Sunday, 21 December 2008

Nothing New

I can't believe its less than a week to Christmas, nor can I believe I am still waiting for an appointment for this PET Scan. I may be able to get in at Sheffield Christmas Eve but that's quite a trip.

I still don't know which way to go, part of me hope's the Scan says its not possible but the other part of me hopes its the answer to my prays.

I know that Dr Abtin and Dr Edwards have been in contact and by Dr Abtin's email it sounds that he has pointed out favourable reasons for me to go through it. I emailed him back along the lines of "are you crazy pointing out all these favourable grounds for doing it!"

My Eldest brother told me I should switch off for a couple of weeks and enjoy the holidays, sometimes I don't think other people realise how hard it is not to think about having such a terrible cancer. I go to work to switch off but you can't do it for 24 hours a day.

You would laugh, after telling me not to think about what to do etc he then went on to ask how I felt and if I had an appointment for the Scan. Beggars belief he's pushing it back into the forefront of my mind!

The dogs have found their stash of Christmas presents and keeping sneaking down to the room to have a sniff. Our Tyke can open her presents (of course they get wrapped!) like a human, Lexi on the other hand hasn't a clue, but that gives Tyke more to get excited about when Lexi leaves hers unopened.

Had another session last night, although it was only mild. When they start you feel dread at the pain that is going to overwhelm you. Within 20 minutes the morphine had it under control, I am pleased to say that only 30ml did the trick, which shows some improvement.

I was talking to Ann at work the other morning and described meso like a boiled egg, the shell is the lining, the yellow the healthy lung and the white the meso growing round it, If you could peel the white off without any problems I would be on that operating table in a flash. Ann lost her brother to meso just after she started working with us, this was about a year before I was diagnosed, so you see I have inside information on what is to come towards the end and I really don't like it.

Nobody but the person going through it actually experiences the pain or the terror and yet we hide it from the ones we love. When I start a session my husband goes into overdrive, he wants to force morphine into me every 2 minutes, I keep telling him to hold off as it needs to take affect and thats about 15 minutes. But when he sees me in such agony I can understand his motives as he wants to stop the pain, I usually start at about 20mil in case it isn't going to go the full out session, caution in case I take too much for a little pain, he would have me start on 40mil. Last night I went 10, 2 minutes 10 then 5 minutes 10 and stopped at 30. The after affects of the session leave me tired and strung out. Typical as I wanted to watch Strictly Come Dancing Final! Instead I felt like I had been in with Mike Tyson doing 12 rounds of boxing. I should have known it was coming but the tell tale signs weren't as strong as normal. It was actually 3 days earlier than expected. I keep records of dates and these sessions are running at about 10 weeks, sometimes it changes pattern and I can only go 4 weeks between them, so still ATypcial Mesothelioma. Nobody has been able to explain them but I think the meso has a growth spasm and annoys either my heart of my diaphram.

Another Meso associate on the Germany chemo-emoblisation treatment flew out to Germany last Week, his first course hasn't reduced but encapsulated the cancer, not sure what that means but my fingers are crossed that it means it has stopped it growing and the next lot should see a reduction. He has a tumour that goes from the top of the lung over his collar bone and down the other side, if you say prays please include him in them.

That's it from news Jan's Journey, still alive and kicking. In case I don't write before the big day

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a very prosperous New Year

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Life and Meso

Here we are Saturday again, another week has flown by and Christmas is breathing down our us. This time last year I was on chemo and had an excuse not to get into the Christmas spirit, but I did get into it in case it was my last. A dear friend phoned during the week and as I was saying how unseasonal I felt she jeered me on. "Look at July" she said, "Morphine and Champagne, bouncing to Sir Elton John and trying to sing your heart out, Tell me you haven't lived!"

You know, she is right, I have still maintained a normal life, and I had forgotten about watching Sir Elton at Darlo in July (but it seems years ago). We went on to discuss doing the 5K the year before, how I managed that I'll never know, my kidney was in abject pain!

The year before my friends had done it on my behalf for Mick Knighton Meso Research Fund, this year my colleague Claire had rounded up the girls at work and with my friends and I we did the race. Not only did MKMRF benefit but so did Cancer Research. We spent days sending out letters at work to all our Suppliers and Customers. Instead of money a company sent us a DVD player and that led Claire and I to organise a full Dinner and Auction night, another round of letters were sent asking for tables to be taken and prizes! Two of us alone organising such a large event, we managed .. just. The amount of prizes we received for MKMRF dinner were amazing, I guess it helped that I suffered from meso. We had over 60 Auction lots and 70 raffle prizes, the poor DJ couldn't play any music as we spent all night reading out numbers inbetween the Auction. We organised this event in less than 8 weeks. (That's the picture with Chris Knighton representing the MKMRF on the night) Claire wants to do something dare devilish next year Any Ideas! and even more importantly any backers?

I guess what my dear friend was saying on the telephone was that I have never given up and to give myself a good shake, get the Christmas DVD on, the tree up and start enjoying, block out any decisions till after Christmas, she agreed that this is an impossible task but she said "your a woman multi tasking is not just physical its mental too!"

Since then I have cheered up, I went Christmas shopping on Tuesday and Thursday, still having trouble trying to find the right present for the right person, you know how it is. On the monday I was embarrsed in one of the stores as my card wouldn't work. I decided to call in the bank to see what was wrong only to be told I was unable to use the card as it had been cloned. Fantastic, I thought, how the *ell am I going to buy presents now, thankfully the PB let me withdraw some cash otherwise I would have returned home empty handed.

The Sales are a nightmare, there isn't much room between rows of goods and your constantly being knocked from side to side, don't get me wrong I like the thought of such low prices, but they seem to overstock the shops. I usually stay away when its Sale Time because you can never find anything under the additional piles and racks they bring in.

I tend to get more shopping done when I go with my best friends, when I go with Hubby its usually "What do you want to buy them that for" or "Well if you really think so", yet when I come home laiden with goods he goes "Wow what a fantastic idea" or "that's a really good gift" Is this normal in every relationship out there?

I still have to go shopping and finish off, I haven't got hubby anything yet! (although the dogs have) The weather has really changed and my friend hates the cold, funny that thinking about what I've done to it. Seriously, I can be boiling up everywhere but my back, it seems to work on its own temperature, and when I go down hill it always starts with my friend making my back ice cold.

It's our Office night out tonight, I have missed so many but tonight (all being well) I am putting the glad rags on, using loads of makeup and going out. Claire made me promise yesterday that I wouldn't overdo it today so I had enough energy to stay awake and come out and play. So the only bits I've done today have been light duties.

We feed the birds, usually have a few trays of seed on the kitchen windowsill, watching them all fly in and peck is amazing. So today we mixed some fat and seed together and set them in those coconut shells. Last year the green finches would tap on the window when the seed was all gone. The birds are still nervous as when you open the window they take flight and wait until 10 minutes later before returning to peck at the newly filled trays.

One last thing all those with meso or carers of sufferers I hope you have filled in the questionnaire on the British Lung Foundation website .. shame if you haven't.

Hope your shopping is going better than mine, Christmas Tree up tomorrow with a glass of baileys and Christmas Carol's in the background, I'm sure I'll be in the festive spirit by bedtime, so if your putting your decorations up tomorrow lets have a toast "To another year and many more to come"

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Pondering Still

I thought I would thank my meso mate, without her words of comfort the other day my mind would still be spinning round like a kids play toy. We both have this disease, we've never met but are so in tune on the email, its wonderful. So once again THANK YOU.

I managed to go to work yesterday, on the drive in I was thinking about a fellow colleague and his wife, as I hadn't spoken to them since leaving for USAvand vowed to ring as soon as I got in the office. He had only worked with us 6 months before falling ill with Bowel Cancer, by the time he went to the Docs it was too late, the cancer had secondaries on his liver and lung. As soon as I took my coat his wife was on the phone. Unfortunately Graeme had died on Saturday morning. The tears rolled down my cheeks and for a start of what I was hoping to be a brighter week went straight out of the window.

Graeme had put up a fantastic fight, he had to change Chemo treatments twice but when I last saw him in October he looked thin but well. His humour was still at the forefront and his positivity shone from his eyes. Although he wasn't with us as long as the rest of the crew, he will be missed by everyone at work.

When we die we die but its the ones we love left behind that I feel the most pain for. I often worry what will happen to my hubby when I'm gone, I've told him several times he has to get on with life and find himself a new partner, I can't bear the thought of him being on his own. But how will I feel when I'm haunting him and see him kissing and cuddling someone else? How would I cope if he loved his next partner more than me?

I do believe in life after death, infact I hope I get a nice little cloud that doesn't take much cleaning, but seriously, do you think we still get jealous watching from above? I guess noone can answer that as we can't come back and tell.

Also want to wish another meso man good luck for Wednesday and I hope his results are good from Germany, and that the needle isn't too bad this next time round.

That's it for now, just wanted to thank Meso Mate and say something for Graeme

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Information overload

What an amazing morning, looking out over the fields at all the snow. Obviously the dogs simply love the snow and hubby made a wonderful snowman for us all to enjoy. It's hard work keeping the dogs inside as you can see they are both wanting there toy's rather than sit and have a photo taken with me.

I had decided to work from home today last night as yesterday, Wednesday, was a nightmare of a day. I had an appointment in Sheffield Northern Hospital to see the surgeon and due to the weather we decided on the train. My appointment was 2pm so we went for the 10.10 from Darlo, only it didn't come in till 11.45. So giving ourselves and extra hour and a half turned out we were 15 minutes late. Being the polite person I am I rang the hospital and told them we were running late, so if someone was there early they could jump the que. As it turned out we didn't actually get to see the Doc until 3.50 and we needed to leave at 4.15 for the last train out of Sheffield to Darlington. This was another blunder, the hospital kindly booked us a taxi for 4.15 but it didn't show. By 4.40 hubby was standing in the middle of the road and managed to flag a taxi down. It was rush hour in Sheffield and the road, only 3.5 miles to the station, was backed up with traffic. I felt like crying, I was cold, tired, hungry and by then totally sick to my stomach from our discussion.

Hubby had ate nothing all day and had a bad headache, I still kept feeling dizzy. The Doc is the kind of man that tells it like it is. The worst thing I heard was that had I seen him four years ago removing my pluera would have been a much simpler procedure. We asked so many times in 2004 and 2005 why the pluera just couldn't be removed and we were told every time that this wasn't done.

No wonder so many patients get stressed out, information is never passed around, the only operation around in 2004 was the full monty and the percentage on that was 1 in every 2 died on the table. No-one in their right mind would take those odds, even me.

He painted a very bleak picture of what would happen, because I have another tumour under the diaphram, and because I had cryo first, he isn't sure whether it would be easy and give any benefit. The worst is the fact that I would have a cut from the top of my shoulder blade right down the left side and curving inover by the last rib, I guess about 20" in length. Its not the scar I'm worried about but he said it could cause a lot of nerve damage pain and there is the possibility he might just open me up and close me up without doing anything.

When we got on the train to come back it was full, hubby got a seat with another women and I sat on a single. Because we were unable to talk it through, my mind was working on overdrive, Gary's headache turned into a pounding one where even moving the head hurts and by the time we walked through our front door we were both exhausted. So he didn't sleep and I dreamt about surgeons knives all night!

I have spoken to my two best friends and they both think I shouldn't consider it, my eldest brother (always the optimist) didn't want to comment and I haven't told my other brother yet.

Apparently there is a meeting happening regarding lack of information given on treatments throughout the UK lets hope that some form of standards is given and also away that oncologists can be updated about other options. At the end of the day oncologists mainly deal with the drug side only, this should be changed so they can investigate all types of treatment and like a supervisor, everyone should report to the oncologist who would still be the main point of contact for the patient.

Why is it that we never find out about what can and can't be done if you are in a different region. As I said, when I was diagnosed I had a set of curtains hanging off the lung and small spots on the chest wall. Even if the pleura had been removed in 2007 I would have been in a better position and the cryo could have removed anything that the surgeon was unable to pull away. Now I'm in the situtation that if I go through surgery the Doc isn't certain how peeling will affect the tumours already cryo-ablated. Always a chancer I would take the risk and see what happened, but the thought of Intensive care, large cut and nerve damage, loads of those awful tubes sticking out of my body to drain air and blood isn't what I envisaged for the start of the year.

Before any decision can be made by either party I need a PET Scan. Well we all know how long they take to get in for.

I asked about length of survival after the operation and he said they hadn't ran a trial on it, I don't believe in trial info as its not really right. If you have 10 75 year olds go through it and 5 die within 6 months while the remainder die within 1 year and 10 60 year olds who die in 2 years the average is 65 years and 12 months. Why can't they publish 60 - 70 extra survival 1 year, 50 - 60 extra survival 5 years etc. Not 100 on chemo against 100 on surgery and mixed ages, it tells us nothing.

I'm still under 50 and healthy but he couldn't give an answer, you have to take in the fact of how much meso is left, rate of growth etc. and as us sufferers know, it can change overnight from remission to full all out warfare on our body.

Guess this is for me to ponder over for the next few weeks but any comments to guide me one way or the other would be appreciated.

My poor hubby has just dressed up like the mitchlin man again to take the dogs out, they are loving rolling around. I think the snow is starting to melt but darkness has fallen and its hard to see what's happening out there. I had some early winter presents this morning, a padded jacket suitable for the highlands in Scotland, thick antartic socks together with mountaineering gloves, all these to keep me warm.

I use to love walking our dogs but they are terrors on leaders and pull better than a steam engine, this is because hubby prefers taking them over the fields and letting them run. I keep threatening to take them for a proper heal walk but I get so cold so fast, hence the padded jacket, I too will look like the mitchlin man, so if you see me out with this bright pink jacket being pulled at 60 miles an hour don't wave as I'd never see you flash past my eye's.

Enjoy the snow and no doubt I will be back on pondering my thoughts.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Cryoablation of kidney Area

Picture A

Picture (B) Area being ablated

God, what a week I've had, On Thursday felt so much better then I even went into the office for a few hours, felt so accomplished at getting something done and seeing my colleagues. It's amazing how much you miss the people you work with.

Woke up Friday with a raging temperature, chest infection, bad headache and the room going round like I was on a continuous carousel.

Before August I had never been able to cough, but thankfully I have been coughing well, bringing up that crap that always seems to get on the bottom of your lungs! It hurts to cough and a couple of times I thought I was going to choke to death but somehow I got it up and out.

Have been messing with the images, have tried to draw lines etc but the program I have won't work so you will have to work with my wonderful descripton to understand what is being shown.

On Picture A The tumour shows just left of the white (spine) on Picture B the area is now a darker Grey with a light stick sticking out, that's one of the probes attacking the tumour. Its hard to get the exact image due to forcus etc but there were 3 probes/needles inserted into this area. On Picture A you can just make out the round solid shape of the aorta then a very fine line before the tumour.

Doesn't it amaze you, I know it does me, that someone can see a picture like this and now immediately what is there and what can be killed off. I know they spend years and years going through training but who ever invented a program to be able to detail the insides so clearly, well nearly clearly - they could have put tags and labels on, and then another Doc can read it and see what are organs and what aren't. To me the tumour looks like a long, and in areas, overpacked sausage and very similar to the look of the kidney. They are amazing and I for one, express my thanks that someone devised this equipment and others have taken to studying the images created.

When I load the CT Scan on my own computer the images aren't the same as when Dr Abtin loaded them up. I could clearly see all the tumour's and the full impact of the rind yet on mine it isn't as clear.

That's enough biology for this posting, what did you think of the snow this morning! I can tell you our dogs were over the moon at the sight of snow, the youngest just loves frolicking in it. She lowers herself on her front legs and whelps until you throw a snowball at her .. strange dog .. then runs round the garden kicking up as much snow as possible, shoving her nose underneath and flipping it up. She comes back in more white than black and tan. Hubby loves it too, last year we didn't have much snow but he still made me smile and made a snowman in the garden. Although this time last year I was on chemo and not a lot made me smile, although he did catch me out throwing snowballs for the girls last January.

Hopefully it will snow some more so I can get a couple of good photo's of the dogs out in it. Isn't it strange when your feeling well you always say I never get time to do x y or z then when your off sick and could find the time you never have the energy or motivation to do anything. I keep promising to put together a video of the dogs through the years, holidays in order and of course print off those digital pictures .. do I ever get them done NO! Last year during Chemo I promised myself that on good days I would make some dvd's for us, but the minute I felt a little better I would log onto works computer and do stuff. Why is it easier to do work than do something for yourself?

My friends keep telling me I should write a book, it's something I often thought about when I was younger, but can I be bothered .. no! I have some good ideas but I doubt I could keep it going enough to make something readable. I can neither be funny nor serious for any length of time and I think you need to be either one or the other to do a good story.

I can here the kettle on and the sound of crockery being removed from the cupboard so guess I should finish here and go grab some lunch. Hubby has become one of the best cooks I've met. When we first got together he didn't know what an oven was for apart from keeping pizza warm, now he outshines me in the kitchen and makes a mean Sunday lunch.

Enjoy whats left of your day ... I'm sure you will!

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

My cryoablated Tumour

What a week its been, have had an middle ear infection that has had me reeling from one side to the other, a memory of chemo came to mind. Thankfully seem on the up.

Have loaded a copy of the tumour that was cryo-ablated in November, thought you might like to meet one of my friends. See that Grey nodule on the righthand side of the image, looks like a mole hill on the inside of my lung, thats one of my friends also known as Mesothelioma.

The images are before and after, obviously the top one is before. To be truthful its not totally after as the image on the right is half way through the procedure and the image isn't in the exact same spot on the CT as the image on the left but I'm sure you get the feel of it.

Can you see on right hand image the blackness running through the tumour, well that folks is cryo-ablation at work, freezing and killing this tumour. It's not an equal match to the image on the left, but after 2 hours of exporting images only to find it had duplicated the same image a mere 56 times I gave up and thought I'd just post these two.

Hopefully for me I'm back at work tomorrow, that's if the room stops moving everytime I turn my head. I have been in the house a full week and it's driving me nuts! Infact it has nearly turned me off the idea of having surgery as I'd be stuck inside for at least 2 weeks.

I had to have bloods taken as its been a while and with this ear carry on the Doc thought it a good idea. Thankfully the District nurse didn't ring to say she was arriving and just landed at my door with her yellow bucket. It certainly didn't give me a chance to panic about the needle. It was nice catching up as when I was first diagnosed she came out to redress my wounds. To be honest I think she was shocked I was still here, its been 4 years!

Hope you like the images and it gives you an idea of what a tumour looks like, when I manage the export I'll pull off one of the rind from a decent angle.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Feeling better

Its Wednesday night, hubby's watching the Axe man and I have a few moments to myself.

I was trying to remember the last time I didn't suffer from pain of any sorts and looking back it must of been in the 80's. I guess I have been pretty unlucky as I had endometriosis then this! Infact I thought I had endo in the chest when the symptoms first began, when I breathed I thought my lung was sticking to my ribs, that was back in 2000.

Through operations and tumours I always tried to turn up for work, I use to work 7 days aweek before I met hubby, he talked me round to working 6 then 5 1/2 days now I'm down to 6 mornings. This last drop was during the last Chemo and to be honest I still don't find enough hours in the day to do what I want.

How do people manage to get so much done? When I worked 7 days I still found time for friends, housework and going out. Now its 6 mornings and I find I can't fit in the same things I did before. Does anyone out there have any tips how to squeeze more time out of 24 hours?

What do you think of my youngest, she's beautiful isn't she. Many years ago we bought a superking size bed so the 2 shepherds and us could fit in. Now its the youngest and us, you should see it at bed time its a race for who gets where, usually the dog wins with the most space.

When we go on holiday we get lost in so much space as we are both use to sleeping on the edges we forget there's a middle.

A friend of mine has gone off to Germany for chemo-embolization, hopefully it went smoothly for him today. I will be quizzing him tomorrow to find out what happens and how it works and promise to post this information as soon as I can.

Dr Abtin is going to send me some actual data on cryo-ablation after they publish their paper in February, this could be the way forward for new cases where they only have single tumours. I wish it had been around when mine were single instead of becoming fused together and leaving rind round the lung, but at least there is some light at the end of the tunnel for those new to this disease.

Everyday something new is coming along and I hope that there's plenty of us still here to benefit from the new developments, after all I thank my lucky stars everynight for the treatments I have had. Without the initial surgery that removed a tumour from my lung and several mushrooms from my chest wall then onto Alimta in 2004 I would certainly not be here today. The discovery of cryo-ablation which has now killed two tumours extended from the main fusion would probably of seen my hubby organising a funeral at Christmas instead of sorting the Turkey out.

Hope keeps us all alive and without that and doctors/scientists doing their bit we would have nothing at all.

Sweet dreams ......

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Cryo-ablation for Meso Tumour No 2

Home at last. One week later another tumour gone. This one was 4.5 x 3.5cm, notice this one was, yes another one bites the dust.

It was good to see the team again in UCLA, it was pretty much the same routine, check in at 5.30 and down by 7.30. This time I got a deep sedation so although I was breathing on my own I went to sleep. Although before they knocked me out I was off the trolley twice to spend a penny, why is it your nerves always get the better of you?
I woke up with one boob larger than the other, I asked if Dr Abtin could have given the other side a bit of a lift to even them up but he laughed and said 'It won't stay like that'. But for a couple of days I had a feeling what it must be like to have DD, even though it was loopsided.

We returned for xrays the following day and a chat and review of the CT. I love watching this friend of my turning black on the screen, I hate the fact that there is so much in there. My friend is really growing. Dr Abtin had Dr Suh join us as we reviewed the CT. It was good to hear that I have excellent lungs, although Dr Suh didn't realise I have the smoking habit and only realised when Dr Abtin coughed. But seriously the inside of my lungs are healthy, how can this disease do so much damage on the outside.

Like the last time, I felt jubilant about killing more off but then in the dark of night your mind takes to spirals when you contemplate what's ahead. Why couldn't my friend just be the odd tumour here and there, that way the cryo would take the lot out, but no I have to have the rind. That's the cancer fusing together right round the lung. We also looked at the mole hills, these are uneven areas on the rind that are larger tumours than the mass.

Apart from killing another worthy lump of cancer, hubby and I also managed to top up our tans. I wanted to go sight seeing but to be honest I found nothing more relaxing than sitting by the pool reading a couple of novels and drinking strawberry smoothies.

I would tell anyone with meso get your CT sent to Dr Abtin or Dr Suh at UCLA , if they can do anything they will. If they can't they tell you. Somehow I find the bluntness of how Doctors tell you things in America quite refreshing, you know what's ahead and the fight you are in.

I have never been one to hide my head in the sand, sometimes I wish I could, but if you don't know what your up against you can't solve the problem.

Hubby and I hardly talked about my friend much in the past years but since cryo last August we have talked about him quite alot. Cancer is a topic that can lead to tears but most of all it leads to frustration. The person who has it feels alone deep inside, the partner who watches feels isolated and helpless. You both want to be strong for each other and this can lead to aloofness rather than sharing.

Okay time to get some much needed rest. Last thing though on the flight out none other than Colin Farrell was on our flight, what beautiful eyes he has, although I didn't think much of his boots! For all those love sick women out there I saw him waking up, more than must have done. (My hubby just read this over my shoulder and called me a tart!) Coming back Kate Moss and James May. You just don't know who'll you see flying out to LA and back.

Friday, 31 October 2008

Mesothelioma and Cryo-ablation

Well if your reading this then you obviously have mesothelioma.

What can I say, sorry that you have this bloody cancer, well Yes I am, but sorry isn't going to fix the situation that we are all in.

I have been battling for 8 years, 4 of which after diagnosed. Its no fun but we have to keep on plodding along trying to find out what new procedures and treatments are out there.

You spend weeks browsing the internet, sending off emails requesting information. Sometimes you get answers sometimes you hear nothing.

I was lucky when I sent an email to UCLA asking about RFA carried out by a Dr Suh, I was turned down flat in England due to the size of my friend. Anyway some kind person in their enquiry office sent it on and I got a reply. After sending my CT and (by First class post .. what a fool it took 3 weeks to get there), I had a response. We would do cryo-ablation and within 3 weeks, hubby, me and friend were flying out to LA with no idea what exactly they were going to do.

It was certainly an adventure, the Hospital was massive, the Prof was actually off with an injury, so we met another Prof who had helped develop this procedure. He told me flat out that my friend was trying to encroach on my kidney and my aortia was being strangled! What kind of friend does that to you, that nasty cancer friend .. thats who.

I was admitted at 5.30 am, good job we had an alarm! and we walked around to the hospital. Strange how you do these things in a different country as I wouldn't walk around here at 5.00 in the morning. Before I knew it I had a needle in my hand and was being wheeled down to the CT room.

I was introduced to the whole team, the prof and 7 others. Obviously I was sedated, my friend was adament to cause as much pain as possible, and I have to say I didn't feel much pain until they tried to get to close to the kidney.

I always described one of my pains as a china man with a blunt axe attacking me under the arm, well blow me down with a feather when I was pulled from my sedation by terrible pain and in front of my eyes this china man jumped out, obviously it was my imagination, but I thought wow I've won the battle.

I didn't walk back to the hotel, but I didn't feel that ill, totally drugged up but hey we need some fun now and again. The next morning we returned and had xrays etc. Also had a viewing of the procedure. It was great to see this friend of mine turn black and die. I came home a new person but forgot about the rest and six weeks later the scan showed the other tumours had decided to grow much faster than earlier.

Typical, you win one battle only to face another. So we're off over the pond again next week for another round of who-dares-wins. Two more tumours getting blasted.

So now I am researching again, as the cancer is growing faster I need to find other ammunition to throw at it. Hence, at the moment I can't get my head round anything, I am looking at so many different treatments I can't see the wood from the trees or the cure for the cancer.

I have asked my oncologist to look at having my lining removed, I have had so much feed back that my head is dizzy. If I can get the lining removed any new growth can get blasted, but that means constantly going over the pond. Since being told I only had a year in 2004, hubby and I did lots of travelling and to be honest I hate flying and airports now. Also there's a danger that the cancer can spread out of the area more quickly.

I even went to park attwood to see about mistletoe, but apart from hating needles, I didn't see any proof that it worked. (Sorry to anyone it has worked for, we all have to believe in something)

Then there's this chemo-emablation, that's carried out in Frankfurt, have emailed the Prof to see how you go about getting on this course of action.

Then there's the cyberknife, not currently used in this country, but France may be looking at meso, still waiting for an answer there.

Andy Lawson went for Gene therapy, thought about this a long time ago, when he finally went for it and published in the Times I was straight on the email. Applied and haven't heard anything back.

Problem is with having a friend like mine, I need action fast. Why does everything take so long when they know that meso strikes you down before you realise what's going on.

Nobody can fully advise, must oncologists tell you to sit and wait and see what will happen, I found that waiting kills and at first when I went into remission, with hardly any meso, I was grateful and as I said I holidayed till I was holidayed out! Then I knew it was growing, nothing showed on xrays, I had a gall bladder out in case that was causing pain, to no avail the meso was striking back hard and fast. I went from Zero in Dec 2006 to 2cm in Aug 2007. Another round of chemo bought me two months of pain free time and a small reduction. but it soon kicked in with pain and the knowledge you weren't winning and first prize was definetly not yours.

Its a total dilemma!

When I got accepted for cryo-ablation I thought I had found my salvation and my friend could go and reside in the antarctic but I didn't manage to pack enough of it off. And thats the problem, no matter which bit goes another comes along!

Okay thats enough for now, will update after round two of cryo, hope my china man doesn't decide to jump back in! Hopefully he got lost in UCLA and never found the exit door.

Good luck to you all who have this friend .. you know what they say, keep your friends close and your enemies even closer.