According to the consultant at yesterday's out-patient consultation (75 days post-chemo), I'm now a Survivor and no longer a Sufferer.
I'm not cured (they never use that "C-word") but it has been confirmed that I'm in what we all hope is lasting remission. There are no signs of the disease itself but they will monitor me for a year or so while I continue convalescence to repair the damage caused by the treatment. It's mainly physiological (muscle-loss, lack of energy and stamina, lack of eyelashes, lack of pupil dilation etc.) but there are some odd mental effects too (Google "chemo-brain" for further details). The Treatment Summary document states that I may have "late effects" including fatigue, poor concentration and forgetfulness. Oh, and early menopause!
It's the 1st of August and the layout of the north of England has gone barmy. The LDNP extended within Cumbria - I can just about understand that. But the YDNP extended into Cumbria and Lancashire? How does that work?
So, now there are even more bits of the LDNP that are not merely unmarked but simply don't appear on my worn-in but not yet worn-out OS OL English Lakes paper set, or my Memory-Map 1:25k Lake District 'puter maps, or even my two excellent AZ Adventure Lake District map-books.
How long before the OS tries to sell us Outdoor Leisure OL "7 and a bit"?
And before you say anything about the maps on this blog, yes, I know that they're fcuked. UMapper is defunct, and I have yet to find a suitable replacement.
The first time we met we were stuck in traffic on the Aylestone Road. The pedestrilist*, unable to overtake or undertake the pulled-over bus obstructing the cycle-lane, and unable to nip onto the pavement due to there being safety-railings, was leaning on my car's roof-rail, apparently incapable of unclipping his Tour de Leicester cycling clogs from his pedals in order to use his own feet to keep himself upright. I wound down the window and asked him to desist but he didn't. Luckily, the traffic started to move on so there was no further set-to.
About a mile or so further on the traffic had stopped again. I looked in the door-mirror and again there was a Lycra-clad someone leaning on, or about to lean on, my roof-rail. I was fairly sure that it was the same miscreant.
The car in front of mine had pulled forward a bit and had left a car's-length of space in front of mine, so I duly moved into the gap. Sir Isaac Newton and stupidity did the rest. In the rear-view mirror I saw a perfect arc of toppling torso, through the open windows I heard a crumpling noise.
From the sounds being emitted from the patch of sun-kissed tarmac behind my car, I surmised the following:
Lycra doesn't protect the wearer from impact;
Clip-ins don't clip-out very quickly;
My I.Q. and parentage are now questionable.
YouTube has a similar version:
*Pedestrilist: A cyclist who believes that it's OK to chop and change between using the road or the pavement according to whatever obstructions are encountered, such as prams, red lights and buses. No prior indication, life-saver look behind or consideration for others is required in order to execute such random, unpredictable and dangerous manoeuvres.
I should point out now that I have great respect for law-abiding cyclists. I just don't like selfish twats.
I'm not yet discharged back to the care of my GP (that's a few months away) but the hospital visits are now tailing off - one outpatient appointment per fortnight until further notice.
The official line is that I'm in a period of counts recovery which should lead to remission... after previous chemo cycles that recovery has taken a few weeks, but due to the cumulative effect of high-dose cytarabine cycles this latest recovery could take several months, and we can expect set-backs if I catch any bacterial/viral/fungal infections.
To give some idea of how slowly the counts are recovering, here are comparative plots of the neutrophil counts for the latest two cycles. For the avoidance of doubt, we're aiming for a minimum count of 1.50 x 109 cells/litre for minimum-acceptable infection-resistance. 4.50 x 109 cells/litre would be a good mid-range long-term target...
The red-count plot follows a broadly-similar pattern (at the latest check it was still low at about 90 grammes/litre, climbing, but not very quickly), which means I'm at home with many things to do and not much energy to do them. Mind you, I do have to try... I need exercise in order to convert belly to muscle. Furthermore, in theory, more exercise should mean faster recovery.
And there's more good news! I now have so much head- and facial-hair that I had to have it trimmed to keep it in check. So now I look less like Uncle Fester and more like Great Uncle Bulgaria 🙂
Updates at 12 minutes past the hour, needs page-refresh
IT’S A SMALL WORLD…
Top Tip:If the small world looks squished on your monitor, your aspect ratio's out of whack and all images here will appear distorted, thus making a mockery of all the processing that I've had to do to get half-decent pics.It's a simple thing to fix, so DO IT!
This work is licenced under a Creative Commons BY-SA 3.0 Licence. If you use any of my work, please link back to its source.Click the CC logo above to check the terms of this licence.
I'm working on the basis that Implied Consent is a valid form of consent in the context of compliance with the EU e-Privacy Directive.
If YOU don't want this site to place cookies on YOUR computer YOU should set YOUR browser to reject them.
Not on this blog. I don't make a bean out of this place, not even from referrals, clickthroughs and reviews.
ODDS & ENDS
This blog's optimised for Firefox and a screen resolution of 1280 x 800 px. If you're using a different setup, YMMV.This blog's powered by WordPress and a home-brewed skin running on a modded version of Mike Little’s Journalized Theme Version 2.