The July scan

I seem to write an awful lot about the unexpected surprises that have arisen over the last five years but for once I get to write about a happy surprise. My scan at the beginning of July, despite all my worries, was fine. It seems that the previous scan genuinely was inconclusive. Whilst three tumours being 4/5mm larger than previously shown seemed pretty conclusive to me it turns out that I was experiencing ‘tumour flare’ or pseudo-progression. As I understand it, essentially the treatment that I’ve had had caused the tumours to swell rather than to actually grow. I’ve heard of this happening at an initial scan after starting treatment but I’d failed to find any reports of this happening after what was a really good scan. So, for once, I got a genuinely really happy surprise. The tumours have returned to there nicely shrunken april scan size and for now, there’s still no need to re-start treatment.

Better still – I get the whole summer off. No hospital appointments, no treatment and no scans until the very end of August. I’m feeling really well and also feeling very much that I have to trust my doctor. He had foreseen that the July scan might be OK even though, in his experience, pseudo-progression at that point was unusual and he was more than happy for me to have an 8 week break from hospitals. So, I’ve already enjoyed a very lovely couple of weeks hanging out with boys and on Monday we’re all off to Crete for just under a fortnight. I’m very excited – it’ll be the longest holiday we’ve had as a family and actually it’ll be my first hospital-free summer in 5 years.

So for now, I’m focusing on the all the good stuff. Stable scan, a holiday and a whole mass of family time. September is only a month away and like last year – it’s making me nervous. It’s a very complicated time for me and all being well, I’ll reach the third anniversary of my terminal diagnosis and that is both amazing and in some complicated way incredibly sad but I shall save that for a future post. For now, it’s August and August is not a time to worry.


The July scan

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