The second half of 2016 was when it was most severe. More pain than I’ve ever experienced. Back surgery strengthened my spine and eased it a little. But it wasn’t until afatinib was prescribed in December 2016 that the pain and associated sciatica went away.
Unil June 2017. When niggling buttock pain returned to my life. Eventually they scanned it and told me the good times of life extension courtesy of afatinib were over. During that period I struggled a little with it and my appetite faded dramatically in September 2017. Steak served in the American South West appeared in front of me and I barely touched it.
October 2017 brought osimertinib into my life. Appetite restored. Sore buttock improved. Alas, my ability to see off wonder drugs at pace has repeated itself. As Oncobabe gave me the disastrous scan results I entered a short period of denial. I challenged her on my most recent pain and how it had gone away – surely the osimertinib did that. I pondered the timescale of damage to my second rib that she announced. Did that happen in the first week of osimertinib treatment? If so, perhaps it’s not an example of the new drug failing, but the old.
Frustration too that the scan instructions never said to look at my pelvis area. I had to push for that. Progression of the disease highlighted only because I made them take a photo. Irritation, not that it changes anything.
And then this morning. Any fading thoughts of denying expert medical opinion are gone. That buttock soreness is back. It’s the same as it was. There is no doubt in my mind that I’m feeling the same thing I felt before. And I know it’s a tumour. I know it’s what will probably kill me. This year.
Still, at least the cancer in my lungs remains small. That’s not changed at all since diagnosis. Oncobabe almost smiled when she told me this, before introducing the “osimertinib is not working” news.
I have to accept that the vicious spread of my disease is as strong as it gets. And my relative youth is no defence. Chemotherapy only buys a few extra minutes. Matrix trials, who knows? But even with those I have an assumption that the evil within will see off any good effects faster than average.