Felt pretty OK once I got past Kings. Maybe better than OK!


No records set; no way that’s ever going to happen again on the regular Tuesday/Thursday-morning ride. Over 10 years of Strava data to beat, and the 62 year old me just can’t touch the 52 year old version. I’m generally OK with that, but would still like to do battle once in a while.

Today it was just me, Kevin & George. The other Kevin (pilot) is off in Switzerland. Kevin left us somewhere around the park and finished a few minutes up on us; at 31-something, I can tell it’s not going to be easy getting back under 30. Once up on Skyline I just hung onto wheels for a while, finally starting to feel pretty decent just in time for the descent into Sky Londa. We bombed it pretty good, but still a good 10 or 12 seconds off my best time (Strava says I’ve got the 8th best time on that descent and sure, I’d like to try to improve on that, but it might take a slight tailwind to do it).

West Old LaHonda was where things felt pretty good. The first half I was wondering how I was going to stay on wheels, but the second half it was simply a given. No way was I going to get dropped. Not today. And I didn’t. Maybe Kevin was holding back a bit, don’t know, almost don’t care, but I was there all the way to the end.

The rest of the day I felt it in my legs, in a very, very good way.

Embracing the new normal/today’s visit with the Oncologist

Friday’s blood test on the left; today’s visit with the Coffee Queen, who just happens to be outside my Oncologist’s office, on the right.
Last Friday was my monthly blood test day; not that big a deal anymore as I’ve gotten used to just looking away and staying calm while they stick the needle in, and thankfully I got the best of the best that day. I really should get her name. I did let her know that someday, maybe, I’d get the nerve to actually watch the process.

Normally the blood tests come back around 2:30pm, but not this time. 6:07pm I think? At least it’s not like the “sitting on pins & needles” feeling I used to get, waiting for the results. Things have stabilized and interpreting the results has become more an academic exercise than a source of fear & trepidation. The results looks solid, not quite spectacular though because I’m still a fair amount off my low platelet reading of a few months ago.

Fast-forward to this morning, a 9:10am visit with my Oncologist. Basically, all good news. Rehash of the bone marrow biopsy a few months ago (nothing to see, move along), discussion of platelet levels (since I’m the CALR mutation, she’s OK with the numbers anywhere in the 500s, so no need to up the dosage of the stuff I take that slows me down on the bike), talked about what she thinks is a relatively-high dose of Hydroxyurea that I’m on and her surprise that I tolerate it so well (but truthfully, I know of quite a few on much higher doses), and that there’s no need for a bone marrow biopsy more often than every 5 years, unless there’s a significant change in response to my current medication levels). Checked spleen size, it’s good.

The best news? No more monthly blood tests! I’m on a 3 month schedule, same as office visits. Not really sure why she needs to see me every three months if there’s no change in the blood work, but my theory is that I’m a quick in & out patient that improves efficiency numbers. 🙂

So everything looks pretty good. I can’t do anything about things I can’t do anything about, so I’m going to continue to struggle on big climbs, I’ll continue to have that occasional ache that comes from the inside of my bones, and I’ll continue to have trouble getting much more than 7 hours of sleep (on days when I’d like to). On, and I’ll continue to be dependent upon Allegra (Fenofexidine) for my sanity; if not for that stuff, I would have clawed all my skin off by now, due to the itching caused by the meds. It could be a lot worse, and it is a lot worse for many with my affliction (Essential Thrombocythemia). Many struggle with extreme fatigue, while I’m still out there doing 112 mile Santa Cruz loops on my bike.

–Mike–