February 27, 2008

You are late

Has winter got you down? Me too!

You are late

Where have you gone?
Patiently, anxiously, I wait,
for your arrival.

Unlike years past,
your teases and
days of temptation
have been lacking this year.

The days drag on,
cold, damp, dreary.
I long for you,
but you are late.

When will you come?
When will you temp me
with warm breezes,
the scent of hyacinth,
and green, green grasses.

February 26, 2008

The simple things.

Another month has passed. Another doctor appointment, another blood draw, another shot of Lupron, another infusion of Zometa and another lunch with my wife.

As boring and repetitive as the medical portion of these monthly sojourns may sound, there is one portion of the day that repeats it self each month which is something that I absolutely love. You see, Mary and I always have lunch when we are through. We always go to the Blue Koi. We always split an order of steamed chicken dumplings and an order of black bean chicken.

Long ago we stopped looking at the menu, it was just time wasted. We talk, we eat, we laugh and eventually, I go back to work.

It's the simple things......

I no sooner clicked the Send button to post this entry and the phone rang with Dr. H on the other end. The current PSA level is 29.4 (Down from 36.2 on January 28th).

Thank you for your continued thoughts and prayers!!!!!

February 22, 2008


I guess you could say I've been a little busy and a little distracted?


Sound familiar? My three year anniversary came and went and I just let it slide!

Wow, so much has happened in the last three years. I am not sure where to begin? What to include?

Instead of looking back, I'll look forward...maybe three years or so:

- Mary and I will celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary
- Brad will turn 15 (that's a frightening thought, driving, girls, Wow!)
- My 30th high school reunion
- My dad will turn 80
- I'll have survived 6 years with this damn disease

It's a little late, and I'm struggling for words tonight.

So here's to three years down and many, many more ahead!

February 19, 2008


So, it's back to the music.

I spent the weekend taking every CD we own and copying them to my iPOd. I now have 5,096 songs (46 + plus days of continuous music!).

Out of all those choices, I'm here at work listening while writing up a requirements document.
What comes on is "Long Trip Alone" by Dierks Bentley.
And so I quote:
So maybe you could walk with me a while
Maybe I could rest beneath your smile
Maybe I could feel right beside you 'til I'm home
'Cause it's a long trip alone

It's such a beautiful song.

"Of her"

I think of her,
and I cry a little tear.
Man how I hate this...
I want it back,
my life without it,
my life with her.

February 14, 2008

More on Dan Fogelberg

Back in December I wrote about the passing of Dan Fogelberg.

Jean, the widow of Dan Fogelberg, has teamed up with the Prostate Cancer Foundation to raise money for prostate cancer research. A new song that Dan recorded back in 2005 is available. 100% of the proceeds will be donated to the PCF.

Details are available here

I have downloaded 'Sometimes a Song', and it's pretty good, I encourage you to do so as well.

February 12, 2008

Spoken like a politician, weatherman or economist...

I finally got the radiology report from last week. The CT report needs to be re-done because it states "no previous exams are available for comparison". Kind of funny (but not 'ha-ha' funny), being that my previous scans were done at the same hospital!

As for the bone scan, they apparently were able to locate the previous exams. Here is the Radiologist's report:
1. Stable foci of activity involving the left ilium, right acetabulum and pubic ramus as well as left 7th rib posteriorly. Initial patient's known history of prostate cancer and elevated PSA levels these lesions are suspicious for stable metastatic lesions.

You get it, right? This is the report, word for word. Reminds you of a politician, economist or weatherman doesn't it? For those of you who don't speak the language of radiology, the last sentence is the key take away: "...are suspicious for stable metastatic lesions." Interpretation - So PSA aside, things are stable!

I asked the doctor to have the radiologist re-write the CT report based on a comparison of the previous report. After this screw up, we might be in the market for a new diagnostic imaging center in the future!

Nilandron, which I started the day before the scans, might be working; back pains are all but gone. We're definitely keeping the positive attitude going!

More updates later....work beckons.

February 08, 2008

My Town

Kirkwood, Mo

It's all over the news today, but not for good reasons.
This is my town, I grew up there and lived there until I was 27.

So, as Montgomery Gentry sings in My Town
Yeah, this is my town.
(Na, na, na, na, na.)
This is my town.
(Na, na, na, na, na.)
My town.

It's a sad day in Kirkwood.

February 06, 2008

Memento homo, quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris

I was going to write today about last night's poker fundraiser, but I'll save that for another day.

I attended Ash Wednesday Mass this morning, it moved me, on a number of fronts.
The translation of the title is: "Remember, O man, that you are dust, and unto dust you shall return."

First, the service was conducted by our former associate-retired priest Fr. Bob. What a gentle, remarkable presence. I could feel the smile consume my face when he first appeared. His homilies are always heartfelt and meaningful. Today he appropriately spoke about Lent.

As he read the gospel, and I'll paraphrase here, it was basically this; don't brag or be boisterous, don't parade around in public showing all the righteous things you may have done, God knows. Matthew 6-1: "take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father."

It made me think this; while I appreciate the comments I receive here, I hope it is clear that the point is not the comments I do receive, it's what this might do to those that read my blog, find it beneficial, and do NOT comment. As I have said ad nausea, it's not about me.

Prostate cancer aside, here's a little unsolicited advice that I feel compelled to dispense during Lent; go do something nice for someone. It could be a friend or stranger or family member. Do it because it's the right thing to do. Don't do it for the accolades, don't do it because it might make you feel better, do it because it might make them fell better.

I now step down from my pulpit, Peace be with you.

February 04, 2008

....reaching back into the bag of tricks!

Happy Anniversary, my blog was three years old yesterday!!!

Friday we met with the oncologist at KU Cancer Center. For those of you in Kansas City that have been in the former Sprint headquarters building on Shawnee Mission Parkway, you would never recognize it, the place is beautiful. They did a wonderful job of renovating the building. As for the service, the disposition of the support staff was consistently warm and friendly. It was quite a refreshing experience, given the situation. The icing on the cake, while sitting in the waiting room, a volunteer pushing a serving cart approached each person and offered refreshments water, soda or juice. Additionally, she offered light conversation and a smile. They get an "A" for service!

Our appointment with Dr. V lasted well over an hour. He was again very patient and sincere. We reviewed my statistics, medications, etc., as well as the health charts Mary and I maintain. We also reviewed a matrix that Mary created that lists potential treatments, based on the research that we have done. Dr. V told us that we captured the current options and took the time to discuss the plus and delta for each option. Before I discuss what's next, I probably need to provide some history. I'll leave out some of the details in order to keep this slightly shorter than War and Peace!

Feb 2005: I started Lupron and Casodex. Lupron is a shot, it shuts down the production of testosterone by the testicles. Casodex is an antiantrogen and shuts down the testosterone produced by the adrenal glands. This is the "standard" treatment for advanced prostate cancer, to which I had immediate, although short lived results.

November 2005: I stopped Casodex. In some cases this can lower PSA. In mine, it lasted a few months.

September 2006: With my PSA rising into the 80's, I started High Dose Ketoconizal with Hydrocortizone (another antiandrogen). Though I reacted well, my PSA never fell below 16. Also, because I was not in pain, we stayed on this regimen through December 2007, when my PSA rose to 30.

Now: my PSA is at 36. There is no standard 'next step', there is a lot of grey. Below are the primary options that make up the grey:
- DES: this was the standard treatment years ago. It is still used in cases like mine. DES comes in a pill form that is taken once a day. The issue is it is Estrogen. With that comes breast enlargement. In order to compact the breast issue, patients are given a single round of radiation across the breast bone. [please keep your comments about the 'man-zere' and 'bro' to yourselves] It also caused some cardiovascular concerns, so it is typically taken with a blood thinner.

- Chemo: the FDA approved chemo treatment for Prostate Cancer is Taxotere with Prednisone. The drug is administered interveneously once every three weeks for 8-10 treatments (depending on tolerance and reactions).

- Then there are a number of alternative treatments. I hesitate to use the word 'alternative'. This is not witch doctors using 'goat horn and frog tongue'. This is expert medical doctors specializing in Prostate Cancer that primarily use approved drugs in an 'off label' manner.

> Where we ended up. Being that I am not on an antiandrogen at this time, Dr. V recommended I try one more variation of antiandrogen. Starting today I will begin taking Nilandron. Nilandron is similar to Casodex. The anticipated side effects are minimal. We'll give this 4 weeks +/- to see if I respond. If not, then we will search once again through the grey and decide what the next course of treatment will be.

On an unrelated topic; have you ever experienced 'thunder snow'? Yesterday morning we were playing disc golf. Around 9:00 AM we started hearing thunder. Next thing we know the sky is filled with lightening and it begins to produce freezing rain. As we hurriedly made our way back to our cars, the precipitation changed to the consistency of Styrofoam. It was crazy, I guess you had to be there.......