Thursday, 8 September 2011

TEST Video Blog ???

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Result just received by phone call from Addenbrookes ..........   <0.02

It's the magic number that everyone hopes for and I've had for the 3rd time since surgery. Just need one more like that in December and my visits to Addenbrookes will go from 3 monthly to 6 monthly. Fantastic.....yeeee haaaa!!!!!

Monday, 5 September 2011

Just had a lovely e mail from one of the Urology Nurses at Addenbrookes with a very detailed explanation that is worth sharing on the Blog for those interested in the testing process...

Hi Dan

Sorry you’ve had no luck with your result, and I have to say that I’ve just looked it up to find that the final result is still pending ….. but I am very confident that this will come back at <0.02 as usual.

What happens with the samples is that they go to the lab where they are centrifuged to separate the blood cells from the serum – the serum is the useful bit, so this is then tipped into another tube and the PSA reagent added, then a spectrometry machine will read the sample to get a figure.  For your normal, run-of-the-mill PSA level (i.e. the man on the street without having had surgery) this result is very quick to get, perhaps a day or two.  However, when the PSA is so low, (as yours is, reading at less than 0.1), the spectrometer isn’t always accurate enough, so the sample has to be further diluted and more reagent added, then re-read with another much more sensitive machine (expensive & time-consuming, so not done as a matter of course).  It is this second process which leaves us dangling without the final result, which is so frustrating.  It is only when they can fill the second centrifuge with approx 100 samples needing the really sensitive reading that they will turn the machine on, so if we’re lucky this can be the next day, or if not, we might have to wait 4-5 days before the final result gets entered onto the computer system…… and that’s where we are now.  However, because we like to work with a sensitivity of two decimal points, we always do this “super-sensitive” assay – some hospitals don’t bother, but we feel that a man with a PSA of <0.02 is absolutely fine, whereas if this figure starts to climb to 0.03, 0.04, 0.06 etc, we can detect miniscule recurrence at a very early date.  If we were to work with only one decimal point, we would lose that time benefit whilst your reading stayed at 0.1 (for instance) for ages, whereas in fact your PSA was slowly rising behind the scenes!

I hope this long-winded waffle helps you understand why the result is not on the computer system as quickly as we would like, but rest assured,  I will look out for it every few hours and email it to you (or text it to you) just as soon as I have it.

Phoned Addenbrookes this morning, they still can't give me my PSA result!! "The Registrar will call you later", I was told! I sent an E Mail to Professor Neil, asking him if there was a problem. Within an hour I got an 'auto response' saying he was on holiday, but shortly after that, his secretary Hilary called me. She said not to worry, the PSA ‘supersensitive’ test always takes at least 3 or 4 days to be ready and that if blood had been taken on Thursday, the result couldn't possibly have been ready by Friday! It would be today or Tuesday at the very earliest. So the secretary on Friday had simply lied to me, fobbed me off! Don't you want to pull your hair out sometimes? I feel a little better now, but what a stressed out weekend!  

Only 3 weeks until I am back at University and I'm really looking forward to getting stuck in again. I need to be occupied; I can't function unless I have my whole day full of things to do. I often wonder what I will do when my course finishes. But then again, why should I worry, because the end of the world will happen this year.... 

Pacal Votan, Mayan magician and prophet, is famed for the predictions and prophecies he made about the recreation of Earth on the 21st of December 2012, the “closing of this world age cycle” as he called it. Known as a Magician of Time he understood mathematics and numbers as the Universal Language and stated, “All is number, God is a number, God is in all.” Based on knowledge mapped by the ancient Maya through their calendar, Pacal Votan knew that humanity would become disconnected from the laws of the natural world and would become blind to their sacred interdependence with nature. You've got 107 days left; make the most of it my friends!

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Went to Addenbrookes hospital yesterday for my '9 month since surgery' check up. I had a blood sample taken and I am now waiting for the result to be phoned through. I phoned earlier and the secretary said that, "It has been printed off, but needs to be finalised". What the hell does that mean?

If the result is still <0.02 then I can breath again for 3 months, and will not need to worry again until early December. If it goes above that figure, a thirty day course of radiotherapy will kick in shortly.

As it was an unexpected day out, we decided to treat ourselves on the way back and went to the Imperial War Museum at Duxford. What an amazing day if you ever get the chance. They were using the runway to test out some formula one cars, which seemed impressive until the F15 fighter roared into town, making those little car engines look like hair dryers! As we went from hanger to hanger looking at every conceivable type of aircraft, there was a constant flying display of other aircraft, out side of course, including a Spitfire! Beverley even got to go on Concorde! That was inside!

4.10pm and still no call from Addenbrookes, have they forgotten?

and I waited all phone call......

Now I am trying to think what, "It has been printed off, but needs to be finalised" could mean!