Well I was busy doing something (or nothing 🤔) when my phone beeped indicating that I had just received a text message. I don’t get many text messages anymore and so was curious as to who was texting me?
I checked my phone and was pleasantly surprised to see that it was a text message from my GP Surgery inviting me to have my Covid Vaccination.
There was a link to a website and I was able to select a date and time that suited me.
Nice and easy 👍.
So next Friday I will be off to the local football ground for my first vaccination. I will let you know how it goes.
Well it’s a Monday morning and there is snow on the ground and ice on the roads and I have to head to the GP’s surgery for my 15th Prostap Injection.
While there was ice on the road outside our house once I got onto the bigger roads the ice was gone and the journey was much easier.
Hence I arrived at the surgery early and I knew they were not keen to let people in early so I spent a few minutes in the car waiting.
Closer to my appointment time I made my way to the surgery. They have a video camera doirbell at the door and so you are screened before they let you enter the surgery.
Once inside it was only a short wait until the nurse called for me. It was the same nurse who had done my last injection and she had recorded which side she had administered the injection and so she would be injecting my on the right side of my stomach.
The needle was quickly inserted and the injection was done and it was time to head home.
I do tend to suffer from more hot flushes for a week or so after the injection but then it settles down a bit.
The great thing about todays technology is you can now access your test results online and so I now have my test results from the 24th November although I have not had a phonecall from the surgery yet and indeed I may not get a phone call as the test results for the most part are normal.
This test is the mid point test between my ocology appointments and the main thing I am interested in and the main thing they are interested in is my PSA which has risen slightly to 93.04 which is abnormal (as it states below) but is expected, it was previously, 6 weeks ago at 85, so while it is way above the range it should be (0.0 – 4.5) it is fairly stable and it is stability that we are looking for.
That and my general health which for the most part is good so I believe that when my Oncologist sees these results he will be pleased and will wait to see me in January 2021.
A copy of the blood test results are below for those who might be interested, I have highlighted things of interest.
24 Nov 2020
Serum prostate specific antigen level
Abnormal, but expected
What you need to do
Other (copy to oncology)
Serum prostate specific antigen level 93.04 ug/L [0.0 – 4.5]
Above high reference limit
Please note: From 09/10/2009, age related ranges are reported — Afro-
Today I have been over to the GPs surgery for a blood test and I have to say that it went very well.
The doctor was very good and got into the vein first time and got the blood out and the vacutainers full. I was also quick to be seen, I barely had time to sit down.
This blood test is roughly at the 6 week point between my last appointment at UCLH where they are now seeing me every 3 months when I have my Zoledronic Acid treatment for my bones and the next one at the start of January.
Fingers crossed that the results will come back and show no major increase to my PSA and also nothing else to worry about.
Overall I feel fit and well and am getting around a lot better although I still use a walking stick when I go out walking.
I have tried to reduce the amount of morphine I take for the pain in my back, I now take 10mg in the morning and 5mg at night. The are slow release tablets and cover me all day. I did try stopping the nighttime dose but found it a little painful in bed and it interrupted my sleep so I have started to take them again.
I also take 10mg of Amitriptyline at night and wonder if I could get away with not taking this any longer. I think I will discuss it with my Oncologist in January in case there are side effects coming off it.
The Acupuncture that I had has been going well but I think it was more effective when I was having 3 sessions a week rather than one a month. So I am thinking of stopping them.
As I say I am feeling a lot better and what I really need to do is continue to build up my strength and endurance by walking more. I still need to be very careful with my back and in particular with bending and lifting as the vertebrae above and below T12, the one which partially collapsed and I had cement put in are both very vulnerable to collapse as well although I hope the Zoledronic Acid is helping to strengthen them 🤞.
So I am hoping the results for the blood test come back soon and show good news.
I have a Prostap Hormone Injection every 12 weeks and it’s amazing how quickly it comes around. The prostap is a hormone injection which restricts the production of testosterone which in turn helps to feed the Prostate Cancer so it is important that I have this although I am not sure how much it is doing in terms of fighting the cancer.
What I do know is that it gives me lots of hot flushes, some mild some pretty intense.
I arrived for my appointment on time and discovered that the surgery now had a video doorbell! I donned my mask and pressed the button, there was a fairly long pause before a voice asked me if I had an appointment, I said I did and they then asked my name. I could hear the clicking of the keyboard as my name was typed into the computer. Another pause and then the voice said OK I will be with you in a moment and the connection to the doorbell was severed.
In my head I could hear the footsteps of the person walking to the front door!
I was allowed in and asked to disinfection my hands and then directed to take a seat.
Within a minute or two the nurse appeared and called me into the treatment room. The injection had already been prepped and she told me that last time I had the injection I had it in the right side of my stomach and so this time I would have it on the left side.
Although I was prepared for the injection I managed to jump as the nurse touched me, I think it was her cold hands! My jump caused her to stratch me, my fault as I had moved.
Second time I was ready and the needle was in and the fluid was pushed into me. Then it was over and a plaster was put over the hole where the needle went in.
The prostap injection uses a larger needle than a standard syringe and so only certain nurses can administer this injection and so they get plenty of practice with it and are very good at giving the injection.
The nurse looked up the date of my next injection in 12 weeks and so I would be back on the 27th of January 2021. Not my first medical appointment for 2021!
This was my 14th Prostap Injection, 13 have been done at the GP’s surgery and one at UCLH. I think I will continue to be on Prostap for the foreseeable future which I don’t mind although I could do without the hot flushes.
One of the good things that has happened recently is a number of Apps and ways to access your GP and NHS data have been introduced so you do not need to wait for the doctor to access information like blood test results.
And so I used one of my new Apps to look at my blood test results from the test I had last week and was very pleased to see that my PSA had dropped to 88, I have made it back into double figures 😁👍.
It’s actually quite a big drop, down from 144 last month and clearly a massive drop from 1,585 where it was last year.
On the downside the blood test also showed that I am borderline Anaemic which means a lack of Iron in my blood and other things which I still need to find out about.
While I wait to find out if either the GP or my Oncologist will prescribe Iron tablets and of course identify the underlying cause of the Iron deficiency, I can add more Iron rich food into my diet such as the following.
dried fruit – such as dried apricots
wholegrains – such as brown rice
fortified breakfast cereals
soy bean flour
most dark-green leafy vegetables – such as watercress and curly kale
So I will be looking at some liver recipes, I have not had liver for years! Liver and Bacon sounds good.
And I’ll be getting the blender out and making those lovely green drinks with curly kale and spinach!
But such good news about my PSA, I feel it sets me up for my Outpatients call tomorrow and Lutetium treatment number 6 on Friday.
Well today as been full of excitement, well not really that exciting but exciting for me.
I have been out of the house today and visited the GP in Thorley for my three monthly Hormone Injection.
It was good to get out and see a small part of the world. It was also good to get behind the wheel of the car and do a bit of driving. They have resurfaced the main road through the village which we had seen from our house but hadn’t driven down, looks like they have done a good job and now all the potholes have gone.
I arrived at the Surgery with my mask and gloves on and like last time I needed to ring the doorbell to be let in.
I actually feel this system works much better as there was no waiting around and I was straight in to see the nurse. Although I guess less people are going to the surgery and that is why it is more efficient but I am sure there are lessons to be learnt!
The nurse was very good as well as quick and efficient, the injection is done with a big needle and I never felt a thing which is always a good result.
And before I knew it I was off home, I made the most of the drive and went through town to have a look around. The roads were quiet and driving was a pleasure but I can’t see that lasting!
Soon I was home and looking forward to my next adventure which is tomorrow when I go out for a blood test!
Blood test, gloves and mask, doctor, one way system, waiting now
Today I had a Blood Test and perhaps more importantly I had a little trip out. I am due to have my Oncology Outpatients appointment on the 6th of May and instead of going to UCLH in London it was said that I should have it done locally to reduce the need to travel and therefore the risk of exposure to Corona Virus.
So I contacted my GP a few days ago who had a whole bunch of questions and in the end asked me to get the team at UCLH to email or write to them. So I emailed the UCLH team who were very good and were quickly in contact with the GP.
Don’t get me started on the ‘one’ or ‘joined up’ NHS thing, although I might write a post about it in the future 😉
Anyway, back on topic, I got a call from a doctor on Tuesday at the GP surgery who arranged a blood test for me for today. It would seem that the Herts and Essex Hospital where I would normally go for a blood test was taking in Corona Virus patients and so the blood test would be done at the GPs surgery instead.
So come this morning I was faced with a serious dilemma! What was I going to wear? After being confined to the house the dress code has been very casual and comfy and today I will have to wear socks!
Anyway I overcame this mental hurdle and got myself dressed, packed some rubber gloves and a face mask and I was off. The roads were very quiet as you can imagine and so I got to the surgery in no time at all.
After parking at the surgery I donned my face mask and gloves and went to the door of the surgery. The door was locked but I could see a doorbell had been fitted to control access. I rang the doorbell and the reception came and let me in after asking me a couple of questions. The waiting room was empty and I went straight into see the doctor who was masked and gloved up as was the nurse who was assisting her.
After a brief chat where I discovered that the doctor had had to revisit her basic training as a young doctor on how to take blood given the crisis and that generally GP’s do not take blood. Good thing I was not her first patient from whom she took blood, she was very good. Straight in first time with no pain, result!
Soon I had a plaster over my wound, I exited the surgery via the backdoor as they were running a one way system so that patience didn’t meet each other on arrival or leaving.
And then I was home again, I drove through the town which was very quiet and as such was a very pleasant drive.
Fingers crossed now for a positive set of results.