Sunday, 30 March 2008

MRI Pictures

Got the MRI CD, so here are the pictures from the scans of 25 February compared with 27th August. The left picture is from the end of August and the right one is from 25th February indicating (I think) a quite substantial volume loss.

The pictures below show how much other junk has formed (mainly due to the treatment). This can be any of fluid, scar tissue or necrosis. This picture also shows very clearly how much space there is around the Brain now due to reduce pressure in the cavity.

The last picture shows quite clearly my newly acquired dent complete with ingrowing bone. I certainly think this is my best side dont't you, handsome beast.

So all in all, as I said before, good news. Makes all the Radiation and Chemo worth suffering. I started cycle 5 on Saturday, just the usual nausea and tiredness so far. Only one more to go and then we'll need to find out what to do next. I hope the doctors decide to give me a few months rest from treatment.

Thursday, 27 March 2008

Thailand - Bangkok, Chiang Mai, & Rai

Bangkok reminds me of the city in Blade Runner with its 24 hours hour crowds, continuous music, talking billboards, dark alleyways, Pavement (Sidewalk) markets and endless traffic. This is obviously a city growing at a phenomenal rate, and we were lucky to have a native Friend to show us around. Crossing the road in Bangkok is a whole new experience, and it is often safer to take a Tuk-Tuk, but if you are looking for a Wat (temples), you are bound to find one without crossing a major road.
To those of you who think of Bangkok as the Sex city, you will be surprised to find that activity concentrated around just a couple of streets (Patpong I & II) and even then it has to share with a Night Market. So here are some pictures:

Bangkok Chinatown, Haggling over veg; Carol & Tam looking across the Chao Phraya to the royal palace

Climbing to Indra's weapon at Wat Arun, Across the Chao Phraya from Wat Arun. Bangkok downtown roofs

Wat Suan Phan - Carp Pool, Khymer Singa at Jim Thompson's House
Wat Suan Phan - Carp PoolKhymer Singa at Jim Thompson's House

After 4 days in Bangkok we flew to Chiang Mia, the second city in the North of Thailand. Although still a busy city there was some breathing space, but that is not why we are here......

Firemen on alert after our plane starting pouring fuel all over the runway, Wat Doi Suthep, Cobra at snake show
Firemen on alert Wat Doi SuthepCobra at snake show

Elephant Ride, Orchid Farm, Buddha at Wat Phra Sing

Elephant RideOrchid FarmBuddha at Wat Phra Sing

Pung Tao Gong Temple Pagoda & Door detail


Hill Tribes - Meo children playing, Paduang ringed women

Along the Mae Kok River

E-Haw Tribe


Carol and our guide, A View to Burma, The Golden Triangle

Wat Phra Keo (Original home of the Emerald Buddha)

The food was better than expected

It's 7 days after leaving Bangkok, and after some Cabbage we fly back from Chang Rai having explored the most northern parts of Thailand. This has been a great fun and enligtening week.

Our final 5 days around Bangkok in pictures are covered in a later post.

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Back Online

Carol and I landed from Bangkok at 6am this morning after spending a great first time in Thailand. First, sorry for not keeping the Blog for over two weeks. I could lie to you that I couldn't get near an Internet Cafe, but we were just so busy enjoying ourselves....

My health has been fine and I have been able to forget about being ill for two weeks, no tiredness and I only had two tiny seizures (less than normal).

As soon as I get some photos sorted out I'll upload a small travelogue.

Friday, 7 March 2008

Preparing to fly

Well it's a week since my cold hit and because of the Chemo I'm still not 100% clear. I'm glad we didn't decide to leave for Bangkok earlier than Sunday. I'm hoping that by Sunday I'll be feeling my old self again. We fly out at 10pm.

This is the first time I have been seriously away since the day of my great seizure (3 nights in Nice doesn't count). In the many years of travelling for work and holidays I've never a thought to the perils of flying or of my personal safety in the many countries I have visited but I have to say I have just a little Angst towards this trip. I'm glad Carol is with me.

I don't know how much I can keep the blog up over the next two weeks, as I am not taking a PC with me. But if I can near a Internet cafe or two I'll try and put in a few updates.

Tuesday, 4 March 2008


I've been downgraded (maybe)!

I don't know if you remember that Universit├Ątsspital Z├╝rich were going to do a second opinion of my tumour histology? Well they have, and they couldn't find any features of a grade IV tumour (GBM), so in their books I have a (anaplastic) astrocytoma grade III which is good news isn't it?

Well yes and no?
  • It makes my mortality statistics slightly higher (but not by enough to think about)
  • Both agree I have malignant tumours (thank goodness, I wouldn't have wanted all this nasty treatment otherwise)
  • Some trails are now out of my reach because they favour GBM's (like the Tumour Treating Fields trial I kind of favoured)
  • It introduces more uncertainty
Perhaps I'll feel better about this when I've got over the current Cold & Chemo bout.
Did I mention Carol & I should be off Thailand for a couple of weeks starting Sunday?

Sunday, 2 March 2008

Cold and Chemo, not a good recipe

With all the excitement of Friday morning, I'd forgotten my cold.

Cooking curries for each other seems to be a popular pastime among ex-pat English and Germans, we had two curry invites this weekend. On Friday we went to our first curry invitation and after a great meal and conversation (thanks Steve), my voice started to disappear until at around midnight, when we left, I could only mouth my goodbyes.

Saturday morning was the start of Chemo 4, and added to the cold I already had it was a miserable day of coughs, sneezes and nausea with only sleep to ease the discomfort. Didn't eat much and was only able to lie on the sofa and watch a couple of movies on Film Four ("Simone" and "One night at McCool's"). Needless to say the second curry invite had to be declined (sorry guys).

Now it's Sunday and I'm feeling better if a little fragile.
I guess I'm being reminded that, no matter how good the good news, I am still sick.