day in a hide in Worcestershire photographing kingfishers. These are such colourful and characterful birds it is always a pleasure to spend time observing them and they make for great photographic models (click on the images to see larger versions).

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