It is with a great sense of foreboding I arrive at my clinic appointment; there is a lot to discuss and one thing in particular is what my mitotane levels were right before Christmas. For those that don't know; mitotane is an adrenal supressant drug that causes fatigue, nausea, confusion, vomiting and or diarrhea, skin rashs and depression amongst other things. I have been on it and fighting it for over a year now and yet I have still had the cancer come back; worse still it seems that despite my last blood tests showing the highest effect level before it is deemed toxic the tumours have grown - significantly. So what I want to know are all these side effects really worth it? Especially if I am facing the full IV chemo regimen as well; how many battles can I fight all at once?
The answer is that apparently labs take holidays during Christmas even if ill people don't so despite it being well over three weeks, the results aren't in.... just a little frustrating. To make matters worse the results I do have show elevated levels of hormones produced by the tumours which will in time become symptomatic. In short, I'm going to be ill one way or the other.. the mitotane, the cancer, the IV chemo... or if I'm really lucky perhaps all three. Oh happy day.
On cue comes the silver lining though. My dr suggests I stop taking the mitotane; it doesn't seem to be working and its clouding the picture in my blood work so she cant treat me effectively for any potential symptoms. Also for now; mitotane side effects aside I feel and look perfectly well. So here's the plan: one last six week sabbatical off mitotane!!! In this time I will do a few tests myself from home an through the GP to save travel but in essence here is the deal: six weeks.... well 5 now... to live normally; or rather how I wish to.
If you had those five weeks what would you do? There is no magic lottery ticket here for a luxury cruise or die hard adventure and the bills still need to be paid. However the possibilities whilst not limitless, are far from limited. I must banish the wo is me attitude and the looming countdown clock. Decide what I want out of this time and go and fricking do it!
My plan? Well, getting some more Imagine events running is one (www.imagineit.org.uk) going on holiday with my lovely boys and seeing as much and as many people as I can! Oh and organising a sponsored horse ride for Macmillian. Not much huh?? But then I never was one for being half-arsed about something.
You know what though - I'll bet you have more than 5 weeks!! My question to you is what are you going to do in and after that time??