Thursday, 25 August 2011

A Good Week

About two weeks before I started my treatment I was given a blood test that, amongst other things, looked at how my liver was functioning. Two weeks after treatment began I had another blood test (with more, of course, to come in the next few weeks and months). Yesterday I saw my specialist, who showed me the results. There were, I think, 5 key indicators listed next to each other. I do not recall their names but have a general idea as to what they were measuring. Now I know that between the first of these blood tests and when my treatment started I had actually got quite a lot worse, so the first test results do not indicate how bad I was. However, what the two test results showed quite clearly is that things are on the improve. Some of the indicators are still a long long way outside normal range, but they have improved significantly from what they were. Furthermore, the nodes in my neck, as assessed by the specialist, are definitely smaller. Somewhat paradoxically, I am starting to get a "tan" - another consequence of the tumours in my body getting destroyed. There are also several other indicators, as assessed by the specialist, that the treatment is working. I knew I was on the mend, but to get it confirmed in this manner ...well it is difficult to explain the combination of emotions that I felt.

I continue to improve, but still have a long way to go. I require lots of rest, but can slowly do more virtually with each passing day. I was out for a walk (one of my longest) earlier in the week and a friend of Zeke's saw me. He had not seen me for a while and did not know anything about what had happened to me. Later that day he asked Zeke what was wrong with me as, to him, I had looked frail. Now I don't think I am that bad, but on reflection, compared to the old me, I probably do look and act a somewhat frail. That will change.

I am beginning to set myself more adventurous little goals. September 4th is Fathers day and I want to take my family to visit both sets of parents. This will be the furthest and longest I have ventured out but it is an outing I am looking forward to. I am also trying to keep much of my day visitor free (with absolutely no offense to any visitor) so that I can, in my own time and with no eye on the clock, venture out for a walk or some other simple outing with Patti. I am also thinking about re-engaging in some of the various meetings, events etc that were part of my normal life. That is still some way off but I can see it coming. I am not sure how to begin this re-engagement though. I do not want to be the centre of attention, and do not really want to discuss myself. However, I will look very different (my weight loss and "tan" two obvious indicators) so there will no doubt be questions and comments, if only from the people that don't know why they haven't seen me for a while. Even those that know why I have been away will want to know how I am. I do not yet have a strategy to deal with my gradual re-engagement but it is something I will be thinking about.


At 26 August 2011 at 11:21 , Anonymous Margot Gerritsen said...

Dear Andrew,
This is all just wonderful news. Just this week several articles appeared in the US newspapers about these new treatments. To hear through you directly how well they work is very encouraging.
I like to hear that you are looking at for yourself more and more. Yes, keep these days visitor free, and don't feel bad about it. You need to focus on your fight with the beast!!
Anyway, so great to read your blog today. Bugs from all of us

At 26 August 2011 at 11:55 , Blogger ta.auckland said...

Andrew, Good to hear. I check back on here every once in a while and I am glad to read the positive news. Stay strong. Travis

At 26 August 2011 at 15:08 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did I really hear you say you WANT to attend a meeting? Dear oh dear. It must be the medication.

Best wishes from me and the Math Department. Get well.


At 27 August 2011 at 14:32 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great news that things continue to head in a good direction. Speedy recovery Andrew. How "tanned" are you?
Hi to Patti and the kids.
Go the ABs vs Aus tonight.
Arohanui Hine

At 27 August 2011 at 14:48 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everyday I can see you are getting better, talking about more things, tackling a new activity each day, getting stronger every hour... we knew YOU WOULD GET BETTER and you have the perfect recipe (best treatment, positive thinking, the internal vision of recovery, prayers & positive thoughts from others, love, support & care, lots of good food and bit of rugby thrown in for full flavour). Lock down that goal, keep doing what you are and moving forward....
because the tide has fully turned and YOU ARE GETTING BETTER, so navigate those waves and paddle your waka hard like I know you can... we are all here right beside you.
Wishing you rest & relaxation, calm & tranquility and lots of happy moments with so much more to come. When you are ready the bach in the Coromandel is waiting. Arohanui xxxx oooo

At 27 August 2011 at 14:49 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

By the way, it's not anonymous it's me .... ha ha ha


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