Young Voices

I don’t expect to have much, if anything, to report on the PC/ITP/DB front for a while – my next blood test isn’t until the middle of next month – so my next few posts will focus on Life in General. But before we go there I would mention that the other day I saw something that others had seen months ago – how my appearance had changed following chemotherapy. I had looked at myself in the mirror and had noticed that my beard (and hair) had thinned out, but to me it was still visible. However if I was viewed from 10 foot away rather than 1 foot away, as it is when looking in the mirror, then my appearance was very different with me looking as if I was clean-shaven. I only realised this when I was looking at some photographs taken during our holiday in September! No wonder comments were made about my appearance. Continue reading “Young Voices”

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MRI a better route to identify PC

In my last post I mentioned a Radio 4 programme which discussed the grey areas in the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer. It also argued for MRI scans before prostate biopsies so that they could be targeted better. Since then a major breakthrough has been published in The Lancet and reported in the press – the BBC called it a ‘Huge leap‘. (The Lancet report is a bit technical for me, but I could understand the BBC report. I had an MRI before my biopsy.)

It appears that an MRI scan  is twice as likely to identify the presence of dangerous tumours as an invasive biopsy and that it identifies  93% of aggressive cancers, compared to 48% identified by a biopsy. It also means that the need for biopsies for men with suspected prostate cancer could be reduced by a quarter (no need to say “Ow”).

This is the second breakthrough in recent months – trials  have shown that a drug activated by laser light successfully destroys early prostate cancer while avoiding side-effects that commonly occur with surgery.

Platelet mysteries

We are midway between oncology appointments so there is nothing to report on that front other than to mention a Radio 4 programme – Inside Out – that a fellow pc-blogger drew to my attention. It discussed the grey areas in the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer – it may be over-diagnosed and over-treated or the opposite (and in particular not identified early enough). It’s a bit like spending money on marketing – you know that half the money is wasted but the trouble is that you don’t know which half. The programme also argued for MRI scans before prostate biopsies so that they could be targeted better.  Interestingly it mentioned prostatectomies and radiotherapy as treatments but nothing about chemotherapy.

However I can report progress on a different front – I saw a Haematology consultant on Monday. Continue reading “Platelet mysteries”

Time is leaking out of my Laptop

They say time is a constant but is that really true? Back in April when I was in a side-room on a Ward following my Beetroot episode I mused on whether time ran at the same rate in the side-room as it did on the main Ward. I have pondered this again this week. There are other times when time drags – or slips away. And it’s not just the minutes and seconds causing grief. Tracking whole days can be a challenge – I have had to think really hard to work out that today (or yesterday, or even the day before that by the time you read this) is Wednesday. With a day in bed and normal routines aborted the week had completely lost its shape, but now that schools are back it might start to make sense again. Continue reading “Time is leaking out of my Laptop”