Thursday, May 16, 2013

First Day After…

Yesterday was the last day of radiation treatments… #8 of 8… I was there bright and early as they had to do servicing on the second unit and I was moved to an early spot… My appointment was for 8 AM… and I was done and out of there by 8:05AM…

Now I’ll back up a bit… Treatments #3-5 were last week… in amongst scheduled doctors appointments and Zometa infusion… The treatments went well… they were always done quickly and efficiently… a few laughs here and there with the staff.  They have some great staff in the radiation department of the Jack Ady cancer Centre… I want to thank all of them for making my visits as relaxed and quick as possible. 

On Thursday last week I was scheduled to see my oncologist… only it was the Nurse Practitioner that I saw… Not a big deal really… it was just to get test results and pick up my meds for the next month… It turns out my PSA level went up again… but just a little...from 4.2 to 5.6 this time… Not surprising considering there was cancer growth in my pelvis… Everything else looks good… The only other thing that took place was that I asked to switch doctors… As I said previously, I am just not feeling comfortable with my previous oncologist… so my next visit will be the the only other medical oncologist in town.  We’ll see how that goes, and move on from there....  if it doesn’t go well, then it will be back to Calgary to see someone there… I’ll keep switching until I find a doctor that I am comfortable with and that I feel is working with and for me!!

So...the big question is “did the radiation help?"… As of right now, all I can say is that I am more comfortable… I still have a little pelvic pain, but for the most part I am feeling much better.  I had a number of ‘flare ups’ during the treatments… increased pain a few hours or more after each treatment for the first week… only minor increases for the last three days… I am still uncomfortable when I sit...it feels like there is swelling around my left ischium… but the pain in that area is a LOT less that it has been… I am much more comfortable walking...and am taking less pain medication now than I was last week.  Only time and tests will tell what the radiation really did...but I am happy with where I am right now.  I am hopeful that over the next few weeks the swollen feeling will go away and the pain will as well… even if the pain remains where it is today I will be happy!!

The only other big side effect is the increased lack of energy… I get out and walk every day… but I also have to lay down in the afternoon every day… I can work through it...but pay for it later in the day or early evening when I have to fight to stay awake… better to sleep in the afternoon while I’m alone, and be awake later when Cindy gets home ... 

Yesterday, May 15th, was the 7th anniversary of the start of my cross Canada bike ride… I had thought about it a lot last week...but somehow in all the muddling around yesterday I had forgotten about it until reminded last night… YUP, it’s been 7 years already...man time has flown by… I think about the ride often… about the people I met… the friends I made… I am hoping that I can sit on a bike this year… even if only for a short ride once and a while… I really miss riding!  It’s been two years since I’ve actually been on my bike for more than a coast down the driveway… just too uncomfortable to sit on it.  There is one person from the bike ride that I stay in touch with… Tim H....  Tim and I rode together for a good portion of Canada… Happy Anniversary Tim!!  Thanks for all the memories...and the continued friendship over the past 7 years!!

Until next time....

Posted by John on 05/16 at 01:21 PM
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Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Day 2 of Radiation….

Yesterday was my first radiation treatment for this round… This is the third time I’ve had radiation treatments...the second time in Lethbridge… It is a huge relief to be able to do the radiation in Lethbridge...not having to travel more than a few km to and from the cancer centre is great!

This round of treatment is aimed at the left ischium...where the cancer is growing.  We are hoping that it will eliminate or in the very least, lessen the pain I have been having.  I was warned again yesterday that there may be a flair up due to the radiation.  I have not had that experience before, so was hoping that it would be the same this time… NO SUCH LUCK!  Yesterday afternoon and last evening the pain increased substantially… thankfully I have a doctor that was willing to help me through it by prescribing an increased dose of pain meds for the short term (at my request)… if the pain doesn’t subside after the meds have run out, then we will re-evaluate and go on from there.  Thankfully, the bump up meds helped last night… although it was painful, after taking the meds it settled down quickly… I had a very restful sleep and was ready to go this morning.

Today was lab day… time to get all the tests done for my oncology visit on Thursday… I am expecting everything except my PSA levels to be good… I am pretty sure my PSA levels will be up again… hopefully only slightly… I’m not going to worry about that right now though…

It was also day 2 of radiation… once again it went quickly and painlessly… The pain has been tolerable this morning...thanks to the medication… I’ll let you know in the next day or so if it continues to increase or not with treatment…

Not a lot else happening right now… treatment #3 tomorrow… Thursday is oncology visit, Zometa infusion, an radiation treatment #4… Friday is radiation and Eligard injection… It’s going to be a busy week!  Hopefully things will move along as planned…

Until next time....

Posted by John on 05/07 at 09:21 AM
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