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Now retired and enjoying every minute.....

Monday, 2 August 2021

Taking the Risk....

 



I mentioned in my last blog post the choice that I had to make regarding surgery for one of my cancers.... The thyroid cancer.

Well after lots of visits to different departments at the Plymouth Derriford hospital I finally made the decision to accept the risks and go ahead with the surgery. I really felt that I didn't have any other choice. 

The date has now been set for the surgery to take place on Friday 13th August. It's a good job that I am not superstitious as the date wouldn't fill a lot of people with optimism. 

On the assumption that I survive the surgery the chemotherapy for my blood and bone cancers is likely to start again in early September. 

Monday, 21 June 2021

Yes .....!!

 

Yes!
 Since my last post and after two months of building up to it with the use of my turbo I finally managed to get out on the roads on the new bike.

I have now managed four rides out on the roads but it has not been easy. I have to be on a good day when I am not suffering with too much pain.... and the weather needs to be dry as riding in the rain would not be good with my health condition.

 Getting these things to match up is not easy as so often when the weather has been good I have felt so ill that riding a bike would be impossible and then there have been days when it has been pouring down with rain but I have felt able to ride.
I have not ridden far on each ride .. the first time I managed seven miles and my last ride was fifteen miles.

My consultant has been pleased with my response to the chemotherapy and other treatments and currently they have temporarily stopped treatment for the blood and bone cancers and are looking at options for my thyroid cancer which by the way has also spread to my lymph nodes. 

The problem is that the surgeon is not satisfied that I would survive surgery due to my hypertrophic cardiomyopathy condition.
 If he doesn't operate then the thyroid cancer will kill me sooner rather than later and if he does operate it is likely that I will die on the operating table. That is my current choice.
 
At the moment I am having more tests to get as much information as possible before I have to make a decision on which way to go.... I will let you know what these additional tests etc come up with in my next post..... 


Friday, 14 May 2021

Going to plan ....

 I am now half way through my third round of chemotherapy and things seem to be going to plan. 

During last month I continued with my 20 minute turbo rides when I was feeling good and so far this month I have been increasing my turbo time on each ride and I am now up to 48 minutes.

 The plan is to continue to increase the time throughout the month so that at the beginning of June I will be able to move onto riding my new bike out on the local roads. That is my plan. 

In order to give myself the motivation to keep going I have bought complete new kit...Jersey.  Bibshorts. Shoes. Socks. All-in the same colour as the bike which is Black. Red. Anthracite. 

New bike new kit just makes sense to me.It certainly gives me the motivation to keep going when it would be easier to just let the cancer take over....  

Looking further ahead I am hoping to be able to do a bikepacking ride next year with my mate JD. So again taking positive thoughts about it I bought some bikepacking bags. A Topeak front loader and backloader. I hope that my longer term positive plans come to fruition as I would be a bit upset if I ended up not being around to use the bags.... I hate wasting money . Lol.





Monday, 12 April 2021

Busy Still Living......

 I am now on my second round of chemotherapy. 

I had a gap of four weeks between the two rounds of treatment in order for me to have some specialist dental work to be completed. This was important because one of the drugs that I require to strengthen my bones can be highly dangerous and cause serious problems to my jawbone. When you see the fuss some people are causing regarding the perceived risks attached to the Covid vaccine they should take a look at the risk factors in regard to the drugs cancer patients need to take..... 

Once I got used to the chemo I felt that I needed to set myself something to aim for. Before the chemo when I was first diagnosed with the three cancers I honestly didn't know if I would still be around by Easter but as my body started to react to the treatment I set myself the target of getting back on my basic turbo setup by Easter...  

Towards the latter part of the four week gap between the two rounds of treatment I seemed to be moving quite well with slightly less pain. The consultant told me that they would restart the treatment the day before Good Friday. I knew that once the treatment restarted I would start to suffer with severe exhaustion again. I made the decision therefore to attempt a short ride on the Wednesday of that week..... Well....I managed a short ride although it was not without some pain and difficulty. The feeling of having got back on a bike again after six months was unbelievable and it did me no end of good psychologically. Since then I have managed a second ride of twenty minutes although it did wipe me out for the rest of the day.... My plan is that when I have a good day I will add some more saddle time and slowly build up my strength again..... My next big target is to manage to add some more miles to the 57 that I put on my new bike back in last October.

Below is a photo of my old basic turbo setup situated in my awning annexe. To the right is my new Focus Paralane2 bike waiting for those additional miles and on the left under the cover is my beloved Felt which is now on the for sale list...  

By the way... The title 'Busy Still Living' is a tag line used by Boom Radio the radio station for those of us from the Baby Boomer Generation...   It kind of reflects the way things are for me just now....

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Thursday, 18 February 2021

Update..........

 I thought that it was about time I updated you on what's happened to cause me to stop blogging here at the Original Purpletraveller.....

Well I have gone from someone who wouldn't take a tablet for a headache to someone who now has to take a string of medication from here each day...


I have told you about my heart condition which has been managed successfully for the past six years.... Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy.  With careful control of my heart rate I was still able to ride my bike with no ill effects. I had been advised recently by my cardiac consultant to switch to an e-bike....not to improve my speed or go up hills faster but to make it even easier to exercise my heart rate control and make it safer for me to continue riding.. I managed to do 57 miles on the new bike  and posted an image and technical details of the bike here on the blog.


Following those couple of rides on the new bike I noted that I had started to get back ache. I put it down to the possibility of not setting the bike fit quite right but all the geometry measurements were spot on. I couldn't ride the bike for a few weeks as the weather was so bad but during this time the ache in my lower back seemed to have moved into my rear rib cage.. Then it moved into my back again.... I started to feel really exhausted...I spent a lot of time sleeping.... And when it got to the point where I couldn't walk without assistance it was obvious I needed to go to the hospital.... 

I have had three stays in hospital once before Christmas and twice since.... The upshot is that I have now been diagnosed as having ....Blood Cancer ....Bone Cancer and Thyroid Cancer....   After having had prostate cancer ten years ago I think that I could be forgiven for thinking that my brush with cancer was now all in the past.... Having had one cancer is unlucky now having a further three all at the same time is utterly careless I would say..... 

The cancers cannot be cured so they are called terminal..... 

I am undergoing treatment at the moment which consists of chemotherapy. Other treatments will be brought in later such as treatment to try and strengthen my bones.. The bone cancer eats away at the bones and weakens them so that they can collapse.... I've already had a rib in my back collapse which just added to the pain I am already dealing with......

So it's all about trying to live as long as I can by using various treatments to lengthen my life.....  When I came out of hospital I could only walk with the use of a walking frame..... I graduated to walking sticks and can now manage short distances unsupported so that is some progress.....  I do intend at some point to get back on that bike and add some miles to its running total. When that will be is in the laps of the gods plus my determination.......

I will keep you posted as to my progress but I obviously won't be blogging as often as in the past.......


Friday, 4 December 2020

Apologies...

 I would like to apologize to those of you who left comments following my last post.

I normally  like to answer all comments but the truth of the matter is that after I posted that last entry I fell quite seriously ill. ( No it's not Covid) I have not been able to get myself into the right state of mind to even check the blog until now. I am currently in hospital but not sure yet how long I will be here but I just wanted everyone to know that I really do appreciate all comments made and haven't ignored you.

For the time being the blog is on hold but at sometime I will be back posting again...

Wednesday, 14 October 2020

Meet Freya .........


This is my new bike. ...  As with all my vehicles...caravans....etc I follow the tradition of giving them names. This bike I have named Freya (the Focus)  .....Although I have had the bike for ten days,  due to poor weather conditions namely rain, today was the first decent  day that we have had good enough to ride the bike. I didn't want to have the first ride in the pouring rain......

The bike is a Focus Paralane2 ( that's squared) not two. It has a full carbon frame with BBB aluminium compact bars. 

I was unsure whether to go for the 105 groupset or the Ultegra until I saw a video on GCN comparing ten year old Dura Ace (which is what I have on my Felt) with the latest 105. The upshot was that due to the trickle down of technology from the top groupsets to the lower components they found that apart from the weight of the Dura Ace being lighter the quality of the latest 105 was equal in all areas..

As I have been perfectly happy with the Dura Ace on the Felt and also happy with the older 105 on the Tifosi it made the decision for me to go with the 105 and save a bit of cash by doing so...

So I have 105 throughout apart from the chain set which is FSA.

The brakes are hydraulic with 160 discs back and front and flat mounted.

The gears are 50/34 front and 11/34 rear so it offers a good spread of ratios.

The saddle is a Prologo Kappa3 which I found to be pretty comfortable during my ride today. It seems to be similar to the Fizik Aliante which is what I have on the Felt.

The wheels are DT Swiss with a height of 32mm and shod with Continental Grand Prix 5000 at a width of 28mm. The bike has thru axles with a 148x12 at the rear and 110x12 at the front. The thru axles are what is called R.A.T. which is rapid axle technology. This is similar to a quick release but with a quarter turn bayonet at one end and a lever at the other end. 

On the electric side of things I went for the Fazua system and the bike has a Fazua Evation, 60nm, 250W/400w max motor .

Back in 2008/9 I was 5'10in in height and my current bikes are all size 56. Over the past 10/11 years I appear to have lost one inch in height so with this bike I have gone for a size 54. During my ride today I was very pleased with the fit of the bike and found it very comfortable to ride.... The bike fit and all the adjustments I made to the bike prior to today's first ride has obviously paid off......

Most of today's ride was made with the motor off while I made full use of the wide gear ratios..... I did try out the motor on a couple of hills but it would appear that for most of my riding the motor will be off with the occasional use of the eco mode on the stiffer hills. 

The motor has four settings... Off... Eco called Breeze.. Medium called River... Turbo called Rocket. Why they choose such silly names I really don't know why......

As I get more used to the bike no doubt I will make more use of the various settings but for now I want to just get used to riding the bike without the motor as it rides so well as a normal bike .....

As time goes on I will keep you updated how everything works out with Freya.  ..




Taking the Risk....

  I mentioned in my last blog post the choice that I had to make regarding surgery for one of my cancers.... The thyroid cancer. Well after ...