Critical measurements

I’m the sort of person who likes to quantify, measure and record the data for future reference. Perhaps I’m a little obsessive.

Here are two graphs of aspects of my health which show trends in opposite directions, but which are both positive for me. I had a radical prostatectomy on November 23 and since then I have been working on gaining body weight, with 60 kg as my target. I want to re-gain weight the lost due to surgery, but also to put on some weight in the hope that it will help strengthen my osteoporotic thoracic spine.

Body mass change since just before prostatectomy, as recorded on my FitBit app.

I have had considerable help from daiskmeliadorn in achieving this weight gain goal. She has been making an absolutely amazingly delicious chocolate-walnut sourdough bread for me, which I have been consuming voraciously.

Chocolate-walnut sourdough bread made lovingly for me by daiskmeliadorn.

A second graph shows a trend in the opposite direction – declining mass. But this is the decline in daily total mass of urine collected in my incontinence pads, so it is also good news for me.

Measure of my urinary incontinence since prostatectomy.

Today I have decided that my incontinence has diminished enough that, although not completely abolished, it’s become reliably small and I don’t need to keep tabs on it anymore. I see my surgeon in two weeks, and I suspect he will declare me to be now ‘continent’ – one of his main outcome measures.

There’s a much more important outcome measure, of course – whether I’m still alive. My surgeon told me the statistics indicate a 10% chance that my cancer will kill me in the next ten years. And the best predictor of that occurrence is the level of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in my blood. If all is well the level should be “undetectable”. A non-zero value would probably indicate the presence of hitherto undetected metastases. In a couple of days I will front up at the pathologist to have blood taken for a 3-month post-op PSA measurement.  I’m hopeful, but nonetheless I will be anxiously awaiting the blood test results.


About oldblack

ageing and decaying, misanthropic,
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