Wednesday’s quarterly visit to my Hematologist/Oncologist at Kaiser-
I’d had my blood tests done a couple weeks prior so knew there weren’t going to be any real surprises, with everything looking very stable. And in fact there really wasn’t much to talk about because things are looking about as good as they can for someone with my very unusual/rare form of mild bone marrow cancer (Essential Thrombocythemia).
Warning: Next paragraph includes semi-technical medical jargon
My primary concern was with my gradually-declining Hematocrit which, at 40% now, is dropping below what I’d like to see. At 40% you’re not carrying as much oxygen to your muscles as you would be at my normal 44-45%. We discussed the things that affect Hematocrit level, including my high MCV (red blood cell volume) which is my body’s attempt to compensate for the decrease in RBCs (red blood cells) caused by the medication I have to take. It’s interesting how she thinks the med (hydroxyurea) “causes” the increased MCV while I’m pretty sure what happens, if you’re athletic, is that your body reacts to the declining RBCs and rewires itself a bit to get the Hematocrit to its needed level. I have a feeling the only doctors who’d really have a handle on this stuff are those involved in doping.
I think there’s potential for some interesting medical research here, but how being athletic changes responses to cancers and medicine effects doesn’t seem to be on anyone’s agenda. Pretty sure my Doctor thinks it’s a bit odd that this is of more interest to me than the fact that, according to her, I’m doing better than 99% of her patients on this med. Worse, she just issued me a challenge. What do I have to do to be the very best? 🙂
Thursday’s bike ride-
Yet another wet morning on Skyline! 4 of us; myself, both Kevins and Tom. Took it easy through the park, trying to give Kevin’s (younger Kevin) knee a chance to rest. Still no great views from West Old LaHonda; some day this morning marine layer will finally go someplace else.