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Now retired but busy still living..

Saturday, 4 December 2021

Even more in the locker...


 We now have even more meds in our top locker. The longer the treatment goes on the more meds I am taking ..... 

On Friday's and Saturdays I am taking 26 tablets. We have recently altered some of the tablets by having dispersion meds to try and reduce the number I have to swallow which was becoming a bit of a problem for me. 

The weather last week was terrible with massive winds and trees being blown down in the lane that runs along outside the site.

 We got so worried that the large tree on the other side of the lane would come down across the rear of our van that we moved from our two single beds at the rear of the van and made up the double bed right of the front of the van in the hope that if the tree did come down it would just miss us right at the front. In the end the tree wasn't blown down but like a good boy scout we needed to be prepared.

 We have had snow to add to the winds as well as loads of hailstones.... The weather has not been good but is typical for life on Dartmoor. 

Health wise my mind continues to have a disconnect from my body. It's like having a permanent brain fog. I am unable to think straight and seem unable to remember how to do a lot of simple tasks. It all seems to be down to an imbalance in my bodies chemistry. Levothyroxine levels not right yet plus calcium levels not sorted... I will be glad when it's all worked out. 

I ended up not having my booster last week as the timing was wrong. It will now be the 21stDec before I can have it which will be a full six months since my last jab.... I continue to be fully isolated as I have been for months.......

Saturday, 20 November 2021

More pain and empty pitches

 




Another difficult week with a little less fatigue but a lot more pain. The problem with the pain is that it moves around my body and needs morphine to control it. Taking morphine means that I then seem to spend hours and hours sleeping just nodding off at any time. 

One thing that happened during the week that was a plus is the flu jab that I was given. Because of my chemotherapy treatment I can only be given extra jabs between chemo cycles. 

I am currently on my first week off chemo and that's why they were able to give me the flu jab.... During this upcoming week they are hoping to give me my third Covid jab..... Following that I will be starting another cycle of chemotherapy. 

The images above show parts of our site... Top one is the route to the facilities... A bit like walking down a narrow maze with evergreen hedge on the left. The wind won't find you down there.... The other images show a couple of the empty pitches of which we have quite a few at this time of year....

Saturday, 13 November 2021

It's a long time to wait......

 

A very similar week to the previous one. Although the fatigue has improved I am still not back to any form of normal. 

Yesterday I had a 1430hrs chemotherapy appointment. When we got there I was told that they were running an hour and a half late. We decided we would go down to the hospital cafe and waste an hour there.

 Two coffees and two cakes and eleven pound sterling lighter we got back up to the outer ward waiting area with about half an hour before the promised delayed time. At 1600hrs I wandered into the inner waiting area and the girl in reception told me to take a seat in a small waiting area just opposite reception.

 And there I waited until 1820hrs. A couple of times I reminded them that I was still there and hadn't been seen but it was a long time to wait. When you are already very fatigued and pretty ill three and three quarter hours is a long time to wait to receive treatment that is going to make you feel even more fatigued and even more ill...... 

All the staff on the ward are working flat out but they are currently operating with at least six members of staff short. Apparently more staff have been recruited but it takes over six months for them to be fully trained..... It looks like there won't be an improvement for sometime to come... 

 The campsite was busy during the first few weeks of October but it has now gone into winter mode with just the odd one or two visitors every now and again. They are usually campervan campers they stay for a couple of nights and then they are off again......

 90+ years old Mike is preparing to head off down to Spain for three months but unlike previous years when he towed his small Hobby caravan down through France this year he is planning on taking the Ferry down to Northern Spain and save time and hassle. .... 

We are expecting Debbie and Mark to arrive back on site from Italy anytime soon. They always overwinter here because where their property is in Italy the winters are worse than here plus they have family in the area here.  

I now have a two week break from the Chemotherapy before it all starts over again....... 

Saturday, 6 November 2021

A Week on and a Difference



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A week further on and a major difference. 

Still suffering with some minor fatigue but on a different scale to last week. Still have a bit of a problem with my calcium levels but it is going in the right direction.

 The top image shows the infusion that I had yesterday. It's for a drug called a Bisphosphonate which helps strengthen my bones and reduce the pain. 
The exact one that I am taking is Zoledronic Acid. 
It is given as a drip into my hand shown in the next image. 

The infusion can bring on a mild flu like symptom and a feeling of nausea . Sometimes Bisphosphonate can cause damage to the jaw bone. This is called Osteonecrosis of the jaw. This is why I had to have dental treatment a few months ago so that my jaw was prepared for this possibility. 
Luckily I have avoided this so far.

 The next image is of the Future Inn Hotel on the outskirts of Plymouth. I have to visit there once a week for my weekly blood test. 
The NHS Phlebotomy service is based there currently and is a very quick and efficient service. 

This morning I received the latest report update on my current condition. The MRI scan I had on my thorax has confirmed that the lump on my sternum is consistent with Active Myeloma.
 There are also other Lesions in my Ribs and Vertebrae. 
They say that it is not surprising given that I was off treatment for a period of time whilst I was undergoing the Thyroidectomy. 
It is reassuring to note that this lump has improved since restarting treatment. 

I've still not managed to get out on the bike again this week although it was weather and not cancer holding me back. 
I have now set up the turbo again ready for the winter period so getting out on the new bike is not so crucial as I will have the option of riding the Turbo Tifosi. 

Just to finish off this week.....
 A couple of friends have told me that they are having problems posting comments here on the blog. I have checked it myself and all seems ok and those of you who left a comment this past week obviously didn't have a problem. If you do have difficulties let me know via my Google ID.... 

Saturday, 30 October 2021

No cycling or anything else.


 This has been a bad week.

 I have not done any cycling or anything else come to that. I have been so ill that my whole week has been spent in bed. Total fatigue and really ill.

 It has been the worst week I have had since back in last December when it was thought that I wouldn't make it. This past week I didn't think that I was going to make it either.

 The terrible thing is that I wouldn't have cared less. I really felt as if I had lost the will to carry on .......

 Yesterday I was back at the Chemotherapy day ward for another round of toxins. I explained how I had been to the Doctor and we talked everything through and some adjustments were made to my regular daily medication. 

Looking at how fit I was at the top of the Swiss/Italian Alps in the photo at the top of this post I cannot believe that it was me. I would love to feel that fit again but it seems impossible at the moment.....

 Sorry there is not much in this blog post this week but I don't have the energy to write or the clarity of mind due to all the brain fog..... ....... 

Saturday, 23 October 2021

A bit of an obsession...


 I thought that I would tell you about a bit of an obsession that I have. I have always been really interested in cycling culture and have had a bit of a thing for the history of cycling jerseys.
 Not only is it a bit of a thing but I have always felt the need to add to my  collection even though you can only wear one jersey at a time.
 Now I know that you can get a lot of cheap copy jerseys from China but they tend to be just that...cheap. 

Back in 2009 I became impressed by what was then a new company called 'Shutt Velo Rapide'... (SVR). I bought a couple of items of cycle clothing that were in vintage styles and I loved not just the look but also the quality of their clothing products.... Since then I have been a regular customer adding to my collection on numerous occasions.

They are described as a boutique cycle clothing company and as such are probably similar to Rapha in as much as they have their own distinctive signature strip and produce quality items although they do tend to be a little cheaper.... 

When we sold up in Bournemouth and started touring I did prune my collection of jerseys as there was obviously a limit to the number that I could cart around in a small Eriba caravan but since lockdown and cancer I have started to add to my collection again.

 Recently SVR have introduced a limited edition range of Countries and Counties jerseys and I was rather taken with the Devon county Jersey which is based on the Devon County Flag..... Cornwall (Kernow) is another of this collection which I like although I did resist the temptation to purchase that as well. I figured that if I  was going to be riding the killer hills in Devon I might as well show that I am based down here in my adopted county and not a tourist :)  
With the white cross on the front and also the rear it does make the jersey pretty visible to other road users.
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I would like to point out that other than as a regular customer I have no connection with SVR and am just sharing my experience of this company with other cyclists.....Shutt jerseys are made in Italy and the latest range is manufactured from Repetita 100 per cent post -consumer recycled yarns. Google Shuttvr.com or Shutt Velo Rapide and check them out....

As for my health this past week it's been a bit up and down. I had a growth in my throat. and my throat started closing up and I was finding it really difficult to swallow. I saw the ENT consultant who checked my throat and says that all is well and the growth seems to have now disappeared. He made an adjustment to my Thyroxine dose so hopefully that will sort out my fatigue.

 The staff levels at the Chemotherapy day ward have been halved and yesterday I had to wait two and three-quarter hours to be seen. The staff were working flat out but due to staff shortages due to illness and staff leaving they are desperately trying to treat everyone. I had taken pain killers before I went but due to the huge delay to be seen they ran out before I was seen. I was in agony and they had to give me more paracetamol to help with the pain ....


Saturday, 16 October 2021

I need batteries....




 I thought that I would add some more images from Anne's colourful flower display at the head of this weeks blog post as my lack of energy and total fatigue continued this week.

 I really do need some batteries as if I sit down for any length of time I just fall asleep. When I wake up again I find that I am confused and my mind and body don't appear to be working together. 

On Monday I decided that I would go for a ride and as with the week before it was obvious early on in the ride that I was going to have to limit the distance due to the fatigue that I was having to deal with. 

There were road works at the top of the lane blocking the road entirely and not even a bike could get past. A diversion had been put in place making all traffic travel an extra three miles along single track lanes instead of the couple of hundred yards from the top of our lane to the campsite. The route was so narrow with traffic trying to travel in both directions that it was impossible for caravans and motorhomes to get to the site as the diversion was in place for four days it had a real impact on the caravan site. 

When I set out on my ride I did find a very narrow rough gravel track that avoided the diversion and gave it a try however it was so rough and I was riding with Continental Grand Prix 5000 tyres that were really unsuitable for that kind of surface that I felt that if I came back the same way I would almost certainly end up with a puncture so I decided that on my return I would follow the diversion. 

Well it was bad enough on a bike but I really would not have wanted to drive the route. First it was downhill all the way to the village of Buckland along single track lanes that even on a bike meeting something coming the other way was pretty terrifying then there was more level single track lanes as far as Buckland Abbey and to finish off there was a mile and a half of uphill all the way up to the Campsite... .

I did it but it was three miles instead of a few hundred yards but at least I saved my expensive road tyres from a puncture.....

 I had two sets of blood tests during the week as it seems that my fatigue is being caused by me no longer having a thyroid and the doctors not being able to find the correct balance of thyroxine to maintain my energy levels.... This coming Monday I will be seeing the Consultant so will find out those blood test results so hopefully the situation will be sorted soon.....

Saturday, 9 October 2021

Gears and Fatigue....

 





I thought that the photos for this weeks blog post could reflect some colour. The week has been very dismal and dull weather wise so it's nice to check out some of the flowers in Anne's flower bed at the front of our pitch. We have had a good showing of colour there since early Spring and most of the flowers have been planted from seeds from the previous years flowers....

The dull weather also reflected my health this past week.... I suffered with a real deep fatigue for nearly the whole week. We are not talking just being tired here, no... what I am talking about is a total breakdown of having any energy at all.


 It's been like trying to move through wet thick cement and not being able to think straight.... I had planned to go for a ride on the Wednesday because it was due to be the better day of the week. I would have liked to have gone for my next distance and ascent target but after just cycling for only 200yds it was obvious that an easier shorter ride was all that I would be able to achieve.

 In the end I managed a 10.8 mile ride and that was the absolute maximum that I was capable of. It took me the rest of the day to recover but I was so glad that I had actually attempted to get out on the bike. It gave me a real psychological. boost to have attempted a ride ....

Talking again about bike riding It was interesting to hear that Shimano have decided to remove mechanical gearing from their top two groupsets DuraAce and Ultegra.

 In future the first tier that you will be able to obtain  a mechanical set of gearing will be 105. Now you might say why would anyone want to use mechanical gearing when the electronic gearing is so good. It is consistent with perfect gear changing at the push of a button. Perfect gear changing every time. Totally reliable and for the racers very slightly faster ... 

I have ridden a number of bikes with electronic shifting and have been blown away by how good it is. Before I bought my Focus I tried out Ultegra electronic shifting as I was unsure what to go for and it really was impressive.

 In the end I decided on the 105 mechanical set. 

Two main reasons.... 

Pushing a button works perfectly but it gives no feed back. You cannot tell what gear you are moving to as every button push feels the same. When I push the lever on a mechanical set I get a feedback in a very slight change in lever tension that I don't get with an electronic button push. Agreed it is very slight and probably only an experienced rider would be able to pick up on it but it is definitely there and seems to keep me in touch with my gear changing in a more organic way which I like.

 The other reason of course is the amount of money I saved by sticking with mechanical...... If you want the best most consistent and reliable gear changing around then you can't beat electronic but if you want to retain a more organic feel to your gear changes then it will have to be 105 in future. ....... 

Saturday, 2 October 2021

Miles or Kms and a new bike....


 This turned up outside the awning a couple of days ago......Surely I haven't bought another new bike after all I have sold on two of my bikes this year. Both the Touring bike and the Felt have gone to new owners who I hope will look after them with all the love and care that I lavished on them......  


A couple of peeks into the box reveal something that looks a little bit like a mountain bike.....
No, I wouldn't have bought a mountain bike ..I bought one back in 2013 but it didn't work out too well. 
An attempted ride along the South Downs Way route with my friend Howard proved that mountain biking wasn't our type of cycling and on the second day we found a nice comfortable campsite to base ourselves. 
The next couple of days were spent going out from the site riding on tarmac and enjoying a couple of local tourist attractions. So much nicer than hike and bike struggling to ride up steep gravel strewn muddy tracks. 
Before you ask I won't be buying a Gravel bike either...even the name sends shivers down my spine. Lol.

So this was what was in the box.... 

A bike yes but it's a bike for Anne's grandson who this Christmas will be moving up from the balance bike that he has been riding for the past couple of years....  We thought that we better buy it early due to the shortage of bikes following the COVID-19 problems.

There would be nothing worse than trying to buy a bike for him in December and not being able to get hold of one. He is my last chance of having a young cyclist in the family as my own grandsons have let me down by only being interested in kicking a ball around in something called football...the result I think from a level of brainwashing from their Everton supporting father.    

Moving on....I didn't manage to get out and beat my  distance and climbing target this past week.

The nice dry weather that the forecast had promised us just didn't materialise. We had wind and rain instead and that knocked my attempt on the head. 

What it did do was get me thinking about why it is that I always measure my distances in miles. After all kilometres is the official measurement of cycling and I don't use it. I think in miles...My Garmin is set to record in miles although I actually record ascent and descent in metres.

 Most odd!!

 However the more I thought about it the answer became clearer. It's all a hangover from my younger years when my cycling discipline of choice was time trialling and being a peculiar British sport in those days the distance was always measured in miles. So...even to this day I still think in miles although I do find it easy enough to convert to kilometres in my head if I need to as I ride along ... I wonder if other ex time triallists from the late fifties and early sixties find themselves doing the same.     

Saturday, 25 September 2021

Cycling with Myeloma



 One of the entrances to the Nature Reserve at Derriford Hospital..... I seem to spend quite a lot of time at the hospital these days.......

Myeloma is the blood and bone cancer that I have it develops from plasma cells. Plasma cells are a type of white blood cell made in the bone marrow. The bone marrow is a spongy material inside the bones and it is part of the bodies immune system.

Normally plasma cells are made in a controlled way but in people like me with Myeloma the process is out of control and large numbers of abnormal plasma cells are made.

Myeloma is a rare cancer with only about 5000 people diagnosed each year. Doctors don't know what causes it.

Symptoms are varied but can include constant bone pain....  Extreme tiredness       ( fatigue) Tingling or numbness in the hands and feet. It is one of the most painful cancers.

I have multiple myeloma which means that the bone pain is in numerous bones of my body... Severe symptoms such as spinal chord compression are also a problem indeed I have already shrunk by about an inch due to this ... I have had bone marrow samples taken from my hip bone not very pleasant as a sample of liquid from within the bone marrow is drawn into a syringe..pretty uncomfortable as the marrow is drawn into the syringe ....I have also had bone marrow tissue removed for testing and none of this represents a good day out at the hospital. 

I am currently back on Chemotherapy for the cancer and this year I have had half a dozen MRI scans as well as x-rays etc.

Myeloma cannot be cured so there is no way that I will beat this but it can be treated so as to improve my quality of life and to try to control the symptoms.

As a keen cyclist there is no way that I can contemplate giving up cycling. I must admit though that the consultant was amazed that I had started riding my bike again and even mentioned it in his latest report on my condition.

Cycling with Myeloma is not without it's problems though. I used to be able to ride 80 to 100 miles before getting an aching neck. Now with the myeloma I suffer real agony in my neck after just 5 or 6 miles. It's all about trying to control and shut out the pain and luckily I do seem to have a pretty high pain threshold. 

If you have ever suffered with a bad tooth ache that causes you pain in your gum and jaw... well that is what the bone pain with Myeloma is like except it can be all over your skeletal system which obviously just adds to the difficulty of riding a bike....

I can take morphine for the pain but that is not a good idea if you are planning a bike ride for obvious reasons.....

I am determined to continue with my cycling indeed on my last ride I beat my furthest distance as well as my most ascent since being diagnosed so I am making progress on the bike.

People often ask why I am not on Strava but what would be the point. I am riding with a massive handicap so any Strava data would be of no value in comparison to other riders..

I thought that I would explain all this to you because due to it's rarity most people know nothing about this cancer and some people seem to think that it can be beaten in the way that some other cancers can be. A good remission is the best that can be hoped for and obviously that would allow me to continue with my cycling.

Most people who are diagnosed with this disease had never heard of it before the diagnosis and I count myself among them.....

Saturday, 18 September 2021

Thyroid Success ...


On Monday I had an appointment with the ENT Oncology Surgeon for an update on my recent operation. It would seem the  procedure was a success as there are no signs of the thyroid cancer that I was diagnosed with back in December......

It was thought that the cancer had spread from the thyroid itself to my lymph glands and two levels of those were removed as well. In terms of long term prognosis the thyroid cancer was the least threat to my life of the three cancers that I have....

 It is a pity that the Bone and Blood cancers can't be treated as easily. As I have said previously there is no actual cure for these only treatment to slow their growth down and help me with pain control. 

The Hematology department have wasted no time in getting me back on the chemotherapy indeed I was back in the chemo ward yesterday for treatment. (Image of ward above). 

Today I am feeling pretty poor following the treatment and will probably end up spending the day in bed. Other than exhaustion I don't have any major side effects when I have chemotherapy. What I have found in the past is that after the treatment I have a couple of days of feeling very tired and then I am back to normal..... Well as normal as you can be when suffering with blood and bone cancer.

 Some people are really badly affected by the treatment and have ongoing sickness and general nausea as well as tingling in the feet and hands and lots more luckily I seem to get away with very little in terms of side effects. 
These new rounds of chemo will probably take me up to Christmas.

Wednesday, 8 September 2021

Day out for the Tour of Britain.....





 On Monday Anne filled me with my medication and took me out to just the other side of Yelverton so that I could watch the riders in the Tour of Britain come through. 

It was great to get out and have a picnic at the side of the road . I had a seat with me so that I could take the weight off my legs which is pretty important as the bone cancer certainly restricts the amount of time that I can stand even with the pain killers that I take.

 Before the cancers took hold last year I had started to ride on these local Dartmoor roads and was learning the best way to tackle the hills to Princetown.... Two Bridges and the Warren House Inn so it was great to see the Pro cyclists riding what are now my local roads..... Mind you I paid the price for my day out as I was completely wiped out right through Tuesday and it was only this morning that I felt that I was starting to get back to where I was before Monday. 

Next week I have an appointment with the surgeon who removed my thyroid and lymph nodes so I should find out how successful the procedure was at removing the thyroid cancer bearing in mind that it had spread. A couple of hours after that appointment I have another one with the consultant from heamotology and will then find out when they will reintroduce the chemotherapy for my blood and bone cancers.....

Wednesday, 25 August 2021

The Best View I've Had ...



 These views were from the ward I was in moments after I was brought up from the Recovery Unit following my surgery. 

I have been lucky in my life to have seen some wonderful scenic views in some wonderful places in the world when I have been backpacking or cycling......but believe me none of them had the same impact as these views ...

 Because of the risks involved with the surgery due to my multiple heart conditions I really did not expect to survive the operation. The requirements for the treatment of my multiple cancers are the complete opposite to what is needed to control my heart conditions.

 Everything had been spelled out to me by all the various medical departments involved regarding the risks involved in proceeding with the procedure as well as the certain outcome by not having it done ... 

I really did not have a choice but I was certain that I would not get through the surgery so to wake up and see the above views had a real impact on me. Going in to the operating theatre I felt that they were my last conscious moments of my life. 

It was very difficult trying to hold all my emotions together but I did manage it. I wanted to at least leave this life relaxed and under control. The euphoria I felt when looking out of the ward window elevated the view to the best and most stunning view I had ever experienced.

 So where do we go from here?

 Well we won't know for a few weeks how successful the surgery actually was. The Surgeon who did the procedure has a reputation for being the best in the south west of the country for this type of operation but we need to wait for the results from the lab from some of the material that was removed......

If it still shows the possibility of cancer remaining then I will need to have follow up radiotherapy of some kind to try and eradicate it. However this is all just part of what is going on as I still have the other two cancers that need to be dealt with and I am only part of the way through the treatment for those.

 I was told when I was first diagnosed back in November last year that there is no actual cure and as such my cancers are terminal. Remission is what we can hope for and trust that it will be a long one.

 I have been told that there is only a 20 per cent chance of surviving beyond two years from the date of first diagnosis. I am very determined that I will be part of that 20 per cent group !!

Tuesday, 17 August 2021

Well I Survived....!!!.....

 Well I got through the surgery ok. The operation was delayed from Friday the 13th and took place yesterday. I will post a more detailed report on it all in about a week's time......


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.......


Even more in the locker...

 We now have even more meds in our top locker. The longer the treatment goes on the more meds I am taking .....  On Friday's and Saturda...