CT Scan appt. at Velindre 09-Mar-2012 – 13:10

CT Scan appt. at Velindre 09-Mar-2012 – 13:10
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Hi,
09-Mar-2012 – 13:10 Velindre – appt.: CT Scan

another visit to the machine!

 For more details on CTScans see the links in the Right Sidebar on this blog.

One always has an element of trepidation (Scanziety!) when faced with a scan of any type, as although one NEEDS to know the answers it could be an answer that is a potential death sentence!

The actual process is pain free, no elements of claustrophobia (some people have a problem with MRI Scans) and the sensation of the active ingredients of the disclosing fluid injected through a cannula is not unpleasant but strange and can be a little disconcerting the first time.

I arrived a bit early, as I try to, but was only kept waiting for a few minutes and was through to the changing room to strip off and don a hospital dressing gown –

Through to the treatment suite and a comfy chair where I was asked to drink more water, as they try to do the scan on a full bladder –

the cannula was inserted and on through to the CTScanner which stands in a room of its own for radiation leakage and the protection of staff.

On the bed which once the staff withdraw from the room slides through the ring of the machine where you are given recorded instructions as to when to breath in and when to hold your breath etc.

That done the radiography nurse returns and positions you again and releases the disclosing fluid into the vein via the cannula and then once she has left the room the process is repeated.

THATS IT!

There are no side effects, no special instructions save only the admonishment to drink lots to flush the disclosing fluid out of the body and home one goes.

Now I wait (Super Scanziety!) for the results at my visit to Dr. Jason Lester (my Oncology Consultant) at clinic in Velindre next Friday – will the scan issue a deatjh sentence or a reprieve!

 .
 Please Be Sure To
My Blogs
To Spread The Facts World Wide To Give Others HOPE
I Have Been Fighting Cancer since 1997 & I’M STILL HERE!
I Have Cancer, Cancer Does NOT Have Me
I just want to say sorry for copping out at times and leaving Lee and friends to cope!
Any help and support YOU can give her will be hugely welcome.
I do make a lousy patient!

.
If YOU want to follow my fight against Cancer from when it started and I first presented with symptoms see The TAB just below the Header of this Blog. called >DIARY of Cancer< just click and it will give you a long list of the main events in chronological order.
.
Thoughts and comments will be in chronological order in the main blog and can be tracked in the >ARCHIVE< in the Right Sidebar.
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You may find the TABS >MEDICAL LINKS< and also >CANCER LINKS< of help.
.
YOU are welcome to call me if you believe I can help in ANY way.
.

Posted by: Greg Lance-Watkins
tel: 01594 – 528 337
of: Greg_L-W@BTconnect.com  
DO MAKE USE of LINKS & >Right Side Bar<  
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CT Scan – The FIRST since Chemo & Radiation!

07-Dec-2011 – CT Scan – The FIRST since Chemo & Radiation!
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Hi,

This was my first full CT Scan since the joys of Chemo & Radio Therapy earlier in the year!

Scans come with their own mix of anticipation and dread! I dubbed it ‘Scanziety’ some 12 or 13 years ago when I first started down this cancer route!

Of course you want the scan but naturally one fears bad news and there is a constant feeling that perhaps ignorance is bliss – though to be honest I find underastanding EXACTLY where I stand and the depth of the ordure gives me an understanding of just how grim is the battle ahead at this stage and thus I ‘feel’ I have a greater ability to deal with it!

Although I was due at 14:30hrs. at Velindre for my appointment I arrived at 13:35hrs. as I thought I might be down for ‘bloods’ as well and hoped to do that first as there is quite a bit going on at home. Seems they don’t want my blood this time! So I sauntered around to Radiology to check in before going for a coffee in the canteen.

Good news ‘can I do you now sir?’ and I was in and changed into one of those idiotic gowns in minutes – drink another pint of water quick stab to put a cannella in and then a top up of iodine to improve disclosure on the scan.

10 minutes later and I’m free to go and it isn’t quite 14:00hrs!

Now for ‘Super Scanziety as we wait for the results on Friday!

Fingers crossed!

 .
 Please Be Sure To
My Blogs
To Spread The Facts World Wide To Give Others HOPE
I Have Been Fighting Cancer since 1997 & I’M STILL HERE!
I Have Cancer, Cancer Does NOT Have Me
I just want to say sorry for copping out at times and leaving Lee and friends to cope!
Any help and support YOU can give her will be hugely welcome.
I do make a lousy patient!

. If YOU want to follow my fight against Cancer from when it started and I first presented with symptoms see The TAB just below the Header of this Blog. called >DIARY of Cancer< just click and it will give you a long list of the main events in chronological order.
.
Thoughts and comments will be in chronological order in the main blog and can be tracked in the >ARCHIVE< in the Right Sidebar.

You may find the TABS >MEDICAL LINKS< and also >CANCER LINKS< of help.
.
YOU are welcome to call me if you believe I can help in ANY way. .

Posted by: Greg Lance-Watkins
tel: 01594 – 528 337
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14-Oct-2011 – appt.: Dr. Lester re.: Treatment Outcomes

14-Oct-2011 – appt.: Dr. Lester re.: Treatment Outcomes

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Hi,

this being the first serious roundup of the outcome of my chemo & radio therapy – neither of which come with much of a track record of certainty – I would be a fool to try to claim I was unconcerned!

I have had a bit of ongoing discomfort which has proved worrying – well worrying for me! A chat with my St. David’s Nurse Nairn (Sort of Macmillan Nursing for Monmouthshire and a bit of Wales where they also run charity shops to fund hospice care etc.) Anyway Nairn was right I think, when she said it was most likely to be part of the aftermath of the treatment and if it was more challenging (mets. or tumour growth) by now it would be more vigerous and likely to have more notable symptoms ‘take some CoCodomol and see if that helps’ – so I didn’t bother.

One aspect of the main wound hernia and the absolute lack of stomach muscles of any use is that it has led to standard male patern groin hernia which is not of help! In fact standing still or lifting becomes very uncomfortable and I have definitely been doing too much lifting recently!

Anyway, the day for clinic caught up with me faster than I had expected!

Jason Lester was running almost on time and he was VERY reassuring as he felt I had fared very well and better than he had expected ‘without so much as having the good grace to be ill’!

Lester feels there is every reason to be optimistic indicating that had the cancer not been destroyed at this stage there was every reason that I would be expected to be considerably more unwell and even not have made it this far!

Lester wants to seem me again just before Christmas as he intends to keep a close eye for the future – probably an element of astonishment and many might think in masochism!!!

So the plan is a Flexi at The Royal Gwent and a CT scan Velindre before seeing Jason Lester for the next check-up.

One thing that he felt of paerticular value was a meeting with his Radiology Consultant and they studied the MRI scan I had had. There is no doubt that I have degenerative spinal damage but that my spine shows no sign of any cancerous invasion or damage.

A spin off of the MRI scan was, apparently, that it showed up the lymph system and there is no visibl;e evidence of the cancer in the lymph glands and since it was in one of the glands in April there was every possibility of spread.

I guess I got lucky with a great deal of help from Julian Lester and his team at Velindre!!

Yes of course the cancer is likely to return but time is of value!

Especially after 13 years and so many rounds in this challenge – There are a lot of people who need to see a future and 13 years looks like a lifetime when first diagnosed the longer I can set an example the better the LIFEline for all.

So off to have a full set of bloods done before heading home to give Lee the good news.

 .
 Please Be Sure To
My Blogs
To Spread The Facts World Wide To Give Others HOPE
I Have Been Fighting Cancer since 1997 & I’M STILL HERE!
I Have Cancer, Cancer Does NOT Have Me
I just want to say sorry for copping out at times and leaving Lee and friends to cope!
Any help and support YOU can give her will be hugely welcome.
I do make a lousy patient!

.
If YOU want to follow my fight against Cancer from when it started and I first presented with symptoms see The TAB just below the Header of this Blog. called >DIARY of Cancer< just click and it will give you a long list of the main events in chronological order.
.
Thoughts and comments will be in chronological order in the main blog and can be tracked in the >ARCHIVE< in the Right Sidebar. You may find the TABS >MEDICAL LINKS< and also >CANCER LINKS< of help.
.
YOU are welcome to call me if you believe I can help in ANY way.
.

Posted by: Greg Lance-Watkins
tel: 01291 – 62 65 62
on: http://GregLanceWatkins.Blogspot.com
TWITTER: Greg_LW Health/Cancer 
Blog: http://GregLW.blogspot.com  
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30-Jun-2011 – CT Scans or Car Repair PRICE VARIANCE in USA!

30-Jun-2011 – CT Scans or Car Repair PRICE VARIANCE in USA!
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A pelvic CT scan may cost anywhere from $230 & $1,800 – not in different parts of the U.S., but in the same exact town |

Huge Disparities in Health Care and Car Repair Costs

Jupiterimages / Getty Images

Jupiterimages / Getty Images

The average car repair job costs $265 in one part of the country, $420 in another. But that’s nothing compared to the screwball state of affairs with health care expenses: A pelvic CT scan, for example, could cost anywhere between $230 and $1,800—not in different parts of the country or even across state lines, but in the same exact town.
No matter if we’re talking about care for cars or human beings, there is not much consensus as to how much businesses should charge for complicated operations, let alone routine maintenance.
Two new studies show that how much its costs of health care and car repairs vary widely depending on where you live and, frankly, what the fix-it specialists feel like they can get away charging.
A report from CarMD.com holds that five dry states in the Southwest—Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, California, and Nevada—have the dubious distinction of charging the most for repairs needed once a car’s “Check Engine” light starts glowing. Arizona is the priciest of all, with the average repair costing $421.49. The national average, by contrast, is $356.04. Oddly enough, Washington, D.C., where the cost of living is fairly high, and where overcharging people seems ingrained in the city’s DNA, boasts the nation’s least expensive average repairs, at $265.29.
Actually, there are some reasonable justifications for the repair job price disparity. The prices rounded up by CarMD are not apple-to-apple comparisons. They are comparing the average repair job needed in one state or district to the average repair job in another—and because of different climates, driving conditions, and typical car usage, what’s “average” in one region may be exceptional in another.
(LIST: Top 10 Most Valuable Used Cars)
The states out West with the highest average costs have warm, sunny climates, and they don’t have much in the way of public transportation. Both of these factors lead drivers to be on the road more often, and more driving means more wear and tear on cars. Also, as a quote in the Los Angeles Times points out:

“Labor costs in the West tend to be higher because the repairs relating to problems from dry air and residue from airborne dust tend to be more expensive and take longer to repair,” said Art Jacobsen, vice president of CarMD.com.

Speaking of labor costs, the CarMD shows that six of the ten states with the lowest average repair costs are in the Midwest (Nebraska, Wisconsin, Ohio, Missouri, Indiana and Minnesota), where hourly employees tend to make less money compared to areas along the coasts.
But what about D.C., where the cost of living and salaries tend to be higher than average? Two factors help give the city the appearance of charging less for repairs: 1) Most repairs needed by D.C. drivers are simple, inexpensive jobs with little parts and labor required (12% were related to gas caps); and 2) the city had a high portion (12%) of repairs at no out-of-pocket expense to the driver, most probably because the car was still under warranty.
So does the average garage in D.C. charge less for the same repair job than the average garage in Arizona? Not necessarily.
The huge disparities in health care procedure costs are much harder to justify. Data from national health care group change:healthcare shows an enormous range in what’s charged for MRIs, ultrasounds, CT scans, and other procedures, though most patients pay little attention because they’re only on the hook for their insurance policy’s co-pay or deductible. Two summers ago, a New Yorker story written by Dr. Atul Gawande made news because it revealed how nonsensical hospitals could be when pricing health care procedures, with one institution charging far more than another located a few miles away. The new data back these findings, demonstrating that, for example, the cost of an MRI in the same part of the Southeast could be $560 or $$2,500.
(MORE: A Dozen Disturbing Health Care Statistics)
Per USA Today:

“There’s been a barrage of studies that show differences from region to region,” said Christopher Parks, founder of Change:healthcare. “That makes sense — California’s more expensive than Alabama. But this is within a 20-mile radius in your own town.”

Just one more reason it’s sometimes a really good idea to get a second opinion—from doctors and mechanics alike.
(MORE: How to Get Decent Health Care Without Insurance)

Read more: CLICK HERE
 .
 Please Be Sure To
My Blogs
To Spread The Facts World Wide To Give Others HOPE
I Have Been Fighting Cancer since 1997 & I’M STILL HERE!
I Have Cancer, Cancer Does NOT Have Me
I just want to say sorry for copping out at times and leaving Lee and friends to cope!
Any help and support YOU can give her will be hugely welcome.
I do make a lousy patient!

.
If YOU want to follow my fight against Cancer from when it started and I first presented with symptoms see The TAB just below the Header of this Blog. called >DIARY of Cancer< just click and it will give you a long list of the main events in chronological order.
.
Thoughts and comments will be in chronological order in the main blog and can be tracked in the >ARCHIVE< in the Right Sidebar.
You may find the TABS >MEDICAL LINKS< and also >CANCER LINKS< of help. . YOU are welcome to call me if you believe I can help in ANY way.
.

Posted by: Greg Lance-Watkins
tel: 01291 – 62 65 62
on: http://GregLanceWatkins.Blogspot.com
TWITTER: Greg_LW  
Health/Cancer Blog: http://GregLW.blogspot.com   

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27-Apr-2011 – 14:00hrs. Velindre CHEMO TREATMENT

27-Apr-2011 – 14:00hrs. Velindre CHEMO TREATMENT

Hi,

lunch was pleasant in the canteen which is just across the driveway from the CDU cardboard box so when the time came I wandered in to be plugged up with no waiting time.

The chemo nurse was brilliant as she had made me up a prescription for yet more mouth washes for the Mouth Ulcers, with much reassurance that they would have me eating toast in no time!!! She lies so charmingly 😉

As we came in she asked Lee if she would mind taking the prescriptions around to the pharmacy which she was good enough to do – I gather it is a VERY busy pharmacy and prone to major glitches due to under manning – as ever management seem unable to get the logistics right on staffing or ‘kit’, much too busy on ego projects squanderring money that should be spent on the core service on footling politically correct stupidities and rebadging to make childish points!

Well this time it was into the chair and a cannula in the left hand – I just have this feeling that if they manage to damage a hand, nerve whatever I am much better off with it being the left hand – I am VERY non ambidextrous!

Fortunately needles never seem to be a problem with me and very rarely are they painful or bleed (Well So Far!).

A quick proving sluice into the vein of saline solution and then the bag is switched to the gemcitabine which is the chemo drug with the saline carrier where as the carboplatin is using a glucose carrier and is light sensative. So just the gemcitabine this time which was over fairly rapidly (about 40 minutes).

Whilst the last of the gemcitabine was being run in the sister kindly rang up Dr. Lester’s secretary for me as I had a request!!!

I would like copies of my skeletal bone scan and the precedingCT Scan – surprisingly in all the years she has been working at Velindre apparently no one has ever asked for them!

I explained that I wanted to put them onto my blog so that people could see exactly what I am talking about – it is easy to put ‘similar’ examples from medical texts and the internet up but I thought my own would be more informative.

She has promised to give Neville Hall in Abergavenny, who hold the CT Scan, a call and Janet at The Royal Gwent in Newport who have the bone scan also to ensure there are no protocol problems.

Janet has already told me there are no problems fr4om her end – after 13 years dealing with me she has got used to me having odd requests 😉

just as that call finished Lee returned with her tales of woe and confussion from pharmacy where every muddle conceivable seemed to be taking place with quite ill people waiting for an age before they could start their journeys home.

Whilst Lee told me of pharmacy the nurse washed out the vein with saline and disconnected me removing the cannula.

Free to go!

Although the treatment took quite a while – well from about 11:00hrs to gone 15:30hrs. there were no glitches.

Well that was my third visit to velindre and my second chemo over and I really must comment just how cheery the staff are – neither Lee nor I have run into a single staff member who hasn’t been prepared to go that extra 9 yards to help. Not knowing our way around the hospital every time you ask for directions they don’t just point nebulously and send you on your way they always lead you to the next junction and show you which corridor to take, with a smile.

So very much better than hospitals like The Gwent which have become huge, impersonal, intimidating and not to mention filthy!

On the way home we stopped off at Boots pharmacy in Chepstow where they had been unable to fill one of my prescriptions before we left this morning, we stopped off for a bit of shopping and I parked the car and by the time I had sat down for a coffe I was on the verge of nodding off again!!

I am increasingly noticing waves of tiredness – fortunately Lee and I have no consequential time commitments other than the regular hospital visits so I tend to sleep if I need to.

I just want to say sorry for copping out at times and leaving Lee and friends to cope!
Any help and support YOU can give her will be hugely welcome.
I do make a lousy patient!

.
If YOU want to follow my fight against Cancer from when it started and I first presented with symptoms see The TAB just below the Header of this Blog. called >DIARY of Cancer< just click and it will give you a long list of the main events in chronological order.
.
Thoughts and comments will be in chronological order in the main blog and can be tracked in the >ARCHIVE< in the Right Sidebar.

You may find the TABS >MEDICAL LINKS< and also >CANCER LINKS< of help.
.
YOU are welcome to call me if you believe I can help in ANY way.
.

Posted by: Greg Lance-Watkins
tel: 01291 – 62 65 62