Thursday, March 24, 2016


  It's not a 4 letter word but every time I think about it I want to say one. I have never been a gym rat. Just the thought of treadmills elliptical machines and free weight lifting makes me ill.  I would rather have a vasectomy than go to the gym but exercise isn't an option when you are on androgen deprivation therapy. Fortunately, exercise does not have to be extreme. A daily walk or bike ride can be enough.

   Like a lot of guys, I was content to start down the path of self pity. " How could this happen to me" I would have been very happy sitting on the sofa and blaming my bulging torso, depression, and overall fatigue on the hormones. Lucky for me, my best friend and true love would not have it. She is a bit younger than me and has all the playful spirit and energy of a teen. I have no idea where she gets it. Honestly, I didn't feel like walking, hiking, biking, or kayaking but she wouldn't take "no" for an answer. Guess what, I felt better afterward and it got easier every day.
   Testosterone is a powerful hormone. No offense to the ladies, but it is what makes us the stronger gender. Our genitelia makes us boys. Testosterone makes us men. It is the hormone that gives us larger bones, heavier muscle mass, and body hair. It fuels our brain and our sex drive. Ironically, the two are usually polar opposites. I am sure you have heard the ads citing the benefits of testosterone replacement therapy. " feel young again and have all the energy and sex drive you had as a young man" Sadly I may never feel that way again. :-((( 
I would venture to guess that my wife has more testosterone than I do. Thankfully, not much more, otherwise she would have an Adam's apple and a hairy chest.
   Testosterone is gone for us. Sorry!! 
That's just the way it is and we have to play the cards that we are dealt. The question is what are we going to do about it. All of the side effects of ADT are real. Hot flashes fatigue depression loss of sex drive are simply things that we have to deal with. I hate to say it but exercise is part of the answer. As stated previously, it doesn't have to be a full-blown work out. Start out small. Find a beautiful place and go for a walk. Find a trail through the woods and hike it. Find a bicycle and ride it. You might be surprised just how good you feel afterwards. I live my life every day to the best of my ability. It's not always an easy thing to do but the benefits are paramount. Light exercise fights depression, weight gain and in my case has even helped with the hot flashes. It also keeps my ever shrinking muscle mass toned. The greatest benefit however is that I feel good about myself.
   Sex drive is another issue all together and what I am about to suggest may sound like a load of manure. I beseech you to try it.

   In the beginning, we used the little blue pill but as my T-level dropped, so did the effectiveness of Viagra. When the best I could hope for was semi-flaccid, we abandoned it. Trimix was a God send. We used it for several years until one night on a cruise 30 months ago. I had forgotten to pack the Trimix. Doh!!! After a romantic dinner and drinks one night we retired to our stateroom. I already felt terrible for forgetting the magic potion. I decided to just focus on pleasuring her. I was out of my head. I wasn't worried about penile size or obtaining an erection. I was only into loving my wife. 
To my surprise, I became aroused. I thought it was a fluke but it wasn't. This leads me to my point. As men, we tend to focus on ourselves. Okay, we are selfish, There, I said it. We think the entire world of intimacy revolves  around the size of our anatomy. When we put the focus on something besides our penis it allows our emotions to take over. We, like our mostly testosterone free wives, can learn to love with our hearts. It is a paradigm shift. It is slightly radical. It works for us. I have not used E.D. Medication of any kind in 30 months and on average we make love once every seven to ten days. Here is the kicker though. If we are having special time and I start wondering if it is hard enough or big enough, it deflates like a balloon. The focus has to be on Mandy. If I focus on anything other than loving my wife I may as well jump into a tub filled with ice water.

   That is all for today and probably for the week. I will be writing soon.... Todd

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

An interesting visit

   I have so many doctors visits with my oncologist and urologist that I seldom see my primary care physician.
A few days ago however, I had an appointment with him to do a routine skin cancer screening. I've had a lot of sunburns in my life and realizing this I feel I just can't be too careful when it comes to my skin. Everything was fine. Yes I have a lot of freckles and a few moles but none of them were suspect for a melanoma diagnosis. 
   My primary care physician initially diagnosed me with prostate cancer. It wasn't a very difficult diagnosis as my PSA was well over 3000. At the time of diagnosis I remember him telling me that he was scared for me. Now almost 10 years later we were able to reflect back to that day and what his initial opinions regarding prognosis were. We discussed my journey and my attitude. Towards the end of my appointment we discussed the future and he surprised me with his unscientific opinions.
   With my PSA hovering at undetectable levels my PCP made the bold statement that he felt my cancer may never come back. Wouldn't that be swell Wally?? I took it with a grain of salt and nodded but he wasn't finished. He went on to say that if I thought about how sick I was and how well I am doing now and also how long I have been doing this well, then one might conclude that the combination of Provenge+Zytiga might, in my case, be the magic "one. two" punch that put this disease into a permanent remission!
That is a wonderful thought. I truly could take that and run with it. Why not? What harm could a little faith and hope have? Ask the rats!
  In an experiment scientists put six rats into an aquarium put a lid on it and filled it with water. Within 5 minutes, every rat had drowned. This was the control arm of the study. They should have used lawyers or politicians. For the experimental arm, they did exactly the same thing but when the rats began to struggle, they took them out, dried them, and fed them. The next day, they put the rats back in the aquarium. This time, after 15 minutes, they were all still swimming away. Hope is a powerful weapon. Faith, though slightly more elusive, is even more so. Love, is the most powerful. Not love of others but love of self. Often, people believe they deserve affliction. It makes us all too willing to accept a poor prognosis. "Somehow we did something to deserve this because we are bad people!!" It's not true. Not even close.
   Love yourself first. Believe you can overcome. Hope for the future!
This is what 10 years at stage 4 can look like!