Friday, September 21, 2018


   If you have bone metastasis or have been on Androgen Deprivation Therapy for any length of time, your Physician may prescribe Bisphosphonates to strengthen your bones and delay onset of osteoporosis.

Bisphosphonates are a class of drugs that prevent the loss of bone density and are used to treat osteoporosis and similar diseases. They are the most commonly prescribed drugs used to treat osteoporosis. Evidence shows that they reduce the risk of fracture.

Bone tissue undergoes constant rebuilding and is kept balanced by (osteoblast creating bone) and (osteoclasts Destroying bone). Bisphosphonates keep bone matter from being absorbed by encouraging osteoclasts to undergo cell death,  slowing bone loss.

The uses of bisphosphonates include the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis , bone metastasis , and other conditions that cause bone fragility.

Bisphosphonates, when administered intravenously for the treatment of cancer, have been associated with osteonecrosis ( Bone Death ) of  the jaw with most cases occurring following high-dose intravenous administration used for some cancer patients. Some 60% of cases are preceded by a dental surgical procedure (that involves the bone), and it has been suggested that bisphosphonate treatment should be postponed until after any dental work to eliminate potential sites of infection. A number of cases of severe bone, joint, or musculoskeletal pain have also been reported. Common Bisphosphonate names are Pamidronate, Neridronate  Olpadronate  Fosamax Boniva Actonel and Zometa. There are others. 

    How doctors prescribe Bisphosphonates has evolved over time. Standard practice several years ago called for monthly ongoing infusions. It was then discovered that patients received the same benefit if they only received an infusion every 4 months. Recently studied have shown patients should receive Bisphosphonates no more than two years. Longer use can lead to bone softening and fracture risks. It appears that after 2 years the drug has the potential to do more harm than good.

   If  your doctor feels you may need Bisphosphonates, it is important to have a complete Dental Examination to determine if you are in need of any dental work requiring bone involvement. Examples include, extractions, implants, and gum tissue grafts. If you require dental work it is important to have it all work completed prior to starting treatment. Bisphosphonates have a half life of 10 years or so and you cannot have any dental work involving bone until the medication is no longer in your bones.

   Bisphosphonates are a very effective treatment and are well tolerated by most patients. They are effective against osteoporosis and treating bone metastasis by slowing the growth of tumors on the bone.

Appointment anxiety

   I have been dealing with this disease for over 12 years now. 12 Years, 2 months, and 7 days to be exact. I wish I could tell you that appointment anxiety gets better but for me it has pretty much stayed the same. The only difference now is that instead of monthly anxiety I only have to go through it 3 times a year. It is always the same. A week before my appointment I begin to feel phantom symptoms. The day of my appointment I am stressed out. After the appointment I am glued to my phone until my PSA comes back. Once I get the test results I pour a glass of Willamette Vinyard’s Pinot Noir and celebrate the results. It use to be much worse but there are things I have learned to minimize the stress of oncology visits.

   The first thing that changed appointment anxiety was making peace with the disease and my own mortality. The process began when our band played at a benefit for a 4 year old little girl who was battling a rare cancer and was losing the fight. Afterward I could not look at my situation the same. She was only 4 Years old. She had never known what it was like to be a little girl. Her entire life was cancer, doctors, chemo, sickness, and hospitals. We all leave this world. My life, despite the challenges and pitfalls, has been amazing. There are many things that I still want to see and do but I have not wasted a day since my diagnosis so when it is my time I hope not to have regrets.
   Another thing that helps anxiety is the realization that PSA is just a number. I have been blessed with non existent PSA for 5 years now but even if it rises it simply means that things will once again be changing. My original PSA was over 3200. I have a long way to go before I see those numbers again. 
   I prepare for my oncology appointment by writing down any questions or concerns that I might have and take those to my appointment. I don’t leave until I feel my doctor has answered them all to my satisfaction. 

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Your Never Too Old

  This year was the summer of the wakeboard. I have been an avid water sports enthusiast my entire life. Somehow being active on the water just puts everything into perspective. Last year we upgraded our boat and the new one has a tower and came with a wakeboard. I tried wakebarding in my early 20’s but never really did it enough to be considered a wakeboarder. I would rather slalom ski anyway. 
   This year I decided to see what all the fuss was about. I am really glad I did. What a blast!
   At first I wasn’t too good. I kept trying to ride the board like a ski! It usually ended rather ugly.

   This one hurt pretty bad. Eventually I started to get the hang of it and by last weekend I had learned to fly. 
   I will be 55 in December. I have been fighting Stage 4 Prostate Cancer for over 12 years now. I continue to do well in the fight. We only get one life that we know of. Despite Cancer I will continue to live life to the fullest as long as God allows me to.

The Importance of Prostate Cancer Screening

   Today, Saturday, September 1, begins national prostate cancer awareness month. Today, I want to talk to you about Prostate cancer screening. Please click link to read my article at