23 January - Significant improvement

"Significant improvement." That's what the doctor said my MRI scan results showed, during my re-scheduled appointment this morning. Good news for sure, yet I'm feeling vaguely short-changed that something which was such a big deal for me resulted in just a two-word answer which I wouldn't have received at all if I had not asked about the scan specifically. The entire consultation lasted less than five minutes.

I did learn that the bad constipation I have experienced when taking the heavy dose of temozolomide is caused by the anti-sickness tablets I take to avoid heaving them up again. The doctor suggested I take just one tablet instead of two a day. So far I have never felt like being sick at all and during the radiotherapy when I was taking a lesser dose of temozolomide I stopped taking the anti-sickness pills altogether. So this looks like something I can try.

It seems the public service cuts are beginning to bite. North Cumbria NHS Trust has one of the biggest deficits in the country I believe, and the effects are being felt by the drivers in the ambulance and transport service for whom all overtime has stopped. Patients now must book their own transport but have to provide increasing justification that they need it. I think that now my outpatient visits are down to once every 4 weeks we will have to take up some of the offers of lifts we have received, or consider getting the 600 bus which runs once every two hours to Carlisle from Cockermouth. If we had a driver in the family we'd be taking ourselves and paying for petrol and car parking so I don't know why they can't ask patients to pay the costs of the transport service instead of restricting it: It would still be cheaper than going by taxi.

"Significant improvement." Good news, anyway. I'd still like to have seen the evidence with my own eyes but I guess I should be happy with the answer and stop complaining.