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A Glimmer of Hope

December 30, 2009

1st Sep 2008

Meeting with Consultant today at hospital produced bit of good news.

He confirmed there was no more chemotherapy, radiotherapy, or surgical options that could be tried to halt the proliferation of cancer cells in Mrs D’s body. However’ he told us about a new drug – Tarceva – which seems to work with some people. It is a new drug (as these things go). It has been approved for use in Scotland but has not been given the go ahead yet by NICE for use in England. Birmingham Trust, however, has money set aside to run trials with selected patients who doctors think might benefit from this drug and he has offered Mrs D the opportunity to try this new drug. It’s advantage over chemotherapy being that unlike Chemothapy, this drug can pass through the brain-blood barrier and directly attack any cancer cells in the brain.

No - it's not us !

It is an expensive drug – £1600 a month – and she would take one tablet a day for the rest of her life, however long that might be. Side effects have been reported by some people on the drug – skin rash, diarrhoea. But that seems a small price to pay if it extents her life.

We were almost ’skipping’ when we left the hospital !!!

We stopped at our ‘local’ for a glass or two of red on the way home

5 Comments leave one →
  1. December 31, 2009 4:14 am

    Oh my…..1600 pounds a month!! I’m assuming you’ve received help from somewhere with that!
    And I’m also assuming that is why Mrs. D. is still with us today!! 🙂

    • December 31, 2009 6:29 am

      Thank goodness for the National Health Service in UK, YnB – it has not cost us a penny. All covered by the NHS !!!

      And yes, the Tarceva has extended Mrs D’s life. Doctors were expecting it might give her an extra couple of months. In the event, she was on Tarceva for 10 months until it was withdrawn in June this year – when it was judged to have lost it’s effectiveness and she was given just weeks left to live and advised to make whatever arrangements/see friends/relatives etc she wanted to before it was too late.

      Her only medication now is morphine and steroids to relieve the pain and make her remaining time as ‘comfortable’ as possible

      • December 31, 2009 10:03 am

        And as Anita is till hanging in there, where do you define effectiveness? Please administer the daily gentle hug from us all…

        • December 31, 2009 11:45 am

          Doctor’s decision based on scans showing tarceva no longer holding growth of the cancer in her lungs and brain in check

      • December 31, 2009 9:42 pm

        Well, it seems she keeps showing those doctors off!! A great big hug from over the pond and HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU BOTH!!

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