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Yet another lurker emerging from the shadows here! I have been following your thread for some time and am so pleased you got such great news yesterday! Whenever I feel down in the dumps or lacking in motivation I think of you and what you have been through and it makes me feel so humble. I realize just how lucky I am to have my health! Thank you for your inspirational words!
Best wishes for the future and good luck with the training for FLM! Keep us all posted!
I am so very pleased about the remission. Good luck with your running and marathon plans
All the best for your marathon plans and beyond, Douglas!
That's great news... Being superstitious I've lurked but followed your progress avidly over the last few months! Words fail me
WOW... I've just read this thread from start to finish and I'm speechless... such courage and an amazingly strong attitude. So sorry about your cousin DJ... it must have been tough to see her go and still keep the strong fight.
Lorra, still thinking of you and hope you get the same outcome as DJ
It's strange that I see this thread today because I had an experience this afternoon which humbled me... I posted the following in my blog in Fetch...and what happened this afternoon put everything into perspective (it's a bit long so I'll have to put it into three posts)
"I went and saw my consultant this morning.Since I got injured in April 2006 I have seen at least 20 professionals, NHS and Private, and they've all tried to find the answer as to what is going on in my leg... the guy who I saw today is the only one who has been determined enough to succeed.I first saw him in January and I knew from that first consultation that I'd finally found the right person, I trust him 200%, he's always been totally honest with me and tells me exactly how it is... I respect that.Through tests that he'd ordered for me we discovered that the problem was with the Common Peroneal Nerve. Today was the consultation to talk about the options... there are very few.I have to say that my leg is allowing me to run further this year than I could last year. However I do have to constantly monitor it. I can't push it as hard as I would like to. There are times during a run or a race when I'm feeling great and could go faster but have to hold back because my leg begins to complain... it can be very frustrating!So, to the options...1) Do nothing and accept my lot, just keep running as I am2) Manage it with steroid injections3) Surgery(cont in next post)
(cont from prev)
The problem with 1) is that I know I can run faster, plus I have always had the goal of doing Comrades, which I was actually supposed to be running this year until the injury halted all my prep. I might get away with it but then again my leg could one day say "enough"The problem with 2) is that I've had a steroid injection in it before and it lasted about 8 weeks, then all the symptoms came back...I don't want to have to keep pumping a steroid into my leg every couple of monthsThe problem with 3) is that there are major risks. My consultant, Mr Robinson, pulled no punches when he told me what they were. Basically I would be an experimental case, nothing of this kind of surgery has ever been done before so there are no guarantees as to the outcome. Mr Robinson also said that he can't know for sure what he's going to find if he goes in. It would be an extremely delicate operation due to the proximity of the nerve fibres, and if any of that nerve got damaged in the process that would be the end of my running...completely.I kind of suspected this was going to be the situation and we were both batting forward pros and cons...I felt 100% that he was on my side, rather than just speaking as a surgical member of the NHS. I could see that he was in as much of a quandry as I was.He told me of times that he attends conferences etc and quite often the question is asked of consultants/surgeons... "What do you say to marathon runners when they come to you with knee/leg injuries?" And the answer is often "I tell them to stop running". He told me that the most common reason for that answer is that they know "how hard you guys push yourselves" and that surgery can't always help the situation.I gave him the perspective of a runner and he fully appreciated that.So, as it stands now Mr Robinson is going to speak to the chief radiologist who performed my last test and bat about my results to see if there is anything at all that can sway the decision either way. Then he'll get back to me with the final word. Meanwhile... I'm still training for Amsterdam, Hastings, Boston, FLM, Dartmoor Discovery...etc etc
(cont in next post)
(cont from prev post)
On the way home from the hospital I stopped off for a coffee at Coffee Republic, and while I sat there mulling over what Mr Robinson had said, 3 people sat down at a table next to me.One lady started to tell another how ill she'd been last week, with stomach cramps and sickness etc. I didn't really pay much attention until the word chemotherapy was mentioned. The lady who had been ill was wearing a hat, and it was obvious that she had lost her hair. As the conversation went on it turned out that she'd been on the treatment for a long time for a tumour and this latest bout of chemo was a harsh one, but her body was still dealing with the previous course of chemo, which was why she had been so ill. There was also a guy at the table, fairly young, probably early 30's, who was comparing his treatment for a tumour also. The lady was talking quite openly and said that they were worried about the cancer getting to her bones. Difficult to put an age on her as she'd been ill, but I wouldn't say that she was older than 50.It kind of put my situation into perspective... I'm not saying that the problem with my injury is not important, because it is... to me, but we all have the ability to accept and move forward. The people who were sat next to me had gone through the huge process of accepting that they have cancer, which could ultimately take their life, they accepted the treatment and all that went with it in order to try and move forward and grasp onto life.As for me, I have been through a huge process of accepting this injury, trying to find a solution. I can accept whatever Mr Robinson says, and still move forward. Whatever the outcome, even if I don't ever get to run Comrades, I have my life."
Thank you all for your kind messages.
I, too, feel very humble at all the time and effort that has gone into saving my life. So we'll all feeling humble and that's using the word in its most positive sense.
Hi Mrs Pig, I'm not taking drugs or pills for my peripheral neuritis as it will go away of its own accord in due course. It makes typing and writing very interesting and very slow. I wouldn't give myself a job as a seamster (is that the correct term for a male person who sows?).
That and my lack of voice are the only side-effects. If you heard me speak, you'd think I had a slight voice defect, because I have to force each word out one by one. I'm not short of breath when exercising, but I just can't get the words out when talking; they don't flow. The voice is getting better and better as the nerves recover; earlier in the year I had to resort to a card system to communicate.
The voice problem saved my life and so I'm very pleased to have it.
I've got the week end off and then it's back to gentle LM training and making the most of life in every way possible.
Thanks again, folks and also I'm sending masses of postive thoughts to Lorra, who is still going through it.
It ain't over 'til the fat lady sings.
Never was a truer word spoken.
On Thursday morning I was 12.5 minutes into a 20 minute treadmill session. Without warning I blacked out and woke up in an ambulance. I was probably unconcious for about 30 minutes.
I ended up in Charing Cross A&E. I was given an inconclusive CT brain scan and a more conclusive MRI scan.
The bad news is that I have 20 small secondry cancerous growths in my brain. There are several pieces of unofficial good news:
This information comes from the cancer physio at the hospital and a GP friend.
I see the proper oncolgist on Monday and am going to ask for treatment to start Friday.
I have to surrender my driving licence, which is bore.
Despite having been bollocked by every friend I have, I still maintain that, if the running broght on the "witness tonic clonic seizure", it did me a favour by bringing these growths to medical attention, whilst they were still small.
Good luck with all that marge
Keep running if you can
I'm at Marge Fearon's house and on her computer.
To avoid confusion, it's Douglas that collapsed and has the 20 secondry growths in his brain.
Same message applies Douglas
I am amazed by your positivity
MESSAGE FROM DOUGLAS JOHNSTONE:
it ain't over 'til the fat lady sings.
On Thursday morning I was 12.5 minutes into a 20 minute treadmill session. Without warning I blacked out and woke up in an ambulance. I was probably unconscious for about 30 minutes.
I see the proper oncologist on Monday and am going to ask for treatment to start Friday.
Despite having been bollocked by every friend I have, I still maintain that, if the running brought on the "witness tonic clonic seizure", it did me a favour by bringing these growths to medical attention, whilst they were still small.
Your usual positive attitude shining through Douglas.
The very best of luck.
((Douglas)) That's a bit of a shocker, coming so soon after the 'all clear'. As you say, the seizure probably did you a favour by getting these diagnosed early, and the outlook seems positive, but it must be hard to get your head around this.
I guess it's possible that the running might have precipitated the seizure, but it didn't cause it - the cancer did that. Keep on whenever you want, your fitness is standing you in good stead.
It's just another lap round the track. You've been here before, and so you get the chance to prove yourself stronger again.
Huge positive thoughts to you Douglas!!
Well I saw the oncologist yesterday. The news is not good.
Palliative care only.
I start radiotherapy on Monday.
If it works, I have months (number not known). If it doesn't work, I have weeks.
I will either die in my sleep or under very effective pain relief.
However I had a GP friend round last night and she had a patient who was given 6 weeks to live and the patient is still alive 6 years later.I'm now setting down to clear up outstanding business matters.....................this dying lark is a time-consuming business.
However I may surprise you all by being around in a year or two.
I'm sure people will be checking this thread if you want to chat, vent, or whatever.
I'll be needing lots of support, I'm sure.
My running has given me huge pleasure and pride. At the moment I'm in 24 hour company. Ironically I slept a solid seven hours without sleeping pills last night.
Hope the radio therapy does give you some more time------ quality time