Les poissons en France

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The End is Nigh

I went to Toulouse today to complete my 8th cycle of Chemotherapy. So .... one more cycle starting on the 30th May and the chemo will be finished on 20th June!

Pleasingly, the treatment has worked and the production of the protein, which was going to my heart muscles, has stopped. So we've started looking towards the next phase. What's going to happen next? And, at the moment, the doctors don't know!!!!

My problem is that, even though my heart will now stay 'stable', it is 'fatigued'. I had a long talk with my doctor at the hospital and he told me they don't know what to do. If they do nothing for the heart they are concerned that my quality of life will be reduced, but also, possibly, my quantity of life will be reduced. None of the French doctors believe that the protein in the heart muscles will drain away. So ....... the alternative is to replace my defective heart with a new one!
And the problem here is that I am on the top age limit for a transplant. So if they're going to do it, it has to be done soon.

At one stage they had thought to send me to a top specialist for a second opinion, but their latest thinking is to organise a meeting between us, my own doctor who is controlling my case, a surgeon and a cardiologist. At this moment I'm ambivalent as to which course we take. My view on it is coloured by the fact that, apart from dealing with the effects of the chemo, I don't really feel ill. OK, I know that I am limited in terms of walking up hills or carrying heavy loads but, within these limitations, I'll be able to carry on doing small jobs around the house and in the garden.

Well, as they say, as one door closes, another opens.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

In The Land Of The Living

As you will have noticed, we have been "off air" for over a fortnight. Well, as usual these days it was the dreaded health crash which has interupted normal service. We went to our friends and had great fun watching "the wedding", ie being bitchy about Princess Eugene's hat!! Or was it Beatrice's?

We then had our own street party, well the four of us had lunch in the garden and after that I have been in bed until the last few days. The doctor says it was lumbago ..... I thought you treated that with horse linament and it's fine. Far from it! No pain killers would touch it and the next step was morphine but fortunately I "weathered the crisis" as they used to say and began to improve, if slowly. Fortunately "him indoors" was on a good spell and kept things afloat. Ironically this week he has felt the effects of the chemo far more than in recent weeks.

We went to see the cardiologist yesterday and felt quite heartened (forgive the pun) when we came away. He says John's heart is obviously damaged but appears to be stable. He is currently wired up to a 24 hour heart monitor which we hope will confirm this. The cardiologist said that he can live a relatively normal life but of course must stop if he is out of breath and not to undertake too demanding tasks. For the first time in nearly 18 months we are looking at interior design magazines and getting excited about moving on - be it with some help from tradesmen. To prove all this, John was working on the landing floor this morning (not the library anymore - that has moved). Hope it does not show too much of a blip on the heart monitor!!

Of course, I have been totally disinterested in the garden in the last couple of weeks and couldn't have cared less as I watched it shrivel in the heat and drought, but today we have rain and my enthusiasm has returned. So far we have nothing in the veg patch but this year; the two old cripples are being realistic and guarding their health, not rushing round trying to water half of the Lot.