I'm due to start my second cycle of gem/tax chemo on Thursday so today is a good time to review how my first cycle has gone. One of my main concerns was that this chemo would leave me too poorly to see family and friends. This has turned out to be unfounded so far, Katie and I have had to cancel very few of the plans that we'd made and I've been well enough to really enjoy seeing people, we've had some really good times during this period.
Unfortunately there have also been a couple of worrying developments. My mobility has continued to decline and for the last week we've been hiring a wheelchair. Katie tells me that it's hard work pushing me along Bath's hilly and roughly paved streets. There's also the speed and degree to which my thigh muscles are becoming weaker. When I had gem/tax chemo back in 2011 it took five or six cycles for this weakening to become apparent. Now, after just one cycle, my legs have already lost a lot strength.
On the bright side we've improved the management of my pain which had begun to be a worry and we're also seeing a mobility scooter hire company on Tuesday. A scooter should improve my mobility.
I start the second cycle of treatment in a few days time. Katie and I had a good chat with my oncologist to consider whether I might benefit from further reducing the dose that I'm receiving, I've decided to push on with the current dose however. I will have a scan after cycle three and I'd like to be sure that we've given the chemo the best chance of working.
Friday 7th November is another important date in the progress of Lord Falconer's Assisted Dying Bill. The Bill will be discussed at a committee of the House of Lords. At this meeting Lords will be able to propose amendments to the Bill many of which will be helpful in shaping and agreeing its detail. However, some of the Lords who oppose a change in the law may seek to use this as an opportunity to delay the Bill's further progress. Polls continue to show that a clear majority of the UK population support the introduction of Assisted Dying legislation. Those who oppose the Bill do so whilst disregarding these views. You can support the Bill by joining Dignity in Dying.
During a recent visit from my mum we took a trip to the National Trust's Stourhead garden. This was the first time I used a wheelchair so whilst I got a scenic ride around the lake Katie got a good workout propelling me along! Here are some of the autumn colours, it's amazing how few days there are each year when the colours are perfect for photography and the sun is out. We were a little early for the best of the show and might return for a second attempt in a few days time.