This weekend was awesome – I spent quality time with my beautiful pirate wench, had dinner and drinks with friends and enjoyed being a tourist around our beautiful city, Brisbane.
View of the river from the Eagle’s Nest, Brisbane
Hot or what?
Monday morning selfie on the way to the gym
Today, however, has been quite the opposite. It’s been a bit of an emotional roller coaster. To start the day, I rode the free City Hopper ferry into the CBD for a quick gym sesh before my blood test and then picked up some coffees and breakfast for my beautiful wife still snoozing in our hotel before heading back into the CBD to see a few customers before my 10am appointment with my new specialist, Dr B at Greenslopes.
Rewind to last week when I had an urgent appoint with my oncologist Dr A about my liver levels. They had been climbing steadily without any particular reason (well, besides from the fact that my liver reacted badly to the #Yervoy treatment I can now no longer have.) During this meeting, I was advised that I now needed to see a liver specialist, who just so happens to be my gastroenterologist, Dr B. Apparently, my white blood cells were going to crazy town in my liver, causing all sorts of issues and I needed to be on meds stronger than steroids (ones they give to transplant patients to avoid organ rejection) to ensure that my liver could push through this and get on the road to recovery.
Now, fast forward to today when I finally managed to see Dr B, my – now – liver specialist or hepatologist. After two blood tests last week to check how the meds were working, things weren’t going so well… levels were up to the highest they’d ever been but on the flip side, the liver was still functioning and producing the proteins, etc that it should be. My old mate, Liver, was a bit slow to react to the new meds, so by the time I saw Dr B, it wasn’t looking good.
As you can imagine, I was a bit of a mess this morning, even complaining to Dr B that she always makes me cry! My mind was taking me to places I really didn’t want to go but when you know that ever increasing liver levels could potentially mean liver failure, I was devastated. I said to Dr B that if I something was going to take me out, I didn’t want it to be my liver now. It can’t be now.
Thankfully, I do have the best doctors in the world who are so reassuring and won’t let me think too far ahead. She was most concerned about seeing the results of my blood test earlier that day, which would have given a clearer picture of how well the new meds are working.
So, after feeling pretty shit for a few hours, the latest report at 5.30pm this evening has finally shown the kind of progress we needed to see – my liver levels have decreased sufficiently to demonstrate the efficacy of the new meds. What a relief! I texted Dr A with two little words ‘Thank God!’ when the results came in. I instantly felt more positive again and it didn’t feel as if my future was so short anymore. I gained it back again.
I know many of you have praised me for my positivity throughout this whole shit-storm. It’s hard work trying to stay focused and push back the negative thoughts about stage four melanoma. Sometimes I just need a big boo-hoo and let out all the frustrations, fears and worries I have. I don’t do it publicly, not because I don’t want to show this side of me, but purely because I do want to be as positive as I can to encourage the same from you. Not to say that you can’t worry, or feel sad, or be angry about this fucking cancer inside me… but that positivity breeds positivity and it’s the only way the Pirate wants to be.