Mildly Radioactive (Again)

Having been batted back to oncology from urology I fortunately had scheduled review imminent. I told my oncologist about the traumas of the past six months. He was of course aware of my raised PSA. He is a man with a calm and reassuring manner and a voice to match. As expected he added another tablet (bicalutamide) to my list and proposed a two scans so that he can get a better idea of what is happening. The first was a bone scan which I had last week. As before I went in to hospital for an injection of a radioactive tracer then home to drink plenty and let it do its work (gathering in hotspots in the bones). Three hours later it was back for the scan itself. Continue reading “Mildly Radioactive (Again)”

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Urology to oncology

I left you in the Urology ward waiting over the weekend for an ultrasound scan (KUB – kidneys, ureter and bladder). Saturday came and went with an extraordinary rugby match – England 31-0 up after 31 minutes, Scotland then leading 38-31 at full time and England nicking a draw in the dying seconds. Sunday I should have been having another TWOC (Trial WithOut Catheter) but this was postponed. Had my last meal at midnight in case I needed to go down for surgery after the ultrasound. Continue reading “Urology to oncology”

Two weeks to go (and dogs)

Following my listing for a TURP I got a letter asking me to go for a Pre-Op Assessment. Where I had to go was not entirely clear – it mentioned a Pre-Op Assessment and it mentioned Urology so I headed to the Urology wards. “No we don’t do Pre-Op Assessments here, you need to go the old building. My colleague will show you the way“. So off down a series of corridors across a bridge between building, down more corridors and eventually into a small waiting room. Continue reading “Two weeks to go (and dogs)”

Two weeks to go

x gsrIn two weeks time Toni and Carol should be recovering after a 10 mile run on the south coast. Yesterday for the first time they ran just over 10 miles so are feeling confident about the Great South Run (providing Carol’s knee doesn’t kill her and Toni hasn’t succumbed to hypothermia). It will be shorter runs now for the next couple of weeks. I am always impressed by people who can run longer distances whether it is 10k, 10m or longer – my longest run was twice round the sewage farm when I was at school (why they picked that route I am not sure but it did encourage us to not hang around) although I would happily walk much further than that. Apart from the challenge of competing in an event rather longer than their usual runs (even though it is obstacle free) they are raising money for Cancer Research UK and are within spitting distance of their target. Continue reading “Two weeks to go”

My three-legged stool 18 months on

In the past I have mentioned my hypothetical three-legged stool  – the three key numbers that I need to keep an eye on. Well two of the three are heading in the right direction and one is drifting a little in the wrong direction. My platelets (the tiny blood cells that help stop bleeding) have been counted.  They are at 150 compared to the 10 they had dropped to two years ago, and are knocking on the door of being normal (150+). Great. The next leg, my HbA1c figure (I will explain later) was the lowest it has been for about four years at 46mmol/mol. When I went to the doctors  with a cough and came out with diabetes my HbA1c reading was 67. Since then it has been running at an acceptable 45-49 until it went up to the high 60’s when I was on steroids whilst my platelets were being encouraged to climb out of the ditch. So far so good. Continue reading “My three-legged stool 18 months on”

Is there a trend?

Blood Tests This month I had oncology and haematology appointments only a week apart so I thought it silly to go for two separate blood tests.  Off I went to the surgery with two blood test forms and found that the phlebotomist also had one form (from my GP) so she had the challenge of seeing how they differed and whether she could combine them and avoid taking too many gallons of my red stuff. After all, they all wanted a FBC, LFT and U&E (that’s a Full Blood Count, Liver Function Test and Urea and Electrolytes). In  addition Oncology, not surprisingly, wanted a PSA figure (I would be worried if they hadn’t asked for that)  and my GP wanted a couple of other things. Continue reading “Is there a trend?”

Better diagnosis?

In Faster diagnosis? I mentioned developments in MRI technology (which could also lead to better diagnosis). Scientists at Dundee University have been working on developments in ultrasound – a technique called shear wave elastography. This relies on the fact that cancerous tissue is stiffer than non-cancerous tissue. This can be detected on an ultrasound scan and so cancerous tissue can be pinpointed more accurately. The information obtained allows a better diagnosis which in turn leads to better treatment. In addition it should be cheaper than an MRI scan and so be more widely available. Continue reading “Better diagnosis?”