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Good and Bad news

So this post is a mix of both good and bad news in relation to my Pancreatic Cancer; 

Bad News:  The cancer has returned.  Even though we thought the surgery, followed by chemotherapy, had beaten the cancer, my regular check-ups showed that it had returned.  So to combat the reoccurrence the oncology doctors have put me onto a different course of chemotherapy.

Good News:  My body is reacting really well to the new chemotherapy.  I do get nausea and vomiting the night after treatment, and I have lost my hair, but there are no other side affects.  The tumour has reduced in size and the cancer markers in my blood test have returned to a normal level, so doctors have said I can have a break from treatment for a couple of months.  I’m also feeling pretty good, I certainly don’t feel like I have a life threatening diagnosis.

Bad News:  Even though I’ve been reacting well to treatment, doctors want me to be aware of the reality of the situation: my cancer is terminal.  It is likely that I have less than 12 month to live.  My intention is to prove the doctors wrong.

12 months to live

Good News:  The terminal 12 month life expectancy diagnosis means I should be able to make a claim on my life insurance, which will allow me to set the family up in a good home and debt and worry free after I have gone. 

 I have continued to record YouTube updates about my cancer journey, it helps me get my head around everything that is going on.  Check out my latest cancer update video below.  

My Last Cancer Update (hopefully)

My most recent posts on this blog have been about my health and battle with pancreatic cancer.  Thankfully the growth was discovered early enough for doctors to be able to totally remove the tumour.  Six months of chemotherapy has hopefully reduced the risk of reoccurrence.  I’m back at work full time, in a new role that I’m enjoying and family life is pretty much back to normal (well as normal as it can be during a pandemic).  The only remnant of my cancer journey is tingling pins and needles in my feet (a side effect of the chemo), so hopefully it stays that way.

As you may have seen in my previous posts, I’ve made a series of videos on YouTube about my cancer journey.  My latest video is hopefully my final cancer update, check it out below… 

Cancer and Chemotherapy

Cancer and Chemotherapy

The last couple of posts, here on my personal blog, have been about my health issues and diagnosis of Pancreatic Cancer.  Since then I’ve spent eight weeks in hospital at Monash Clayton following the “Whipples Procedure” surgery, which removed the head of my pancreas, Gall Bladder and part of my intestine.  The operation its self was a success, but subsequent complications and infection kept me in hospital longer than originally expected.  Even after I was eventually allowed to go home, I was re-admitted twice more following further complications.

Not only has cancer been tough on my health, this time has been really tough on my family and finances (I haven’t worked since March).  Thankfully we’ve received a lot of support from friends and family, and our employers have been very understanding and supportive.  I’m really glad I signed up for Income Protection insurance some time ago, I don’t know how we’d be surviving right now otherwise!

Since leaving hospital I’ve been doing regular physio/rehab to rebuild my health, strength and fitness.  I’ve also began a six month chemotherapy course, where I attend Monash Moorabbin hospital fortnightly for twelve sessions.  Even though my surgeons believe they were able to remove all of the cancer from my pancreas, the chemotherapy should minimise the risk of any stray cancer cells causing a problem in the future.  Unfortunately the chemo comes with some side affects, but so far they haven’t been as bad as we were told they could be.

Cancer Video Updates

Rather going into detail about everything here, I’ll refer you to a series of YouTube videos I’ve been making to keep friends and family updated on my cancer journey.  At the time of writing, my Cancer Playlist has five videos.  That number will increase as I publish further updates.

You can view my cancer and chemotherapy videos at this YouTube link… 

Cancer Surgery

Cancer Surgery

I explained in my previous blog post that I was in hospital with what is more than likely a cancerous growth on the head of my pancreas.  Tomorrow I’m having major surgery to remove the tumour, which will also mean loosing the head of my pancreas, gall bladder, part of the bile duct and part of my bowel.  Yep, it’s pretty full on!

I’m thankful I was allowed to come home for a week, after 10 days of hospital tests, before going back in tomorrow morning.  This morning I recorded a video for YouTube and Facebook to explain to friends and family what’s been going on, and to thank all those special people who have offered their best wishes and support.

Check out the video below.  I will post updated when I can.