No more chemo

At Cookridge today, Dr F took a deep breath before saying what deep down we already knew. Elaine is too weak to be offered any more chemotherapy. They will still treat her, but only symptoms.

Elaine is finding it very difficult to walk or climb stairs, and gets breathless from activity. She is now very thin, having lost 3-4 stone in the past three years. The Macmillan nurse has successfully treated Elaine’s nausea. But the breathlessness is being aggravated by an enlarged liver pushing on the lungs.

Although we both feel pretty miserable this evening, Elaine’s first thought was “Thank goodness I didn’t buy the wig” (The next round of chemo would have led to hair loss).

Elaine is still really hoping she might find the strength to travel down to Cambridge in two weeks time.

5 thoughts on “No more chemo

  1. lilyofthefield

    Logged on here because I’d been thinking how upbeat and chirpy you’ve sounded on the boards this last week or so. Very sorry to hear that you’ve been brave in the face of such lousy news rather than the jolly recipient of some much better news. If loving admiration and positive vibes are enough to get you to Cambridge, you should have no problem at all.

  2. Mila

    Dear Elaine and dear Chris
    Hard to imagine, having not been there, how this feels, but it’s obviously big news. I can liken it to a similar moment in the progress of my Dad’s cancer and I know it was very very sad. Pleased to see Elaine finds some comfort in not having to buy the wig. I also think this chemo would have been an even worse exeprience than the last. Elaine, I wanted to say how moved I have been from the messages from your ex students on this blog. I think being such an inspiraiton to these (and other) students is a fantastic achievement. Having been a teacher for years myself, I know such accolades don’t come easily from leaners. I do hope your weekend is good – Rosie told me Kate is with you, so I hope it is good for both of you.
    I also hope you will be able go to Cambridge. lots of love to you both Mila

  3. Anonymous

    Dear Elaine

    Hope your willpower keep you going and good luck for getting to Cambridge. I don’t like being religiou but there is a Quaker phrase about holding people “in the light” which is all i can do. Love, Kathleen T.

  4. SueV

    Yes, I hope you do get to go there, Elaine -fingers crossed hard for you. I am so impressed you could even contemplate it!

    I just can’t imagine what this turning point means to you all, really, but I am so sorry to hear this news.

    I have to say the (NHS) medication on the ‘last lap’ for both my parents was surprisingly generous and effective. Thank goodness some things are changing -and I hope your proactive approach gets even better results than theirs.

    But till then, Elaine -here’s wishing you the best and longest stretch of living possible. Knowing your habit of wringing advantage from adversity, that will be maximised, for sure.

    Many thanks again Chris for keeping us posted like this -it is a quite incredible thing to be doing really, and much appreciated.

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