Thursday, June 20, 2019

13 year anniversary of my DX

  Today is Thursday June 20th. 2 weeks ago today was my 13 year anniversary of my Prostate Cancer diagnosis. I cannot believe how quietly the day slipped by. It is easier now not to think about cancer. It is always in the back of my mind somewhere but it receives very little attention. 
   13 years ago I was a scared younger man facing his mortality. I spent weeks under the big machines and getting poked and prodded by everyone I came into contact with it or so it seemed. 13 years ago every new piece of information painted a picture more dire than the last. So much has changed since that time.
   Today I am off treatment, basically healthy, and optimistic for the future. Today I am blessed with the incredible love of family who are also optimistic for the future. I have a multitude of friends whom I would never have met were it not for this disease.  My life is fuller. I have more confidence and less fear. I have incredibly joy. 
   I have often said that this disease is the single best life altering event I have ever experienced. I stand by that statement. Cancer changed my life for the better. It was a turning point, a doorway if you will, from the man I was to the man I always wanted to be. I don’t think I am completely there yet! I still have a long way to go and so much to learn about who I am. The good news is that somewhere inside of me I still have cancer. It keeps me from becoming selfish and arrogant. It keeps me appreciating all my yesterdays all my today’s and hopeful for all the tomorrow’s yet to come. 

Relax!! It’s not the Cancer.

   My knees hurt. My shoulders hurt. I’m really really tired. All of that is bad enough but a week ago I really started to worry. It was getting harder and harder to to urinate. I was having all thy symptoms of a cancerous prostate. Weak stream, slow starts, and incomplete emptying of my bladder. I was really bummed out. I want this treatment holiday to last and it has only been 7 months.
    I called my Oncologist but he was on vacation. Apparently he had to go see his daughter graduate. I called my primary doctor and got a prescription for flowmax. Mandy played a vital role expediting the process and I had the prescription in my hand a couple hours later. She also played a vital roll as to why the unused prescription is still on my night stand.
   As I was about to take my first pill she said “what a bummer, you will be stuck taking another prescription”
It stopped me in my tracks. There was no reason I needed to start the prescription that day. It could wait. Maybe I needed to do a little research before starting a new medication. I am very glad I took my own advice.
   My shoulders have been hurting so bad that it has been difficult to sleep. I went to the on staff nurse where I work and she gave me an over the counter muscle relaxer and a huge bottle of aleve and instructed me to take 2 before bedtime and 2 in the morning. I had been doing this for about 3 weeks. That is a lot of aleve. I had also been having urinary problems for about 3 weeks. I didn’t put two and two together however until my wife made her comment.
    The next day I started researching over the counter meds and bladder issues. As it turns out, taking Aleve over the recommended dosage can cause urine retention. Doh!!!
   Once I stopped taking the medicine l, my issue subsided. I don’t pee like a third grader anymore like when I was on treatment but I am not a third grader and I still have a Prostate. I am however, able to empty my bladder completely and sleep through the night again without bathroom interruptions of my sleep.
   It’s not always the cancer that causes cancer like symptoms. We should always do a little research before taking another pill. Sometimes we just need to relax. Our thoughts can be our own worst enemy. I may one day have to take flowmax. The cancer may one day come back. There are endless possibilities as to what the future hold but none of those things effect the here and now. If you think about it, today is all we really have. All of those things may one day happen but they will not happen today. Today, I am cancer free.