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Anti-Cancer Drugs & Diabetes.

Discussion in 'Non-Diabetic Medication' started by cugila, Feb 20, 2010.

  1. cugila

    cugila · Master

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    Now some of my friends here and elsewhere know that I was diagnosed with Cancer in October 2009. This is to give people a low down and also a message to those in other places who think Cancer can be cured by diet. A very simplistic and quite ridiculous opinion.

    Please folks I am not looking for tea and sympathy and hugs. This is just some facts, that’s all. A catalogue of errors.


    What has Cancer got to do with Diabetes you may ask ?

    Well, I thought that up till October 2009. then a routine blood test started a path which has led to me finding out it can have many effects.

    First of all I was contacted within a few days of the blood test and asked to come into the hospital for more tests. That was on a Monday, the results were through by Wednesday and the following Monday I was having a biopsy. A fairly painless but slightly uncomfortable procedure. That was sent for analysis. Friday of the same week, sitting at home at 8.30am I get a phone call, "Could I come into the Hospital and see a Consultant ?" Now that set the alarm bells ringing, but part of me just thought that they were going to give me the all clear. However those bells began to get louder when I was asked to come in at 2.30pm that same day !

    Now I should mention here that my Diabetes was extremely well controlled, Bg numbers were 98% on target. I use a low fat, reduced carbs, low GI, Low GL, low salt diet, lifestyle. It worked very well for me and had allowed me to lose over 5 stone in 12 months with little or no real effort. I felt good, was full of life and vitality. Life was great, full of fun, laughter and great times with great people, my wonderful friends and my then girlfriend.


    So, I turned up at the Hospital that afternoon and spoke with a Clinical Nurse Specialist. So, I sat down and my heart sank when her opening words after a few pleasantries were, “I’m sorry to have to tell you.............” It was all a blur then. I heard what she was saying, but somehow I couldn’t believe what was happening. This was a dream, it wasn’t me, what have I done to deserve this.....questions, questions. I was sort of numb. I listened to what she said, I had Cancer.

    It was early stage but it was aggressive, it was treatable. My options were limited. I couldn’t have an operation, it was Drugs, and Radiotherapy. I could ignore it and possibly live till I was 100, or I could possibly live only a short time, I could have all the treatment and still die. I needed time to think and discuss this with my partner, my girlfriend. We had only recently met and she was as stunned as I.
    So, I slept on it. I talked it over till my head was spinning. I only had one option, go with the treatment. At least I had a chance that way.


    So, that same day I was put on some powerful Cytotoxic Drugs, one lot of tablets first. I started on them that same day and my Bg levels were fine. All as normal. The next day I noticed a slight rise in the levels and this started a pattern over the next few days where they slowly increased a little up towards 10 mmol/l. As I never normally went above 6-7 throughout a day this was disconcerting to me. As the days went on I was able to tweak my diet and managed to keep the numbers under reasonable control. Then after a week of this I started to get high numbers, 13.3/13.4/15.5/16.7. not good but manageable. Oh, yes. In amongst all this lot were several Hypos’ in the 2’s. Mood swings, sickness, nausea, headaches, visual disturbances....watched my Christmas Cards moving, holes in my view of things.....weird !! I could cope with that.

    Then they put me on a slow acting Drug, an injection that I would have each month for 4 months. No problem. Little did I know what was about to hit me ! The day I had that injection my Bg hit 19 ! The highest I have hit so far is 20.1 mmol/l. A record for me I could have done without. Then slowly more side effects came on, Bg levels rose fast, then sank even faster....I went from 19 to 6 in the space of an hour or so, then back up again in another hour to 15.1, down to 3.2. Beats any Alton Towers ride I can tell you ! I looked and felt like sh*t. I could hardly function as I felt ill from the side effects and ill from the hypo and hyper effects. I was not good. Well those numbers continued to just have a mind of their own, there was absolutely nothing that I could do to control all of this. Could it get any worse ? You bet !


    I was put on a second monthly injection very similar to the first. Now my Doc queried this, said it was not normally done that way. Well we got confirmation from the Consultant that that is what I should have, so the second jab took place. Two days later I was in an awful state, I fell asleep on the phone to people, the side effects I had before were all magnified tenfold. I could hardly go out the house without breaking down, one time in a store, which was very embarrassing but they knew me and looked after me till I felt a little better. I could hardly string sentences together, I was like a Zombie !

    Then the pains started in my right hand rib cage, my shoulder and collar bone. Pain so excruciating I was in tears, I had to lie down and just existed on a diet of strong painkillers. I couldn’t stand for more than ten minutes before the pain would come on........sheer agony. I am a big lad and fairly tough and a bit of pain over the years went with the job I did......but this was something else !

    Now throughout all this I was relaying the horrendous side effects I was having to the CNS and my Doc. They were all of a mind that I shouldn’t be getting such things as bad as I made out. They thought I was making it up, I was a wimp ! They didn’t say that but you could tell that is what they thought ! So, I made the best of it, even though there were days I just couldn’t function......I had to stay indoors for days at a time.


    Well, on the 10th January this year after almost 2 ½ months of this treatment I had a short letter from my Consultant informing me I had been given more drugs than I should have been. Basically for all that time I had been overdosed with two ant-Cancer drugs. No wonder my side effects were so bad !! Needless to say I was furious. How had this happened ? What had it done to me ? What was going to happen to me now ? Who was responsible ? Not content with giving me the stress of knowing I had a Cancer and could die, they had managed to give me even more stress in now not knowing if there were going to be other problems to add to the list.

    When I contacted the Hospital that same day the system went into overdrive........they were worried I was going to sue ! I had a battery of blood tests, CT scans, MRI bone scans everything you can think of. Most came back Ok, a Potassium deficiency was highlighted, rectified with a daily Banana for lunch. Plenty of Coffee too. Then a B12 deficiency so now having that supplemented as well. The excruciating pains I had which began with the second injection have subsided since the overdosing was stopped. Coincidence.......the Consultant isn’t sure and I have to have more tests again ! I seem to spend my whole time at either the Hospital or the Gp’s at the moment.

    The initial drug I was on was stopped immediately this all came to light, you are supposed to take seven weeks to come off it...... it also remains in your system for two weeks as well. So, the result was I first of all was still having the side effects, then I also got withdrawal symptoms....NICE !
    My Bg levels have gone from the initial 98% on target and at present are down to 34% on target.My HbA1c has risen to 7. This is all down to the drugs and cannot be rectified by diet changes, believe me I have tried. I also have to eat a special diet because of the Radiotherapy.....so nothing is simple. Diabetes is having to take second place at the moment which is causing me a lot of angst......at least I am still around. I may have to go on Insulin temporarily if my numbers stay so high.


    The reason all this happened and the reason I was overdosed is all down to a human error.......the Consultant recorded his notes and dictated a letter to my GP. That letter clearly stated prescribe X drug AND Y drug. That is what my GP queried. It was confirmed as being correct by the Consultant’s Secretary as he was on Holiday. It was only when he was reviewing his notes some two months later that it came to light it should have read........prescribe X drug OR Y drug. Some difference eh ! I have accepted a personal apology from the Consultant, I am not out to cause anybody to lose their job or be demoted.

    I am now having daily Radiotherapy which involves me in a 23 mile round trip to the Hospital in Birmingham, the World renowned QE Medical Centre. It takes up around 2 - 3 hours of my day.
    I will know in early April if my treatment and my endeavours, my trials and tribulations will have been worth it.

    As I once said elsewhere I am in God’s hands now. The help and support of my many good friends here and elsewhere has been something I shall not forget. I thank them all for their unstinting support. They know who they are and I wish them all good health. Thank you all. :D

    Ken.
     
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  2. noblehead

    noblehead Type 1 · Guru
    Retired Moderator

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    Ken,

    It goes without saying that we all wish you good health and a speedy recovery too. Pleased that you have found the courage to come through, what sounds like the most dreadful experience possible!

    Although you have been to hell and back, you have still found the time to help old and new members alike here on this forum, that is truly a remarkable task indeed, one which many others, myself included could not possibly have undertaken.

    Best wishes over the coming months!

    Nigel
     
  3. Janieb

    Janieb · Well-Known Member

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    Ken thats really ****** ( you've brought me to tears) , my mum also had cancer and she felt dreadful enough on the medication she was on never mind full dosage.

    I really hope the treatment works for you and you beat that devil into remission. xxxxx
     
  4. ditzeeblonde

    ditzeeblonde · Well-Known Member

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    What a brave man & a brave post!!

    Thank you for sharing this so openly & honestly... I wish you a speedy & healthy recovery. xx
     
  5. kay957

    kay957 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Jeeze Ken you have been through the mill, lets hope everything will be on the up in future and your condition gets a lot better.

    Kay
     
  6. Dobbs

    Dobbs · Well-Known Member

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    You're a brave man, Ken, and a generous soul.
    You may be in God's hands, as you say, but you're an example to us all to keep doing what you believe to be the right thing and to choose for life.
    I hope you can beat this damned thing. I wish you all the best.
     
  7. sugarless sue

    sugarless sue · Master

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    Ken, you are one of the most positive, strong people it has been my pleasure to know. If anyone can beat this and come out stronger and fitter you can.
     
  8. suffolkboi61

    suffolkboi61 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Ken
    your courage and fortitude goes without saying, you had told me you had cancer and that there were complications because of this error in the drugs but even with all of this you still took time out to help me with my problems of health and accepting what cannot be changed regarding my diabetes and heart disease.
    For this I can never thank you enough, as I once said to you, "I wont say that I know what you are going through, but that I know what I went through when my mother and grandfather both passed away to cancer."
    What you have and are going through is unimaginable but you are taking it all in your stride and not letting it beat you, something we should all here take note of and follow in your example.
    I wish you all the best and that you will be in my prayers tonight.

    Joe
     
  9. PatW

    PatW · Member

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    Ken, Just read your post and feel very saddened at what you have had to endure. I only joined the site recently but really appreciated your comments. You give out lots of good advice and help lots of fellow diabetics in a confident and friendly manner. Really hope that you get the help that you deserve. Sincere best wishes for a full recovery. Take care. Pat
     
  10. cugila

    cugila · Master

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    Ok, it's Sunday and I am just chillin' out today. So nothing too heavy.

    First of all I have to say a big thank you to those who responded here, your thoughts and comments mean so much to me. I was too emotional yesterday to respond. I don't do 'tears and stuff.' Just me, however, I have to admit to some yesterday when I read the things that you good people had said about what happened to me and about me. I was deeply moved. Thank you all.

    I hope you will all forgive me when I single out one guy who I think deserves a medal......
    Suffolkboi..... Joe. This guy has been to hell and back, he deserves a medal for what he has done and for his endeavours in battling Diabetes and other stuff. My best wishes and prayers are with you Joe



    Right now back to the point of all this. I was subjected to something that I should never have been. A medical mistake. All because of one word, a human error. Something that has now been sorted and has started to put me back on track. Unfortunately, there have been cases in my own area of the Country where those mistakes were fatal, still down to human errors.

    Now we all make them, and at times we deserve to be punished for them. This is one instance where I had a full and frank discussion with one of the parties responsible. We agreed on the outcome and shook hands. This will go no further. I am happy with the outcome.

    Since all the OD'ing was stopped I have improved daily and can now function better. There is still some nasty side effects from the other drug I have to take, this is another one that seriously affects my Bg levels daily. Here is an example from today.....pre Lunch reading.....22.1 mmol/l.....Eek ! Still, nothing I can do about that. I am resigned to the fact my Diabetes is secondary. I still control it as best I can though.

    Now, my daily treks for Radiothaerapy are a bit of a bind, but I have to do that, again no real choice. I have made some good friends there too and have joined a Cancer Support group. I have made friends with the guy who runs the Cancer Support Centre, got him to promote this forum. There are many people who have Cancer's with many other problems, many are Diabetic. So he welcomed the interest.

    Radiotherapy is a strange thing. You lie there on a bed like a morgue slab for ten minutes then this machine whirs round your body and 'zaps' you while you stay still. You can hear it, but you feel nothing, painless.

    The side effects are something else, tiredness first....I can sleep for England, I have fallen asleep whilst talking to someone on the phone. I am up in the morning for a couple of hours then suddenly I HAVE to go to sleep. Fighting it off is not an option.

    Nausea. Done that, got the 'T' shirt.....in buckets. Been physically sick, just suddenly hits you, no warning. Other things which I don't need to bore you with. Suffice to say none of it is nice and none of it is avoidable. You just have it ......end of !

    Now, my treatment is due to end in late March. Then I have to have more tests etc to see if I am clear of this insidious disease. Till then I carry on doing what I do here and on the other forums I am on. That's what I do.

    Oh, yes and enjoying life to the FULL !! :D :wink:

    Ken
     

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  11. hanadr

    hanadr · Expert

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    what a horrorKen!
    I'm utterly convinced that most hospital staff don't know basic arithmetic OR English Grammar and syntax. Probably don't even know what those words mean either..
    Bring back the days when they all had to reach a certain sandard in Latin. Much less likely to make those kind of mistakes
    Hope you are feeling better now they've got it right.
    Just a little hint next time you are poorly
    Go see the vet. 8) I think they make fewer mistakes. Their clients can put a monetary value on the patient 8)
    Hana
     
  12. cugila

    cugila · Master

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    :shock: Knowing my luck Hana, I would end up in the 'knackers yard' and be shot !! :lol:

    Ken
     
  13. kay957

    kay957 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    It's nice to see that you (Ken) are a possitive thinking kind of guy, I know that you are determined to get yourself better rather than sitting there feeling sorry for yourself. I commend you and as a role model to others on this forum who have either suffered or are suffering from the horrible effects of disease modifying drugs. Take care of yourself and I wish you very good health.

    Kay
     
  14. cugila

    cugila · Master

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    A 'heads up' on my progress for those that are interested and also some information for those that may get the Big 'C' one day.

    April now and my treatments have all finished, drugs, radiotherapy etc. As soon as I finished I had myself a Holiday and tried to relax a little after what for me was a traumatic 6 months or so. Now all the treatment is over I can report that all seems to be well. All my latest blood tests show that the Cancer is now in remission and hopefully that will be that.

    I am still getting some side effects, mainly tiredness but that will probably go after a month or so I'm told. I try to fight it off by just keeping busy. Mood swings are another pain in the 'erse.' Now restricted to probably once a day or so......again, they should disappear in time.

    I am now getting back to my old self, more energy, more life and definitely more argumentative........eh Sue / Dan. :twisted: Well, that's me........take it or leave it.

    One thing that really troubled me over all those months was the effect that it was having on my Diabetes control. My HbA1c had shot up to 7 % and my Bg levels were ranging from 2's and 3's to 20+ mmol/l. Boy, was that something I could have done without. It didn't matter what I and my Endo/DSN tried, there was no way I was able to control things. So the Diabetes was relegated to 'back stage.' Priority was fighting the Cancer and remaining as fit and healthy as I could.

    It's been a few weeks since the treatment ended and I had a raft of blood test results through on Friday. HbA1c now down to 6.8 %. average Bg levels all dropping and daily levels all getting back down to more normal levels. Previously I would never go over 7 mmol/l at any time during the day, the levels are starting to drift back towards my target numbers again. They once were 98% on target, at present they are around 70% on target.......I am getting there ! :D

    DSN reckons that I should be able to reduce those pesky Meds that I had to go back on over the coming months......get right back off them again.....that statement made my day !

    One or two areas need some attention due mainly to the diet I was put on and my habit of forgetting to take certain Meds. Cholesterol has soared, however, it was a necessary evil. The diet and habit of forgetting to take the nightly Statin has not done me any favours in that respect. Back to the old routine now. Hopefully next tests will show an improvement in that.

    Sunny day here in Sutton Coldfield again.......life is sweet and boy do I feel good. :wink:

    Just a thank you to all you Guy's and Gal's who supported and re-assured me when I was at rock bottom, and that I can assure you is NO exageration.....and who were a tower of strength for me. They know exactly who they are and I shall not forget their contribution to my wellbeing. Words really aren't enough in some cases. Thanks too to the good people who contacted me personally and helped me through some dark days......for ever in my heart. I never forget my friends.

    So for anybody who is diagnosed with that insidious disease called Cancer.....do all the Doc's ask of you, question everything they do and never, never, never lose hope.....be positive, stay calm and just roll with those 'sucker' punches.....there is always light at the end of the tunnel. I know. I'm one of the lucky one's .....

    Ken.
     
  15. catherinecherub

    catherinecherub · Guest

    Hi Ken,
    I am really pleased that you are getting back to normal after your arduous journey and there must have been times when you had dark days. You soldiered on and at last you are where you want to be. What I find amazing is that you never let it stop you giving good advice on the forum to anyone who needed it.
    This forum owes a debt of gratitude to you and Sue and we all noticed that things were not the same when you were both away for a while.
    I am also pleased to note that your personality is back. That is what makes you unique Ken and I for one wouldn't have it any other way. :wink:
    I will raise a glass to you this evening and look forward to your postings here. :D :D :D

    Catherine.
     
  16. cugila

    cugila · Master

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    Thanks Catherine. Both Sue and I thank you personally for those kind words. :D

    Personality can be a double edged sword.......some think I am confrontational and combative ? They have no idea what or who I am, but make assumptions......usually very wrong. Others do know me and know I just tell it like it is. Never been any different and never shied away from pointing out errors or dangerous mis-information here. That is me.....and as someone who once used to post here once said.....WYSIWYG. :wink: (apologies to EricD) :lol:

    As for posting over all those months....just what I do, there were times I struggled myself but I would have been letting good people on here down if they didn't get the help, advice and the support. I get my 'kicks' from that and the many thank you's.......I have some good friends here and I appreciate every one of them. So much better than having enemies I think.....

    As for raising a glass.......I'll join you in that now I am allowed a small amount of Alcohol. I have actually had a Pint or two of my favourite Guinness and some fine Scot's Whisky.....nectar !! :D
    Ken
     
  17. Dippy3103

    Dippy3103 · Well-Known Member

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    Ken,

    You truly are an amazing guy. I hope the Guiness was to sirs liking,

    Dx
     
  18. Dobbs

    Dobbs · Well-Known Member

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    An amazing story, Ken.
    Great to know we're not rid of you yet. :wink:
     
  19. cugila

    cugila · Master

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    Thanks Dippy, Dobbs. Appreciated.

    Dippy.......the Guinness was served with a Heart on top by my favourite barmaid.......well, depends which day it is...... :D

    Dobbs.......they keep trying......I'm a bu**er for hanging on though ! So sorry to disappoint them...... :twisted:

    Ken
     
  20. lovinglife

    lovinglife Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I am so very glad that you are coming out of the other side of this ok Cugila - you are an amazing person and a great source of info and no nonsense advice on this forum - I know I missed you on the days you didn't post and appreciated it so much on the days you did - it takes a special kind of person to put others before themselves when times are so tough. Well done on winning your fight, but then I never doubted you would - you seem a tenacious b****r :wink:

    I wish you good health and good times for years to come - and thank you for all you do on here - you are an inspiration to me when the going gets tough - THANK YOU! :D :D :D
     
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