To my absolute joy, my scan results on 25th April were even better than I’d even dared hope. My hope was that the tumour that had been shown to be growing in January would have either stabilised or shrunk and in fact the scan showed that all my tumours had shrunk! This was a far more positive outcome than I think anyone could have expected and in fact the tumours are now smaller than they’ve ever been since they made their presence known back in September 2013. So, even two weeks later, I’m still heaving a massive sigh of relief and feeling that for now, I can be a little bit in charge of my life again.
It was decided that it wasn’t necessary to move straight on to the maintenance dose of Nivolumab and as there’s still a possibility that this initial phase of treatment will keep things stable or possibly even cause further regression. So, i’m having a very delightful break from treatment. I’m due to have a further scan in early June and depending upon how that goes a decision will be made about whether I need to start on the Nivolumab then or possibly delay again for a further 6 weeks if it’s not deemed necessary.
It’s difficult to describe quite how relieved I’m feeling about it all but to me it feels as though the giant black cloud that has been weighing me down since January has lifted. I’m obviously not out of the woods. I never will be, I have Stage IV Melanoma but I feel like I’m being allowed to take a little holiday from the worry and the fear.
The first thing Andy and I did when we returned from the hospital was to book a trip to New York to celebrate Andy’s 50th birthday. The trip is booked for 21st June, nearly 2 months on from the 25th April meeting and I realised it was the first time in nearly 5 years that we’ve felt able to book something so far ahead. Usually, I had to wait to do it immediately post scan (in this case, I already knew I’d have another scan before we go) as the fear that something frightening showing up was too great. This time, I feel fairly confident that the worst thing the early June scan will show is that I need to start on the Nivolumab and mentally I’m ready for that anyway. So for once, I feel like I might be just a little bit in charge and the damn cancer can give me a break.