June 30, 2017

Time for another update

I said that I’d keep My Trike ticking over despite the problems so although I haven’t got a great deal of anything good to report, here we go. Most of the last month has been taken up with health matters (boring!) so not much time left over to deal with anything else. But I can’t just sit or lie around doing nothing, so even though I’ve been unable to apply myself to anything very ‘heavy’, I have managed to turn my mind and hands to one or two other things.

Firstly, the X-Air. I really do need to get it back into one flyable piece and advertised on Le Bon Coin so it can be sold. While I could still do things, Victor helped me to pull its flywheel off to get to its ignition stator and unfortunately that’s how it’s stayed ever since, for the past several weeks.

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I want to remove its stator, which from its anomolous mag drops I believe to be faulty, and try the one that I removed from MYRO’s old engine that I believed I might have damaged and replaced with a new one, but which might actually be OK. If that doesn’t work, I can then just replace it with another new one. Wim very kindly offered to help me with the work this week, but unfortunately I just wasn’t up to it. However, I hope that things will be different next week, in which case with a bit of luck I’ll be able to get the X-Air ready for sale.

I’ve also had all the parts to hand for several weeks in order to get the Savannah back in one piece after my unfortunate bump at the end of April. The new scimitar bladed prop arrived some time ago from the Ukraine and can be fitted as soon as I have the new nose leg in place, again not a difficult job but one that I have not been able to tackle for the time being. Here’s a shot of the new prop boss, spinner and pitch gauge that came with the prop.

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And here’s a shot of a couple of the blades, including one in its custom fitted cover that they all came in.

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The final job on the Savannah was the repair of the nose wheel cowling that was damaged when it bumped into the base of the hangar door and this was one task that I was able to tackle while I was feeling too under-the-weather to do much else. Here’s the repair in primer – I’ll be able to finish it off in white when the weather gets back to being dry, warm and less windy, which it isn’t at the moment.

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And here’s a final shot showing the inside of the repair, which I’m very pleased with, as although it wasn’t that hard to do, did look rather scruffy and nasty beforehand.

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The only other aircraft related job is, of course, my French Weedhopper, which is still in the hangar with the Savannah with its wings off. Regrettably that’s where it’ll have to stay for now, until the X-Air work is completed. Ideally I’d like the X-Air to be sold so the Weedhopper can come out of the hangar and take its place in the barn, but I’ll have to see how things transpire.

So what of other, more personal matters? I said that I wasn’t going to make a big issue of things to do with my health but I also said that I’d be honest, so here goes. As I mentioned at the outset, I’m not aware of being affected by any symptoms of my lymphoma, probably I guess because it was detected at a very early stage as a result of my operation. The medics here said that in the normal run of events, it might not have been detected for several years but to their credit, that has not stopped them moving incredibly quickly to treat it.

So this is why my month has been filled with medical and health matters. In between having the dressing left over from my operation changed every couple of days at the local health centre, on 15th June I went for a walk-in operation at Périgeux to have a catheter fitted to deliver medication straight into my heart chamber, on 16th June I had a TEP scan at Brive, on 19th June I had an initial consultation with the haemotologist at Périgueux and on 20th June my first round of chemo. So all a bit of a whirlwind.

So far, so good. During the consultation on 19th June, I was asked if I’d care to participate in a drug study. I agreed to do so, subject to there being no negative conotations for either me or my treatment and I was assured that there would not be. I had to stay in overnight for observation following my inital chemo and left feeling good and in fine form the next day, which was a Wednesday. However, by Thursday evening I was beginning to feel a bit rough and by Friday I was experiencing feelings of nausea and stomach pain.

This was not wholly unexpected and I had been told before embarking on the treatment that as I had not been experiencing any symptoms up to then, to expect that the treatment would be worse than the disease. So I just had to stick it out over the week end and by the following Tuesday, the ill effects of the chemo had been reduced to a bearable level. But Tuesday was the day on which I was to receive the first of a series of four injections on consecutive days as part of the drug trial that I’d signed up for.

Within a few hours of receiving the injection the stomach pains that I experienced were excruciating, as well as pains in my operation site and, unbelievably for me, in my shoulder joints. I was unable to eat or even drink very much for several days and the weight began to tumble off me and as far as I was concerned, this did not conform to the trial ‘not having any negative conotations’ for me.

So the first thing that I did as soon as I was able to was withdraw my participation from the study and it’s something that I’ll be taking up with the medical team when I next meet up with them. But for now I’ve just had to concentrate on overcoming the pain and discomfort caused by the trial drug and at the time of writing, I’m almost there.

I am ready and willing to accept the down-side and any discomfort resulting from my treatment, but not that from an activity which is discretional and not part of my treatment, especially when to do so would give rise to constant pain resulting initially from my treatment and then, just as it was fading, by a new wave caused by the trial drug. It was just too much to bear.

So that brings things up to date. As I type this I’m feeling pretty chippy and looking forward to my good friend Wim dropping in for coffee tomorrow morning. And also really hoping that next week with Wim’s help, I’ll be able to get the work done on the X-Air because just getting across to the airfield will be like a therapeutic breath of fresh air 😉