Progress update

It’s been a long time since I last posted an update, and that has provoked a few concerned emails and phone calls. So apologies for the lack of news, but as usual, it’s down to a combination of there not being much to report and normal life getting in the way, rather than anything more sinister.

After my last post back on the 16th of July, I spent a week working from home and in my local IBM office. Or rather, I spent a week trying to work. In practice I wasn’t able to maintain concentration and kept (literally) falling asleep. On the two days I went into the office I didn’t even manage half a day of real work. By the end of the week it was clear that I wasn’t coping.

I talked to the hospital about my difficulties in getting back to normal, and they were unsurprised (and hence relatively unconcerned) given the cumulative effect of the many anaesthetics and the enforced inactivity that my treatment had forced on me. Their expectation was that I would steadily return to normal with more time. So my manager and I agreed that I would take another couple of weeks to predominantly recuperate, and just dip into work as I felt able.

And that seems to have done the trick, as I’m now feeling much more my normal self, and this week have resumed a relatively normal working schedule.

In addition, as planned, my consultant called me back into hospital for an MRI scan and another gastrografin test to determine how successful my treatment has been. The MRI scan seemed to be another extended scan (some 35 minutes long) with no immediate feedback available from the operations staff. However, the gastrografin test was run by the radiologist who opened up my abscess at the start of my last series of treatments, and he was happy to show me the images that he’d collected, and give me his first (very informal) impressions, which were that the abscess looks to be much better defined, with no sign of any of the traces that used to run away from it. Which could be positive. Or could just be optimistic.

Ultimately I’ll refrain from any premature celebrations, and wait for the detailed interpretation of the MRI and gastrografin together. I see my consultant on the 16th to hear the result of that interpretation, and what that means for me next. Fingers crossed that it’s positive, and that all the investment in this last round of treatment has paid off.

In parallel to that I also had a call from my urologist, as it’s nearly six months since my left kidney was stented. Which means, as the stent only has a six month life, that he needs to see me again to discuss what to do next; do we take the stent out, or replace it with a new one? So I’ve booked my consultation with him on the 28th, by which time I will have seen my lead consultant on the 16th, and hopefully have a clear plan in place for what needs to be done next.

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