Well I’m definitely not as confused as I was a couple of days ago, but I do have some decisions to make.
Without going into too many details my scan results were not good, the cancer is definitely coming to get me. I’ll continue to fight it but sometimes you get the feeling that you’re just not going to win.
The lumps appearing on my body are due to my cancer and most of the ones already in my body have got a big bigger. One in my chest is threatening to restrict an artery and another in my lung has reduced my lung capacity slightly (hence the shortness of breath). My cancer is spreading and possibly a bit more quickly than it was. I also have something next to my spine which might be causing some of the pain I’ve been feeling in my back.
So, what to do about all this?
The first thing is to have whatever it is next to my spine zapped with Radiotherapy. Thankfully this is one that they can get at, and I only need one blast, rather than daily for seven weeks like last time. Off to Leeds tomorrow for the prep, then again next week for the zapping.
My oncologist suggested Chemotherapy again, on the basis that at the moment I’m still strong enough to deal with it, if I leave it much longer I’ll be too weak. However, the chances of it doing anything useful are pretty slim, it might shrink my tumours but then again it might not, and even if it does they will probably come back again within a few months. The idea is that treatment with chemotherapy might extend my life for a few months, the downside is that I seem to react badly to anything non-natural being administered to my body and I know that it will trash my immune system, my digestion and who knows what else. I’ll probably suffer for a few months to get a few extra months – tough decision. I’ll give him an answer when I get back from my skiing holiday in February, likely to be a no though.
Is there anything I can do within my regime? Well, I think the main thing is to get back on the apricot kernels and Laetrile. They are supposed to actively fight the cancer and seem to have been the only things that have had any effect other than the change of diet. I’m still taking them but in low doses so I’m going to increase the doses as far as I can tolerate and see what happens.
Something that has bubbled round in the back of my mind for some time is taking cannabis oil. Like the laetrile and apricot kernels it gets mixed reviews but there are a lot of claims for it being a good treatment for cancer. There are specific strains of cannabis suited to medicinal use just as there are specific strains suited more to getting completely off your face. Perhaps I’ll try both.
It is illegal to grow cannabis plants in the UK (though it is legal to buy and sell the seeds – work that out!) as the UK government do not distinguish between medical and recreational use or types of cannabis. Typically they have given a license to one company to produce cannabis based products (and presumably all the MPs and their friends have invested in it) but the company is concentrating on producing some sort of synthesised treatment that they can patent. Its the normal attitude of profit over cure, it wouldn’t do if there was no money in treating cancer would it? They are years away from producing anything useful anyway.
I have tried to obtain some cannabis oil privately but I don’t know enough dubious people and also there is no way of knowing what quality any oil obtained in the UK is; people who sell drugs are unlikely to ensure that you are getting the best quality of medical cannabis oil. All the advice is to grow your own cannabis from the correct strain (which is illegal) and then make the oil yourself (which is dangerous). It can’t be beyond the wit of man but I’m not sure I want to start growing cannabis plants in my loft, you need quite a lot to produce a small amount of oil and you need to have a rotating crop so you can keep producing it.
Whilst at the hospital this morning listening to the doom and gloom I decided to take advantage of my predicament and my oncologist’s sympathy, so I whipped out the form from my personal pension company which allows me to take all my personal pension as a tax free lump sum as I am terminally ill. You have to get a GMC registered doctor to sign to say that you are not expected to live for a year but my Oncologist signed it almost too readily which crystalises my predicament.
It isn’t enough to provide a decent pension but it is enough to do a few things in the next year. The first thing that sprung to my mind as a collector of rare soul was “Flash McKinley – I’ll Rescue You – Bombay” which would set me back about 2 grand – I’d still have plenty left.
On a more practical basis I wondered about heading out to Denver, Colorado for a few months and trying cannabis oil treatment legally. The US has a much more practical and liberal approach to Cannabis use than it did a few years ago, and it seems to let the people decide what should be legal rather than treat us all like imbeciles as the UK Government does. Most states have quite tight rules on who can legally use cannabis for medical purposes and generally you need to be a resident of the state. Not Colorado though, I’m just doing the final checks but I’m pretty sure I can head out there on a 90 day visa and have 90 days treatment just by walking into one of their specialist dispensaries and buying the oil ready made over the counter. Denver looks like the place to be, and I could take in a bit of sight seeing whilst I’m there, what’s not to like.
Trying to finish this gloomy post and this year on a positive note, I realised that I hadn’t written anywhere on this blog about the amazing event at the end of October 2016. In March 2015 my oncologist estimated that I had between 3 and 18 months to live which was shocking at the time. At the end of October I beat his outside prediction, I’m still here and I still feel well despite what my scan results say. This is due partly to what I’ve been doing to try and fight my cancer but mainly due to the support and positive vibes I’ve been getting from everyone. One particular unsung hero is my wife Helen who looks after me, makes sure I stick to my diet for most of the time and generally runs around after me, which I don’t deserve, so a big thank you to you Helen.
Targets for 2017; new boat in February (boat builder willing), British Moth Nationals in August, 60th birthday in November, Christmas 2017.
Happy New Year