Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Still Waiting & Lunch

Still had no results from MRI... Oncologist on holiday.... Appointment next Monday.
Also noticed that I forgot to publish a whole load of blog entries so you might want to check backwards.

Had a nice Lunch today. Thank you Uwe for allowing me to bore you silly for a couple of hours.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Kosher Dream

I do seem to have a more varied set of dreams nowadays than I used to have, As always they are quite surreal, but I have to say none quite so strange as one I had last night. And surprisingly I can still remember much of it.

The Kosher Food Factory

We enter the dream as I am walking across the Pennines with three of the four guys (Mike, Stephen & John) with whom I spent my second year at Salford University. We lived in a big old house in the Monton area of Eccles in Salford but that was not featured in this dream. We were all wearing long coats and Salford scarves.

We were walking through some woodland and on exiting the trees found ourselves looking at the sprawl of of a somewhat smaller and older Manchester than I remember. I would place this as Lowry's Manchester (early 1900's) as evidenced by the many belowing chimney stacks and, once we entered the city, the cobbled streets.

We walked down a steep slope into the city and met up with our fourth comrade (Steve) who was standing on the top of a small hill (slag heap?), he joined us and we continued down into the winding streets of the city. One by one my comrades disappeared down different side streets until I was left alone. By now a fog had crept in and I could see very little, the streets were (or seemed) deserted. Suddenly a man wearing a Bowler hat appeared out of a side street and turned quickly in front of me. Fearing that I had got lost I followed him thinking he might take me to somewhere more familiar. Unfortunately he entered a building.

For some reason I followed him in to the building but he had now disappeared out of sight and I was left in a fairly long hallway leading to a raised circular steel door with a sealing wheel in the centre. I walked to the end of the hall, up a couple of steps and turned the sealing wheel which gave out a gentle hiss.

I heard somebody coming up behind me singing a song, I joined in with him (I wish I could remember what the song was) I pushed open the circular door and stepped in to the room beyond, I don't remember if my singing companion followed me in or not but I turned and shut the door without having seen him.

I found myself in a very large (but finite) compartmentalized hall that I could best describe as a Kosher food processing plant. In each sealed glass compartment some kind of food preparation was being carried out. In one compartment flour was being milled from grain, in another, baking was taking place and in yet another fish was being prepared and in another Cheese was being made. At the end of the main hall animals were being slaughtered and a long drain running from one end of the hall carried the blood from the animals to the other end of the hall from where it disappeared downwards. There were two "uniforms" looking after the hall; one in, typical food processing togs, White Dungarees, Tee Shirt and Flat Cap (operational workers). The other was that of an Orthodox Jew (Inspectors).

I spent a little time wandering around the hall until I was spotted by one of the Inspectors who had been previously busy inspecting the blood drainage system. He raised the alarm and I headed out the way I came in.

As soon as I was through the door I noticed an old lady touting a machine gun and screaming at me in a language I didn't understand (Hebrew?). She opened fire at me but I was able to duck out of the way. Off to the right I was beckoned to leave via an alternate route by the man in the bowler. He led me out of the building and then gave me some instructions towards safety.

I ran through the streets until I thought I was safe and sat down on the steps of a very old church to catch my breath. After a short time the man in the bowler arrived singing the song from earlier (I know knew who was behind me at the factory door). He sat down next next to me looked at me straight in the eyes and asked me if I was gay (wrong word for the early 1900s I think). I replied no. He seemed a little disappointed but stood up shook my hand and disappeared back the way he came.



Anybody want to have a go at the significance of any of that.
I have a few ideas, but you first :-)

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Amber's Quarter Century

Today was Amber's 25th Birthday, finally reached half my age (scary). She will have caught up before we know it :-)

Happy Birthday Amber.

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Exercise machines can be Dangerous (update)

More solid metal sticking out where it is not wanted, but this time from a bench (see diagram).

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Exercise machines can be Dangerous

Over the past few months I have been trying to build up my exercise regime to get my performance (kCal/hour, Distances, Weights etc) levels that I was doing before my Big Seizure. And I think I have just about managed to do that (focal) seizure free (that wasn't the case a while ago).

Interestingly I seem to be getting the same performance at a slower heart rate than I used to. I wonder if I have mentally trained myself to keep the heart rate down to avoid seizures. Now wouldn't that be cool... but then it might just be the anti seizure pills working like some kind of Beta blocker but this isn't mentioned in the known side effects .

But why are exercise machines dangerous?
When you are not looking where you are going and trip over your Rowing machine.

I have a Concept II rower (a wonderful machine) but like most rowers it is very low and made of solid chunks of metal (see above). The slider is especially well positioned for breaking toes on. Which given the bruising I am currently suffering may well be proof of that pudding.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Tooth 3 (Build up for the Build-up)

Dentist tells me my mouth heals astonishingly well. That is very fortunate for somebody who likes to talk so much and pass so much food through it.

Anyway, was in to have my stitches out following getting my very own implant a couple of weeks ago, and was quite excited by the idea of getting a tooth attached soon. Boy was I wrong.

First we have to wait for another Six months of healing (despite my previous statement) and then FIVE appointments of Tooth Build-up each a week apart. Am I glad the insurance is paying for this.

If I am very lucky I might get to show this tooth off at my funeral. One beautiful tooth anybody, hardly used.

Friday, 6 February 2009

Tooth 2 (implant)

Nine months ago my Dentist discovered I had a Cyst under one of my teeth when being checked out for having the tooth replaced by an implant and and additional white piece on top (see) .
Well today they were finally able to start the original work and after being hacked around I'm the proud owner of an Implant (no tooth yet).

I'm just waiting for the pain to start.

Monday, 2 February 2009

Scan Ahoy - More Therapies

It looks as the only time I get (remember) to write blog entries is when I'm coming up to MRI scans. This or next week I'll have to go to the Doctor to get my Blood checked for Platelets as usual, and then the scan is booked for the 17th Feb with the Oncologist / Neurologist check up the week after.

Can you believe its Six months since my last dose of Chemo?
As I've said before its always a bit of a worrying during this time not knowing how the MRI results might pan out, but this time is a special worry because it is in the next 3-6 months that Tumours often/usually reoccur.

I have a dentist appointment on Friday too, not related, the Dentist is checking out the Op I had to scrape out an old tooth. If all goes well I need to decide if I want an implant to replace it. And what is the major deciding factor? Cost, Pain , No (well maybe a bit on Pain). It all depends on the state of my tumour.

Studying a lot treatment news at the moment. A couple of interesting ones:

TTF again
Remember my visit to Dr. Magneto that resulted in my tumour downgrade. Well there is a lot of activity in the area of TTF, including the results of a trial combining TTF (the Electric field machine) & Temozolomid (the Chemo I have been using) with recurrent patients showing a mean time to disease progression of 155 weeks compared to 31 weeks for normal chemo.
Damn this downgrade I want one of these alien defense mechanisms and I promis to take my pills.

Gene Therapy
There is so much going on in Gene Therapy I can't help thinking this is where the cure is coming from. Take a look at this where they are using a 2-pronged gene therepeutic attack to force regression.

Brain Tumour Virus anyone?
Hold on to the end for the twist.

It has been noticed that GBM tumours attack middle aged people that were well-educated and from higher socioeconomic backgrounds (and then there is me). Their "hyper-hygienic" lives have possibly left there immune systems susceptible to more common viruses such as CMV.

Now a neurosurgeon has discovered a relationship between Brain Tumours and the CMV virus, a herpes virus that is normally harmless lying dormant in 80% of the the population. But in tumour samples it seems that CMV is actively replicating. If this turns out to be causal then a vaccine may be on its way (but probably too late for me).

An interesting Postscript: Back in April 2006 Carol was very ill. She had severe bouts of tiredness and fatigue for several weeks. When she had her blood tested they found the culprit, CMV, and that an anti-arthritic drug that she had been taking had reduced her resistance to it. Eventually the problem cleared up on its own.

16 Months later I was diagnosed with a GBM tumour that the nuerologists reckoned had been growing for "one or two years".

Is this just coincidence or did Carol & I pass around the the same virus (via the usual bodily fluids) with astoundingly different results. Back then I worried that Carol's illness was life threatening. This needs investigating, if only to prove or disprove the irony of it.