Monthly Archives: May 2019

Swimmingly

In spite of being diagnosed with high blood pressure two weeks ago, I have just had a fairly decent ten days or more. The aches and pains that came with the hormone therapy have subsided to almost non-existent. My blood pressure has only gone down slightly though, so my medication has been increased.

I have enjoyed swimming recently and that has helped me get my muscles working again. Well, some of them. I am now wishing that I had gone swimming more often before becoming ill as I would benefit from being able to swim more. Sadly, for someone who used to be a scuba diving instructor, I am a shit swimmer. Also, I will have to stop going in the pool when I am on radiotherapy but will certainly get back to it at the earliest opportunity.

My radiotherapy treatment starts in less than a week and it is fair to say that I am a little apprehensive about it. However, in little more than a month, it will be over and done with. Just the side effects to contend with then. I am at the moment feeling better, both physically and mentally, than I have for some months. Things are going swimmingly.

Out of my depth

Instead of the gym
I now go for a swim
To try and keep up my strength.
Though my head says, "GO",
My body says, "NO",
As I barely manage a length.


Marked For Life

I’ve now had my planning scan in advance of receiving radiotherapy. I spent a few hours at the hospital. First, being briefed by one of the research team about what was going to happen regarding the scan and then filling in as many of the gaps in what I knew about what would happen going forward. It was totally about keeping me informed and feeling at ease with what was coming.

Next I was seen by one of the scanning team who took me through the procedure in more detail, explaining how I would have to drink water containg a dye so that they could determine if my bladder was sufficiently full and also that my rectum needed to be empty. No poo and no farty gas allowed.

I would have to be set up in a certain position and not move whilst being scanned. Provided all the criteria were met, I would then be marked with three dots which would be used to set me up in exactly the same position for the next twenty visits.

Well, the water containing the dye smelt of aniseed. It’s fair to say that the taste might be better described as anuseed. It was not very tasty. However, I drank the specified amount within the specified time and having had a bowel movement earlier, I was ready to go. Or not go.

As one might expect, they were meticulous in the set up but all was well and all the boxes were ticked and I now have three permanent dots on my lower body. Hardly noticeable really, so they don’t break my “no tattoo” rule.

After the scan I had another blood test for PSA. Perfectly straightforward. No bent needles or projectile bleeding this time. And then it was off to the Macmillan Centre for a coffee and a chat. I also booked myself a couple of massages. It was a good day and things seem to be moving forward now.

Pressure

A couple of days later, I had an assessment to see if I could go on a fitness course for people with long term illness or cancer. I failed. My blood pressure was too high. It had reached an all time high, possibly as another side effect of the hormone treatment.

The assessor said that he could not allow me to use the gym but I was at liberty to swim in the pool, should I wish to do so. It’s ok to drown, I suppose, but not fall off the treadmill. I was a bit disappointed but thought that swimming might be ok for the time being. I need to get active in some way. With that in mind, I took out a membership with a leisure centre nearer to home and received a substantial discount.

I saw my GP the next day regarding my blood pressure and am now on medication. Hopefully it is only short term. Nevertheless, in spite of the hot flushes I have been getting, I am feeling better than I have been recently.

Sad

On a sadder note, I am writing this after having just attended the funeral service of a friend. Someone that I have known since we were eleven years old. He had been very supportive of me despite having been diagnosed with cancer himself at the end of last year. A lovely man. RIP Alan.