Friday, February 25, 2011

The good news is that there is just 1 week to go. The not quite so good news is that I'm now fully incarcerated as an in-patient since there seems no other way that my weight can be maintained. This could be just for a few days but might be for another week. Actually it isn't too bad. I can get up and move around the hospital - mobilised as they put it. The view from the window by my bed takes in a 16th floor panorama from Regents Park through Hamstead, Highgate, Alexandra Palace...and you can watch the Eurostar trains sliding out of St Pancras. Barbara comes in every day to see me. Also, nice to have someone else remember when to top up with nutrients (the chainsaw lubricating oil stuff).
I have my computer and my phone links it into the 3G network, so while a bit slow its fine. Plenty to write and revise and novels and newspapers to read.
So - I'll be back again in about a week.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

It's getting rougher now. Not a good weekend so far with feeling rather nauseous and not able to eat much. At least only 2 more weeks to go now.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Halfway through now. The past week has been a bit tougher but with careful timing of a paracetamol before eating, it's okay. I haven't had to resort to consuming half a litre of 'ensure' a day to avoid losing weight - for those of you who haven't tried it, this 'food supplement' has the consistency of chainsaw lubricating oil and is stuffed full of chemicals you've never heard of - all masked with flavour of choice such as banana or milk chocolate.
Actually, a 'good' diet in this situation is one with plenty of sugars, carbohydrates and protein, so in addition to fish and other soups with mixed in veg that Barbara is being very creative about, I can indulge myself in childhood delights such as jelly with cream or yogourt. Corn flakes or weetabix as snacks are also recommended, and I enjoy a large dish of soft porridge for breakfast.
Lets see what the next week brings, but so far still able to work - for those who are interested this consists of some updates to REALCOM mixed response modelling software, updating work on non-independent residuals and a bit of consultancy.
Thanks to everyone who has sent good wishes.

Friday, February 04, 2011

At the end of the second week things still okay - eating normally and less nausea. Also able to exercise easily and the daily journey to UCH is quite pleasant since I can take in a stroll through Highgate wood. The main problem is that the once-a-week cetuximab (a monoclonal antibody that is meant to bind to cancer cells to prevent division) has the side effect of acne like spots that are a bit itchy and don't do much for my appearance either - they disappear after treatment apparently.
The radiotherapy itself consists of lying under a large swivelling machine that delivers up to 15 short doses in about 10 minutes and lying listening to Fats Waller or Schubert makes it quite bearable.
More in another week.