• Cold Head Blues

    Chemo has so many nasty side effects and yet often the initial worry focuses on hair loss. So why is hair so important?

    It is not just chemotherapy that causes hair loss. There are lots of causes of alopecia from male pattern baldness to skin diseases. Some of these are linked to stress and some cause scarring, permanent hair loss. The result with all of them is huge upset. So much of one’s appearance, one’s self-identity…

    • 25 Feb 2020
  • Christmas with the Alien

    Christmas is over and I look back with mixed feelings. Happy memories of time with family and friends, anxiety because there is a possibility it could be my last Christmas and slight disquiet as immediately after Christmas I am booked for a scan to see if the alien is responding to treatment. At times I felt really constrained by the need to protect myself against infection because of the immunosuppression from the chemo…

    • 9 Jan 2020
  • Surviving chemo: the first cycle

    When I knew I was going to have Doxorubicin chemotherapy for my sarcoma (aka the Alien) I tried to find out as much as I could. The booklet I was given contained a huge list of side effects and the reassurance that not all of them happen. I couldn’t find anything that said what proportion of patients get which side effects and when.

    Looking back after having finished the first cycle I don’t think the side effect…

    • 12 Dec 2019
  • Countdown: preparing for Chemo

    It is now a little less than two years after my surgery for a mesenteric liposarcoma and I once again I have a mass in my abdomen: it has been confirmed as recurrent sarcoma. The alien has returned.

    When I was first diagnosed I realised the tumour was very, very aggressive. So I wasn’t surprised that it had recurred. I felt like I had spent two years tied to the railway track knowing at some stage the train would come…

    • 4 Dec 2019
  • The Red Devil vs the Alien

    I have a recurrent liposarcoma (aka The Alien). I am starting palliative chemo with Doxorubicin. I had wanted to tell you about my preparations for chemo but my techie skills aren’t enough to force in some images I wanted to include into the Macmillan blogsite so that will have to wait.  I am going to jump straight to chemo day.

    Living in Norfolk means that a trip to the Marsden in London takes a bit of organising…

    • 27 Nov 2019
  • Insider dealing

    First, a bit of background. I have a liposarcoma in my mesentery. I am 62. I am a retired doctor. They say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Believe me, a lot of knowledge is a terrifying thing in this situation.

    I had surgery two years ago. It had taken 3 months from my feeling a mass in my abdomen to having surgery. I went from one clinic to the next and one test to the next. At the time of surgery no one had…

    • 21 Nov 2019