OK, so I’ve got this blog about a lot of medical shit that’s happened to me over the past x years. You may be wondering several things, like
- Who is this guy?
- What’s Ewing’s Sarcoma?
- Why should I care?
Well, I can’t promise to answer these questions in a satisfactory manner, especially the last one, but I’ll give it a shot, and so if you keep reading you’ll learn a bit more about why this page is even here.
So, from the very beginning. As I posted in one of my blog posts, I have epilepsy, and thought that that was the end of my chronic medical problems. Unfortunately I was severely mistaken. In October/November 2006 I started feeling a pain in my right leg. “Leg” is as general as I can say – sometimes it was my knee, other times the whole leg. Just telling people “my leg hurts” didn’t really help though, and as a result I was just taking paracetomol/ibuprofen and being annoyed with my leg.
In January though, enough was enough, and we went to see my local GP. He didn’t really seem to find anything in particular, but decided to have the right knee X-Ray’d just to see. Unfortunately, the cancer is in my hip, not my knee, so the X-Ray came back negative and we were all puzzled. On with the painkillers, it seems.
Then we went to see an osteopath. He did a lot of jigging and poking and swiveling and generally examining me, and after a few sessions he decided that it was nothing to do with my knee, but with my hip (hooray!). He gave me some exercises, but after nothing he could do seemed to help we decided to get my hip scanned.
After a bit of déjà vu when going in for my second X-Ray, they (surprise surprise) decided it was inconclusive and needed further investigation. This meant a CT scan of my hip. Apparently this wasn’t good enough either, so they decided I needed an MRI scan, which unfortunately meant going to Crappaud land (Jersey, for the uninitiated).
They “um”ed and “ah”ed a lot, and then finally “oh shit”ed. They called us in, and basically said “We don’t know what it is, but the CT and MRI scan results match that of an osteo- or Ewing’s sarcoma, which are types of bone cancer (as you know, it turned out I had the latter). They couldn’t be sure, though, without a tissue sample, so I had to go to England see a specialist who would stick a needle into my hip, get a bit of bone, and hopefully see what I’d got.
Things, though, of course, are not that simple. You can probably guess what the results of that test (a needle biopsy) were: “inconclusive”. They needed more bone to be sure of what I had. So then they cut me open, and the specialist surgeon bloke had a good look and took a good chunk of my hip for analysis. Finally, we thought, we would know what was wrong with me.
At this point, I could have had one of two things: cancer or a rare kind of bone infection. We all thought it was the latter: the specialist guy thought it was, and we were all trying to remain positive.
So it came as a bit of a shock, then, after several weeks of analysis, that I was told I had Ewing’s Sarcoma (it was now May 2007). The treatment would consist of 6 sessions of 4-day chemotherapy in Southampton, each with a 3 week gap; then an operation where they replace the top two thirds of my femur with metal. Then, probably about 6 or so more chemo sessions after the surgery.
Now that just gets rid of the cancer. That’s the easy part. I’m still stuck with pharmaco-resistant, or “refractory” (yes, I do slow down when attempting to walk through glass) epilepsy. As The Verve put it, the drugs don’t work, and I don’t foresee them working for, well, the foreseeable future (much as I hate to state the obvious).
You shouldn’t underestimate epilepsy. If I had to pick between just having the cancer, and just having the epilepsy, I’d pick the cancer without hesitation. Cancer can ruin my leg. Epilepsy has eeked its way into every nook and cranny of my life, and decided to piss on it continuously.
But I beat it once. I can beat it again.