November 29, 2007

Don't give up, don't ever give up!

My next doctor appointment is on Monday, the month flew by fast!!!

Combined with the onset of the holiday season, this video has my emotions running
high. I wrote about the same subject last year.

The video is Jim Valvano at the
1993 ESPY Awards. If you haven't watched it,
even if you have and it's been awhile, take the ten minutes and watched it again. Listen to his words and imagine for a minute......

November 28, 2007

What Cancer Cannot Do

Author Unknown
Winter 1999

Cancer is so limited.
It cannot cripple love.
It cannot shatter hope.
It cannot corrode faith.
It cannot eat away peace.
It cannot destroy confidence.
It cannot kill friendship.
It cannot shut out memories.
It cannot silence courage.
It cannot invade the soul.
It cannot reduce eternal life.
It cannot quench the spirit.

November 26, 2007

Sounds of the Season

We spent the weekend helping the economy by taking our annual trip to the lake with my brother and sister in law and children, viewed the Christmas light displays and started Christmas shopping at the lake in Osage Beach.
It was a great time - anytime spent around family usually is! Mary would add that anytime spent shopping is also a great time!
Between Thanksgiving and last night I ate way too much!
Solacing to my gastrointestinal pain were the Missouri Tigers winning on Saturday night! My apologies to all you Kansas fans!
A few items I mentally noted, mostly while standing in the cold as the dog did his business at 7:00am:
> I love the sound of rain on the steel roof of a boat dock.
> If you haven't, you must experience the sound of rain as it lands on the branches and freezes to trees. You will need to find a real quiet place, one with no highway or traffic noises.
> Travel can be fun, but coming home can be so appeasing.
> I really enjoy Mary's pumpkin pancakes.

November 20, 2007

My Thanksgiving - 2007

As I create this post, I sort of feel like an award winner giving an acceptance speech, I have a long list of people and things to be thankful for, I'm bound to forget a few individuals or groups, I'm sorry if I do.
Mary - I have mentioned her support here from time to time, definitely not enough! I am usually at a loss for words while trying to describe what it is she does for me and how much she means to me. I can only begin to guess what this is doing to her? She is everything to me, my Gibraltar, she means the world to me.
Family - son, brothers, sisters, father, in-laws. They are always close, always ready to help. Needed more than I can fathom, appreciated more than I let them know.
Friends - this list could go on, and on and on. It would however be unfair to mention anyone specifically. There are active supporters and distant supporters, both needed in their own way. All are appreciated more than a few words in this blog can express.
Health - you may be asking, how could he put this in his list of things to be thankful for? Well, my health could be so much worse. While there are a number of obstacles (options) ahead of me, I try not to look too far ahead. Obsessing over the 'what if's' and options and side effects of each potential next treatment could drive one crazy. So with this in mind, I live in the right now. I eat like an athlete, work out like a twenty something and if it weren't for a couple of glasses of wine each weekend, I'd be squeaky clean. It's hard. I can't explain how hard it is. Yes on me, but also on Mary. She's the one that makes sure I have fresh fruit every day and that dinners are planned and the appropriate food is purchased. I just help cook occasionally and clean up from time to time.
Spiritual - I am far from a saint, nor am I the ideal Catholic, but I try. I pray so much more than before I was diagnosed, and many, many times the prayers are directed elsewhere. Remember, as I have written here before, it's not about me. I still struggle from time to time (briefly) with Why me? Why now? What does this mean? Why does God test me?
Maybe I'll figure it all out one day. Today I am just thankful for all of these things and the fact that God gave me the wisdom to understand just well enough to fight on. He gave me the faith, love and hope required to battle on, so I do.
Peace be with you all and have a safe and happy Thanksgiving.

November 16, 2007

My other brothers

I don't think I've gone into much detail regarding this subject, but I know I have referenced it on a number of occasions.

I have two brothers, I love them both dearly. My brother in law Rich is also like a brother to me. However, there is another group of brothers that are becoming more and more important in my life. They are my Prostate Cancer 'brothers'. They live in New York, Texas, New Zealand, Australia, England and more. There is one gentleman who lives in Colorado, he is a firefighter. I don't know him real well, we are just getting acquainted. We spoke briefly at the conference in Los Angeles back in September.

After the golf tournament I sent him one of our caps. Below is the response I received:
Thanks again for the cap, Dave. I wore it the other day in the rain as my crew walk/ran for our PT. I like the kinship that my cancer has allowed me with the variety of other men/women facing these health challenges. You and many of our Brothers are very inspiring as they address their lives as dads, husbands, and vocationalists—all while under the load of a cancer diagnosis and/or management.
I hope you agree, enough said.

November 12, 2007


I had a lot of time over the weekend to think. To think about nothing, to think about life, family, prostate cancer, the usual. I spent the weekend away from Mary and Brad with my brother Doug, brother-in-law Rich, and a few other friends, as they deer hunted.

I don’t hunt, so I just hung out around the cabin, finished a book, chopped wood, watched a few movies and listened to them discuss “would of, could of, should of”. As I write this, it’s Sunday morning. No one has gotten the big buck yet.

I look out the windows across the back of the cabin, I view the beauty of north central Missouri and I wonder what is next for me? When will it come? How will I react? After a few minutes the thought passes.

Next Sunday will mark thirty-three months. So much has changed, one thing remains constant; I have a terminal disease that may one day take my life. Even after this long, as I write these words, I am still stopped in my tracks. Again, the pause is brief, I go on, I must go on.

Today is one-one, one-one; November 11th. My grandmother would have been 102 today.

However, today my thoughts wander to one person in a big world, making a difference? I am just one person, in a big world, trying in little ways to make a difference. I suppose I am, I wish I could do more, that is not to say I am not proud of what has been accomplished to date.

That is it, not one thought, just one man in one big world.


Foods I love;

- Salmon, grilled on a cedar plank with a glaze made from olive oil, brown sugar, thyme and cayenne pepper.

- White chili - prefer chicken to turkey. The more spice, the better. Served with Mary’s corn bread.

- My smoothie – even after 500 of these, every Monday thru Friday for 33 months.

- Mary’s red sauce with roasted tomatoes and garlic on any pasta noodle.

- A crisp, fresh pear

A new favorite song........

I’m just sittin’ out here,

Watchin’ airplanes,

Wonderin’ which one,

You might be on?

November 07, 2007

This just in from the newsroom....

PSA = 23.3
Another small, rather insignificant change, but overall not the direction we had hoped we were headed. We are not going to make any other modifications right now, "just keep on riding the train"!
I find the result somewhat strange in that just minutes ago I was exchanging emails with someone, they asked how I was doing, and I told them I was waiting on my PSA, but overall I felt better than I had in months. I put faith in the Lord as he helps me manage through this and hope that my intuition continues to guide us in the right direction.
IIWII (it is what it is), now more than ever....
Historical Numbers
Date - PSA
11/5/07 23.3
10/8/07 19.30
>10/8/07 Changed Lupron from 120 day dose to monthly dose
> 9-12-07 Began taking .5mg of Avodart per day. Changed Ketoconazole from 600mg twice per day to 400mg three times per day)
9/4/07 21.80
8/6/07 19.25
8/2/07 16.96
7/02/07 20.30
6/04/07 17.80
4/30/07 16.25
4/2/07 17.68
3/5/07 21.87
2/5/07 20.90
1/8/07 18.90
12/11/06 24.86
11/13/06 43.61
10/16/06 51.48 (Started "High Dose" Ketoconazole and Hydrocortisone, 10/01)[at this point and for a second time we prepared for Taxotere. First my Oncologist wanted to try High Dose Ketoconazole and Hydrocortisone.]
9/11/06 83.97 (started Zometa)
8/23/06 41.77
8/18/06 54.66(no tests in June or July)
5/19/06 11.37 (stopped Casodex)
4/3/06 4.25
3/5/06 1.4
51/27/06 0.46
12/28/05 1.85[at this point we prepared for Taxotere, chemotherapy treatments. First I had a new PSA test and new bone and CT scans, lymph nodes clear, spine clear, ribs, femur and hips stable. The PSA dropped to 1.85 and the scans revealed marked improvement. Chemo was cancelled 72 hours before it was scheduled to begin]12/15/05 7.1811/03/05 4.64 (Stopped taking Casodex)9/22/05 0.808/11/05 0.35
6/24/05 0.55
4/17/05 2.51 (taken at MD Anderson, Gleason lowered to 7/7)
4/06/05 3.51 (Six weeks after starting Lupron and Casodex)Original Gleason scores (7/8)Pre-treatment test:
2/?/05 219
12/?/04 189 (Original test)

November 06, 2007

With apologies to Fall

So as you know, I'm not a big fan of the Fall season.

While I do like a few things about this time of year, the fact that nature is preparing for the on set of Winter does not do too much to brighten my spirits.

However, the other morning I found two reasons to issue an apology to Fall. The pictures are not high quality, as I took them with my cell phone camera.

The first are the last three roses of the season. Mary and I grow a pretty mean rose. Several of the plants have reached heights of eight feet, and these are not climbers. Three roses, each from a different plant, each a different color. There's that number three again.....hmmm?

The second is a picture of our Indian Summer Maple tree. I missed it's peak by a day or two but I hope you see the source of it's name. It truly is at it's best during Indian Summer.

Tick, tick, tick.....what's that? The sound of my heart racing as I wait for my monthly test results!

November 04, 2007

After the letters, we moved on to the numbers

Finishing up on my adventure through my iPod. If you don't remember, or are new around here, back in September I started listening to my iPod in alphabetical order by song title. It's been amazing and a fantastic way to shuffle through the entire 6 meg stuffed into my iPod Mini.

With 14 songs to go (of 1307 in total) I got through the letters and switched to songs that being with numbers. First up was:

100 Years by Five for Fighting - a song that hits too close to home, my eyes well up almost every time I listen to it. "there's never a wish better than this, when you only got a hundred years to live"

15 Beers Ago by the Deaf Pedestrians - I think I got this as a free iTunes song. A head banger, I think they are a Dallas based band?
Well I might've gone too far
'Cuz now I'm sitting at the bar
Without a beer and 13 rednecks
At the bar.

And they're talking about their trucks
And if the Stars will beat the Ducks
And the band onstage that sucks
At the bar.
And this is how I'm gonna end it...

1979 by Smashing Pumpkins - my favorite Pumpkins song by far.

19th Nervous Breakdown by the Rolling Stones. A classic, listed without comment.

29 by the Gin Blossoms. It didn't garner much (any?) airplay but one of my favorites
Only time will tell if wishing wells
Can bring us anything
Or fade like scenes from childhood dreams
Forgotten memories

3 AM by Matchbox 20. The chorus reminds me of 3 A.M. conversations with Mary.
and she says baby
it's 3am I must be lonely
when she says baby
well I can't help but be scared of it all sometimes
the rain's gonna wash away I believe it

40 by Section 5. This a cover of the U2 of the same title. However, Section 5 is a string quartet and the song is from the album titled "Strung Out on U2" [thanks Gary], the album is a must for any avid U2 fan, very cool.

Finally, what was last? What song was #1307? Was there more irony, as noted in earlier posts? Not really.

The final song happened to be 8th of of November by Big and Rich. Put any disdain you may have for country music and listen to this wonderful tribute to the 173rd Airborne during what some say was one of the deadliest battles in Vietnam.
On the 8th of November,
The angels were crying
As they carried his brothers away.
With the fire raining down
And the Hell all around
There were few men left standing that day.
Saw the eagle fly,
Through a clear, blue sky
1965, the 8th of November.

November 02, 2007

It's wonderful.....isn't it?

Just feeling a bit perky today, not sure why.

A few songs that reflect my current mood:

James Morrison - Wonderful World
O.A.R. - Wonderful Day
Sam Cooke - What A Wonderful World This Would Be
and of course the granddaddy of them all......

Louis Armstrong - Wonderful World

We have a busy weekend ahead of us before Monday's monthly doctor appointment.....A chilly round of disc golf tomorrow morning, a trip to the vet, yard work, dinner with friends, the Chiefs vs. the Packers (Favre's last trip to Arrowhead!).....

I've been ever reluctant to predict test results, but I'm feeling good things for next week!!!

This is such a great song, the words to the chorus, though WAY off base are beautiful, as is the rest of the song.
From the chorus of James Morrison's Wonderful World:

And I know that it's a wonderful world
But I can't feel it right now
Well I thought that I was doing well
But I just want to cry now
Well I know that it's a wonderful world
From the sky down to the sea
But I can only see it when you're here, here with me