Tuesday, 15 February 2011

First three monthly check up

It's been a while since my last post. I'm getting back into the swing of things. I'm still not fit enough or strong enough to work full-time (will I ever be?) and I still get tired, but hey, I'm a lot better than I was.

Last week was notable for two things. Firstly I had my three monthly checkup and the doctor is happy with the blood tests. He'll keep me on Co-Trimoxazole for another three months and that's it. I did mention that I had an attack of gout after eating too much liver and he said he'd ask for further tests on my blood. If the uric acid levels are up he'll write to my GP and get him to prescribe some allopurinol. I enjoy food like fish and liver. It would be a shame to have to stop eating it.
I've also been having treatment for the skin condition on my finger. I've had this patch of scabby, scaly skin on my index finger for years. During the winter the cold gets into the fissures and it's painful. I was referred to the dermatologist at the hospital who carried out a biopsy. This revealed that it was Bowen's disease, a pre-cancerous skin condition.
A couple of weeks ago they called me in for some Photo Dynamic Therapy. Basically they cleaned the skin, removed the scabs and covered the affected area with a cream. This was left covered up for three hours and then a bright red light was shone on it. The procedure was carried out by a nurse. We both had to wear cool shades for the seven minutes that the light was shone on my finger.
The first time the procedure was carried out it was a bit prickly and painful on the affected area. Because it was light and not heat, the rest of my hand was unaffected. I was sent home with a throbbing finger which was painful for a couple of days and which scabbed up again.
The next week the procedure was repeated, but this time it really hurt. It was like holding a lighter to your skin for seven minutes. The nurse spayed cold water on my finger to try and ease the pain. We talked about anything and everything. Anything to take my mind off the pain in my finger. This was truly the most pain I've endured for a long long time.
But I endured it. The dressings came off after a day or so and as I look at my finger now the skin is healing and the scabs are dropping off. There's still a patch where the light couldn't reach so I may need another dose in a few months time, but it will be nice to shake hands without an unsightly mess on my finger.

I said two things. I meant three. I must be getting back to normal because I have regained my appetite for tackling some outstanding problems at work. Software installations, updating records, researching and problem solving. All back on track.

And another thing. I had my hair cut to celebrate going into remission. That was three months ago so I had a couple of inches cut off to maintain the look.