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.