We were both rather stunned by the call, a bit lost, like rabbits caught in the headlights. We have no idea what’s coming. Last week the doc told us that even if the cancer were coming back they wouldn’t be treating it yet. So why the call?
Psychologically it’s tough, really tough, but we’re focusing on one step at a time. It’s surprising how you can get really knocked down and then get back up. One step at a time.
Step 1 is seeing Dr Inscrutable.
We’re back at the Cancer Unit. The nurse has difficulty taking blood and remarks that it’s very thick and “syrupy”.
It feels like my legs won’t support me all the way to the doctor’s office. One. Step. At. A. Time.
He’s looking inscrutable. At least he doesn’t leave us in suspense for long. He explains that he sent Husband’s last bloods off for further tests, looked at the blood under the microscope and “the cancer is coming back”. The results were discussed at the MDT meeting and it was determined that treatment should start sooner rather than later. “Even though you feel okay your bloods are dropping – the red cell count was 120 today. The nosebleeds could also be a symptom of the disorder.”
He comments in a firm tone that brooks no disagreement, “We should crack on with treatment – something a bit more vicious”. The plan is Bendamustine and Rituximab. “We’ve had a few patients who’ve had a short response with RCVP but a long response with Bendamustine.
He explains that the blood thickening is due to the cancer. He doesn’t want to wait. The plan is at least 6 treatments, starting with Bendamustine on its own because Rituximab could make the blood thickening worse. So Husband faces 2 days of Bendamustine every 28 days and 1 Rituximab on the first day of treatment starting month 2. Oh boy. We look to the doc for guidance as we get up to leave. “The nurses will see where they can fit you in next week. We need to crack on with treatment”.