Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Zytiga month29

   Today I begin month 29 since starting Zytiga or is it month number 30. I can't remember and honestly, I am too lazy to
try and find out. It has been a good long time though. According to my latest PSA I am still undetectable. 
   Today I learned of a former co-worker diagnosed stage 4 PCA. I do not as yet have any specific details regarding his Gleason score or his PSA at the time of diagnosis. All I really know is that he has bone metastasis. It is my understanding that he is not taking the diagnosis well. I understand where he's coming from right now and I hope that later he will reach out to me or to someone else who can help him navigate through treatment decisions. 
   I know I've said this before but I didn't do too well at the time of my diagnosis either. I had just started the journey through apprenticeship to become a journeyman pipefitter. At the time of diagnosis I really didn't think I would live long enough to become a journeyman. I didn't think I would live to see my 50th birthday. I didn't think I'd ever have grandchildren. In all honesty I spent a little bit of time feeling sorry for myself.
Mandy drug me out of the pit of despair. If not for her I might have stayed there.

   Zytiga has been an amazing drug so far. I am still on Lupron so I cannot give an accurate description of side effects.
I don't know if it is customary to continue Lupron with Zytiga but it seems to be working. The only 2 side effects I can talk about that seem to be enhanced over Lupron are severe bruising and diminished memory. Truth is, I can't remember a friggin thing. I have also lost a degree of sensation in my arms and hands. Other than the aforementioned I have not noticed any other side effects.
   The bruising is probably the worst. At any given time I will have at least one softball sized bruise on my body. We recently returned from a snowmobile trip in bend Oregon and I had a half dozen large bruises on my legs and torso. They are not painful. They don't really bother me. They are not real attractive. Any time I bump an elbow or knee or trip and fall I can count on seeing a bruise the next day.

   Memory problems are another issue. The funny thing is I don't know if it's a side effect of Zytiga or getting old. At times my mind is Lucid and then other times I forget everything. It can be frustrating. I have learned to clear my thoughts and allow it to come back. It usually takes only a minute or so. In my hind a picture a computer screen and a header that reads, "Todds brain not responding" 
   Lastly, I am losing sensation in my arms and hands. I drop stuff all the time. Is it a side effect of Zytiga or nerve problems resulting from a smaller bone mass? Either way it is a side effect of Prostate cancer. Losing bone mass concerns me. I was side hilling my sled in Bend and had a severe wipe out. I landed on my head and shoulder and felt everything crunch. I am afraid one day that will happen and I will no longer be able to
move my arms or legs.
   Overall life is good. Mandy and I are celebrating 10 years since meeting this year. I am thrilled that Zyriga has been working as well as it has. Janssen has a first rate product in Zytiga. I do believe that earlier Provenge usage is helping the Zytiga. 
   I am closing in on the 10 year mark since my diagnosis of stage 4 Prostate Cancer. Ten years. I really am blessed. It's funny. It doesn't seem that long ago. I guess I better not blink. I don't want to miss anything along the way.

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