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”

Some musings on IT (I.T. not ‘it’)

Over this weekend most British Airway’s flights were cancelled because of an IT problem. A couple of weeks ago part of the NHS was paralysed because of ransomware infecting their IT systems. It all goes to show how reliant we have become on something that wasn’t even a subject when I was at school. You probably have more computing power in your mobile phone than the Apollo astronauts had when then journeyed to the moon (and back). Continue reading “Some musings on IT (I.T. not ‘it’)”

My platelets are better than yours

I saw a haematology consultant today and the good news is that my platelet count has continued to rise. It is now 116 which is still below the normal level of 150 plus but is heading in the right direction. If you look at a graph of my platelet scores there is a clear upward trend from the panic inducing level of 10 in September. Continue reading “My platelets are better than yours”

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/

 

Times they were a-changing

At the end of last month we went through the twice yearly ritual of changing the clocks by an hour. In the USA they did it at the beginning of the month so as to confuse us should we want to contact them in March. The clock in the car does it all by itself, as does my phone, but my watch and the other clocks in the house need to be adjusted manually (in fact manually bi-annually even). I usually manage to fix most of them first thing in the morning but there are a couple I don’t understand and so they remain on GMT until a small child comes along and sorts them out. This means there is plenty of scope for confusion if you look at the wrong clock and forget that it is an hour out. Continue reading “Times they were a-changing”