Good Day. As of this posting I am going to attempt taking the weekend to provide my Blog. Some will be written on Saturday and then I will finish up on Sunday.
This week has been a definite challenge. On Thursday, my back muscles decided to spasm. As I am sure some of you know back pain hurts and can be immobilizing. The problem with Thursday was that I had a doctors appointment at 11am. Now to back up a step or two.
The hospital I use like many has a Patient Portal. Through that mode of communication I was advised that my Urologist had with my permission discussed my Cancer case with other doctors. The end result was that it was decided that I should have Radiation Therapy. I took the bull by the horns as they say and on Tuesday made an appointment to see a Radiation Oncologist on Thursday morning.
Thursday morning rolled around and I found it near impossible to walk. I actually got up and was heading out of the bedroom but I ended up "stuck" and in extreme pain between my dresser and the bed. I called my wife on her cell phone. She asked why I had called her - I ony said " Help Me". The end result was that instead of getting up I was back in bed laying still where I had no pain. It was 8:15am.
I attempted to get moving again around 9am and that attempt failed. I talked to myself I am sure like any football coach talking to the team when they are behind at the half. I was moving by 10am. I wiggled and squirmed around in bed to get my pants on. My mother-in-law helped by putting my shoes on. I stood up and slowly started moving. Each step could have been my last because I hate pain. Once again my mother-in-law helped and retrieved a walker we have in a storage room.
I got to the appointment at 11am - and a great conversation with my Radiation Oncologist, Dr. Lee. He explained what was going to happen, asked about my support base and he went down a road that I have never had a doctor even mention - religion. It became evident that Dr. Lee is a Christian - and for me that brought an overwhelming sense of peace to the entire process.
Now on Monday I will finish the setup for radiation treatments and then treatments will be scheduled and as of this moment I will have 20 treatments.
Also on Monday, I see my Oncologist and get my first shot for Hormone Treatment or Androgen Deprivation Therapy (ADT) or yet another term for it - Androgen Suppression Therapy. I will continue to explain what happens and when but this is not my first rodeo with ADT. I experienced this for 6 months previously with the use of a drug called Firmagon. Men, this is not anything we want to do voluntarily for the experience. Some of the side effects of ADT drugs are: Hot Flashes, Mood changes, night sweats, headaches, stomach pain, joint pain, testicle pain, skin redness, increased facial, memory problems, erectile dysfunction, fatigue.
Then of course I can also mention the side effects of radiation treatment: Blood in the urine, frequent urination, urinary leakage, rectal bleeding, skin reaction (similar to sunburn), fatigue, decreased sexual desire.
Now for me personally I believe I have a rather high level for pain tolerance. I had an inguinal hernia repair done several years ago as day surgery. I was told I had to eat, drink, walk and pee before I could leave the hospital. I started chugging juice as fast as they could bring it to me. I finally had to use the restroom (my walk). I got almost to the restroom door when I had a burst of pain. I bellowed and I am sure every nurse on the floor was around me in 5 seconds flat. That was the only pain I had after the surgery and it was done pretty much the instant I stopped yelling. I have told my doctor that I don't use the 1 - 10 pain scale. I never hit 10.... I go from 9 to 2000 (or some ridiculously high number). The end result I hate pain.
There is a rather lengthy list of side effects. Let me tell you. Right at this moment I have to admit that the choice to be able to live longer over the ability to have sex is an easy one. I choose life. Now the side effects that have that four letter word - PAIN - I am dreading those. Hot Flashes, well the ladies understand already if they have experienced menopause. My body takes it to the extreme though and when I get a hot flash - I promise you I look like I am standing in a shower.
It is Saturday evening and I am counting down the days to repeat an experience I didn't like the first time. Here is to life and here is to being a Cancer Warrior.
Sunday morning. I am feeling quite apprehansive as the time dwindles away and towards the beginning of treatment. I share the following with you.
Lead me, Oh creator and friend
The darkness ahead
With the fear of
You have gone before
And understand my
You fought the
Demons and won
And made the way
Bright for all
We only need
You know my fears
Speaking a single word
You accepted the
Death on the cross
For all to be free
Into the darkness
With the light only
You can provide.
Wash me with your
And rid me
Of the disease
That wills to consume me.