Friday, April 7, 2017

$&@# Cancer

    Yesterday I lost another friend. 
Sometimes it is hard to feel joy. It's not easy to
preach hope and stay positive when your friends die. In the 3 years I have been writing, We have lost no less than 25 warriors. I have actually heard people say I am lucky I Got the "Good Cancer" I wonder what Jim would think about that?
   It is still raining! The wind is howling and the power is out. Winter is not ready to release her grip. Somehow it makes it harder to feel joy. "Kimo" says "No Rain, No rainbows" I wonder if Kimo realizes that the sun is also required. 
   
   

Monday, March 13, 2017

Day 3931

  There is nothing significant about this day. I simply could not think of a better title. Not much has happened in the last six or seven weeks. Most importantly however, I finally gave up tobacco. I quit chewing on February 1  of this year. Some might question why I did not give it up long ago. You would think that it would be a no-brainer. I mean really, isn't it bad enough having one cancer? Why would anyone who has cancer risk getting another cancer due to tobacco use? 
   The answer to the questions above is surprisingly simple. Quitting tobacco is hard!!
I beat drug addiction. I quit using meth cold turkey almost 13 years ago. Nicotine addiction is way harder than that. 
   Even though I should have done this year's ago, I am still really proud of myself. It wasn't easy. There were about three weeks, that nobody wanted to be around me. To put it short and sweet, I have been an asshole!
   I am mostly over it now. My short temper and constant agitation have been replaced by sarcasm. Simply put, I am almost normal again. 
    Today is oncology day. I saw the nurse (my oncologist is in research), my labs have been drawn, and I am now awaiting Lupron and Zometa. I am ready to be home and I am famished but I will have to wait. My blood work will not be back for 40 minutes and then it will be half an hour for the infusion and then an hour and a half to get home.
   I am still in a learning curve regarding my new healthcare system. I have a lot to learn to insure the appointments go smoothly. 
  I don't have much else to write about. The weather sucks. Our boat is still 2 weeks away and the weather really sucks. My left butt cheek hurts and I really want to go home. Looks like it won't be long, here comes my IV bag. 
   

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Looking ahead

   I have been on the oral chemotherapy Zytiga for the past 42 months. I am currently undetectable in regards to scans and PSA.
I have been doing so well for so long that contemplating what comes next seems someone moot.  I guess however I have always believed that if Zytiga ever failed I would simply move on to Xtandi.
   A couple nights ago, I shared a phone conversation with a friend of mine who lives in Pennsylvania. He was on Zytiga for 44 months.
   Typical ADT stops the production of testosterone by the testicles. Prostate cancer, starved of its favorite food, begins to die. Often , typical ADT, can keep cancer at bay for months and years. Eventually however, the cancer adapts in a way that allows it to survive and thrive on the residual testosterone produced by the adrenal gland. Enter Zytiga
   Zytiga shuts down the production of testosterone by the adrenal gland. Actually it shuts down the adrenal gland all together which is why Prednisone must be taken with Zytiga. 
   6 months ago, my friend in Pennsylvania, was seeing a rising PSA despite being on Zytiga. Last month, his doctor felt it was time to change his course of treatment. The transition was far from smooth. He has been on Zytiga for so long that after going off of the drug, his adrenal gland appears to be shut down permanently. I don't know what percentage of men this happens to. The drug is too new to have a lot of documented history. I have to say though, I am just a tad concerned about my future. I have now been on Zytiga for 42 months. Is my adrenal gland dead as well?
   I realize that the results of one patient do not  amount to a hill of beans. It does however cause one to ask many questions.
  Should a man go on Zytiga and stay on it or should it be given intermittently. Will Zytiga be found to completely shut down the adrenal gland permanently with long term use. If so, might surgical removal be a possibility. I am not a doctor. I am not a scientist. No degrees in molecular biology. Hell, I am not even that smart. I just ask lots of stupid questions. There is "1" thing I do know for sure. We are the first generation of men to use these new weapons against cancer. We are pioneers. Long term side effects will be made manifest in our lifetime. I guess there are 2 things I know for sure. Whether these new drugs give us super powers or cause is to grow a third eye, we are in a much better place with em than without em!!! Yolo, Todd..."life is good, live it loud"

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Month 129

   Another month has come and gone. The Ides of March are upon us. Where does the time go? The weather still sucks. It is the whole" In like a lion, out like a lamb" thing I guess. 
In southwestern Washington, it is cold, wet, raining, and grey. "Wanna get away?" Damn straight we do. This year however, the wallet is just a little too thin. I need a speaking engagement in Florida or Hawaii. No speakers fee required!!! Simply fly us out to a tropical location and put us up in a nice hotel for a few nights, feed us, and maybe rent us a car. In the world of public speaking, that is what is known as a bargain.
   Friday last, we sold Yellow Boat 
She was a good boat. We took this picture a few minutes after the new owner took her for a test drive. After posing for pictures, we took her for one last cruise around Silver Lake. 
Mandy and I delivered her to the new owner, the following day. We miss her.
   The day we brought "Yellow Boat" home was the day of my final Provenge infusion. We left the infusion center and went directly to the marina. I promised Mandy that "If we can take her home, I would live long enough to pay her off." If we had kept her, she would be paid off next year! She was such a good boat and we have priceless memories aboard her that we will treasure for a lifetime.
 
    

All good things must come to an end. Goodbye "Yellow Boat"

Hello Blue................
 

 We love the water. Boating is what we do. We spend every sunny day on the water from April through September. We actually were not looking to buy a new boat. Going to the Seattle boat show was simply something to do on a rainy day. We had went to the Portland boat show a few weeks earlier and decided then that we were not interested in a new boat. 
Oh well, I didn't want to retire anyway. 
We do not have buyers remorse. Blue will be our last boat. I can't wait for the rain to stop falling so we can get her out on the water. 

PCRI videos

https://youtu.be/ZcCdpg1ki8Y

Monday, February 27, 2017

100K Views

   This is a post of gratitude to all of you who read and or follow my blog. This past week my view count surpassed 100,000. Thank you.
   I know I am not the best writer so reaching this goal is an honor. It has taken a couple years to get here. In the beginning, I would get 30 or so hits a day. In the last few months that number has increased to several hundred a day. 
  I write to share hope. I write to let people know that cancer does not have to be a death sentence. I hope that by telling my story it can inpire others to really live each day inspite of serious health issues.
  There is nothing more to say. 
Thank you!!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Springtime needs to hurry and arrive!

   Each year about this time I begin to  feel like a cancer patient. Southwest Washington winters are brutal in their own way. They are not bitter cold like the Midwest. We don't get feet of snow like the east coast. (Actually, this year we did) Winters here are dreary. The sky's are grey. The air is cold but not cold enough to snow. We are assaulted for several months by cold rain, low clouds, and darkness.         
      The human Body needs sunlight to function properly. Without it, our brain does not receive the feel good chemical, serotonin. Lack of serotonin leads to fatigue, depression, and  lethargy.  Today I am the epitome of lethargic. My tan has faded  I look pale and pasty. I feel as though I look like death! 
   Every year, for the last four, during early spring, we have we have hopped on a plane for white sand destinations. Every year but this year.  
   This year we decided to stay home, do some home repairs, and enjoy all the Pacific Northwest has to offer. The northwest seems to offer cold rain or snow this year. I am not complaining. Actually, I am complaining. I need sun. I need warm air. I am really over winter. I think the grey sky and cold rain is affecting my sanity. We bought this yesterday.
 
Come on summer... get here soon.