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A brief update

This morning, I accompanied my parents to Dad's appointment with his oncologist. Having just had a CT scan the week before, this would be the day the results of that scan would be revealed to us. Sitting in the waiting room with ten minutes to spare till appointment time, we sat in masked silence, trying hard to contain the nerves that threatened to boil over. Then doc appeared, greeted us with a grave face, and began to talk as if he was reading from a script. We didn't need to hear the words "not good news" to know that the news was not, in fact, good. As he went through the CT scan results with us to show us how Dad's tumours had grown rather than shrunk, we sat in stunned silence, barely registering the images that flicked before us. A barrage of questions flashed through my mind at the speed of light, but all I could do was stare blankly at the screen in front of me. From the corner of my eye I saw Mum melt into her chair, but Dad was sitting bolt upright in his, wearing the same expression on his face that I felt on mine; one of shock and disbelief.


Sobering news, to be sure. The one glimmer of hope in all this is that Dad has been feeling much better over the past few weeks, which seems at odds with what the data is showing. Because of this, doc thinks it's worth sticking with the immunotherapy for another six weeks, as it's possible that swelling of the tumours which are being attacked by the immune system is masking the effects of immunotherapy - this is known as flare. After a quick literature search, it looks like this is actually quite a common phenomenon in immunotherapy patients. If after six weeks, his cancer is showing no signs of response to the immunotherapy, it's likely that chemotherapy will be the next road we go down. We're really hoping it won't come to this, as we are all very apprehensive about Dad starting chemo.


I'll provide another update in six weeks time, or earlier if Dad's liver is showing signs of not coping and a quick change to chemo is warranted. Until then, please continue to pray that Dad will respond to the immunotherapy.



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