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AML & Climbing - a random info thread. 25-Jul-2023 At 9:16:18 AM IdratherbeclimbingM9
Thanks gordoste, gfdonc and regdog55.

G’day ‘stoners,

A trip report update of sorts …

Escape day from Melbourne for my wife and I was 30 June and we arrived back home after 12 months of playing reincarnation games down there.
Most of my pathology is being done fortnightly (locally), and reviews (with occasional biopsies), done monthly back in Melbourne for the foreseeable future, but my blood numbers are good and expected to continue to get better, so the Haem-Team is relaxing its grip on me.

Although I was daily walking 10 kms in the relatively flat terrain of suburban Melbourne I was only cautiously optimistic of handling a lesser distance in our local hills, so my initial ‘suck it and see’ walk was 3km.
All good.

I then set myself a target of a 10 km single-track mountain bike ride mostly uphill from town for 5km then returning on the same route.
This proved more taxing than expected and although I was mostly in granny-gear, and stopped 3 times to converse with friends encountered along the way (simultaneously appreciating the rests), that ride felt like days of old when I was suitably wasted after a 50 km ride.

Between walking on non-ride days and riding 3 or 4 days per week my rest days incorporate Royal Melbourne Hospital Physiotherapy which continues for me via internet.

My next target was participating in a rail trail and back roads style group ride with my old riding group.
They rode 25 km disappearing into the distance.
I caught up with them at their first rest stop, however I then turned back retracing 7 km of easier rail trail portion at my preferred slower pace, and arrived back at the town cafe at the same time as the group to refresh my social skills, all the while maintaining social distancing, mask wearing etc due to my lack of immunity.

I got home after this ride to some sobering information.

My wife had received a call from one of our neighbours in the Leukaemia Foundation Apartments where we stayed for the last 12 months.
Another of our neighbours there had just died, and yet another one has relapsed - only to be told that there's nothing further the medicos can do for him, so he's gone home for his final days.
He was going great recently when last I saw him and was personal inspiration for me as he was about three months ahead of me on the marrow transplant trail.

Both of them are/were in their early 50's, and were our 'family' while we were there.

Since then we’ve learnt of another who is experiencing heavy duty lung issues and has been admitted to intensive care.
When the health tables turn due to GVHD, they turn quickly …

The experience of others can take the wind out of one’s sails big time and both my wife and myself have been noticeably more fragile during this period of transition back to normality.

Unfortunately this journey is as the Senior Haematologist in charge of my case said to me about 12 months ago - leukaemia wins. They don't know how to cure it, only treat it semi-successfully...

So far I’m in the 15% category who come through the process relatively unscathed.
Here's to the present.

I’m living a quieter vsn of life now and trying to re-find my tribe as I feel like a shell of my former self - a weird mix of recognising the/my cocoon but finding it largely empty of its former content. Making sense of this is so far proving futile.

During one of my physiotherapy classes involving about 8 other patients, I was intrigued to become aware that my progress has been inspiring to others in my class. I hadn’t considered this as a possibility because I participate enthusiastically due purely selfish motives of progressing my health and reaping the benefits of what I put in!

After being home a month, doing increasingly longer bike rides and walks, I now feel that basic climbing is realistically back on my agenda, … though it isn’t strongly calling me at present.
So much to do and so little time to do it, but it’s great to have choices!

Appreciate the moments as they present because they are all too brief.

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