Saturday, December 14, 2013

Health Update (Dec. 14, 2013)

The results of the MRI is that I have two compression fractured vertebra (8th thoracic and 12 thoracic) and a kidney stone in my left kidney. The kidney stone probably is not causing me problems at this point.

I an under high powered pain-killers and an pretty much house-bound. I do get outside for a walk daily. My church is helping me with grocery shopping,  etc and have provided some meals.

Please pray I'd be able to get to the right doctors (probably neuro surgeons) so I can
get the treatments or operation I need. It seems as if the medical establishment is moving very

I am mobile (walking) and am able to care for myself--thought because of the meds I can't drive.

Again pray that the organizational impediments will be overcome and I can start moving toward treatments soon.

Thanks for your prayers.


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

November 2013 Update

Recently I've been having some pain and swelling on my right side below my
rib cage. I went to the doctor Monday and he ordered a x-ray of my spine and ultra sound tests of my bladder and kidneys.

I had the x-ray Monday (Nov 25) and the ultra sound tests today. I had a return appt. with my doctor today and the x-ray showed that I had a fracture in my 8th thoracic vertebra. Before the x-ray we thought it might be a kidney stone. 
However the fractured vertebra may be cancer-related. I will
probably be having an MRI next week to get a more detailed assessment of the situation.

At this point I have some pain in the side (achey type pain) and am using a prescription high powered pain killer to deal with it. I'd appreciate your prayers that i'd be smart enough not to do any lifting that could aggavate the situation even more.

Once we get the other tests done then we can look at further treatment.

I am mobile walking and so forth--but slower.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Lastest Update

This is part of a recent e-mail I sent to a relative giving an update on how I'm

Thanks for your concern and prayers. My mobility is increasing to where
my walking is about back to normal. That is normal for a 65 year old (not as good
as when I was 25). I am noticing that I tend to need more rest and a good
45 minute to an hour nap late morning/early afternoon is needed. However that
is really not new as I've operated on that principle for many years (except the
naps are getting a bit longer--well a good bit longer). I notice I'm still physically
weaker than normal but seems to be gaining there also.

The shots I received about 3 weeks ago seem to be working (am getting some
very mild hot flashes) and will be getting another shot next weekend (July 21).
Over the next six months or so I'll be getting some of the scans redone to monitor
the growth (hopefully shrinking) of the cancer. The shots are helping me to sleep
on my back again (a problem before).

I am active walking and swimming and working on various research, writing and art
projects. I have started going back to church services and other social activities.
I have resigned from my part time job. Physical labor to any great extent may be a
part of the past for me.

My attitude is good not depressed--there's too much to do for that. I desire to make the
most of the time I still have whether its 5 or 10 years or more or less. Still have things
I want to do. I thank God that I've had the amount of time on this Earth that I've had.
I am looking forward to Heaven but I think that is still a ways off.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Last Two Weeks

This past two weeks have been difficult for me physically.
On June 15 as I worked at my job I noticed that I was slowing
down and looked forward to the end of the day--10:30 PM
even more than usual. I wasn't able to work the next day
as scheduled. I physically wasn't able to. I was no longer
able-bodied. The next several days I had difficulty walking
around the apartment and has a great deal of lower back pain.
I thought somehow I had a slipped disc or herniated disc in my
back. I called one of the pastors of the church and asked if
they had a walker I could borrow. This is a senior's church
and they did and he brought it over and was very useful over
the next several days. (It's a cool one with wheels and
bicycle hand brakes).

I called my doctor--the radiologist and she approved an MRI
and a bone scan. I had the MRI scan last Sunday, June 16
and the bone scan (with some additional x-rays) on Thursday,
June 20. Providentially I was able to get an appointment
with the doctor the next day, Friday, June 21. The MRI was
somewhat unclear on what it showed but the bone scan
revealed that my prostrate cancer had spread
into my bones, basically in my thorax (ribs, spine, shoulders
and pelvis).

The doctors and I discussed my situation. When I started
IMRT (radiation) treatments in Nov. 2011 I had a 50/50%
chance of a cure. I was given some secondary hormone (Lupronen)
shots that helped to radically decrease the PSA levels. However,
I had to discontinue those shots because of the massive expense
involved. On Friday, I did agree to some new medical injections that
should (in the stomach) be helpful in retarding the
growth of the cancer. I will (thanks to Medicare) be resuming the
Lupronen shots in a month. My doctors are operating on the
premise that my back pain problems are cancer-related rather
than mechanical and structural. The scans were not showing
disc problems.

The cancer at this point is not life threatening. My cancer
experience at this time is a management phase and a
"quality of life" issue. I am currently walking without the
walker but a lot slower and less far (I'm starting to do some noodle
swimming). Over the past two weeks my appetite dropped off-
lose 9 lbs. during that time. Not that I couldn't stand to lose
some weight but that just a hard way to do it.

For those of you who value the power of prayer there are two
things I've appreciate prayer on now. One is that the treatment
regiment I'm embarking on would be effective in giving me a
decent quality of life. Second, about a decision whether to try to
continue with my part time custodial job. It has proved to be a
small but important source of income and would prefer not to
give it up. It is a physical labor job and whether I can continue with
it is problematic. Pray for a good decision and sources of
replacement income if that becomes necessary.

Once again I appreciate your thoughts and prayers as I go through
this next stage of life.

God bless you,

Monday, April 15, 2013

News Update

 April 15, 2013

This afternoon I had an appointment with my radiogist. My
PSA (from a blood test this March) has had risen again from
a previous blood test in December. This is a sign the prostate
cancer may still be active. PSA is Prostate Specific Antegon.

I was on Luponen shots (basically female hormones) as I
was going through my radiation  treatments last year and
they suppressed the male hormone production which lowers
the PSA. Because of the cost involved I had to forgo the shots.

However next month I will be 65 and am going on Medicare.
I'm looking at Medicare Supplemental insurance
(as well as Medicare A & B) plus prescription
program. This is coming in time to help fight the
cancer. I will be going back on Luponen shot (oh, boy
"warm flashes" again).

There will be other treatments that I will go through
and will keep you posted on them.

I appreciate you thoughts and prayers as I continue
on this journey. I am overall doing well. I continue
with my part-time job, am just winding up a three
year tenure as president of the local genealogy society,
am publishing a magazine, comic books, doing artwork
(on my new I-Pad) and am physically active and am not
in pain (oh, except for an occasional backache :).

God bless,


Monday, August 6, 2012

News Update

In June 2012 I had another blood test to check my PSA level. It was
good news (very good news). A year ago my PSA level was around 12.
As of mid-June it was now 0.2. This is where it should be at this point
perhaps even better than expected.

The treatment side effects are starting to subside. It was a bit longer than I
thought they would take. I continue to do my usual schedule with part-time
work and other activities. I will be having another PSA blood test in

Once again thanks for your kind thought and prayers.


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Treatment Update

Some folks have asked me how I'm doing at this point. I have had some side effects from the treatments. These side effects are slowly going away. Probably the major issue is just the great expense of the treatments.

I am able to go about my daily and weekly schedule normally. I continue social activities, various writing and art projects, exercising and my part-time job. I have a convention over Memorial Day weekend and another (in San Diego) in July that I will be attending and participating in.

I will be having a follow up meeting with my doctor at the end of June. Once again thanks for our prayers and concerns.