- First and foremost, no sign of disease. Hell, yeah! I had my last CT scan in November and will have another one in February. All my CT scans in 2012 were clear so that's a good sign that things are going in the right direction.I'm still getting pretty nervous before each scan but each one has been uneventful.
- My overall fitness continues to get slowly better but it's been a very long road. In each of my CT scans my lungs still show some scaring from the bleomycin induced interstitial pneumonitis I developed in 2010. I'm also suspicious that I've had some COPD like symptoms develop from the BCNU I had as part of the BEAM protocol in March of 2011. I especially notice some funkiness in my lungs when I travel back to my home in Colorado (5400 ft) after working at sea level. For a few hours my lungs feel a little tight and I develop some sputum. I haven't had a PFT since September of 2011 and I suppose I could get another one. But from a quantitative perspective of how my bike and running workouts are going I'm still improving so I take that as in indirect sign that my pulmonary function is ok.
- The left side of my neck still doesn't feel like the right side. No new bumps and nothing on the CT scan that indicates a problem but I still get twinges now and then. I had nodular schlerosing Hodgkins which basically means I've developed some scar tissue in my lymph nodes. It's kind of a drag because every time I feel something at all out of the ordinary I instantly worry that I'm growing new tumors. But my neck has basically felt abnormal for almost 3 years now so I guess that's starting to be a new normal for me?
- My left arm is still a bit messed up in terms of blood flow. No one has been able to find a specific site in my arm that shows a deep vein thrombosis but my left hand is slightly more pink than my right hand and my left upper arm is slightly swollen; all signs of a delayed blood return issue. In my November office visit I got some prescriptions to see a bunch of different folks to see if I can get this straightened out - a vascular surgeon, an acupuncturist, a message therapist and a PT. I've started to swim again and my arm is perhaps a bit better than it's been, but I still get a purple hand (delayed blood flow return) after about 200 years of freestyle. So still a work in progress.
As Susan posted in the fall, we've been pretty involved with LIVESTRONG so it's certainly been "interesting" to see how the fallout of Lance's activities on the bike are influencing LIVESTRONG. It's really a shame that all of this is going on because I think that LIVESTRONG is just a great organization. It helped over 13,000 cancer patients last year and raised over $38mm in funds to support cancer survivorship. Everyone I've met with LIVESTRONG has been really great and it's sad, frustrating and upsetting that the organization is being tarnished by all the doping that's gone on in cycling. I hope that the organization comes through in one piece - there are certainly lots of people in the world that need the services that LIVESTONG provides and I hope that it can continue its good work.
Well, that's a quick summary. Just wanted to let you know that in the world of cancer blogging, infrequent blogs are generally an indicator that we cancer survivors are out writing our bikes, drinking beer and enjoying life in general. Rock on!