Don't panic! I'm still alive.
It seems that this Choriocarcinoma bollockus really is exceptionally rare, so Dr Karmen has been consulting with international colleagues about my case. The larger of my lung tumours is a bit bigger than first thought (5mm x 3mm), and Chorio is a nasty little bugger, so they're not taking any chances. Maybe I'll make it onto the cover of Cancer Today or something (apparently the title's strapline is 'because there may not be a tomorrow'). The doctors will also monitor my brain in future for any previously undetected signs of normality.
Highly detailed pro/con emails about the possibility of 4 chemo cycles were considered by eminent scientists in Australia and the USA. Meanwhile, in a parallel universe, others were debating the toffee/chocolate dilemma in a tin of Quality Street. Eventually, consensus was reached that (a) 3 cycles of chemotherapy appears optimum for my case and (b) the gold coins are definitely bad for your teeth.
I had soundly slept or dizzily daydreamed through my first chemo cycle. I listened to a lot of great music, warmed and comforted by the fact that my family and friends were listening to the same tunes somewhere in a different time zone. My hands felt like two balloons and I had, indeed, become 'comfortably numb'.
The Chorio count in my blood has decreased again to 99.8, which is obviously great news, and the fact that there's even a decimal point involved gives me huge encouragement. I'm more used to numbers with a lot of zeros on the end. My blood seems to be in remarkably good shape, and Dr Karmen commended my 'best ever' tolerance for PEB chemotherapy. They say pride comes before a fall, and I now regret feeling so chuffed.
The de-tox from PEB has been the worst experience of my life. By a fucking mile. Torrents of burning-freezing sweat, hallucinations, knife-twisting stomach cramps, ice-pick headaches, oozing skin sores ... my body and spirit being torn apart. John Lennon described it better than I ever could: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6wxTkkfLqM&feature=related
I'm OK now. I've bounced back, and Moniek made me ravioli sandwiches for breakfast this morning. I can deal with 2 more cycles, but some of the people I see in the clinic have been taking chemo for years - many with no hope of recovery. I really am a lucky by comparison. This beautiful song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MmkI--ZZ3xs by The Verve reminds me how fortunate I am.
I can't reply to everyone's emails, but I'm so uplifted to read comments from old friends, and that so many people share so much joy and inspiration from music. Today's bedtime song, a Paul Weller masterpiece, is for Mo. Turn it up to 11, mum: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMoFzC6gEpQ