It’s that nervous time of year again

From comments in the press about marks being adjusted for the stiffer A levels so that the trend doesn’t show a big dip (!) I guess it’s that time of year when youngsters nervously await the results for tests they took a month or two back. For me my test was on Monday and the results came in today. So my waiting time was only a couple of days (but it happens every three months not once a year). Continue reading “It’s that nervous time of year again”

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Spare a thought for the ‘spectators’

San Diego Dan has been investigating the Facebook Prostate Cancer support group. One comment he made was “one person spoke of how her husband was sleeping upwards of 20 hours per day.” which would make you an insomniac if you were a koala but is not so good for homo sapiens. But that set me to thinking about how having prostate cancer can affect those around you (or me) – the ‘spectators’. They have to put up with my irritability, lethargy, concerns and a host of other things with no thought of thanks. I am grateful for their support whether it is just a ‘like’ on this blog, the invitation round for tea, a visit or more. Continue reading “Spare a thought for the ‘spectators’”

Please vote for CCHF

To celebrate the 300th anniversary of the  United Grand Lodge of England, Freemasons have selected 300 local charities across England and Wales to receive a Masonic Charitable Foundation Community Award. Every charity that has been chosen will receive a Community Award of between £4,000 and £25,000. How much is given to each charity will be decided by a public vote. There are six charities in Buckinghamshire which have been chosen. One of them is the Cancer Care and Haematology fund (CCHF) which was founded in 1990 to raise money for the building of the Cancer Care and Haematology Unit at SMH (which was originally known as the ‘Wooden Spoon Unit’). It is the place where I went for chemotherapy and where I go both for oncology appointments and to check how my platelets are performing. The CCHF has continued to fundraise since to support the work of the Unit, to maintain it at the forefront of good care and innovation and to plan for growth in the future.

So I would be grateful if you could follow this link https://mcf.org.uk/region/buckinghamshire/  and vote. It is good that all of the charities will receive something however the vote pans out since the others are equally worthy – but perhaps we can try to make CCHF first among equals! The voting opened today and closes on 31 July.

Thanks for reading this, and hopefully thanks for voting – wherever you are in the world!

 

Steady as she volunteers

I saw my oncologist this week and it is “steady as she goes”. My latest PSA is 0.21 marginally up from the last reading of 0.15 but still crawling along the bottom of the graph. (I won’t talk percentages – it’s a 40%  increase, which sounds more scary than a 0.06 increase).

PSA combined

Apparently this week is  Volunteers Week so I thought I would share with you a piece written by a relative in Canada. He started by asking the question “Why do people volunteer?”. Continue reading “Steady as she volunteers”

Trip to pup

Liz was looking at the calendar and asked why I had put “Trip to pup” on it. Perhaps she thought something doggy was going on, but one large hairy rottweiler/german shepherd cross is enough. So I explained that it wasn’t “Trip to pup” but “Tripto top up”. In other words my three monthly triptorelin injection.  I am glad I cleared that up.

Back in the days when I used to toddle up to London on a daily basis the company I worked for was trying to licence a whole range of inventions, many of which came from universities or research institutes, to companies who would take them into production. Some of these were drugs like cephalasporin antibiotics  and other clever polywallywhatsits. (I dealt with engineering inventions which were much easier to spell but nothing to do with the story I am trying to tell.)

One of the polywallywhatsits was abiraterone acetate. Continue reading “Trip to pup”

Fine tuning the PSA sledgehammer

San Diego Dan has posted a link to an interesting article on various approaches to refining the PSA test. As I said a while ago a raised PSA really only shouts “Have more tests” since it is possible to have prostate cancer with a PSA of zero and to not have it with a PSA of 4,000. Factors such as how much time you spend on the saddle of a bicycle will have an impact on your PSA level. Then there is the question of whether the cancer is aggressive or not. If you can tell this then a lot of unnecessary treatment can be avoided. While I wouldn’t say avoid hospitals and treatment at all costs (and in the US personal costs can be significant) certainly if unnecessary treatments can be avoided not only does it save money it also avoids all the various side effects and risks associated with any medical intervention. The article explains that researchers are developing genetic tests, imaging tests, and algorithms in an effort to reduce the more than a million men a year who have prostate biopsies and, even more important, reduce the thousands who get treatment they don’t need.

https://www.statnews.com/2017/05/04/prostate-cancer-research-psa/

 

Flushes, Antigens and Platelets

Every so often I feel like I am breaking out in a hot sweat even though there is no actual sweat or perspiration. I notice it mainly on my face and I don’t think anyone else notices it is happening unless I start fanning myself or open the doors and windows.  It can happen several times a day and usually lasts just a few minutes. Continue reading “Flushes, Antigens and Platelets”