David R
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Training and treatment

David R
Posted by
16 Aug 2013

About David Rogers: David is a keen cyclist and is in training for the London Bikeathon, despite having just been diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia

So as I said in my last blog, “Live Life Large”, or was it “Life Goes On”? Well Life does go on and with three children all on their school holidays, there isn’t a quiet day in the Rogers household. The leukaemia tests, consultations and treatment all have to fit round family life and of course cycling training!

Well it’s almost two weeks since the bone marrow biopsy now and wasn’t that an interesting experience. I made sure the night before I went out and did a gentle 25 miles with some of the members of the We Hate Hills (WHH) team, polished off by a couple of ice cold beers and some banter.

Being a type 1 diabetic and having to fast before the biopsy I was first on the list. The leukaemia specialist gave me some nice drugs to help try and knock me out but they didn’t work. Maybe I was so excited to be having the biopsy! Anyhow I didn’t know needles came in that length and boy did they have to be wiggled around. I found out I have bones like Wolverine, but as my wife kindly told me, that doesn’t make me anything like Hugh Jackman!

The procedure took longer thanks to this and I seemed to be a bit of a bleeder on one of the hottest days of the year when plasters just didn’t seem to want to stick in the heat. It was uncomfortable that evening getting up the stairs for bed but in the morning it was better and I managed to do a gentle three mile walk and that made it easier, but I was still leaking a bit. That finally stopped in a couple of days and it soon all healed up. I had to give cycle training with WHH a miss that weekend, but that meant I could tinker with the bike and give it a good clean-up.

On the Sunday evening I had a bleed in my right eye. This had never happened before and it made my vision look like someone had dripped some ink onto my eye. So on the Monday after seven hours of waiting, tests and being seen by two doctors and one eye specialist I was informed I’ve got severe Diabetic Retinopathy in my right eye and also signs of it in my left. I’d been put on aspirin to thin my blood, but it was inconclusive if that was the cause at this point.  Well that didn’t stop us from Tuesday going to London and visiting Buckingham Palace for the day with my family as part of my youngest daughter Chloe’s 9th birthday treat. Life still goes on as I said.

The end of the week brought more blood tests and another consultation. We agreed with my specialist the treatment was going to be 100mg of dasatinib for the first two weeks and also a course of gout tablets! This confused me as I wasn’t a port drinker! Well I found out that my body is going to be breaking down cells, which will create a build-up of uric acid and if I don’t get it out of my system it could cause renal damage. ‘Oh well’, I thought - it’s just another tablet and best take it then. Whilst waiting for the tablets to arrive, which took five days including the weekend, I still managed to get in two training rides and obviously the last one required a cold beer with my WHH buddies the day before the treatment.

It’s now day two of the tablets. Day one wasn’t too bad after all and I ensured even though I couldn’t drink I had bubbles (soda water!) in a champagne glass to down the tablets and continued drinking litres of water through-out the day to keep all my renal bits ‘n bobs working well to flush out the nasty bits. I had two eye bleeds during the day and this time in both eyes. The specialist and I agreed to take me off of the aspirin for now as that could well be the cause of the problem, seeing as I’ve never had them before until now with my diabetes. Other than that, no real side effects, although tummy has been a bit on spin day two. That may be down to going out for a curry with the family and a close friend who’d flown in especially from the Middle East.

Itching now to get out cycling this week now that the tablets seem to be working and have little to no side effects. I’m waiting for the call from the bike shop to pick up my bike as I broke something in my rear cassette. Hopefully the weather will be good again and maybe I will do a little 50 mile return trip to the seaside.

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