Thursday, June 17, 2010

Latest Doctor Visit

She did her standard physical exam.  Nothing remarkable.  No nodes, lungs fine.   HR @64.  She said my thyroid function was borderline low from the last blood count (April).   She'll take another look with the next blood draw.   Scheduled that for early July.  She set me up for a morning draw so I can fast for a cholesterol test.  If the thyroid is still low she'll refer me to an endocrinologist, and likely get me on thyroid hormone.   The thyroid function was a known risk of the radiation.   I mentioned my current physical abilities (about 85% of norm) and she said that that could be a result of an underactive thyroid.  Basically I just don't get my HR up like I used to.  If the thyroid IS confirmed she indicated that suplemental thyroid hormone could "perk me up."  So more clarity on that in July. 

And just as I was working on being patient with my fitness.  Well, maybe.

We also discussed further scans.  My last one was in April, 4 months after radiation.   She said the latest studies don't show any appreciable benefit to regular CT scans in the absence of any symptoms, and they continue to expose patients to additional radiation.  So it sounds like there won't be any further CT/PET scan without cause.   The plan will be to get anual chest X-rays starting next April.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Physical Recovery

With the return of warm weather I've been riding regularly.   2 - 3 commuting days durring the week, plus 1 or 2 rides on the weekend.   Nothing particularly long or hard, just getting miles in - the miles I'd normally be logging in the winter and early spring. 

This weekend I had two 50 mile days.  One with a small group on single bikes, one (today) on the tandem with Claire.  Right now I'm probably at 80 - 85% of where I was before I got cancer.   The biggest difference I notice is my ability to reach and maintain the intensity I'm used to - around 85% of my max HR.  That's what I'll be looking for, because that's where I "make my living" so to speak on the bike.  It's where I get the power to keep control of situations on the road, or maintain momentum through difficult sections off road.

On the flip side, it seems like my endurance is in pretty good shape.   That may be a consequence of the lack of intensity - I think since my muscles don't get pushed into the red so much they don't fatigue as much over time.  It's a good lesson about my physical abilities, but I'm looking forward to when the intensity vs. endurance decision isn't being made for me.