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.


  1. As you say good news!

    I would have expected more than a 5 minute meeting, but at least it's positive.

    You and Olga are in our thoughts every day.

    73 and 88
    Dave (G4AON) and Jackie

  2. Fantastic news and hoping for more of the same!

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  4. And long may the significant improvements continue. Brilliant news Julian. Both my wife and I are SO pleased that things are going well.

    Sorry to hear about the effect of the cuts in services and yes I agree with you about paying for transport costs as a viable option rather than just cutting them.

    Any sign of the aurora up there tonight?

  5. Good evening Julian, well I would say those are a pair of the greatest words one can group together!!! That for sure is great news and as you said yourself "I am going to beat this bugger". That is the case now Julian. I was very pleased to read the post as the news unfolded. Oh and lets see....A)Cuts in service or B) Significant improvement.....I would take the B and run with it for now.

  6. Dear Julian,
    I was a regular reader of your blog until last Spring. Then I went QRT for a while and came back to it recently. Last night, I read your entire OFITG blog from start to finish. I found the whole thing to be an incredibly moving account. I wish you every blessing and best wishes as you continue to fight this and thank you so much for allowing us this window into your battle with it.
    As ever,
    David MM0XDG

  7. Great news Julian!! Very pleased to read this.

  8. What fantastic news Julian. Sounds like you are beating the bugger! I have enjoyed reading your latest posts on your blog, just reading these I was sure you were on the right track to regaining your health. May you continue to get better and better.

  9. Hi Julian, that's good news! 73 Paul

  10. Wonderful news, Julian! I hope this is the first of a steady stream of postive reports. One thing...please don't think twice about asking others for a lift to your appointments. Our best wishes to you and Olga! 73/72, Mike