Monday, 12 May 2014

Hello dear reader.  My abject apologies for being away so long.  I think of you often; I resolve to write to you and then the day is gone, it's 1.30 am and I really need to go to bed.  Such is life.

I'm very glad to be able to report that my mum's now fine after her pneumonia scare and that I'm still very much alive though with another checkup creeping ever nearer, just a tad twitchy - as described somewhere in an earlier post.

When I meet people they say: "How are you?"  I tell them that I'm fine and I thank them for their concern.  Then they repeat the question perhaps with a "but" as a prefix.  After having had this happen so many times I've now realised that what they mean is: "OK so you escaped the grim reaper the first time, but with your prognosis we don't really expect you to last that long, so how many little blighters do you now have growing back again?"  The answer is, I have absolutely no idea and in fact I suspect none whatsoever - but time will tell. 

For those who want more information, here's the situation.  I'm due another check-up on Thursday.  They give me an Xray, take a look at it and usually with nothing untoward visible, they book another appointment, currently at six month intervals.

I have had a series of - probably viral - sore throats over the past few months, but I think that could be said for pretty well the whole of the UK population. I have a slightly sore muscle which manifests itself somewhere in the region of the top of my right buttock - which I had checked out; (the muscle not the buttock!)  Blood tests were done just in case it was something more sinister.  Nothing showed and my physiotherapist diagnosed crookedness - crookedness in standing and sitting. She said progress would be slow and it's been several months since but I can now report that things are improving.  Sitting straight and properly is easy.  It's the standing straight I find more difficult because the proper position feels really odd.

I suppose the reason that I was prompted to blog this morning however is something that I've noticed in my hands.  First let me say that what I thought was chemo thumbnail turns out to be (thanks to the lovely lady who stuck up a page on the net about it) simply nervous picking at thumb quicks.  I found a nervous picking at thumb-quicks buddy with exactly the same problem and that prompted me to Google again. Hey presto, a lady who diagnosed herself, stopped picking and took a series of pictures to show recovery and smooth nails when she stopped.  I can confirm she's right and my thumbnails are now in the process of straightening out.

So back to the hands. Well the last few days I have a slight odd sensation - so subtle that it's almost imperceptible - in my fingers.  I had a bit of panic because I thought it might be loss of sensation, but then when I think about my feet, I think they are more sensitive - just slightly. Now I know it's unlikely that the peripheral neuropathy will be reversed, but I'm wondering, just maybe, if my nerve damage is on the mend.  Certainly feet do feel more sensitive, there's no doubt about it.  Fingers crossed.

All other functions - as long as I don't go on a bender with sugar, fat and alcohol - are wonderfully operational. Isn't the human body just amazing? I never cease to be stunned by its ability to withstand what we throw at it.  I do continue with vitamin supplements and a blend of cottage cheese and flax oil each morning, to which I now add half an apple which makes it quite palatable. Most of all I avoid sugar though I have to admit to some recent excesses.  My only regular treat however is a small piece of very dark - as dark as I can get it - chocolate, usually daily.  It is, you understand, purely for medicinal purposes.

Exercise - ah now there's the problem. Not enough.  I resolve that I must do more.

Dear reader, I'm fine.  Do not worry and when you ask: "How are you?" rest assured, I will answer you honestly.

P.S. A steady stream of just-diagnosed cancer patients now beats a path to my door and I either buy for them or urge them to purchase Chris Woollams' Rainbow Diet. Make sure you buy from the authorised source because he updates it as knowledge is gained, and the latest edition is the one to have.

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