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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Night!

Date: 2012-10-31 20:53:36

We did a tailgate party for the 'Trick or Treaters' tonight! A LOT of kids stopped by! Best turnout we've had in several years.

Wife went with me to treatment today. Met with Rad Onc. Got a few questions answered.

Some wine and a big dinner. Now time for a LONG sleep!


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Really Beat Tonight

Date: 2012-10-30 19:13:11

Feeling really tired tonight! I have NO idea whether the treatments have anything to do with it or not. Picked the wife up from work at five and was ready to fall asleep! Damn good thing we don't have any commitments tonight!

Interesting revelation!
The more cancer patients I meet, the more I notice that most of them are some of the sweetest, most caring people in the world! They are on an entirely different level. I can see now what I couldn't see years ago when I would encounter a cancer patient and recoil in terror or even revulsion. It used to be like being a leper. It's nice to be able to give a hug to a dying person without having to take a shower or wash my hands! It's such a shame that I had to become a patient myself to finally realize this.

Well, Sandy's over! Good night for sleeping!


Monday, October 29, 2012

Monday Night Sandy Watch

Date: 2012-10-29 17:55:30

Interesting stuff going down on the east coast, don't ya think?
The wife and I hail from the northeast originally and I have to admit, we're both glad we're here right now!
The storm missed our relatives in North and South Carolina pretty much completely, thank goodness! We have yet to see what will become of our old stomping grounds in upstate New York.

Back on treatments today. Had the sexy blonde tech for a couple of minutes then she left me with a guy. I admit he WAS kinda cute (hey, beggars can't be choosers)! ROTFL! ;)

I've been spending quite a bit of time on the Cancer Forums helping other guys that are newly diagnosed. Sometimes it's helpful to be able to directly talk to someone who has just gone through what you are going through.


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Full Moon Sunday!

Date: 2012-10-28 19:06:45

It's a beautiful Sunday here in Phoenix and we have a PERFECT full moon over the desert...and it's actually fairly quiet! :)
Wife and I worked today and then drove all the way across the city to spend some time with one of our grand kids.
We're tired, but in a nice way. Got catfish and crab cakes for dinner as well as collards and black eyed peas. Yum!
Then, maybe an early bed time! Life is good!
I guess we're lucky to be where we are right now rather than the east coast!

I start back on radiation tomorrow for the next five day stretch then off for another weekend. Feeling fine other than being WAY overweight again. I've gotta get back on serious low carb. The only thing standing in my way is I've gotta kick the booze while I'm dieting. I had it well under control before and lost about 35 pounds then gained most of it back after I was diagnosed. I suppose that happens to a lot of folks.

I will see Dr. Y, the rad. onc. on Wednesday to touch base. I will have several questions. Should make for good reading!


Friday, October 26, 2012

Feeling Better Tonight

Date: 2012-10-26 18:10:45

Feeling a little better tonight and looking forward to 2 days off from radiation. No side effects as yet but the break is welcome.
We were supposed to get together with our "Sunday Night Dinner Group" this weekend but that's not gonna happen. I need a quiet weekend.
We're STILL committed to working Sunday and also seeing one of our grand kids so it will still be a busy day.

Why, WHY do we have to fight so much over politics??? If I'm right or left, who cares?
All I know is that my circle of friends is diminishing rapidly and you know what, I really don't give a rat's ass!

At the beginning of the end of your life, you seem to be allowed to see things as they REALLY are. So it is here.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

So Sick Of City Noise!

Date: 2012-10-25 18:57:41

It goes on ALL f*****g day long, from daybreak to around midnight.
City noise!
Major thru-street fifty feet away from our house populated by every goddamned Harley-Davidson motorcycle in the f*****g city! They don't give a rat's ass if someone's sick or trying to sleep. All they want to do is be louder and more obnoxious than the NEXT guy.
Then we have the idiot with the locomotive air horn who feels it necessary to blow it at least twice when he comes through the neighborhood late at night. I wish I could find him so I could insert those horns "where the sun don't shine" and see if he wants to blow 'em then! ;)
Of course, it wouldn't be complete without the "street racers"! I'm not even gonna go THERE. Too tired.

We need to get out of here for a little while but we can't do that until I finish my treatments.

If I don't get a good report at the end of all this nonsense I'm going to start my own religion! The "Cult Of The Grape". I invite all who are "on their way out" to join. You worked for it, you deserve it!
Personally, I'm still glad I'm in the latter stages of my life as opposed to just beginning. I don't think I could handle starting over!
I truly feel the world has gone psychotic. I wish I could find hard evidence that would tend to suggest otherwise but I have yet to see it.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

First Radiation Session

Date: 2012-10-24 19:13:37

Hi to all and a quick update:
I finally got my first of 35 radiotherapy treatments today! About 10 minutes on the table.
Met with rad. onc. and got to see my insides displayed in 3D on his computer screen. Very interesting stuff!
Learned that I've gained even more weight. Not interesting stuff! :(
Treatment modality is Varian RapidArc if anyone is interested.

I notice no side effects yet, other than a luminous red glow in my eyes in darkness and a faint greenish tinge to my skin.
No worries, I guess.

A little humor......

A woman and her duck

    A woman brought a very limp duck into a veterinary surgery. As she lay her pet on the table, the vet pulled out his stethoscope and listened to the bird's chest. After a moment or two, the vet shook his head sadly and said, "I'm so sorry, your pet has passed away."

    The distressed owner wailed, "Are you sure? "Yes, I'm sure. The duck is dead," he replied. "How can you be so sure", she protested. "I mean, you haven't done any testing on him or anything. He might just be in a coma or something." The vet rolled his eyes, turned around and left the room.

    He returned a few moments later with a black Labrador Retriever. As the duck's owner looked on in amazement, the dog stood on his hind legs, put his front paws on the examination table and sniffed the duck from top to bottom. He then looked at the vet with sad eyes and shook his head. The vet patted the dog and took it out and returned a few moments later with a beautiful cat. The cat jumped up on the table and also sniffed the bird from its beak to its tail and back again. The cat sat back on its haunches, shook its head, meowed softly, jumped down and strolled out of the room.

    The vet looked at the woman and said, "I'm sorry, but as I said, this
    is most definitely, 100% certifiably, a dead duck." Then the vet turned to
    his computer terminal, hit a few keys and produced a bill, which he handed
    to the woman.

    The duck's owner, still in shock, took the bill. "$150!" she cried. "$150 just to tell me my duck is dead?!!"

    The vet shrugged. "I'm sorry. If you'd taken my word for it, the bill would have been $20. But what with the Lab Report and the Cat Scan, it all adds up."


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Ready... Set....Go!

Date: 2012-10-23 21:54:31

Had the simulation for the radiation treatments today. So excited!
We begin tomorrow at 2:45! Life is good!
Nice looking girl tattooed my hips and abdomen (sweet)!
I asked her if I could get something "creative" on my arm but she said that would cost more and I DEFINITELY didn't want HER to do it! Lol!

Treatment will be 35 sessions, daily with weekends off.

This actually sounds like fun!

The specter of failure still haunts me though.


Monday, October 22, 2012

A Nice Day

Date: 2012-10-22 18:49:31

Just sitting here tonight with the usual glass of wine. The cat is sitting on my desk forcefully licking my hands while I attempt to type.
If there are typos, now you know why!

Didn't get as much sleep last night as I wanted. The cat, who always sleeps with us must have taken Viagra around 3:00am and decided to start frantically humping my foot! I would move my feet and he would chase them down and go at it again. This went on for 20-30 minutes!
He finally calmed down and lay at the foot of the bed smoking a cigarette. Silly beast!

The wife and I have discovered that our weekly grocery bill has nearly DOUBLED since I was diagnosed and no, it's not just wine! Sheesh! ;)
We are both dealing with the stress the same way, through food.
This is NOT a good thing. Speaking for myself, I just don't seem to have the discipline to to control my eating until I receive at least a little good news regarding my future, whether it's with or without cancer. It's just kind of depressing for me to gain a lot of my weight back after making so much progress.

Well, tomorrow I go for my "simulation" and meet my LINAC (linear accelerator) which will be my daily companion for the next 7 or 8 weeks.
I'm thinking of naming it 'Linus'. (Any suggestions)?
I may also get coordinate and target marks tattooed on my hips and abdomen. I'm going to ask them if I can get something creative done on my arm as well.
Hey, I forgot, my blonde radiation therapist is a Cancer! Wouldn't ya know it!!!

We'll see what happens.


Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sunday Night Whine And Cheese [sic]

Date: 2012-10-21 19:06:52

Well, it's another Sunday night. We spent the majority of the day at the shooting range coaching the SCTP (Scholastic Clay Target Program)kids in beginning shotgunning. That was fun! We're going to try to do it Tuesdays and Sundays at least for the next few weeks.
It'll keep my mind off the radiation.

Feeling a little achy again. We had a 10% chance of rain earlier but now nothing. Oh well. ;)

The cat just walked all over my desk and wanted some attention, AKA love.

*accordions the cat*

If you REALLY love cats, that will not need an explanation.

I'm getting fairly good at believing I'm gonna be alright, at least for a while. Still not so certain about the distant future.

Radiation SHOULD start this week, probably on Wednesday.

I will blog about the experience.


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

First Ever CAT Scan

Date: 2012-10-16 13:19:08

Just had my first ever CAT (Computerized Axial Tomography) scan today in preparation for RT starting next week (hopefully).
Apparently it was a medical "faux pas" to provide my own cat! Who would know?
Had a really cute technician (a blonde)!
Rad. Onc. checked out images and said everything looked good.
Now they have their big planning meeting and then do a dry run on a dummy (no, not me!) then we're off and running.
They seem quite optimistic as to the outcome. We all agreed it was in their best interest to keep me alive to pay the bill!


Friday, October 12, 2012

1st Appointment W/Radiation Oncologist

Date: 2012-10-12 11:32:02

Just got back from the appointment with the radiation oncologist.
As expected, we are going with a course of IMRT (Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy).
I go This Tuesday for a cat scan (with a REAL cat) and then another appointment will be made for a "simulation".
After that, I should know the duration of treatment but I assume 8 weeks.
My wife and I were very comfortable with the doctor who spent over an hour with us going over details and answering our questions.
My blood pressure was 180/90 when we arrived and less than half that when we left. See what a pathetic wuss I am?
Doc says there is about a 50%-75% chance this will eradicate ALL the cancer, assuming it really is confined to the prostatic fossa.
I have to admit, I wasn't that pleased with those stats but I guess beggars can't be choosers.
I'm afraid I'm still looking for that answer that ALL of us in "the club" want to hear" but will probably never get. "You're permanently cured".
Turns out I've also put on 29 pounds as a bonus since all this crap started!
I'll update as the story unfolds. --- Cheers!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

First Post-Op PSA Results

Date: 2012-10-10 18:31:12

Dr. K called this morning with the results of the PSA I had done last Monday. The results were less than pleasing.
PSA level was 0.4 as opposed to <0.1 or undetectable as we had hoped.
I admit to being a bit bummed.
What this means in a practical sense is there is still active cancer somewhere in my body, most likely in the prostatic bed where the positive margins are. (Whoopee)!

Adjuvant radiation therapy is now a certainty and I already have an appointment for this Friday with a radiation oncologist.
With any luck, the radiation will mop up this mess and the wife and I can get on with our lives. She is very concerned and I hate to have her go through this. She's been through enough already in her own life.

I have absolutely NO idea how and where this is going to go because the statistics are so complex and frequently contradictory.
Funny part of this is that I already knew that there was around a 30%-50% chance an elevated PSA. I was just hoping for a better outcome but I guess I'll just have to get used to this new lifestyle.

On a final note, thanks so much to those of you out there who choose to occasionally write to me. Your kind words and advice are always welcome. I really DO try to respond within a day or so keep those cards and letters coming in folks.
As I mentioned before, if things get really dramatic here, we'll try to make a screenplay out of it to pay for the medical bills! Can't let the Federal government pick up the WHOLE thing, now can we??? Lol!


Monday, October 08, 2012

First Official Three Month Checkup

Date: 2012-10-08 20:04:04

Just got back from my first official 3 month check up since surgery.
DRE was fine.
Got blood drawn for first PSA. Should hear about that in three or four days. (Here goes the anxiety again!)
If PSA is <0.1 We can wait another three months. If not, he DEFINITELY wants me to do radiotherapy.
It seems I need to make a choice here. Adjuvant or salvage.
With adjuvant, I start radiation now even with a zero PSA based on the positive margins.
With salvage, We wait and see what happens down the line.
My MAIN concern is if I opt for salvage, if and when it becomes necessary, am I increasing my risk for distant mets?
I'm not as concerned about treatment side effects as I am in eradicating the cancer!
I'm planning on setting up a consultation with a radiation oncologist ASAP and discuss all my options with him.
I just don't want to play my trump card (radiation) if I don't have to.
That being said, I don't want to wait too long either!
A lot more research to do before I make a decision.
Will post PSA results when they come in.


Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Feeling Weird Tonight

Date: 2012-10-03 19:23:16

I don't know what's with my tonight. I feel like I've had about ten cups of coffee! I reality, I only had my usual one cup this morning.
I'm also obsessing over every little ache and pain again, right out of nowhere.
I thought I had that at least SOMEWHAT under control. Maybe it's just a phase in the whole process of living with the uncertainty of cancer.
WTF? How would I know?

I'm also a little upset because it appears that I may be losing friends as well as losing contact with some of my non-immediate family due to my political beliefs.
This is why I HATE politics in general so much. Hell, I'm not even watching the debate tonight. I'll just wait till the dust settles and let sort it out! ;)

Appointment with Dr. K coming up this Monday. Wish me good luck, diary.
I'm gonna need it! I sure hope I won't need radiation therapy. Even with PCIP, it will cost us a fortune that we don't have!
I have NO idea where the money's going to come from.

Oh well, Maybe I should just chalk it up to a bad night.


Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Back On The Cooler... Yay! ;)

Date: 2012-10-02 18:38:56

Finally switched back over to evaporative cooling versus refrigeration today and my bones feel better already! I love it because it not only adds moisture to the air while cooling it by as much as 30 degrees but it also costs pennies a day as opposed to AC.

We're having burgers and mac & cheese for dinner. Nice choice of diet for a cancer patient, huh? ;) Comfort food rules!!!

Still having a few urethral issues, presumably at the point of re-attachment at the bladder neck. There is soreness, especially after any kind of pressure on the ares and occasionally a small bleed from what I assume is the suture line.
I see Dr. K on the 8th and hopefully will get an answer to those issues.

Not much else going on.