February 23, 2005

The results of the follow up, finally!

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!

3 comments:

Lisa Morrissey said...

David,

I’m not sure where to even start and so will keep this simple and honest. My heart has been aching for both you and Mary (as well as Brad) since the moment she shared the news with me. You have all been in my thoughts and prayers daily and will continue to be. I am honored that you included me in your message and for sharing the intimate details of this journey. I couldn’t agree with you more that mind over matter is what counts most! Your hope and faith, as well as that of all those around you, are the strongest healers of all. And while it seems odd to say that you heart could soar after such devastating news I can say that I have felt mine do just that after talking with Mary yesterday and hearing some relief in her voice as well as after reading your journal and hearing the strength in your heart and soul. Again, thank you for sharing.

If there is anything ever that you or Mary need please just ask.

Love to all of you,
Lisa

Megan Lodes said...

Hey David,
I just wanted to say that I'm so glad to see how you've turned something of this magnitude around to looking at it from a positive perspective. I know it must be hard, because it's very difficult to watch you and Mary deal with this every day. I hate the feeling of helplessness, everyone does. I wish I had the cure to help you. I love you very much and I know I don't say that enough, but thank you for all you do for me I will always remember it.

Love Always,
Megan

Amy Hernandez said...

David,
Thank you for sharing your thoughts. You, Mary, and Brad have been in our prayers and will continue to be. I admire your strength and strong will. Shawshank is one of my favorite movies, and I couldn't agree with you more on the quotes!
Please remember we are close by!
God Bless,
Amy