Monday, December 12, 2011

9 month follow up on December 22

My next 3 month follow up (which will be 9 months after finishing the investigational Avastin protocol) will be on December 22, 2011 when I have the next CT scan, Physical exam and blood tests. We forgot to draw the blood test CA-125 during my last port flush visit, which was rather harried tucked in as it was between my return from 12 days in Turkey the evening before and a 9 hour drive to Charlottesville VA for Thanksgiving that same day. So it will be drawn on Dec 22 but i won't get the results until later.

I am expecting a good exam. I have continued to work with a trainer 4 hours weekly at the gym and my physican strength and stamina have both continued to improve. I continue to have a neuropathy in my feet, but it is very mild and rarely significantly bothers me.

Between Nov 10- 22 I had a wonderful tour of Turkey - visiting some many sites that were relics of buildings dated 2-4 thousand years before Christ that by the time I arrived in Istanbul and visit the Haggia Sophia built by Justinian and his mother about 500 AD it seemed like an essentially modern site. High points included visiting ruins of Ephesus (a city of about 250,000 when Paul preached there and site of the third largest library in the ancient world), Troy, Pergamom (the capital built by Alexander the Great's general on top of a mountain and late covered in marble by the Romans), and many many other sites. In Istanbul I experienced a traditional Turkish bath in a building that was originally built in 1489 or so but had been recently renovated. I imagined that meant that they had automated the heating process and gotten rid of the slaves who previously worked below the rock slab that I lay on stoking the fires. It was rather amazing to participate in a ritual that had gone on for thousands of years, and to recognize the intact version of the architecture that I had seen fragments of in so many ancient ruins. But if you just want an excellent massage, I recommend NAtural Body or some other US spa. The highlight for me was Cappadocia - full of cave dwellings that had been occupied by ordinary people as recently as the 1960s, and 6 story refuges carved into the mountain where up to 5,000 Christians huddled for up to a month for protection against the most recent maurauders - according to my tourist information, mostly invading Persians. But the most amazing thing was the paintings on the walls of Byzantine churches carved into the caves. We were in one tiny chapel carved rather high up in a rock that was big enough for only a few people, but within which we could see remnants of byzantine crosses painted on the ceiling. It was terrific.

Then I had another wonderful Thanksgiving with extended family hosted by Jane and Bruce Greyson in Charlottesville, VA, Followed in rapid order by a detail on Dec 1 to the Emergency Operations Center at CDC (a very interesting 4 month tenure with folks I worked with before and enjoyed) and a celebration of my 59th birthday on December 7. Last good birthday before 60!!! So enjoying my youth.

So next 3 month follow up is in 10 days, but i won't post an update about it until after the new year, because I will have this examination in Gainesville GA and depart from there to go directly to Cherokee NC where I again do clinical duty through the remainder of the year, returning to Atlanta the first day of January. A slightly overscheduled last quarter of the year but ... making it through all right and glad to be busy again. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and a very excellent New Year.


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