Area for all other political discussion
:sunglasses: 14.3 % ❤ 9.4 % :thumbsup: 3.6 % 😯 0.9 % :grinning: 10.2 % 🧥 0.3 % 🙏 9 % 😟 48.7 % :cry: 3.6 %
By Oblomov
Morning all,

Surviving the sardine tin so far though I fear I may never taste again after biting my tongue on many, many disruptions to my routine and living space caused by our temporary bio-bubble addition. Figuratively speaking of course, it'd be a shame if it becomes literal because she did bring Egyptian mangos with her which are simply divine...
By Daley Mayle
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
Private Mayle, Daley, second class, reporting for duty Sarge!

Older readers with elephantine brains might remember my mum lives with us. She's 92 and now has a touch of vascular dementia and Parkinson's so she's taking up a lot of me and Mrs Mayle jnr's time. So that's my excuse for AWOL.

Some good news to report however...

When I finished my four week course of radiotherapy for prostate cancer in mid-February I had a meeting with a MacMillan nurse who said I would be contacted by my urologist in 8 -12 weeks and I should arrange a PSA blood test at my surgery a week prior to that appointment and gave me an envelope with all my details/bar code etc to give to the nurse taking an armful of blood.

Just to explain, a normal reading for a middle-aged bloke with no cancer is less than 4 PSA, it does rise slowly as a chap gets older but does not necessarily mean cancer. The PSA blood test is a crude measure that's used as an indicator only. I was diagnosed with cancer six years ago following a series of biopsies over the previous 4 years. This is where the urologist plays battleships on your prostate, he is essentially firing blind using guesswork following a digital exam. Eventually after four years he got a hit. Because it was slow growing and localised I took the decision to go on 'active surveillance'. Last year my PSA was 14.5 and rising by about 10% a year so the radiotherapy was organised.

So, the 8-12 weeks passed where there was always the nagging worry about whether the treatment was successful, I was still getting side effects from the treatment (I won't go into those) and also the hormone treatment where I had full blown menopause symptoms. In mid-May I received a letter from my local hospital with an appointment in, wait for it... mid-August. Bugger, blast and, indeed, bollocks, another 12 weeks wait.

Two weeks ago I had a letter saying the August appointment was cancelled and they would 'be in touch' and not to phone them 'cos they're busy with Covid. Never mind your bugger, blast and, indeed, bollocks, oooh, I was feckin' cross.

Anywhichwayup, cut to the chase and I made an appointment for a PSA blood test off my own bat last Monday and had the blood specimen envelope from the cancer centre to justify me asking for an appointment. One of the GPs phoned me on Tuesday on an unrelated reason (problems with my mother) and I asked the GP whether they could write to the the urologist to try and speed up finding out my result. I mentioned that I had organised my own PSA test the day before and the GP said she would see if any results had come back, and it had.

An indicator of success would be a PSA test of 1, mine was 0.2.

There was much relief for a while involving the merest tremor of the upper lip and possibly some eye grit.

I still don't have an appointment, I know the cancer can return and will continue to have regular PSA tests for life but at least I know the radiotherapy was successful.

BTW, the menopause symptoms have worn off apart from the moobs and pot belly. Mrs Mayle (jnr) reckons I was getting them anyway as I have put on weight but it's nice to have an excuse.
The Red Arrow, Boiler, spoonman and 3 others liked this
By spoonman
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
Good to see you Daley and good to see progress.

Elsewhere, the good news is that in NI we've now gone 14 consecutive days without a COVID-19 related death being recorded. The bad news is that more personally my mood is awfully low with a poor outlook on life as I approach middle age. I think a call to someone is in order (as before, my complexities means I don't want to delve into things now, but I might talk a little more later).
By Oblomov
Good day all.

Sanity just about hanging on. If I'm coping this poorly with someone else in my own home for a few days then I don't know how I'm going to manage a train trip to Italy next month.

In other news, I've received an NHS antibody test in the post today :shock: so it'll be interesting to see if I've ever had it (I strongly reckon I have given the population density of where I live and my commute).
By Oblomov
Malcolm Armsteen wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 1:03 pm
What were the conditions for getting the test?
I'm unsure of the exact conditions as I haven't reported experiencing symptoms but I have been contributing data to the COVID-19 symptom tracker app by ZOE and King's Colleged London and received a letter last week offering me an at home antibodies test (it looks quite legit, I'll try to find it in a bit).
By Oblomov
I also got offered my swab test before most others due to the folk behind the app. I don't know if it's worth joining now to see if you can request one immediately. Apparently they're having funding problems and might wind down the study before the end of the year.
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