I'm a few months into my single drug immunotherapy treatment with Nivolumab and my most recent CT scan back in April showed further reduction in size of the growths I have. I'm told they've all reduced by a third from the previous CT scan, and that scan had shown some had reduced by a half, whilst the others had stabilised, compared to the one before that. So it seems like good progress.
It's a very positive sign and I've been lucky to respond well to the treatment with very little side effects. The worst I've had is a period of itchiness that lasted a few weeks, and my facial hair has turned white, as the pigment has been affected. The consultants tell me these are good signs that the immune system is responding well, and as they hope. I can certainly live with that.
I don't want to jinx anything, and I remain cautious, nervous but positive, it's a long journey, but immunotherapy is working positively for me. I also think I need to work positively for it. By that I mean be physically and mentally strong. To help me achieve that I do very regular gym work outs and swimming, walk quite a lot, and try to keep my diet as healthy as possible, being mainly plant based, meat only on rare occasions.
I don't work, so I have time, and I appreciate that isn't the case for everyone, but it's about squeezing in what you can when you can, small steps are still good steps. As I've said in other blog posts, believing that you're doing something positive has a positive effect.
I used to think about my predicament 24/7, now it's less, I'm trying to keep it back of mind instead of front of mind. That's not forgetting of course, but it's about the conscious effort to live life as normal and not be a hostage to the ill fortune.
To help me mentally I'm starting to study the healing power of the energy within our bodies through the chakra system and the value of meditation.It's calming, insightful and I feel like it is having a profound effect so far. A valuable companion that goes hand in hand with physical health. I'd be very interested to hear if anyone has any experiences or insight to share along these lines.
I think ultimately coping and healing is anything you want it to be, acting physically and having belief in something physical or metaphysical is a positive adjunct to the treatment you're receiving. It's your own contribution and is a valuable partner alongside the drugs you need.
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