Thursday, October 23, 2014

Two more months

   My P.S.A. Test came back yesterday as undetectable. This is the 4th in a row now and it feels really good. I called Mandy right away to give her the good news. Today the game begins anew. I will see my oncologist this afternoon, get a bone infusion and a refill for Zytiga and not think about cancer until my psa is tested again in two months. 
   I talked to a good friend on the phone last night. He will be getting Provenge therapy before years end. I am really happy for him. He is a good man and deserves the very best. I hope to one day recieve a booster dose of it myself. Time will tell if that will happen. Dendreon stock is in the toilet and I worry about the companies survival. I believe Provenge will always be around but I can't help feeling that Dendreon may have been hurt beyond repair by the smear campaign that M.H. launched against it. That campaign almost kept me from getting the drug 2-1/2 years ago. Sometimes life isn't fair.
   I still hear doctors say that Provenge is too expensive and that the benefit does not justify the price tag. What a load of crap. Provenge gave me 14 side effect free progression free months. If my math is correct that equates to roughly $10000 a month. The number may have been lower as prior to starting zytiga I had no sign of progression other than my psa was rising and I couldn't emotionally handle seeing it rise month after month. I may have started Zytiga a little earlier than needed. Even if I did not start early, the cost factor is not that different between the two medications. 
   I agree that the sticker shock of Provenge is just a little hard to swallow all at once but Provenge treatment is over in 5 weeks. What about Zytiga?
   My Zytiga prescription is roughly $5600 a month. I have to have monthly Dr. appointments, monthly blood tests,and a  separate prednisone prescription. Not only that but the side effects of Zytiga are much worse than anything I ever experienced on Provenge. Albeit I didn't experience any side effects with Provenge. It doesn't take long if you do tha math to realize that the cost is very comparable between the two medications. An added benefit with Provenge is that receiving it first can actually help subsequent medications to be more effective. Zytiga cannot make that claim. I digress!
   Yesterday I was given two more months to be Cancer Free. It was a wonderful gift. This weekend I will celebrate with the beautiful love of my life. I have now lived 101 months since my diagnosis of widespread metastatic Prostate Cancer. Next weekend I will be on vacation for a week of elk hunting. I can only imagine what life would be like if these new medications had not been brought to market. Can guys even walk up and down mountains while undergoing chemotherapy. 
   Each passing year brings me closer to keeping my 30 year promise to Mandy. Each year new medications are being tested and approved for Prostate Cancer treatment. The future is bright and getting brighter every day. It makes me wish I had promised Mandy 40 years. I have an amazing wonderful life and I am going be here for a long long time. Yolo. Todd