27-Apr-2011 – 11:00hrs. Velindre FOR FULL BLOODS!

27-Apr-2011 – 11:00hrs. Velindre FOR FULL BLOODS!

Giant Platelets on a blood smear (40x).Image of Platelets (purple) via Wikipedia

Hi,

well it was schlep off to Velindre – initially I thought at a sensible time!Well I suppose most people are OK with mornings but I tend to write at night once the phone has died down so I am not very good on mornings!

The appointment for today started out as chemo at 15:00hrs. which seemed perfectly reasonable – no rush to get up, a leisurely shower and when we got around to it a gentle putter down the M4 – OK 32  miles is no big deal but when you start the day feeling dead headed any effort isd so much easier to put off!

Anyway I have to be there at 11:00hrs. for bloods – YES it does take best part of an hour to have them done and then have a coffee whilst we wait, in the canteen (praise be it is very good coffee).

Then saunter over to The CDU cardboard box and check in with the staff to be sure the results are through so we are now running at about 12:00hrs.

No problems as I gather all my various blood checks are seemingly OK – Woopy firstly I have it confirmed they haven’t killed me yet with this toxin they are poring into me – SECONDLY I can have my next dose of chemo. I have this, sadly all too rational fear that they may say – Sorry the response on the bloods, or what ever, is wrong we have to stop the chemo!

I wonder if that would be a death sentence!!

Well I’m OK this time although the platelet count is a bit low [Platelets, or thrombocytes (from Greek θρόμβος, “clot” and κύτος, “cell”)] – so Lee and I decide to have lunch whilst we wait for the chemo to be made up to the right dose for me in the Pharmacy.

Lunch was actually very good value although eating anything is becoming ever more of an eye watering experience due to the increasingly sore mouth ulcers which are well under way – particularly inside lower lip, inside lower jaw and on either side of my tongue and across the back of the tongue.

I gather this is all part of the fun of chemo! FOR SOME PEOPLE.

Please don’t think that if you have been prescribed chemo your symptoms will be the same as mine:
FIRSTLY:
There are many types of chemo and they come in different dosages.
SECONDLY:
Chemo is NOT an exact science and everyone seemingly reacts differently to the drug and the dosage.

So I may well have mouth ulcers whilst another person has hair loss, headaches or nose bleed.

I gather nausea is fairly standard but I’ve avoided that SO FAR and lethargy is also standard – which explains my feeling tired.

Lunch for me was a generous prawn salad (COOL & just about swallowable!) Lee had an equally generous and well filled baggette (I wish, but the crust would have been like a mouth full of razor blades – the salad was sore enough!).

Pleasant as the canteen is and friendly as the staff and other diners are it is not somewhere I would by choice spend almost 3 hours trying to pass the time!

Well its just gone 14:00hrs so back to CDU.

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.
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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.
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YOU are welcome to call me if you believe I can help in ANY way.
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Posted by: Greg Lance-Watkins
tel: 01291 – 62 65 62

14-Apr-2011 – A LONG DAY AS A ‘READY BRECK STAR’

14-Apr-2011 – A LONG DAY AS A ‘READY BRECK STAR’

Hi,

it has been a long day as I was at Velindre at 08:30hrs. and it is now 02:45hrs. on 15th.

Full marks to the Vampires of Velindre and now that I am glowing like a Ready Breck extra I’m off to bed so I’ll come back and write this up later!

Suffice to say THANKS to the Ladies team at Velindre 😉

#### Addition 15-Apr-2011

Hi,

thats better at least I had some sleep 😉

Increasingly since yesterday morning my lower back is giving me grief but it is an old injury that comes back to cripple me for a couple of days every so often – nothing to do with this bout of cancer, though my natural spinal lordosis has been exacerbated as a problem by scoliosis (the sideways deforming of the spine) which has been caused by the full nephrectomy wound herniation of my original radical nephrectomy scar!

The weight of the hernia on the left side has marginally and increasingly distorted the spine.

Anyway back to yesterday!

Whether the joys of prostate enlargement, the cancer or just that I knew I had to get up early, something I have never been good at in British weather! eventually awake at 0610hrs. I listened to the radiop until the alarm triggered activity at 07:00hrs.

Never having had to confront the so called rush hour traffic of Cardiff and aware that I had to be at Velindre at 09:00hrs. and not knowing Cardiff I set out at 07:50hrs. to be on the safe side.

Unemployment in Wales must be much higher than the statistics would indicate as if that was the rush hour what on earth did they build the motorways for! No hold ups at any stage and I was also fortunate with parking as there seems adequate in the hospital grounds.

After the tedium of trying to park at The Royal Gwent:

which is a very large hospital with a large footprint on an over crowded site supplimented with permanent porta cabin extensions to provide A&E and the like, Velindre Hospital was a pleasure:

I found Nuclear Medicine without much problem and was in the waiting room when the staff arrived at 08:40hrs. and by the time they had found my notes from Dr. Lester’s secretary and weighed me in at 97.4kg. plus measured me at 1m57cms. so I have lost about 2 inches in height over the years due largely to damage and injury!

They were ready to give me my injection at 08:50hrs.

The injection was:

Chromium 51 with a half life of 27.7 days! So now for the next month (almost) I shall be glowing in the dark!! So with special film we can make our own ‘Ready Breck’ adverts!

The carrier used was ETA or EDA – Ethyl Diamin Tetracetic Acid – but since I can’t track this ‘carrier’ down I may be wrong!

Anyway a quick very small injection washing the syringe out by drawing blood into it and reinjecting.

The two nurses on the Nuclear Unit were very cheery – I guess they are used to wandering around at that time in the morning – even when we had the shop the sign on the door was 10:00ish. and I only had to come down a flight of stairs 😉

Then two hours to kill for the blood to percolate around the body spreading the isatope – so I went off to the canteen and had some breakfast and a coffee.

Coffee has hugely improved in canteens with the new gereration of automatic machines but the food is still strange considering one is in a hospital! Very little sight of anything healthy to eat the eggs were some form of scrambled egg with little appearance of egg and rather more like polly filler they had very little taste and I’m sure if dropped they would bounce! the sausages, bacon etc. were fried and saturated in fat and the toast was, to say the least, tired! But I guess one is already ill if one is in the canteen at a hospital and it does explain why so many of the staff are eating out of plastic boxes they have brought themselves!!

Two hours reading in a canteen do NOT pass rapidly but then off to find ‘Phlebotomy‘ to have a blood sample taken. With three staff taking samples and their own min reception the bloods unit miraculously works like clock work – literally with each patient having their own sample tray and electronic timer clock The first sample was taken at 10:50hrs. then after more coffee and an attempt to read The Guardian (what a rubbish paper – little news, much opinion and endless propaganda it is clearly written by about 3 people and a team of cut and paste kids from the internet, no wonder they lost £Millions last year).

Finally after my 12:50hrs. sample I was free to go and after a pleasant drive home I can now await Monday and the results of the test which I gather both counts red blood cells but more importantly measures the efficacy of my remaining kidney. I gather this will determine the dosage of chemo.

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

VELINDRE RADIOTHERAPY ELEKTA SYSTEMS 11-May-2009

VELINDRE RADIOTHERAPY ELEKTA SYSTEMS 11-May-2009
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U.K. Cancer Centre Begins Innovative Radiotherapy Treatment With Four Elekta Systems

Cardiff, Wales, UK, May 11, 2009
 
Velindre Cancer Centre (Cardiff, Wales, U.K.) has awarded Elekta with a multiple Elekta Synergy® order, bringing the department’s installation to four. All four systems will be used to facilitate Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT), a treatment technique that offers shorter treatment times while providing more precise control of the radiation dose to maximize safety to nearby normal tissues. This latest order will see the replacement of existing third party vendor equipment together with implementing MOSAIQ® as the sole patient information system.

 
Velindre Cancer Centre is the largest oncology Centre in Wales, and only provider of non-surgical cancer services to the 1.5 million people in South East Wales. A comprehensive cancer treatment Centre, Velindre treats approximately 65,000 inpatients and 35,000 outpatients a year for all types of cancer.

“We’ve had two Elekta Synergy systems for some time now, and have decided to order two more,” says Nigel Cridland, Capital Planning and Estates Manager at Velindre NHS Trust Headquarters. “The two existing systems will be retrofitted to facilitate VMAT treatments, and the new ones will be VMAT-capable as well.”

Velindre assembled a panel of physicians, radiotherapists, physicists and the Centre’s purchasing group to research possible treatment systems, and Elekta Synergy again emerged as the best choice.

“Our experience with Elekta overall has been very positive. They’ve continued to be extremely helpful, from project management right through delivery, installation and training.”

David Miles, Elekta Managing Director UK business unit said, “Velindre was with another vendor for several years, but decided to buy two Elekta machines. The fact they have again chosen Elekta is very pleasing.”

The purchase of the new Elekta Synergy systems also include MOSAIQ management information system, MOSAIQ Oncology PACS , Monaco® radiation treatment planning system and Active Breathing Coordinator™.  ”We used MOSAIQ with the other vendor’s equipment, and expect the transition to Elekta Synergy with MOSAIQ to be very smooth,” said Mr. Cridland. “The addition of Active Breathing Coordinator also should help tremendously in our treatment of breast and lung patients.” Monaco * will be used for planning VMAT treatments on Elekta Synergy.

The new Elekta Synergy systems will be installed at Velindre in late autumn, 2009.

*Monaco VMAT is work in progress and not yet available for sale or distribution

About Elekta

Elekta is a human care company pioneering significant innovations and clinical solutions for treating cancer and brain disorders. The company develops sophisticated, state-of-the-art tools and treatment planning systems for radiation therapy and radiosurgery, as well as workflow enhancing software systems across the spectrum of cancer care.

Stretching the boundaries of science and technology, providing intelligent and resource-efficient solutions that offer confidence to both healthcare providers and patients, Elekta aims to improve, prolong and even save patient lives, making the future possible today.

Today, Elekta solutions in oncology and neurosurgery are used in over 5,000 hospitals globally, and every day more than 100,000 patients receive diagnosis, treatment or follow-up with the help of a solution from the Elekta Group.

Elekta employs around 2,500 employees globally. The corporate headquarter is located in Stockholm, Sweden, and the company is listed on the Nordic Exchange under the ticker EKTAb.

To view the original article CLICK HERE

Also see >RADIO THERAPY< in the right sidebar for more information.

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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