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”

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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?”

Faster diagnosis?

Ten years ago I was invited to give a talk at one of the monthly socials run by the Amersham & Chesham branch of the MS Society. Since then I have been asked back half a dozen times and fortunately I have found half a dozen other topics to talk about. Therefore when I spotted an Article by BBC reporter Caroline Wyatt titled How I’m feeling after my MS ‘body reboot’ I thought I would read it.

It is a well written (as you would expect) and thought provoking piece. Continue reading “Faster diagnosis?”

Blip

Back in December I told you how my PSA had gone up. From a low of 0.2 last May it had crept up to 0.3 in August and then leapt to 3.2 in December. The question was, was this leap a blip or a trend? It wasn’t yet at a level to require additional intervention but was a bit concerning, especially if it were followed by a further similar increase. Continue reading “Blip”

Is it a blip or is it a trend (2)?

Just over a year ago I wrote “Is it a blip or a trend?” about my blood test results. That time is was an encouraging improvement in my platelet levels which allowed me to avoid Plan B and go on to Plan C. (Plan A was prednisolone which bumped up my blood glucose and played havoc with my diabetes, Plan B was rituximab, most of which’s side effects weren’t fatal, and Plan C was carry on with the lower dose prednisolone and see what happens and eventually stop the prednisolone). This time the question is aimed at a less than encouraging increase in my PSA levels. Continue reading “Is it a blip or is it a trend (2)?”