Friday, 27 June 2008

And Off We Go...

Well, it's not exactly soldiers landing on the beaches of Northern France but D Day is certainly here... And D stands for Drugs!

I picked up my prescription from the hospital’s pharmacy, paid the £14.20 that it will cost me every month and then I sat opposite my very nice consultant, Ms X, who once again listed the side effects I may experience, gave me some goodies to take away [disinfection wipes, booklets and a ‘cool bag’ that will come in handy when I go on holiday as the Interferon injection needs to be kept in a refrigerator] and then we got on with the serious business.

I was shown how to inject 180 micrograms of Peginterferon alfa-2a into my stomach. Apart from a little sting, that was nice, quick and painless. I’ll have to repeat the procedure 48 times in the next year, every Friday.

On top of that, I will have to take 3 200 mg capsules of Rivarin every morning and 2 every night. ‘A bit excessive’ as my mum put it but apparently it’s just as important as the weekly injection. So, I’ll have to get into the habit quite quickly because I will not want to miss any of them.

So, what’s going on then? Well, I’m pleasantly surprised, I must admit. I’ve been trying to be as positive as possible throughout the last week and I think it’s paying off. Apart from a temporary fever, that went as soon as it came after the injection, all I’ve felt so far it’s a bit of tiredness but nothing out of the particular. So far, so good. I’m not going to get overexcited yet because as someone put it [Hi R] there’s 364 days and a few hours to go, so there’s plenty of time for the side effects to kick in but tonight, it’s going very smoothly!

That was a nice post to write! I was expecting to tell you that I was depressed, willing to fight to death with my girlfriend only if I could muster enough energy to get up from the sofa… But then, again, there’s still time! Ha!

I’ll update the blog next week on Friday and hopefully it’ll be an even nicer post.

I promise that this blog won't become just a diary of my experiences but I've just started a new job so time has been a luxury. But the useful links will start rolling in again quite soon. Just bear with me!

Drop us a line if you can’t wait a whole week to hear from me, otherwise see you next Friday!

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Friday, 20 June 2008

Every story has a beginning...

... and, as they say, so it begins!

I had a doctor’s appointment today. THE appointment that I’ve been waiting for ever since my diagnosis. After taking the decision of going through with my treatment a month back, I confirmed it today with my consultant and the ball has finally been set rolling. The doctors were worried the treatment might bring cancer back after so long [if this is you're first time here, welcome] but I was assured that after consulting an oncologist, there doesn’t seem to be any real danger of the Interferon treatment acting as a catalyst for the unwanted return of cancer. In other words, good news!

So, after giving away a lot of blood, being weighted [78 kilos if you must ask!] and a little bit of waiting, my girlfriend and I sat next to each other whilst my consultant explained to me what’s happening next.

From Friday 27.06.08, I will be taking tablets twice a day, seven days a week and having a subcutaneous injection once a week. I’ve been advised to have the injection on Friday evenings because of the side effects [more on that later] and I will be having weekly blood tests to make sure everything is in order with my blood.

So, without further ado, the next year of my life will involve any [or none, or all] of the following side effects:

Decrease in haemoglobin levels

Decrease in white cells levels


Flu-like symptoms

Loss of appetite

Weight loss


Irritable moods

Decrease in fertility [And increased dangers for any child I may conceive]

[There are many other symptoms online but I’m sticking to the ones that my consultant felt important enough to warn me about]

These were the ones mentioned by my consultant but she was quick to point out that having the treatment doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll experience any of these side effects so we’ll have to wait and see what interesting cocktail the next year has in store for me!

I have a week now to get ready to start and I will be updating this blog once a week to keep anyone interested updated on the ins and outs of my treatment.
In the meantime, if you have any questions, go here. If you want to find out more, check this out, or if you're tired of reading me, go here. And if I bummed you out, have a look at this:

So, the story kicks off here. I hope you join me.
See you next week

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