Thursday, 13 October 2011

PSA... wonderful

These bulletins may well lapse into silence now. I have a regular blood test; what is known as a super-senstive psa. These are scheduled at six monthly intervals and are then followed up with a telephone conversation with the Urology Dept at the Royal Berkshire Hospital.

A reading of anything less that 0.03 is good news. The latest reading was 0.01, which according to the Urology Dept is 'wonderful'. So they will continue the six monthly blood tests and unless there is something very different to report this will be the last bulletin.

...and a final opportunity to say thank you to so many who have prayed so faithfully over the last couple of years. I am more grateful than I can express and only ask you for prayer that Wesley's great birthday hymn will find its fulfilment in this 'remnant of days'.

In a rapture of joy
My life I employ,
The God of my life to proclaim:
'Tis worth living for this,
To administer bliss
And salvation in Jesus's name.

My remnant of days
I spend in His praise
Who died the whole world to redeem;
Be they many, or few,
My days are His due,
And they all are devoted to Him.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

The Best

I visited the Cardiology Dept this morning at the Royal Berkshire Hospital so they could check up on the ongoing progress of the 'stent'. The transformation is really quite amazing and I enjoyed telling the surgeon the differences it had made. I walked, with two grandsons, around a 2 mile lake last Saturday! Remarkable when you consider that I could not walk 100 yards without acute discomfort and had got to the stage where I needed to sit down after using my battery operated toothbrush!

I thought you might like to hear a some of his comments;

"It is the best one I have ever done. It is a marked success."

"It is the best one my colleague has ever seen."

"It will become one of our slides for future teaching purposes."

Of course, behind the surgeon's hand was another and I am genuinely grateful to both, and to you for your continued prayer.

Friday, 29 July 2011

Full steam ahead?

I promised to keep folks in the loop as regards by 'capella stent' procedure. It went very well and the procedure team were very excited at the instant improvement of circulation. I am still on a cocktail of drugs but am feeling stronger by the day. The last couple of days I have done my morning mile-walk with the dog whereas before I couldn't manage 100 yards.

A couple of Biblebase Second Thoughts blogs will tell you how I am feeling.

the red river of life
transformed... in a heart beat

thank you all again for love and prayer.

Monday, 27 June 2011

a Capella Stent?

For someone who had just the vaguest notions of human biology the last couple of years have been quite a steep learning curve. This is not a reference to unaccompanied singing! The angiogram went well and established that fact that I have some bifurcation vascular damage and that I am to return to the Cardiology Unit on 15th July for treatment. The treatment is likely to be a 'Capella Stent'. I am going to leave it to the interested, and non-squeamish to 'google' these terms if you want more details.

My doctor son reckons that it is really good that this has been established and treatment is now in hand! I am sure he is right!

I am now on quite a cocktail of medication which is designed to keep things in order until the treatment. Some of these are having an impact on the energy levels again but otherwise I feel pretty good.

Thank you again for all your love and prayer. I will try to keep you in the loop.

Friday, 17 June 2011

General update and a ps

It occurred to me that I haven't updated this for quite some time. No news IS good news... generally.

A couple of months ago I had one of my six-monthly PSA tests in which the PSA levels were 'undetectable' which means there is no sign of the prostate cancer. How easy it is to take things for granted! I am grateful to the Lord and to my many friends who pray regularly for me and my family. Some I don't even know by name and then 'out of the blue' comes a note or a comment which says 'you don't know me, but we have been praying...' It is very humbling to be part of the family of God! So on the prostate cancer front things are looking good and the medics are very pleased with things as they are.

My energy levels are still not back to anything like what they were but are still improving. I am back to my normal loads in preaching in the UK but have not committed to any overseas visits at present. In May/June I have been preaching away from home almost every other week, shared in a 5 day residential conference in Devon and conducted a series of 10 studies on an Introduction to the Bible at a nearby mini-bible school. The surgery also left me with some mild incontinence issues but they are manageable and I am in good spirits. I have taken to 'sitting on a stool' when preaching and folks are accommodating to that pretty well.

and then the ps... A couple of months ago I began to experience odd and erratic pains in my arms and wrists when walking the dog and these increased until I could really only walk a hundred yards or so without extreme discomfort. There was no breathlessness although the pains subsided after rest. My GP decided to examine two suspects; a trapped nerve in the spinal column and the possibility of angina. I have had Xray examinations which confirmed that I have a fusion of a couple of disks in my spine which could certainly be the cause... it seemed we had our chief suspect... but then I had some heart tests yesterday, ECG and treadmill stress tests, which showed 'positive' so angina in back among the suspects too. I am scheduled for an 'urgent' angiogram on 24th July. In the meantime I am now on a daily beta-blocker in addition to my other medications.

I have always been blessed with a robust health and vigorous energy level so the last couple of years have been 'different' to say the least. What is not different is the particular loving care of a 'Father' who knows what things we have need of and has who has personally supervised each step of this journey. Our times are still and absolutely 'in his hands'.

I will try to keep you posted as the next chapter unfolds! Much love to you all and thank you all again for all your love and prayer.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

No news is good news...

From time to time in the last six months folks have 'complained' that these blogs have not been updated. My apologies but really there was just nothing to say.

When my intensive radio therapy came to an end the medics did a PSA test. In that I don't have the P(rostate) part of this the test ought to reveal a negligible PSA. This was also to provide a bench mark point for future PSA tests. It was hardly measurable. For the future this is how we monitor my condition.

I have just received the results of my 6 monthly PSA check and the results are that my PSA levels are 'undetectable', either zero or under the 'radar' of the the PSA test. This is the best possible 'test result'. It implies that there is no trace of my prostate cancer. While I am grateful to all the medical care that I have received, I am also conscious that I have not just been in the hands of the medics. Thank you so much for all your prayer and love.

As regards 'after effects', there are some. My energy levels are very much better although when I get tired I do get very tired! I take a nap most afternoons and I am doing well on this. I am back to pretty much my old schedules for preaching and have some extra tasks coming online soon. It has also left me with a measure of incontinence. This is mild and easily manageable but does mean that longer journeys take a little more organisation and I am not planning any flights for the time being.

I am feeling well and looking forward to lots of things I want to do. I am well advanced with my first book called 'The Better Covenant'. It is in the final stages of proof-reading and will hopefully be available on Amazon and with ebook and Kindle versions. Watch this space!

Again, my love to you all and my continual thanks for standing with us during these last 12 months. Surely our times are in His hands.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Loosing the moorings

A few folk have commented recently that there have been no updates since September so let's see if we can improve on that.

Really there is nothing to report except the steady restoring of stamina. I am discovering that currently I cannot do 'morning, noon and night'; any two but not all three. If I do all three the next day leaves me pretty well wiped out.

Last weekend I travelled to Liverpool to be with one of the churches there for the whole of the Sunday. I have been preaching occasionally at home here in Reading but the combination of travelling to a location, preaching in the morning, talking all afternoon, preaching in the evening and travelling back the same day is too much to contemplate just now. Time was when I could have taken it in my stride but currently I am having to measure my energies a little more carefully.

I took the train to Liverpool on Saturday afternoon, preached at the morning meeting, chatted throughout lunch, TOOK AN AFTERNOON NAP, and then preached again in the evening. I left the train journey home until Monday. It all went very well. It was a delight to be with the saints and to share the word of God and renew many old friendships. The danger is, of course, that the adrenalin starts circulating and you forget that you are going to have to pay for it a little later on. The journey home was a bit messy with points closures and more changes of train than expected but it all went well.

On Tuesday I took a quiet day off and slept a couple of times! All in all it went well and I am encouraged. I have a diary of appointments building up now and I want to keep a eye of how it all works out.

I am still doing the 'Speakers' Corner' sessions in the fellowship here and have returned to editing my book. I have now sent the first few chapters and synopses of the others to a prospective publisher; I await their comments! We now have a busy weekend scheduled with a family wedding in Norfolk so life is slowly returning to normal! Thank you all again for all your prayer and good wishes. I have a monitoring appointment in a couple of months and I will do a post when that is done. Love to you all.