Checkup, Charts & Numbers

Today, we had a phone consult with the oncology nurse. The main purpose was to check in and for us to get the results of last weeks blood work.

My input to the checkup is that I’m feeling fine and still riding the bike regularly. I also reported on my weight (classified) and temperature – normal at 36.2 so no fevers etc.

Shirley was on the call to so the two ladies quickly move on to talking about cooking, Christmas, COVID and other non-me related stuff. I almost dropped off the call.

I did get a couple of questions in:

  1. What are you thoughts on me getting the upcoming COVID vaccine?

    CancerCare currently has no guidance on this but is likely to have some information by the time I’m likely to get a shot at “the shot”, which in my best guess will be late in 2021.
  2. When will my immune system be considered “back to normal?

    Sadly, 1+ years post stem cell transplant which would put it out to July 2021 at the earliest.

Blood testing results continue to be sort of holding steady, dropping a bit or small slow improvements. Still waiting patiently (sort of) for the big breakthrough improvement. I’ve updated the charts with what the “normal” targets are for your viewing pleasure.

The LDH numbers are good as higher numbers indicate inflammation in the body, aka “something is going wrong”.

Speaking of numbers, the journey has been a lot longer that I’d ever imagined. How long you ask? Well, here are the “highlights”.

0Initial Detection – 2018/05/10
35First meeting with the Oncologist
41Chemotherapy starts
57Port installed
165Chemotherapy ends
175PET scan post chemotherapy
179Cancer Free
223Port removed
663In the ER – X-Rays, CT scan – re-occurance – 2020-03-03
669Oncologist meeting – Round 2
680Port Insertion (again)
690Chemotherapy starts (outpatient at St. Boniface Hospital
697Bone Marrow Transplant / Stem Cell Transplant Consult phone call
761PICC line installed & HSC Admission
762Seven consecutive days of chemotherapy start
769Bone Marrow Transplant / Stem Cell Transplant – 2020/06/07
782HSC discharge
838PET Scan
845PET Scan results – not good
875Radiation Starts (Daily for 5 days except weekend)
881Radiation Ends
971Final PET Scan 2021/01/05

I guess I have too much time on my hands thanks to COVID.

Looking back it seems both long and short all at the same time. Time really does fly, Tempus Fugit. I’ve learned a lot along the way. The value of friends and family. The trust, hope and confidence in the Word of God. My secure salvation in Jesus Christ, His amazing grace and faithful promises. He was always with me in what has happened and will always with me in whatever might come.

Be safe, be well, be blessed.

Good hair day?

Now that I’ve been bald twice, it has changed my relationship with my hair.

Getting older is so much fun! At one time I was a little concerned about thinning hair and a receding hair line. Now, I’m just thankful to have some.

After getting over the initial shock of being bald the first time, it wasn’t all that bad and certainly low maintenance.

The one thing that people generally focus on with hair loss due to chemotherapy is the hair on your head. However, it’s more that that, it’s hair everywhere! Now some of that has some surprising benefits. For example, I didn’t need to shave for months. Other hair loss on my body is a little more shall we say “weird”, and we’ll leave it at that.

For those of you who have not seen me for a while, which is most of you thanks to Covid, my hair is returning. And like the first time it’s a little different than normal. It’s a little on the curly side.

After a haircut or two the curly hair will revert to my previously straight hair. In the meantime I’m getting called some interesting names like “lambykins”.

I’m feeling well and there won’t be any scans or testing until January 2021 so posts may be sporadic and eclectic for a while. In the mean time …