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Bob New Heart

Bob New Heart
Life is Good

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Monday, July 14, 2014

July 14, 2014

Back In The Pool

4 days after my last cyber knife radiation treatment at UCSF, I was back in the pool this morning with my 6am mid-to old age group. Swam my usual 30 laps. The other guys are swimming Individual medleys and are lapping me. I know when we are finished, I do 30 laps and they do 120. What can I say I am 70?

It is a challenge to see how soon I can get back to my usual routine of swimming and the Gym class every other day. I am fortunate that the fatigue after each radiation treatment and after the final one last Thursday July 10th is short lived and I bounce back.

The other side effects of the radiation are slowly fading. These are plumbing issues. Seems to be common with all forms of radiation.

Speaking of my back, after one year since the accident, it is still killing me. We are going to try a shot in the ligament between the # 3 and #4 lumbar discs No steroids for me. I take too many already for the anti rejection regimen. It is more like a novacane.

I am on my way to good health. My goal is to go thru a month with no doctor’s appointments or tests.

I have my end of the year heart testing and clinic in December some time.
Rock and Roll fellow blog readers. Great day for a walk or bike.

Life is Good

Friday, July 11, 2014

Final Cyber Knife Treatment

I finished my 4-cyberknife radiation treatments for my prostate cancer at UCSF. Wonderful staff all around: Dr. Alexander Gottschalk, the cyber knife doctor, nurse Ludene Wong and cyber knife techs Michael. And Tim. I felt completely relaxed during my treatments. Friday was my last visit with the Cyber Knife. Even had a cd on the speakers this time. Classical and loud.

We took a few pics since it was my last Cyber knife. The picture with the four of us Nancy Reid, Me, Dr. Gottschalk and his nurse Ludene Wong was taken at the bell. It is tradition at the cancer center at the UCSF Mt Zion campus to ring the old SF cable car bell as a sign you are done. Nice tradition.

Docs said see him in three months and have a PSA for that visit. I then have two more trips to go; one with Gottschalk in three months and one with Dr. Cooperberg in December. Not to mention my end of the year transplant tests in December as well.

I asked Dr. Gottschalk a few questions.

1. How can we tell if cancer is killed and he said the PSA's will tell. The first PSA should dhow a big jump and thereafter slow but sure decline

2. How long will I have the plumbing side effects and he said about a month is the norm.

Happy to be back and finished with the radiation. I urge all who are considering options for treating prostate cancer to use the cyber knife at UCSF. I had my heart transplant there and now my cancer treatment. I am a UCSF Booster all the way.

Thanks you my friends for the nice emails and calls. Life is Good.

Monday, June 23, 2014

June 23, 2014

My Cyber Knife Treatments are Set

Got a call this morning from UCSF Mt Zion Campus from Dr. Alexander Gottschalk’s office telling me they are ready to schedule. Would I like to start this Friday? I said no how about starting Monday. So we scheduled the next two Mondays and Thursdays . 4 treatments and that is it.

Monday June 30th, Thursday July 3rd, Monday July 7th and Thursday July 10th-All mid-afternoon. I have decided to go back and forth either by car with a driver or on the train with a companion.

It came upon me very fast. I am happy it will be over in two weeks and only two per week. I am however nervous and anxious. I am told the anxiety level falls dramatically after the first bout with the monster CyberKnife.

I am anxious to get back to heart transplant issues not cancer issues.
I will report the side effects.

Life is Good!

Friday, June 20, 2014

When It Rains It Pours

June 20, 2014

After all my belly aching yesterday about not feeling the love from the  Cyber Knife folks, I got three calls today and now I am totally embarrassed. This morning I heard from a young man named Michael who is Dr. Gottschalk’s asst. he said he would be the contact point and gave me his personal line. Next I heard from Dr. Cooperberg indirectly thru the UCSF My Chart website.

Lastly just a few minutes ago I got a nice call from the man himself, Dr. Alexander Gottschaulk. He answered all my questions and said they are not finished mapping out the radiation plan but soon it will be ready.

I will expect a call from Michael next Wednesday the 25th and we will then set up my 4 sessions.

I think I will take the train for each of these treatments. I am now an expert thanks to my sister Sally who went on the train with me last Wednesday.

Lots planned for this weekend. Our pastor, Fr. Ken Laverone is back from his  "walk the way of St James "in Spain and expect lots of interesting homily’s with all the new insight he has gained. We talked this morning for a bit and I can tell he brings back to his job a fresh spirit.

I swam this morning and will do so tomorrow and starting Monday will be back on the Mon-wed-fri schedule. It really makes my back feel better. Should have been doing this a long time ago.

Life is Good!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Almost Ready for Cyber Knife

June 19, 2014

I am back from my train ride to UCSF. My sister went along to show me the ropes on the train. Everything went smoothly and I think I will be taking the train back and forth for my treatments.

Dr. Gottsshaulk, the CyberKnife radio- surgeon, had me sign a few forms of consent and that was all I saw of him. I did the CT scan in the morning and the MRI in the afternoon and as far as I know it is now just a matter of setting up the appointments.

I was told that there will be four not five treatments and they will last abut an hour each. I was assured that I would be strong enough to ride the train back and forth and drive if I wanted. Time will tell on the level of fatigue I get. The side effects will be basically fatigue, some bleeding and more difficulty with peeing. I asked how it cold be any worse and he said it could.

I feel a bit isolated and alone. With my transplant, I had wonderful docs here in Sacramento caring for me before I was referred to UCSF. The pre-transplant team was great as was and the post transplant team. I love the docs, Dr.Teresa DeMarco and Dr. Van Selby and the wonderful coordinator Anne Fukano. I also remember fondly Dr David Majure.You are part of a family and that care lasts for the rest of your life. With this cancer thing, it is bim. Bam boom and you are gone.

See ya later. Enjoy the side effects.

A person very close to me tells me that this is the way of modern medicine. The transplant team is a family; the cancer care is like buying a car.

I know I sound like a big 70-year-old baby. Sorry about that. The stress of whether these 4 treatments will do the job. How soon can I get back into my gym routine etc. is on my mid.

I end on a positive note.

I have had the best docs in the world with my heart transplant and am sure that will be the case at UCSF Mt. Zion.

I am very very lucky to have wonderful insurance including Medicare and CalPers

Lastly there are  a gazillion cancer patients who we all know, friends and family. Pray for them not me. Put your  prayers and energy into them

Life is Good.

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