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Met an old friend today; his name is Gym

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I think I first met Gym at school in the sixties – we normally met on a weekly basis. We were reacquainted when I joined the army and hooked up more frequently! It was there I met some of Gym’s friends, known as PTIs (Physical Training Instructors). Their opening line was normally “Ten times round my large bronze chest…… GO! ” and then we would proceed with the ‘beasting’.  I suspect I might now be prodded by the PTIs on my facebook page – there are one or two out there 🙂

I’ve always been a fairly fit guy but over time my fitness had faded.  I’m to blame entirely for this but I suppose it hasn’t been helped by a diagnosis of metastatic Neuroendocrine Cancer.  However, I’m now turning this negative into a number of positives and getting fitter is one of them! One aspect of my recent Hadrian’s Wall walk was to see how I’d cope with a major physical and mental challenge. Walking was chosen as a low risk activity although it turned out to be quite tough!

At 58 years of age, I clearly won’t be making the GB 2016 Olympic team but my aim is to become fitter than the average 58 year old (perhaps 59 by the time I meet this objective…..).   I started nice and slow today mainly the walking machine as a warm up and then straight onto a number of upper body exercises.  I stopped or rested when I felt pain – didn’t want to overdo it at this early stage. I’ll keep building up my upper body strength on the machines but in a week or two, I’ll move onto running and the concept rowers for stamina.

My shoulders and arms are hurting from the gym work – that is an excellent sign 🙂

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Geekie Gabble – reintroduced by special request from medical geeks!

I just completed my Chromogranin A (CgA) and 5HIAA tests this morning and then went straight to the gym!  I undergo many tests but these ones are pretty important as they measure residual tumour bulk and activity.  Other than signs of tumour growth showing on scans, they would be used to decide whether further treatment is required or not. I repeat these tests every 4 months currently.

The CgA blood test is an excellent marker to help detect and monitor the activity of Neuroendocrine tumors in general. CgA is a protein found in carcinoid tumor cells, and it’s normally secreted into the blood. Elevated levels of CgA are found in 80-100% of patients with Neuroendocrine tumors.  When I was diagnosed, my test results were way out.

5HIAA is a 24 hour urine test using a 2 liter sample bottle!  Those of you who have been paying attention to my blogs will know that Neurondocrine tumours can release excessive amounts of particular hormones especially Serotonin.  When serotonin breaks down in the body, it is converted first to something known as 5-HT and then to 5-HIAA, which is then excreted into the urine.  This gives the medical team an idea of how active the tumours are.

Both of these tests have been normal for the last 3 years with one exception where an elevated CgA for 2 consecutive tests became a factor in a decision to tackle some distant lymph node hotspots (one of which is still work in progress).

Ronny

 

Thanks for reading

Ronny Allan

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