My E Blog on 5 May 14.
I’m no stranger to exercise having served for 29 years in Her Majesty’s Forces. However, I’m not 21 anymore and I have some health challenges. Chris isn’t 21 either – despite her youthful looks (brownie points…). Some people are quite impressed by our commitment to walk 84 miles. However, I’m hoping that’s going to be the easy bit as the training regime we are putting ourselves through has been hard work and time consuming. Today we walked 12 miles with Chris suffering neck and back pain and me with a sore right toe. This followed a 9.5 mile on Saturday and an 8 mile on Sunday. We will be out again tomorrow morning. There’s an old army saying ‘train hard, fight easy’, I guess that’s our strategy.
All of that said, I can honestly say exercise is improving my general health. I keep a detailed medical log which tracks the things that worry me and my charts are showing excellent progress. Back in January, I wanted to exploit improvements and used the vehicle of fundraising to set myself a physical challenge – thus Hadrian’s Wall. Chris immediately volunteered to walk alongside me.
This is a a type of heart scan using equipment much like an ultrasound. Neuroendocrine cancer patients are at risk of developing right sided heart problems which is normally caused by the release of excess hormones from malignant tumours. This can form a white fibrous layer lining which radiologists and surgeons sometimes refer to as ‘plaque’. I actually have this in other parts of my anatomy, some has been removed during surgery. My annual heart scans have been clear to date and the risk is very low given that my biochemistry tests continue to indicate normal hormone levels.
A common secondary tumour site for metastatic Neuroendocrine Cancer is the Liver. Neuroendocrine tumours can be small and they can settle near important blood vessels making surgery at best very risky or at worst inoperable. An embolisation is a procedure carried out by an Interventional Radiologist who inserts a tube into the groin and guides it using x-ray cameras into the main artery in the liver. Once in position, drugs are released to block blood supply to the tumours (they cannot live without a blood supply). These embolisations can be ‘bland’ or the drugs can be mixed with chemo to make it more potent. I was fortunate that my Interventional Radiologist is one of the most experienced in the country. He is also the co-founder of PLANETS Charity www.planetscharity.org
Thank you Dr Brian Stedman!