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,

1 comment:

  1. I'm praying for you Don, that God will bive you a great quality of life and that you will have all your financial needs met without overextending your strength. God's best to you in Christ Jesus.