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-   -   Gregory's New Deal (http://www.catalystathletics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=6456)

Gregory L. Johnson 12-17-2011 02:32 PM

Gregory's New Deal
I've ended my training log on the thread Greg's Peak Performance. I've had a major life change and feel like I need a new training log to reflect this change thus the title.

On October 25 of this year I was diagnosed with kidney cancer when an ultrasound showed a mass on my right kidney. A couple of day's later the CT Scan revealed 3 more tumors, one on the vena cava, and one on each adrenal gland. On Wedndesday November 9 all four tumors, my right kidney, and both adrenal glands were removed by one of the top cancer and urology doctors in the country at USC. The surgery went well and my recovery has been speedy thanks in no small part to being otherwise healthy and having a great surgeon

Losing one kidney is not that big of deal since the other kidney will adapt and perform the job of two kidneys. Thankfully I did not lose both and end up on dialysis. Unfortunately, I lost both adrenal glands thus losing two well known hormones , adrenaline and cortisol. Much like a diabetic I am now steroid dependent taking hydrocortisone and fludrocortisone. Hydrocortisone is to replace the cortisol and the fludrocortisone is to help balance the minerals in my kidney like retaining sodium and releasing potassium.

One of the major goals of this new thread will be to help my track my hydrocortisone. Cortisol is the stress hormone and since surgery and recovery are quite stressful I've been on elevated hydrocortisone. Currently I am still titrating down the dose to determine my maintenance level. I also need to determine if I need to spread my dosing out from twice a day to three. Then I have to figure out how to stress dose. When I go for a long hike or run I need to take additional hydrocortisone. if I do a new intense workout which I have not worked up to I need to stress dose.

This Wednesday will be six weeks out from my surgery and I can start lifting things heavier than 15 lbs. again but it will be about 6 months for me to be completely healed. My first major fitness goal of 2012 is to run in the 10.6 mile event in the Big Sur International Marathon on April 29. After that I hope to resume my barbell training and going overhead. We'll see about resuming activities like mountain climbing and mountain biking. Since the technical side of these activities requires adrenaline to do them safely it will have to be on a limited basis and with people willing to put up with the ups and downs of my condition.

As for diet I was on Paleo plus dairy prior to the surgery. Right now that isn't entirely feasible. I have to limit protein intake while the kidney adapts and I have to watch potassium. Limiting these two makes eating enough difficult so I am eating bread, corn, and rice these days Grains have never caused me major issues except maybe with weight. Post surgery I lost 15 lbs adapting to the new steroid regim and I am currently at 173. I would like to keep it below 175 so I hope to get off the grains or at least eat them on a more limited basis.

Let the fun begin.

Gregory L. Johnson 12-17-2011 07:44 PM

Saturday 12/17/11

Reduced hydrocortisone dose (HC) from 30 mg to 25 mg.

15 HC in the a.m.
10 HC in the p.m.

Since this was the first day on the lower dose I took it easy all day. I experienced some lightheadedness when getting off the couch. Around 4 p.m. I actually got active and did some work around the house without issue. It looks like I should be fine on this dose.

Gregory L. Johnson 12-18-2011 07:37 PM

Sunday 12/18/11

175 lbs. in the a.m.
On 9 hours sleep

Walked 1.5 miles

Felt trashed after the walk. It's not the first time since the surgery that I walked 1.5 miles. For a couple of weeks I was walking .5 to 1.5 miles a day. Then the weather got bad. I think the layoff and the reduced hydrocortisone dose are the reason for the level of tiredness I felt.

Derek Simonds 12-19-2011 12:23 PM

Greg you have had one helluva a year. I will follow along as you post your journey. I wish you the best in your recovery and your goals. When my dad was very sick with his pancreas he was on a low fat and low protein diet. It was tough for him as he generally eats in a paleo'ish plus ice cream style. It sounds like you have had a great supporting cast with your surgeon and doctors.

Best wishes with everything.

Gregory L. Johnson 12-19-2011 09:58 PM

Thanks Derek!

I did get some good news yesterday. Something none of my doctor's informed of. In the absence of adrenal glands the body has other ways of producing adrenaline (epinephrine).


Gregory L. Johnson 12-21-2011 04:22 PM

Wednesday 12/21/2011

HC: 15+10
173 lbs in the a.m.

So far I am not having any problems with my lowered meds. I hear a lot of adrenal insuffecient (AI) folks who, when taking a twice daily regimen of HC, crash in the afternoons. I haven't really experienced this. However, I am working at the office in the morning and at home in the afternoon and there's not a whole lot of stress. So who knows. Last week I felt weak and unmotivated for a couple of days then Friday hit and I was full of energy all day. Go figure.

Today they delivered my treadmill:

Reebok® Competitor RT 5.1 SpaceSaver® Treadmill

Let's see how long it takes me to destroy it. I figured since I can't touch my barbell for a few months I may as well make the investment. I can walk and run as much as I want. Besides maybe this will get my wife off the couch.:)

Gregory L. Johnson 12-29-2011 08:07 PM

Sunday 12/25/2011

Walk 1.5 miles

Started putting together the treadmill.

Monday 12/26/2011

Finished putting together treadmill

Tuesday 12/27/2011

Walk 0.6 miles

Wednesdy 12/28/2011

Walk 0.6 miles

I am finally feeling normal again. Energy levels were high and consistent throughout the last two days. Also blood pressure was good and appetite was excellent. The one downside is that I am having trouble getting to sleep before midnight. However, I am not waking up as frequently. Instead of waking up 4 to 5 times a night I am only waking up twice.

Gregory L. Johnson 12-29-2011 08:08 PM

Thursday 12/28/11

HC: 15 + 10
172 lbs. in the a.m.

Walk 0.5 miles
TGUs 10 minutes w/5 lbs.

Tonight I took my HC at 4 p.m. instead of 5 p.m. Let's see if that helps me get to sleep earlier than the last three nights.

Gregory L. Johnson 01-02-2012 09:24 PM

Saturday 12/31/11

HC: 15 + 7.5



Had to start somewhere...

Gregory L. Johnson 01-02-2012 09:29 PM

Sunday 1/1/12

HC: 15 + 7.5

Treadmill 1.05 miles

17 minutes

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