A Patient's story
Being told that your current cancer treatment has stopped working is a hard statement to digest, especially when it has been heard a few times before. Talking through alternative options with my oncologist,cancer trial treatments were discussed. She said she would investigate if there were any trials taking place at that time that were suitable for my type of cancer.
She contacted Dr Richard Baird at Cambridge University Hospital and he initially said that I would possibly meet the criteria for one of the current trials they were involved in. He spent a lot of time on the phone explaining the trial and how it would affect me. It could be something that would work in some way with my cancer treatment but that there is no guarantee. He sounded so enthusiastic and dedicated (two words that I cannot use enough for all of the team who have been taking care of me) that I agreed to consider it and let him know. For me there really was no other alternative apart from returning to chemotherapy day clinic treatment and the ensuing side effects. This new treatment sounded promising and also the fact that tests were going to be carried out more frequently than normal so that if anything was not working then I could still return to the normal treatment which had been planned.
This would be giving me a chance, and should it not bear fruition then hopefully my case may have helped the trials units for future treatments and fellow patients.
So my decision made I travelled to Cambridge and commenced the trial. I have been one of the lucky ones in that I have not suffered any significant side effects, although it is always a question that goes through my mind -is it an old age symptom or originating from the drug.The first option is normally always right! In order to give the drug, and us, a fighting chance it is important that the instructions are followed. They may sometimes be inconvenient, or intrusive into our daily life- but what isn't in today's world.
I have been bowled over by the kindness of all the staff in the unit and their willingness to spend time chatting and also to answer any questions that I may have. The thoroughness of the doctors and nurses in explaining things has been second to none. My particular doctor and trials nurse are exceptional; nothing is too much trouble and I have been made to feel that I can ring at any time with any problem. Nothing has been insurmountable regarding my treatment and we all work together.