Friday, April 26, 2013

Winding down and Moving On

A real winter has happened this year in Madison.

I haven't been keeping up with this blog because I haven't been able to ride bike due to the snow and ice that have just kept coming all winter. Most years we get snow and then it gets warm and the snow melts and the bike paths and sidewalks open up again. This year they didn't.

It was a great year for ice skating, however, so I did that. The route from my house to campus (and this coffee shop) crosses a big lake and I don't go there.  So I ended up skating in much smaller circles on the ice at a local lagoon.

No news is good news...

The other reason I haven't written is that there really isn't much to tell. And, unlike cable news channels, I don't feel the need to 'report' if there's nothing going on.

I have gotten quite comfortable with my 'new' body and it's demands are becoming automatic (mundane?) and fading from my consciousness. Not to say that I'm ignoring them. I have kept the new habits that are designed to mitigate any chance of a relapse and to strengthen my remaining body and it's organs. And I continue to strive to minimize stress upon these systems by drinking lots of water, a nutritious diet, regular exercise, and a healthy environment.

... for now??

I will keep writing but since it is off topic for this blog I will probably concentrate on other blogs and my own web site. Thank you for reading. I will pick this up again if and when there is something to write. Let me know if you have any questions, suggestions, or new information relating to bladder cancer or cancer in general. Or if you'd like to share your own experiences. I would love to hear from you.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Old dogs...

This old dog has learned a new trick - from a cat.

Yeah, this is about neo-bladders and peeing - but it's short. 

Our cat, Ellie, has a habit of coming into the bathroom whenever she hears me sitting down to pee. She meows and rubs up against my leg but whenever I reach out to try to pet her she starts walking away.  A couple months ago I grabbed her back and she lay down and let me rub her stomach. In order to do this I had to bend over completely and - low and behold - this forced a lot more out of what I'd thought was an empty bladder (I'd already gotten all I could get using 'traditional' methods).

This makes sense, now that I think of it. When I'm folded over like that, it compresses that whole area.

We learn a lot from our cats but it's usually only about how to keep THEM happy. Thanks for this one Ellie.

Thyroid results

Just a brief note about Thyroid levels.

As I said in my last post, I have bad been feeling weak, sensitive to hot and cold, and I had been loosing weight (about 10 pounds) without changing my diet.  My doctor checked my thyroid levels and found them to be out of kilter so he sent me in for further tests. Among these were an iodine uptake scan where I drank some radioactive iodine and they watched where it went in my thyroid.

He also sent me to an Endocronoligist, in March, who told me the following:

Better news: 

I did have Hyperthyroidism where the hormones that the petutitary gland uses to control the thyroid are the following:
  • TSH low
  • T4 high.
But my Iodine uptake was also low which was a normal response for the thyroid under these conditions.

This indicates that things are working but for some reason thyroid is producing too much - pituitary is reacting normally ( it lowers TSH to tell the Thyroid to stop producing so much) For some reason the Thyroid wasn't listening. This may be due to a virus-like thing in the thyroid that will likely pass on it's own.

So we'll watch this by checking levels in a few weeks intervals. Things should level off normally with time. Not quickly.

If not this can be treated with supplemental hormone therapy. This is a very easy thing with no side effects.

Better feeling:

As of April 15th, I have not had another test but I am feeling completely back to normal. My strength and endurance are back; I have normal response to temperature (no night sweats); and I'm gaining my weight back nicely. I'm not all that thrilled about the last one but I'll take it along with the others.