Tuesday, January 31, 2006

A visit to the oncologist….

I had an appointment for my one year checkup with the oncologist today. Since I already knew the results of my last blood tests I figured we would be in and out in no time. WRONG!

First off, the oncologist I had during my radiation treatments and subsequent appointments last year has changed from working with prostate cancer patients to lung cancer patients.... and I now have a different oncologist.  I arrived at the Tom Baker Cancer Clinic in Calgary to go to my scheduled appointment.  Upon arrival and checking in I was told that my usual doctor wasn’t in and I would be seeing someone else.  As we were shuffled from one waiting area to another I was told that my previous oncologist was no longer looking after me and I would be seeing this new doctor.  Not a problem… When we finally met the new doctor he explained about the change in doctors. 

Of course, being a NEW patient of this oncologist, we had to go through my past medical history.  We went back to a year and a half ago and what took me in to see a doctor....  what happened along the way and the subsequent radiation treatments and Hormone Deprivation Therapy.  He then had to do an exam of my prostate.....  OH NO!!!  not again....  Well, the good news is that he says he can tell that the radiation treatments and HDT have done their jobs on the prostate....  it is reduced in size.  That’s as much as he could tell me.  We will now continue on the HDT for another year before changing the treatment.  At that time we may stop the HDT and watch my PSA levels until they start to climb again.... and then we’ll go back on the treatment.  From there, we will discuss the options available at the time.

Until next time.....

Posted by John on 01/31 at 12:22 AM
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Friday, January 27, 2006

What a treat… cycling outdoors in January!

After picking my bike up on Tuesday I was sure the weather was going to turn ugly....  but it didn’t.... at least not totally unbearable.

Wednesday was a beautiful day in Lethbridge.... the sun was shining, and the wind wasn’t blowing.  That’s a change for here.  In the afternoon I managed to get in approximately 35Km’s before calling it quits.  I even managed to get in one big hill to test the bike and the legs.  It’s been a while, and the legs grew tired near the top, but the bike is great and I was able to accelerate once I hit the top.  I haven’t been able to do that for a while now. So I’m seeing some improvement in the lung power and my recovery rate.  After the hill I completed a nice flat course and headed home.  The biggest problem was that I had completed a weight/aerobic workout in the morning. That’s probably why my legs were burnt on the climb.... at least that’s the story I’m using!

I went out again on Thursday morning shortly after 11AM....  This time it was much cooler and very windy.  I figured I’m going to have to ride in all kinds of weather during the ride so I might as well not make any excuses now.  I stuck to a flat course and managed to put on about 30Km’s. The wind was pretty chilly.... and having a hot flash or two didn’t really help.  It’s always nice to be cool, then have a hot flash and sweat.... then nearly freeze as the heat goes away and the wind tries to freeze the sweat on your body.  Thankfully, the wind also makes me work harder, warming back up slightly.  I really do feel the cold more now....  I hate it… but I will have to live with it.... and, as long as I can I will!!

The forcast is for continued unseasonably warm weather.... so I’ll be biking outdoors every chance I get. As long as it doesn’t snow, I’ll get on the bike and build up the km’s.

Until next time....

Posted by John on 01/27 at 12:35 AM
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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

It’s here……



After what seems like a long time and lot’s of penny pinching I finally picked up my new bike today. Thanks to Ascent Cycle and Norco I am now the proud owner of a Norco VFR-1.  It’s basically a commuting/trekking bike built with the components and handling of a road bike. It looks good and feels great on the road.  This is a dream bike for me.... thankfully a dream that came true.

I went to Ascent Cycle today to see if they had been able to get the bike together for me....  I walked in as they were working on it.  Of course, being just a little eager to take it home, I waited around the shop looking at all the new bikes and checking out some of the other gear I’ll be needing for the bike trip - okay, I was really just oogling my new bike as it was being built. Before long, the seat was being adjusted and I was out the door for a quick test run....  a few more adjustments and some final tweaking and tightening and it was ready for the first ride.... a cold but fantastic ride home. 

I headed out the door and down the street, taking a little detour from my straight home ride.  The bike handles great.... it is so light and responsive compared to my other bikes. The straight bars make it so comfortable.... too bad I didn’t have proper shoes on, but even with a pair of runners the ride went great.  These old out of shape legs were still able to spin for some speed and the responsiveness of the bike was incredible.  If it hadn’t been quite so cold.... and getting dark… I’m pretty sure I would have taken a few more detours before heading home....  I can hardly wait until tomorrow to take it out again. 

Fortunately the weather has been great.... with the warm -anything above 0 is warm- winter temperatures I may be able to get a few good outdoor rides in yet this month. Even if the wind is howling, I’ll be out spinning somewhere. 

Above are a couple of pictures of me (out of shape) in my CCC riding jersey and my new VFR-1.... it’s in great shape!

The VFR-1 is a great bike.... if you would like to see the specs on it go to the Norco site and check it out along with the rest of their 2006 line.

Until next time....

Posted by John on 01/25 at 12:20 AM
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Friday, January 20, 2006

Great News!!

The latest blood workup results are in.....  although the call from the doctors office put a good scare into us, everything is fine.  My PSA levels have stayed at 0.4.  My testosterone levels have increased slightly from 0.9 to 1.4, but the doctor doesn’t think that is anything to worry about.  Everything else looks good. 

For the time being we can relax.... I still have to see the oncologist at the Tom Baker Cancer Clinic at the end of the month, but at least I know the results now and can relax until then rather than worrying for the next 10 days.

All is well.... I can SMILE some more!!

Until next time....

Posted by John on 01/20 at 03:59 PM
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Thursday, January 19, 2006

What’s Coming?

I had blood tests done on Monday....  just the usual routine a few weeks before going to see the oncologist.  Today I got a phone call with a message from the doctor that is filling in for my usual family doctor.  She thinks I should come in and see her for the results.....  Now the whole family is worried about what is coming.  Is it just a routine thing because this doctor doesn’t know what has been going on??  Is it BAD news?? Is it GOOD news?? WHAT is it??  Of course, the staff can’t say anything, so I have to wait until Friday at lunch to see a doctor I don’t know about something that is scaring the crap out of me. I’m trying to remain optomistic.... it’s not easy!!

On a good note....  I recieved a phone call today from Lon at Ascent Cycles.  He has been helping me with getting a bike to ride for the trip as well as taking a great interest in helping me to be prepared for the long ride.  Norco has been kind enough to offer me a good deal on a bike, and Lon has been instrumental in getting things rolling.  He informed me that my bike should ship tomorrow.... and hopefully it will be here on Monday!  Now that’s GREAT news.  I am really looking forward to getting it. 

If you are in the market for a new bike take a look at Norco.  They have some great bikes.  If you are in the Lethbridge area, pop into Ascent Cycle.  It’s a great bike shop and they will take good care of you.  A huge thanks to Norco for the bike and to Ascent Cycle Ltd for everything you’ve done for me.

I’ll let you know more about the bike when I get it.

Until next time....

Posted by John on 01/19 at 12:10 AM
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