Sunday, 14 December 2008

good news ... and an explanation for my numb hand

I guess I should mention that I had an appointment with my oncologist the other day! This was one of my routine follow-up appointments, which now happen every four months, seeing as it is now just 15 months since my operation to have my tumour removed.

As usual, I went down to the tumour department (it just rolls off the tongue, doesn't it?!) and was sent off for my chest x-ray. I have one of these every visit, because if there were going to be any secondary growths from my tumour, they apparently develop in the lungs. I used to have a CT scan too, but these have been discontinued now as they have been clear in the past and so they don't need to any more, which is great. Then back to the tumour department to await the call to see Mr Leahy about the results.

Anyway ... the good news is that he is very pleased with my progress. The x-ray shows nothing of concern, and everything is in order. He did comment that my forearm, where the tumour had been, felt a little "woody" to the touch, but figures that this is just the effect of the radiation therapy that I had to have, and it may become less woody over time.

I mentioned the fact that my left hand does tend to go numb if I am exercising using my arm for any length of time ... telling him about my rowing experiences (see October post "one-handed rowing"). He figured that this may be because of a build up of fluid in the arm while exercising, which puts pressure on the nerves so that I lose feeling there. The build-up happens because the radiation has effected the cells to a degree (hence the woodiness) and the normal flow of fluids isn't as smooth as in other parts of my body. The numbness eases when I stop exercising that arm, as the fluid then has the chance to dissipate and all is well in the world again.

His recommendation for my rowing efforts on my 365challenge: don't row for as long in any one go on the rowing machine! Has he any idea of how far I still have to go on this part of my 365challenge? I guess I'll have to break up my efforts better, but it is going to make the rowing even harder and a greater test of my endurance. But, hey-ho, it wouldn't be a challenge if it didn't throw obstacles at me from time to time, now would it?

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