Thursday 14 May 2015

James had started a new post entitled MRI Scan, which is where I should begin.

(James words) For a few years, I'd been hoping that my treatment would one day require me to have an MRI scan; I'd been in just about every other scanner, and I wanted to complete the set, whilst experiencing how it differed from CT and PET-CT scans! Unfortunately, the price that I needed to pay was suffering from sudden bursts of lower back and hip pain that were so excruciating that I was unable to walk; Laying-down and sitting-up were also extremely unpleasant. Consequently, I had mixed feelings about the MRI scan when the time came, because, short of knocking me out, it was going to hurt! 

I (James dad Rob) really don't know where to start with this so I think I will just go with the flow as they say.   First of all he was right the MRI scan did hurt whilst he got onto the table and again when he got off, he had to sit in his wheelchair for 30 minutes before he could make to move to the car and get in ready for the journey home.  The journey home was slow and I tried as best as I could to avoid any bumps in the road as the immediate response was a groan from the passenger seat if I hit one.  When the local council insisted on putting in speed bumps on the estate I don't think they thought about the poor people who suffer with bad backs, even going over at 10 mph brings a reaction, but as they say one mans gain is another mans loss, or in this case pain.

  To those of you who don't already know our son lost his battle with cancer on the 9th December 2014, we all knew it was coming, but it didn't really prepare you for the finality of the loss. The emotions you feel at that time are hard to describe and I don't think anyone can actually put it into words of how physically drained you suddenly become and the weird things that go through your mind.  There are obviously quite a lot of people who will read this blog and know what Jacky (mum) and I experienced that day and our deep felt sympathy goes out to them and to those who will no doubt be in the same situation that we were in, all I can say is be brave for whoever you are looking after give them all the love and support you can.

This will be a very brief and definitely not as factual last post as James would have done, it will not be up to the high standard that he maintained, but I must at least try to finish this blog for him.  During October James decided that he would ask the doctors for yet another scan, really just to see what was happening inside his chest, because he wanted to know if the treatment was working or not. However, as usual the doctors held a different opinion and just wanted him to carry on without a scan, as he was going along ok at the minute. They didn't think there was any benefit in knowing if the cancer had spread or the drugs were keeping it at bay, so it was a kind of stalemate.  But yet again pester power came into play and James finally got his wish to have yet another scan, this was arranged for the middle of November, this brought about a minor change to the usual routine of chemo every two weeks, which normally meant that he would have maybe 4 or 5 good days out of the fortnight. His chemo would be delayed for one week to fit the scan in and he could have maybe 11 or 12 days of not feeling tired and not upto doing anything. The scan date came and went without much else happening, although James appetite had diminished even further than normal and much to our surprise he said he longer enjoyed his favourite meals of pizza or lasagna, because the tomato now tasted unpleasant. Then, he came out with what can only be described as astounding to all those who knew him, he had started to enjoy a gravy dinners, to those of you who didn't know this was something that mum and I used to threaten him with at least once a week, although in all honesty you couldn't describe what he had on his plate as gravy, it was more like coloured water. 

Anyway I digress, after being told that he would have to wait at least two weeks to find out the result of the scan, he once again brought pester power into play, this time using email to try and get his own way.  So when we arrived on Friday the 6th December for his chemo and he was informed the Doctor would also give him the news of the scan after only waiting one week, it was a bit of a surprise but no that much of one, it is really was strange that every time he pushed certain buttons he got his own way.  Chemo done and after an hours wait he finally got to see the Doctor, who gave him the best news he could have hope for, the treatment appeared to be working and the cancer was at the same level as the last scan in August.  To say we all walked out of Castle Hill 100% happier than when we went in has to be an understatement, little did we know what was to follow. Saturday passed without any trouble and on Sunday James felt a bit poorly which we all put down to the chemo, so same as normal. Monday he showed a bit of an improvement but by the end of the day he said he was feeling cold, so the usual procedures began first take his temperature and if on the high side ring the hospital, which it was and so began the phone calls.  Again as normal there wasn't a bed available immediately but one would be ready for him when he came in, providing he left it a while.  James as usual wanted to email the rest of the world and organise himself for what we presumed would be another week of antibiotics, blood samples at 6am and mediocre food, but at least he would have the good company and support of the nurses etc.  So at about 11pm we drove him the short journey to the hospital and got him settled in, we saw the doctor who prescribed the antibiotics and left about quarter to one, James was on his tablet doing yet more emails. Finally got home and to bed knowing we had to be up early, as we had a parcel delivery coming sometime between 7.30 and 1pm, thinking James would be fine 5 or 7 days of antibiotics and back home in time for next lot of chemo. When the phone rang at 6.30am our first thought was surely that can't be the delivery man ringing to say he is on his way.  How wrong we were, it was the hospital saying James had deteriorated in the last few hours and we needed to come in asap.
All that day we just sat beside his bed with him asleep and according to all the staff he was thankfully not in any pain, it was strange but it was all I could focus on when the nurse or doctor came to check, I asked them each time I didn't want him to suffer any pain. I know we knew it was time but and at around 6.30pm just 12 hours from that call he passed away peacefully, we wasn't ready, it was too early, it was not fair, why him, why not me I'm old he had plenty to offer the world it all went through my mind. There are no right answers believe me I sat for hours trying to think of them, I know I'm stating the obvious to those of you who have been through it and I don't suppose it will stop others doing the same, I just thought if I could find something it would be a comfort.  I can't finish this without mentioning all the kind words and messages from all over the world we received after his death, it came as quite a surprise as to how many people he was in touch with and how he had tried to help them.

James you will be in mum and dads hearts and thoughts forever, you will never be forgotten rest peacefully son.