On the 22nd July 2004 I was sat in James Cook waiting to see my Chest physician, it was a scheduled appointment as I had been there nearly every other week on a drop in with fluid build up. He decided that day that I would be going forward for chest surgery to see what the hell was going on inside my chest. He spelt out the dangers of someone having their chest cut open for no other reason than exploratory but my condition was deteriorating and the fluid that gathered in my left lung no longer purged itself. Why do I remember the date - it was my birthday.
Tomorrow, 9 years later, I will be seeing the oncologist about the new events that have started, the swollen abdomen that is without doubt fluid caused by the meso. I have to hope I have a small growth that is irritating and the whole area has become inflamed. In my estimation I think the stomach has been doing this for at least 12 weeks, although the growth of the last 4 inches came quickly due to flying. It could be longer than 12 weeks but I knew something was wrong when weight that had previously spread everywhere else was suddenly sitting in one place.
My best friends arrived up yesterday afternoon armed with a new wardrobe of their clothes, dresses that would be slack on me. They know I hate clothes shopping! So if I can't get the gut to go down at least I can wear something other than the one pair of joggers I have been wandering around the house in.
Way back when, maybe 6 years ago or more, I met a lovely lady called Christine Shippen. We have always remained in touch. On Friday night with everything else that is going on I received a very sad phone call. Chris has been admitted to hospital with peritoneal meso, her kidneys aren't working due to dehydration, she is sleeping and extremely tired and things aren't looking good. Chris went on Alimta when first diagnosed for pleura meso and said never again. Over the years she has had only Xrays and told the oncologist she has been okay, although last year some new growth was noted Chris said she still felt fine, but no CT was done.
Firstly, she has done well on only one treatment but sad that things have got this far without it being picked up that it has spread to the rest of her body.
She has been so happy with the birth of her first grandson and now her daughter is due to give birth, unfortunately she has had a lot of problems and the birth is the start of a lot of treatment for her daughter to come.
I would ask that if everyone sends a thought to Chris and asks for healing hopefully this will make a big difference. As usual I have kept saying we will get together for a coffee and a natter but life gets in the way, work takes up much of my time and then when I'm home I am usually too tired to do socialising. I need to start living as I haven't had that cup of coffee yet Chris is someone I have become close to over the years.
|Chris, Dennis and baby Aidan|
Time I got moving, the sky is grey but at least it is warm. Have promised to go for a walk with the dogs. I did measure that stomach, its 36.5 at the smallest point, that's 6" bigger than in February. I hope the water tablets start working soon, I didn't notice any difference yesterday nor did I spend my day going to the bathroom.
I must also say a big thank you to Nancy from Mesotheliomahelp.net who sent flowers from the USA yesterday to cheer me up.
The Meso Warriors around the world send a bouquet and then Nancy sent one, I am totally spoilt by the love and support the mesothelioma community have given me. I hope that in some small way I have been able to help someone along this journey too.