Monday, October 31, 2011

Chemo 19

Chemo 20
Chemo 18
31 Oct 2011, Monday - Friday evening turned out to be very quiet on the home front with just me and The Pretty One at home, so I planned to watch the cricket game between SA and Australia, but then rain interfered. They played, but our electricity went out early and only came back on after 24:00. Saturday morning I planned to do some work in the office and then start my bike rebuilds, but again we had no electricity so we went to chortle with The Pretty One's family and had a splendid time. Sunday we slept late a bit and then The Pretty One said that we must quickly install the door between two of the flats in our house. My daughter Andy helped but it still took me the whole day and by last night 19:00 I was knackered and in bed. Doing a job like this makes me realize how much the Chemo takes out of your strength and stamina. I have 7 more good days before my last chemo session, then I can start to recover and get fit and strong... I am so looking forward to that.
The Door

Friday, October 28, 2011

Chemo 18

Chemo 19
Chemo 17
If not cycling even 1 km can be called normal, then this was a pretty normal week. The bulk of my daylight time was taken up by a recipe book of about 300 pages that I am busy doing the layout of. On Wednesday Afternoon I went to see the Dr that did the original Cancer op in 2008 and that has been looking after me ever since. He is of the opinion that as long as the tumors is not getting bigger and I have no discomfort from them, we don't cut. So we will keep a close look at them. On Thursday evening me and The Pretty One went to see the Smurfs movie in 3D nogal. If you have not believed that they are real, go see the movie in 3D and you will know they are real and living in an enchanted forest somewhere. It can even be in the Wolkberg mountains.

The Smurfs might live in here somewhere,

...or they might lurk in here. Come along next time I ride here and we search for them
I am feeling pretty good and might spend some time this weekend getting my bikes ready for the training assault that awaits them end of November...

Monday, October 24, 2011

Chemo 17

Chemo 18
Chemo 16
24 Oct, Monday - Where was I? Wednesday's cricket match rained out and then ended wrong, but fortunately I was feeling too groggy to worry. Thursday I felt better than Wednesday but not as good as I was hoping to feel on Friday, and so it went for the weekend. Every day a little better.

We left on Saturday morning to go to the yearly Exploration Society Formal Dinner. The difference is that it is never inside (except if it is inside a cave), but normally rather on top of a mountain in the real deep bundus. This year we had it in the deep Magalies Mountains next to a very small stream with a lovely little pond. You needed a 4x4 to get there, so we ferried the members with normal cars to the camping site. It all went splendid thanks to Paul, our very capable chairman. The afternoon was spent by all and sundry lazying around a small patch of water. Some of the intrepid explorers even took some time to do a bit of rolling training in their kayaks. Then we donned our very beautiful formal best, readied the tables with our finest china and crystal and had a jol.

Sunday morning saw most of the late survivors waking very slowly and nibbling at some of the cheese and biscuits remaining from the previous evening. After another lazy session next to the pond we starting cleaning up and ferrying the explorers back down the mountain. A splendid weekend indeed.

Today life is pretty much back to normal: The digestive system seem to be back to it's regular self and the out-of-breathness (the spell checker is complaining about this one, wants it to be breathlessness) is very real.
Walking a bit and resting a lot - from shade to shade

Intrepid explorers doing nothing

Lewis demonstrating how not to drown when you end up wrong side up

The Chefs hard at work

Everybody look real smart. The ladies do battle with their highheelsindabush

The Pretty One and a Bald Me as formal as it gets

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Chemo 16

Chemo 17
Chemo 15

19 Oct 11, Wed - All the plans I had for riding this past weekend came to nothing. It is difficult to motivate yourself to ride your bike when you know that in 2 days time you are going to feel like a dead dog. So on both Saturday and Sunday mornings we just stayed in bed a little longer until the urge to jump up and go riding actually went away. On Saturday evening we had my 35 year reunion of the class of 76. Man but was that a lot of old people gathered together. I was amazed actually to see how well some of the guys and girls did age. Sunday I jumped into some books and spent the day mainly reading. Monday morning early I went to hospital and the process of "feeding" me my "cocktail" started. It went reasonably well and today I am feeling groggy, but I have felt worse.Fortunately there is a cricket game on so I have something to do while parked on the lounge suite.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Chemo 15

Chemo 16
Chemo 14
11 Oct 11, Tuesday - During my eye test on Thursday last week the Optometrist said it looks like I have an infection in my eye lids. Had it checked out and it was indeed Blepharitis. According to wikipedia "is an ocular condition characterized by chronic inflammation of the eyelid, the severity and time course of which can vary. Onset can be acute, resolving without treatment within 2–4 weeks (this can be greatly reduced with lid hygiene), but more generally is a long standing inflammation varying in severity." I got some drops and we will see if it helps. The downside is that my eyes became very sensitive to wind and that has kept me of the bike for a few days. Friday and Saturday I did very little. Sunday we went for a kuier and a Braai at The Pretty One's Father in Law & Wife and was joined by his son Rudolf and his family.

Yesterday was a "normal" day and I did quit a lot of deliveries and collections. I hope to see the Radiologist today to do a MRI scan and compare the tumors to see what effect the chemo has. Tomorrow I see the Oncologist...

14 Oct 11, Fri - I went early on Wednesday morning for a scan and the tumor that we use as control to measure the effect of the chemo was unchanged. The fact that it is not shrinking is not necessarily a bad thing. The fact that the chemo is containing the tumor is apparently already a good sign. But it does not sound like I will be rid of the cancer in a hurry.

Since my white blood count was just below the limit for chemo the 5th chemo session is postponed till Monday. This means that I can go to my class of 1976 Grade 12 reunion tomorrow night without feeling like a dead dog. Maybe I will even go for a ride tomorrow morning with The Pretty One since the infection in my eyes seem to have reacted to the drops.

In the mean time their are 2 new products on the market in America that the Oncologist will try and import if the prices is not exorbitant and the authorities agrees to it. It is by no means "wonder" products, but it might contain the tumors for longer with less (hopefully) side effects.

By 20 November I should be finished with my 6 sessions of chemo for this round and then I can start some serious training again and get strong and fit. It seem that I will have to ride the big rides ASAP. I do not know how much time this cancer is going to give me, so I must use the time I've got to the full...

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Important dates for 2012

Newsletter 2

I am halfway through my chemo treatment and will know early next week what the next 12 weeks will look like. That brings us to December, then it will be time to get this old body into serious shape again.

In the mean time it is a good idea to diarise some dates for two very nice mountain bike trips. For both of these you will only need 4 days leave. The plan is to have support vehicles meet us from time to time so we can ride light. Both will include luxury catered accommodation as well as the odd night of camping / self catering. For both trips you will need a good level of fitness, but there are always the option to ride the more scenic section on your bike and then jump on the support vehicle for the rest. The idea is to enjoy the trip, not break yourself.

The first trip/tour:

I call it the Freedom Trail Lite Tour and will basically be the first four day of the Freedom Challenge to be toured over 7 days. Distances will be in the order of 50-60km per day with limited hike-a-bike sections. The preliminary dates:

31-Mar-12 Drive to PMB
01-Apr-12 PMB - Byrne 52km
02-Apr-12 Byrne - Allandale 52km
03-Apr-12 Allandale - Centacow 48km
04-Apr-12 Centacow - Ntsikeni 55km
05-Apr-12 Ntsikeni - Banchory 36km
06-Apr-12 Banchory - Masakala 57km
07-Apr-12 Masakala - Malekholonyane 55km
08-Apr-12 Drive Home
09-Apr-12 Unpack, chill, normalise

The second trip/tour:
This will be a Venda Land Tour. This will again be the first four days of the Beit2Cape trail toured over 8 days. There will also be easier and tougher bits in each day, so expect to push your bike a little bit. But that is OK. Part of mountain biking. But I will try and keep it to a minimum.

27-Apr-12 Drive to Musina
28-Apr-12 Beit - Tsipise 87km
29-Apr-12 Tsipise - Mangwele 48km
30-Apr-12 Mangwele - Kliphuis 48km
01-May-12 Kliphuis - Madyisa 48km
02-May-12 Madyisa - Blue Hills 73km
03-May-12 Blue Hills - Haenertsburg 55km
04-May-12 Haenertsburg - Wolkberg 46km
05-May-12 Wolkberg - Makhutsi 66km
06-May-12 Back Home

So now it is time to start planning, training, dreaming and drooling...

Chemo 14

Chemo 15
Chemo 13

6 Oct 11, Thu - Tuesday was a normal day with normal things happening and after fiddling more with the shelving system The Pretty One joined me on the tandem for a ride in the afternoon. Yesterday I spent most of the day on the road delivering stuff as well as a longish session with the website guys for our printing business (I will post a link as soon as it goes live). Also went for an eye test as it is 2 years since the last one. After all that I was in no mood for cycling, so I took it easy.
The shelves getting packed full of stuff

The back and front halves attached to each other

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Chemo 13

Chemo 14
Chemo 12
4 Oct 2011, Tue - My white blood cell count was very low on Friday but not low enough to do anything medical about it, so I must just be careful who I kiss... On Saturday morning The Pretty One rose early enough for us to take the Tandem for a 34km ride. We had a lekker kuier Saturday evening with my good friend Anton who turned 60. In between all that I kept myself busy with resting and doing some more work on the shelf system in the garage. Sunday we slept late and then went to church. After that we had a glorious braai with a gaggle of The Pretty One's Cousins. Yesterday I went for another ride but on my own it is now going seriously slow. I have a spot that I use to time a certain portion of my ride. Very fit it takes 16 minutes, Fit it takes 18 minutes and the normal time for The Pretty One is 20 minutes. Yesterday it took me nearly 30 minutes... In the mean time I am still fiddling with the shelves.
The back half was built on the wall
The front half was built on the floor
The front half must now be attached to the back half. 2m high by 6m long