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!