Category Archives: Cancer

We’ve found a small…

The words I dread hearing, “we’ve found a small lesion in your lung”

I’d just had a scan that involved loading me with radioactive sugar after which I had to lie absolutely still, no twitching of fingers and toes! until it had been processed by my body. Apparently any muscle movement would use up the sugar.

They then did a full torso scan looking for anything that shouldn’t be there and sure enough there was something, smaller than 1cm. in my lung.

The first decision was to use radiotherapy to blast it which would have a 5cm blast radius but the radiotherapist said it was too close to both the Aorta and the nerves that control breathing. Hmm, heart attack or paralysis of the lungs, neither sound much fun.

The radiotherapist came up with an alternative. They’re going to insert a wire into my chest tomorrow and then using either microwave or HF they’re going to blast the lesion/tumour and this method will only create a blast zone of 1cm.

It’s kinda like bombing and minimising collateral damage. I had no desire to be in the “we had to destroy the village in order to save it” category!!

So it’s now a simple procedure with just the one night stay and that’s just because I’m having a GA.

Tomorrow afternoon I should be totally clear 🙂

 

Some days are better than others

I’m currently comparing the BMD MP and the C200 in detail, they’re very different cameras in lots of way and they both produce great images. I’ll be posting a detailed review of them on CML in a month or so.
They are very similar on paper but in real life just so different. I had hoped to include the Panasonic EVA in this test but they don’t seem to be able to get me a camera. Funny how if your “review” consists of shooting a few pretty pictures you can get a camera but if your test is almost a destruction level one you can’t…

I went to LUMC for my 2 weeks post-op check yesterday and talked with my surgeon

The good news is that they got the entire tumour and there is nothing left of it.

I am now clear until a future scan reveals something. I live from scan to scan now and will for the next 5 years, if I’m that lucky!

Once I’ve completed 5 years without a recurrence I’m considered clear.

4 more weeks of injecting myself twice a day with anticoagulant then I can live a “normal” life.

Not so different from an OB crew!

Get in, get the pictures and the job done and get out leaving a bit of a mess behind!

Not too bad, 7 holes this time but in a few months there’ll be barely a trace. 2 of the scars from the last Laparoscopy are visible in that shot, I know where to look, and one in the navel hidden.

The bag in the bottom right of frames if my constant companion.

So, I was part of an experiment here, they injected me with a magic potion the day before which was converted to nothing in the bits of the liver where there wasn’t a tumour and that when viewed under UV light glowed where there was a tumour.
As they operated they switched back and forth between the light sources and could even mix them. They cut until no blue glow was left.
Apparently it’s the last little bits that cause all the grief, using a conventional approach they have to cut far more than just the tumour to make sure that they get it all. Using this method once there is no blue glow there is no tumour.
They took sample of the area left and the results from the path lab are clear.

I haven’t tried to line the shots up but it’s pretty cool as it is!
I couldn’t get the video or actual screen grabs, these are my scans of a priny I was given, the real thing is pretty clear.

Metastasized the return

A great title for a horror movie, unfortunately it’s reality.
My latest ultrasound, MRI & CT scans show a tumour in my liver.
On hearing this I looked up the 5 year survival rates for liver cancer and found that it’s 7%, not good news.
However, even though the tumour is in my liver it’s a metastasised colorectal cancer which is what was already successfully removed in December. So, tomorrow I will have about a third of my liver removed. This should get me back to where I was at the start of the year. i.e. getting regular scans to get early detection of any more tumours and to have time to deal with them with an 85% 5 year survival rate.
There is a cool thing about this, I’m part of a research project at Leiden University Medical Center, I’ve been injected with an agent that will make the tumour florescent in UV light. I will have an extra unit inserted during my laparoscopy, instead of 4 units there will be 5. The extra one being a UV light.
The process is that my liver will process the material I have been injected with and the tumour won’t. This makes any tumour glow green and let’s them remove all the infected cells but only the infected cells.
I’m in for 3 to 5 days and will be back to normal in three weeks.
So any work I’m committed to in November will stand.
LUMC is an amazing place, it’s huge but it’s the first time I’ve given visitors directions like these…
Go in the main entrance, go to the right of the escalators to the shops and restaurants and go down the corridor past the art gallery to the lifts with the red doors.
Shops! Restaurants! Art Gallery!
Err…
Oh and I’ve asked for a copy of the video of my glowing tumour. I’ll post it here if I get it.

Camera Test updates and reflections on the difference between the Netherlands and the UK

I’ve had to pause on the camera evaluations, well, the uploading of them, not the assessment of them.

I just wonder how many people will look at them in full res or even download the files to be able to judge them properly. It’s interesting the way some cameras change colour from under to over exposure and how the noise and clip varies. The thing is in some cases you really need to look closely.

I’m now making all the QT files that are uploaded to Vimeo from 16 bit EXR’s that have been generated in ACES space in the manufacturers own software. Of course there is one exception to that but I’m doing the best I can with that!!

There are some cameras that look great on a quick superficial look but on prolonged examination show some odd flaws. I’ll be uploading the EXR’s at the end of the process for those people crazy enough to want to see the full beauty, or horror, of the cameras.

I was once again struck by the differences between the Netherlands and the UK, I went out to dinner last night with a group of people from my apartment block, by a group I mean 13 of the 14 apartments here joined us, 7 floors 2 apartments per floor and the only people not to join us were the ones moving out next month. It was a great night and it’s an amazing mix of people. One of them is a senior news director at De Telegraaf and she told me that they’d run my stupid thief video on their website and had got over 5 million hits!!

I also went for my bi-annual check up, this will be a feature of my life for the next 5 years. Ultrasound and X-ray, no sign of new tumours which is great but something in my liver so I’m off for an MRI in a week or so. Just a precaution but I can’t get over the speed and thoroughness of the medical system here.

In the UK I’d never have gone out with my neighbours like this and I’d be waiting while permission was granted to put me in line for a checkup. Actually I’d probably be dead because I’d be waiting for the results of tests finally done after a 6month wait.

Last Cancer Post

From now on this blog is back to cinematography!

I saw my surgeon this morning, exactly 14 days since the operation.

He showed me the Path results and they were “interesting”, he removed a section with 22 Polyps, 3 of which were malignant. The bad ones were down to the end of the rectum. The big news was the tumour he removed that was right at the exit of the rectum. 5cms, I’ll say that again 5cms! of malignancy.

Well no wonder cycling hurt if I was sitting on a nasty 5cm block of poison!!

Anyway, It’s all gone, no trace of any indicators in my blood tests, I go back in 3 months for another blood test then after 6 months and staying at 6 month intervals for 5 years.

As far as my surgeon is concerned everything is healing well, the stitches will dissolve over time but I’ve got to back off a bit on the walking, stay at 2 circuits of the gardens a day for a week or so. I can also sit at my computer and work for short periods.

My lovely nurses will continue to visit until they’re happy with my stoma and they will also keep checking the stitches.

I have to do a huge thank you to a lot of people now, the support on FaceBook has been amazing, you really have all helped to keep my spirits up. I’d also like to thank all the nurses on c3 at Langelland Zickenhuis they were absolutely incredible.

I’ll not be at BSC or BVE but I will be at NAB, hope to see a bunch of you there.

Day 6

It’s six days now since my tumours were removed and my arse sealed forever.

This morning the IV and the catheter were removed and a few minutes ago I. Rolled over and got to my feet. Hanging on to my physical nurse I managed to turn around, sit on a chair for a few minutes, stand again whilst my BP went all over the place.

I’m now flat in bed again and hurting but in a couple of hours I’ll be doing the same again, maybe I can take a shower! Bed baths from nurses get a lot of laughs but I just want warm water pouring over me.

I may get to go home tomorrow afternoon if not then definitely the day after.

Scared

There’s no other way to put it.

I go into hospital for surgery tomorrow morning.

They will remove and seal up my rectum and then add a new outlet, a stoma, on my front and I’ll use a bag from now on.

The Colostomy bag and Stoma don’t scare me, it’s the surgery. Keyhole so it shouldn’t be too bad but…

I guess I’m lucky but my only experience of surgery was 50 years ago and for damage to my wrist, I got all kinds of promises but it’s never worked properly since. That has to have coloured my views of surgery.

Anyway, I’m currently scared and trying not to think about it, I’ll wake up with a multitude of connections and not be able to move for 5 days. Then it looks like it’s going to take longer than my previous estimates to recover, I may be back to “normal” by the end of March.

So I’ll miss HPA but should be at NAB, the camera tests I intended for February may be delayed until May, no big deal.

Bah-Dong–dong-dong-dong-dong-dong

Trying to get the riff from Careful with that Axe Eugene..

Had THE MEETING with my Oncologist yesterday, the Chemo/Radiotherapy has caused the tumours to shrink and they’ll give me another MRI in 4 weeks because they think they’ll continue shrinking.

Sounds like good news, well no not really, they have shrunk enough that it makes the surgeons job easier but not enough not to resort to surgery.

Now the thing with this is good and bad, isn’t everything connected with this? The good news is that the tumours are so low down that they’re easy to remove separately from anything else. Remove them, end of problem. The bad news is that they’re so low down that removing them and then stitching me up means I get closed completely. No arse any more.

This means a Stoma, WTF! I have an outlet fitted at the front and wear a removable bag that I change daily. The good news here is that because it’s so low down it’s a less complicated Stoma than it is in most cases, in fact when I’m travelling I can just flush it and then seal up for a couple of days without using a bag. It’s still a ‘king nightmare that I’ve been facing up to the possibility of for the last few months and now have the reality slap me in the face.

I’ve said that we should bite the bullet and go ahead with it ASAP, the earliest it can be is December the 23rd so I have the holidays in hospital 🙂

Was there another choice? well I did ask what my prospects were if I didn’t go this route and was told one to two years and a truly horrible end. I did say that I wouldn’t wait for the end but would terminate. In that case I have less than a year. If I go for the operation I have, well, how long did I expect to live before I knew about this? that’s how long I will have. It’s a no brainer, if the hassle of the Stoma is too much I still have the final option open to me.

So over the next few weeks I have the joy of another Colonoscopy, an MRI, and an operation. The good news is that if I don’t get an infection, and 45% of people having this operation do, I’ll be functioning pretty normally by mid January and totally back to normal, excluding the daily bag change, by the end of February.

I can apparently increase my chances of avoiding an infection by not putting pressure on the area whilst it mends. Stitches in what is essentially fat have a job holding and not popping out. I don’t have a problem not sitting for a few weeks, apparently most people do, I’ll just lie down with a tablet and a Kindle and live my life normally but horizontally. I don’t need to sit to eat, most people apparently have an issue with this, but after 40 years of eating on the run a few weeks of eating standing up won’t be a hardship.

We’ve scheduled everything so that I can manage to shoot a commercial at the end of this month going into early December 🙂

Gotta get my priorities right!