I have been fortunate that the darkness has been at the fringes these last few years. Omnipresent but easily ignored. Provenge and Zytiga are doing as advertised. Consistent undetectable numbers keep the light burning bright even in the cold grey days of winter. I am blessed. For some of my friends it is a different story. I will use my limited literary skill to try and take you into the darkness.
For the terminally ill darkness can be one bad day away. Perspective is everything. Prostate cancer, especially advanced disease, presents its own unique circumstances as many of the treatments carry with them, the probability of causing depression. In the beginning of my treatment I faced many dark days. I was a newlywed. I was faced with zero libido and E.D. My bride tried to be understanding but she was hopelessly and passionately in love with me. I was unable to reciprocate the physical desire she felt towards me. In 8 years of marriage we have adjusted to the new normal. As my body has slowly adjusted to the near zero testosterone, I have regained function and some semblance of physical desire. It has been a long road. It has not always been easy. Our love for one another has carried us through. We have matured as people and as a couple. The light of our love has burned bright to light a path through the darkness lurking beyond. The rest of this entry will be hypothetical in nature but will be based on actual events in years previous.
It is 2a.m. I close my eyes but sleep will not come. If I sleep will I awake in the morning? Mandy is crying in her sleep. My mind is racing with questions. There are no answers. Dr. Liemert retired. After 18 months my PSA is rising. We met the new doctor today. He is taking me off Casodex hoping my PSA will drop. He said he has never seen it happen. He said I have 30 months of life left. He said it in front of Mandy. I think he is a sadistic S.O.B. We are suppose to sign papers on our home next week. What's the point? Will it hurt to Die? Is there really a heaven? I feel so ripped off! I had plans. I am suppose to be putting my life back together. My doctor is an ass hole. Doesn't he realize what he did? He took away our hope. It felt good to tell him he was fired. What a prick! Should we buy the home? How will Mandy survive the house payment without me? I should retire! Will it hurt? There are drugs for that. Good drugs. They didn't help Paul. He was in terrible pain at the end. They took him off Casodex. It didn't work. Maybe the doctor is right. I should get drunk. Why would you get drunk idiot? It's 2am. Why did I allow myself to marry Mandy? I am going to die and she will be hurt. I am an idiot. She deserves better! I am scared. I should wake her up! No!!! She is sleeping peacefully now.
This was one night. The darkness can go on and on. Sleepless nights, question upon question without answers, torment. You become your own worst enemy drowning in a pit of despair. Nights turn to days, days into weeks, weeks drag on. Without hope darkness prevails. Motivation wanes, and dreams are forgotten. In the war on cancer hope is a mighty weapon in our arsenal. It is a game changer. It is not however the mightiest.
In my personal war, the love of my bride has always been the trump card. She would not allow me to fall into the pit. She motivated me to stay active. She dared to dream of the future. She made me laugh long and hard. She helped me to keep my sanity. She helped me to have faith during the times of uncertainty. Faith hope and love are powerfull weapons but to quote Corinthians, " The Greatest of these is Love" Todd