I just returned to the office after meeting with Dr. Davis. Mary and I went in petrified, expecting to go through 2-3 boxes of Kleenex etc. It was nothing like that at all. God I wish he hadn't been out of town and this meeting could have taken place last week!
The prognosis is still the same; the Prostate Cancer is Stage D2 (it doesn't get much worse) and it has spread. The lymph nodes only show one small area about the size of a pencil easer. The bone structure involves most of my left leg and hip, right hip, lower back and pelvic area. Though that is a lot to swallow Dr. Davis was very positive about the whole thing and Mary and I didn't shed a tear between us.
Here is the outlook and next steps:
We start with LHRH Therapy. This involves two steps that will completely shut off the production of testosterone in my body.
- I already started taking Casodex and will continue to do so indefinitely.
- Friday afternoon he will inject me with Lupron
By doing this it will also stop the spread of the cancer cells. He will test my PSA level again in 6 weeks and then 6 weeks later. The desired outcome is my PSA level goes from its current level of over 200 to back to 0 (or as low as possible).
At that point chemotherapy or some other more advanced treatment would begin. He recommend two local doctors and also said going to MD Anderson in Houston should be considered. Those decisions are all going to have to be balanced based on insurance coverage and what it would cost out of pocket. Mary's already on the phone making calls! We'll figure it out......
It was kind of strange in that he never talked "percentages" until the end. He said he doesn't believe in that for two reasons; every case is different and if he were to tell us (for example only) that I had a 25% chance it would just demoralize us. We couldn't agree more!! What's to say I'm not one of x% to beat this thing? He also added that the problem with using those kind of number is I get grouped with men 10, 20, 30 years older than me in much worse situations, it just skews the outcome. We're glad the meeting went this way, the situation is VERY serious but there is hope. We don't care what that percentage is, we are going to find a way to beat this a get on with out lives together for many, many years!
We have so many things in our corner that others don't! (in no particular order of importance):
- my age
- the fact that I'm a good physical health (has he seen my abs?)
- the fact we know we have to change our diet and have already started (I have lost 10 lbs already)
- our positive attitude
- a wonderful support group
- our faith
If you've never seen the movie "The Shawshank Redemption", rent it soon. Andy Dufresne, Tim Robbins character has two of the more memorable lines that are very apropos right now. The first is:
"...hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things. And no good thing ever dies."
The other is this:
"Get busy living, or get busy dying."
I CHOOSE THE FORMER!