When we originally planned our trip to London, began selling our furniture and gave notice on the Hong Kong apartment, the novel coronavirus was contained in China. My goal was to treat my brain radiation necrosis with HBOT in London where clinics abound and hop back to Hong Kong for my monthly blood tests and quarterly scans.
Everything had changed by the time we arrived in London March 22, the weekend before lockdown.
All the HBOT clinics were closed with medical patients like me being referred to the local hospital. (It did not feel like a good time for someone with lung cancer to hang out at a hospital and monopolize resources when hospitals outsource all their HBOT to the clinics, anyway.) Travel between London and Hong Kong would require a 14-day quarantine and increased risk for someone like me.
Instead, I opted to wait it out for what turned out to be a wonderful two months.
While I’ve been struggling with medication side effects, I’ve experienced what feels like some improvement in my brain that I attribute to all the extra time spent in meditation, yoga, and low-stress solitude. In an attempt to manage my side effects, I reduced my medications substantially, but not without trepidation.
I was a little nervous when I headed to a private clinic this week for my first blood test in 2 months and the first since reducing my meds. (If you have cancer, please do not do what I do – never change your meds without talking to a doctor first!)
First, I was amazed by how easy it was to just phone up a lab and book an appointment for the next day. I was able to select from a menu of very reasonably priced tests that included everything from my cancer tumor markers to obscure nutrition tests I’ve wanted forever to a £99 COVID antibody test.
I opted just to test my tumor markers, liver function, cholesterol and a few nutritional markers I’ve been curious about (carnatine, B-12, Vitamin D and hs-CRP).
I’m delighted to report that my tumor markers are still in the normal range! CA 125 was 16 kIU/L and CA 19-9 was 17 kIU/L.
My liver function appears better than ever and totally within normal range (most likely due to reducing the drugs). My cholesterol secondary to lorlatinib is as bad as ever (most likely due to reducing the statins even though I also reduced the lorlatinib). My inflammation remains immeasurably low at <0.3 mg/L.
Best of all, on the walk home through Regent’s Park, the rose garden was in bloom.
I can’t express how incredibly grateful I am that I was able to see this spring. That I might see many more springs to come. This second chance is something I will spend the rest of my life working to deserve.