I mentioned a few posts ago that I was going to the Beatson Centre during the summer for radiotherapy treatment for the recurring cancer resulting from the escape of cancerous cells after my operation for prostate cancer in 1998. Well I had the treatment and I met some wonderful people whilst I was having the treatment. See The Last Day at Eagleton Notes. Since then life's been pretty hectic.
A few weeks ago I had my bloods done for my PSA reading. PSA is an indicator of the prostate specific antigens in the body which in turn are a general indicator of prostate cancer. My reading was 0.03. That is almost as low as it's been since I was operated on but still indicates the presence of potentially cancerous cells, however minute in quantity.
On Friday morning I was due to have my follow-up consultation with the oncologist to review the treatment's effect. So on Friday I was in Ayr.
Friday was a Really Good Day. In the morning I rang my Doc's and the receptionist gave me my latest PSA results which were down to 0.01. So when I got in to see the oncologist the consultation took 30 seconds. He asked if I had any lasting ill effects from the radiotherapy (I have not) and then said "Well the PSA count is about as good as it gets. I'll see you in 6 months when you get back from New Zealand." All this way for 30 seconds! I had a longer chat with the nurses afterwards because one of their number (who was at lunch) is shortly off to live in New Zealand. The others didn't know where though. By coincidence I have a theatre nurse and her husband living in The Cottage at the moment. They love it so much they don't want to leave! I can see me ending up in my own spare bedroom when I get back!
All the travelling on Friday (from 1015 until 1630) enabled me to do some reading and I managed the Times 2 Crossword (not cryptic!), the Codeword and the Polygon. I only failed on 1 clue in the crossword: Picasso painting inspired by a bombed town. Even with half the letters I just didn't know. Otherwise I was quite proud of myself.
So I bought a bottle of Champagne on the way back to Anna's (the friend with whom I was staying as Gaz had gone off on Thursday to kite surf in Egypt).
All in all it was, as I said, a Very Good Day.
It's made me think too and it's also been tinged with the sadness that at least one of the Three Musketeers has not so far had such good news. I'm just hoping that all my positive thoughts will help him through the devastation he's feeling at this moment.
A newly found friend in Blogland made the point that she didn't know how she would cope living with the presence of cancer hanging over her. It's funny but I've never consciously seen it like that. To me cancer has been the worst things in my life - particularly watching Andy die such a horrible death through cancer - and one of the best. My own cancer has taught me so much. It has been, and continues to be, a completely positive experience.
And that is where I will leave it tonight. But I will continue my thoughts on it soon.