Yes, Osimertinib. It’s an anti-cancer drug. It derives its power to fight my particular cancer from a test having been done to determine the genetic nature of the cancer that I now have.

Journalists often like to describe those of us suffering from it as “battling” cancer. Well, with me, there is definitely battling going on, thank goodness, but I am only a very minor warrior in the battle. My major involvement is that my body is one of the many battlefields in which this sort of battle is happening. (I seem to recall that Christopher Hitchens said something like this in this.)

My “strategy”, if you can call it that, has been to proceed on the assumption that the judgement of the Royal Marsden’s cancer experts, about what will give me the best chance of a bit more life, is my best bet. I’m not second guessing these people. I have done very little reading to determine if their treatment makes sense. I am simply of the belief that their best guess is better than anything else available. Friends who have dug deeper, including my sister the former NHS GP, have given me no reason to doubt my bet. On the contrary, they agree about how very lucky I am to be living near to the Marsden.

I am taking my Osimertinib in the form of tablets, one each day, because this is what my seniors in the battle judge to be the best treatment. This evening, I just swallowed the sixth of a course of thirty such tablets that I have been proscribed. I have been told that right around now, I might start feeling rather better.

So, am I feeling any better? I think so, but I’m not sure. I have recently been rather ill. Headaches, shivery skin, weakness in the limbs, increased coughing, a runny nose, that sort of stuff. This felt like it was the cancer getting worse. But what if I was just, you know, ill, as a distinct thing? And is all of that illness getting less bad now? Rather hard to say, but I would say, probably, yes. It all feels complicated.

I have retreated into my comfort zone. By doing daily postings for here. By keeping more than half a nocturnal ear on the cricket, both in Australia and in Sri Lanka. By listening to music and by reading stuff. And, in addition to more nutritional food, I’ve been having occasional servings of salted caramel ice cream. Basically I am taking the pills, and waiting for them to work.

Wish me luck.

6 thoughts on “Osimertinib”

  1. There is a battle going on between the doctors (and your body’s immune system) and the disease. You aren’t really much involved. Saying that the person is fighting or battling the illness isn’t always a great metaphor.

    Others of you friends have been discussing your treatment with each other and with other medical experts, also. (Having a network of such people is an enormously good thing, of course). For what it is worth, my medical friends are in agreement with what has been said. The Marsden is an absolutely first rate institution and you are very lucky to be getting your treatment there. Also, without knowing all that much about your specific illness, the Osimertinib sounds like a sensible treatment.

  2. Brian, I have just recently caught up with this and am praying for this to help and hopefully we can meet up soon. Please let me know if you need anything as I’m not too far and more than keen to see a friend during this isolation times, even if from a distance.

  3. Many thanks for all the good wishes. I could be imagining it, but I think I now feel a bit better.

    I just handled, without any coughing, what felt like a torrent of incoming business, which would, two days ago have had me defeated and curled up in a foetal position.

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