My second summer riding the cancer rollercoaster

November 2, 2023, 5 Comments

It’s the sequel I never wanted to think about. No, I’m not talking about Grease 2 or Trump winning again. Sadly it was the return of my cancer. A regular check up and scan in July showed that it was back, seven months after I had been given the all clear. So this summer became the worst version of Groundhog Day imaginable.

With the cancer having spread to my lymphatic system, radiotherapy and surgery were no longer viable options, so it was chemotherapy or bust. More aggressive treatment this time, which gave me rather horrible side-effects. My oncologist had never seen (or heard of) anyone reacting so quickly and so badly. But I got through it. Well, almost.

It was supposed to be 12 weeks of chemo but my body simply couldn’t cope with it. After eight weeks, my oncologist stopped it all and things were looking a bit bleak. If I couldn’t finish the chemo, what did that mean for dealing with the cancer? But all was not lost.

A scan showed that all my tumours had shrunk. The chemo had worked, or at least worked well enough that the cancer has stopped spreading. The first big hurdle reached and conquered. That was last month and my body has had time to recover. I even managed a few day trips: I had no hair but was still able to explore Switzerland.

Now comes the next round. The new treatment will be immunotherapy and it comes with a few known unknowns, not least how I will react to this latest invasion of my body. But the ends justifies the means so onward into the unknown.

5 Comments on "My second summer riding the cancer rollercoaster"

  1. Paul Dark Thursday November 2nd, 2023 at 10:44 PM · Reply

    Looking fantastic Diccon on Pilatus with the “Queen” outstanding on your left. Our best wishes for your next treatment steps and for more Swiss explorations. Stay strong and thank you for everything you do, especially having just posted a Swiss citizenship application 3 weeks ago! Whatever the outcome, the journey has been a blast.

  2. Soteris Thursday November 2nd, 2023 at 11:55 PM · Reply

    Dear Diccon,
    i got very touched after having read this, so sad but still full of hope. Hope that gives strength to you, your body to fight this, to me as a physician and to others that also may suffer this terrible disease called cancer. I have faith in you, you ll get through it, i am sure! I m there for you when needed!
    Take care, S.

  3. Natalia Friday November 3rd, 2023 at 01:00 PM · Reply

    So sorry to read this. 🙁 Wishing you all the best!

  4. Leslie guggiari Friday November 3rd, 2023 at 06:51 PM · Reply

    Sending lots of positive energy from ticino! You will soon be a member of the cancer survivor club!!!!

  5. Marianne Saturday November 4th, 2023 at 12:42 PM · Reply

    And this is not the sequel I wanted to read, Diccon. This sucks. I’m sorry. Every time I visit my Oncologist I hold my breath. I follow: thecancerpatient. A satirical look at life as a cancer patient. It’s US based but as a Canadian I still find it 95% on point. A good community to vent and learn. Maybe you follow it already. All my best wishes as you continue this unwanted journey.

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