Life. – Terror. Ecstasy. Fight. Denial. Flight. Failure. PAIN. Forgiveness. Reconciliation. Hope. Love. Peace – Death.
I am currently on a 6-month PSA testing schedule. No matter how many times I receive my (latest) PSA results the build-up to it is always the same. For a minimum of two weeks prior to, and right up-to the reveal I endure an increasing feeling of apprehension and anxiety. It effects me and it effects those around me as I become distracted, anxious, irritated and angry. No matter how hard I try for it not to be it just ‘is’.
I used to have a system that helped. My own procedure I designed for me to assist with my Scanxiety. I would arrange my PSA blood tests via my GP, he would provide me with the required ‘forms’ and I would visit a local, walk-in blood clinic, usually two to three days prior to my cancer consultation. In-between testing and my consultation I would book a GP appointment.
I would receive the ‘news’, my latest PSA results from my GP.
That way during the specialist consultation there were no shocks or surprises. I had already got my head around any bad or worse news. There is never good news. Armed with the most up-to-date information, I would research and prepare any questions I had about continuing or additional treatment, and make plans for the future. This system allowed me the opportunity to pre-prepare and make the most of any, increasingly rare, cancer specialist consultations.
Covid put pay to my system.
No chance of a say in any testing, where, when or how and no chance of a GP appointment in-between. Difficult but hey ho it could be worse?
Today was unusual. Today was rare, a good news day, my first good news (results) day, ever (in 6 years).
Thing is it wasn’t actually today it was last week but it was still good today as last week I was that I so surpassed by my results, I was unsure, I thought it might have been a mistake, today confirmed the good news. No mistake.
I now have to travel to Clatterbridge Hospital for all testing (PSA blood tests). A bright, purpose built hospital, with more of a university vibe to it than a hospital. Located in Liverpool city centre. I live south of the city, 5 minutes away from a blood testing centre. Granted, any post-Covid (new) arrangements could never be as straightforward as what I had, but they are actually quite tricky and difficult.
The new facility has no public parking (yet?). Although double jammed I am still not fully confident about using busy public transport. I drive to the city, parking in a municipal carpark to catch a dedicated hospital, shuttle bus direct to the hospital. Check in is automated, the wait for the procedure is (so far, after two visits) around 30 minutes, I have the sample taken followed by the same journey in reverse.
What used to be 10-15 minutes total, including travel to and from the blood centre, has become a minimum of 2 hours and usually longer. Last week I had an appointment for 11.15am and my bloods were actually taken at 11.45am. Afterwards, I had another appointment booked at another hospital at 4.00pm. By the time I drove home and had a spot of lunch it was time to head across the city again this time in another direction to Broadgreen Hospital.
The psoriasis clinic at Broadgreen was running an hour late. This was my first visit consult with a new consultant, Dr Cuddy. She had my PSA results from that morning on her system. Impressive
February PSA 1.4 – August PSA 1.5
Only a 7% increase, very good news.
My standard 6 monthly increase rate is a minimum of 30%.
What has changed?
I have been regularly taking Amla Powder, I have been taking it for over a year now. It (reportedly) has effective cancer prevention properties.
Maybe, accumulatively, it has started to work?
I don’t know but who cares, I will carry on taking Amla in my porridge regardless, why not? However, today I will take the win, today is a good day.
In practical terms, I will not be considering any nasty, hormone and or chemo treatments for at least another 6 months. Result.
Side effects free Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays!
love ‘our’ NHS
Thanks for Reading