June 30, 2008

My own rendition of "24"

Though I've not seen the show, I feel like Kiefer Sutherland on a bad episode of 24.

In the last 24 hours (pun intended) the adage I repeat ad nausea has really come to fruition; it's not all about me!!!

At 4:20am this morning my sister-in-law gave birth to twins. They just moved here last week from Chicago and perhaps the stress of the move accelerated the arrival of the two into the world. Thank God as of 10:00am this morning, Mom, Sean and Kaitlyn are resting comfortably!

My beautiful niece and her wonderful boyfriend Alex are now engaged! They have been dating for almost five years, they are both juniors at Kansas State University - another reason for me to battle on......a wedding!!!!

My brother Doug spent the night in the hospital. What started out as back pains a few days ago has turned into some type of Gall Bladder issue. He is having additional testing today, we're are praying for good news.

Had she still been with us, today would have been my mothers 75th birthday, Happy 75th Mom!

Wow, what a span of twenty four hours!

Off to the treatment room!!!

June 29, 2008

Have you seen this?

As I was watching my Cardinals take two of three from the KC Royals over the weekend I noticed this commercial. This is a slightly different version, but very cool none the less.

Tomorrow is chemo number #2!
Prayers are needed and appreciated!

June 24, 2008

I guess someone just transposed two numbers

So last week I had to go see my General Practitioner and while there I asked him for a print out of the results of the first three PSA tests he performed back in 2004 and early 2005. While two of the number were as I have been reporting for years, there is one that was wrong.

It seems that instead of a high of 219, my PSA actually peaked at 271 in January of 2005.

In the grand scheme of things, this changes nothing, but I just thought I'd report it here and set the record straight.

As for chemo, I'm now fifteen days into this and I feel great. I'm not sure this means anything at this point but, all the little aches and pains that I had been experiencing over the previous few weeks are completely gone.

My next treatment is Monday and we're hoping all goes well and we continue to pray that I will be able to tolerate this second infusion as well as the first.

June 18, 2008

A creative break

I found this website; http://wordle.net/
It allows you to create these images called "word clouds"
So I took most of the keywords from my blog and created the following (click to enlarge).

The size and placement of words is completley random. Where some things were placed is at least ironic. For example, there is chemotherapy all by itself. Prostate and Cancer are the two largest words? Ironic and spooky!

June 17, 2008

I want to hold your hand....not

It's now been a week and things are returning to 'normal'. Over the weekend I experienced what I was warned about... I felt like I had the flu. My body ached, I was tired and spent a lot of time on the couch watching golf.

Yesterday we went in for my monthly Lupron shot and Zometa infusion. What should have been a maximum two hour visit to the lab and treatment room turned into a series of missing lab requests and incorrect orders. We were there for nearly three and a half hours.

We did get a blood test back, no PSA test but it did show a HUGE drop in my white blood cell count. Normal is around 11, last week before treatment I was a little low at 8.9, yesterday I was at 1.9. Ouch! This is normal and the basic intent of the chemotherapy. The WBC should begin to recover before the next treatment on the 30th.

A count this low can make me very susceptible to germs, infections, etc. I am now using more hand sanitizer than I have ever used in my life! No offense intended if I don't shake your hand!!

June 13, 2008

"C" Day + 4

The good news is I'm tolerating chemo very well so far. The bad news is....well there is none to report!!

It's been four day, except for the first night, sleep has returned to my normal broken pattern.
I was able to play golf on Wednesday (worse than ever!) but have been able to work out the last three days. Only about thirty minutes each session, this morning I pushed it pretty hard.

As we were told might happen, I'm a little "flu like" today. My back is a little sore but I'm doing fine.

I picked up the study medication yesterday morning and began taking it immediately. There is no telling if I am getting the placebo or the Atrasentan? A runny nose is one side effect but because it doesn't happen in all cases it's going to be a guess.

I'll take a shot at disc golf tomorrow and check in here later in the weekend.

June 10, 2008

I could use a good nap......

It's a day later and I feel completely fine. I did have trouble sleeping last night. I woke at 11:30 and was up until about 12:45. Then a slept for an hour, was awake for 20 or 30 minutes, would sleep for another hour, wake up etc.

I forgot to enclose this yesterday.
Historic Data:
6/9/08 52.02 (Started Chemotherapy)
Day before and day of treatment (12mg Dexamethasone)
Daily (10mg Prednisone)
With Treatment (once every three weeks); Benadryl - 25mg, Dex10mg, Zofran 24mg, Zantac 50mg, Taxotere 151mg
Waiting for trial drug (Atrasentan)/placebo to arrive.
5/19/08 48.87
4/21/08 38.31 (Stopped Nilandorn as required by clinical trial starting on June 9th)
3/24/08 34.7
2/25/08 29.4 (Started taking Nilandron on 2/4/08; Started Selenium 200 mcg on 2/26/08)
1/28/08 36.2 (Stopped taking Ketoconazole and Hydrocortisone in anticipation of next treatment)
12/31/07 30.9
12/3/07 21.9
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 1.45 (started Casodex again)
1/27/06 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 7.18
11/03/05 4.64 (Stopped taking Casodex)
9/22/05 0.8
08/11/05 0.35 [nadir]
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 tests:
2/18/05 Started Lupron
2/11/05 Started Casodex
2/?/05 219
12/?/04 189 (Original test)

June 09, 2008

The one, but not the only

I'm in the chair waiting for the multitude drugs to be delivered:
In no particular order....
- Benadryl - 25mg
- Dex (more!!) 10mg
- Zofran 24mg
- Zantac 50mg
- Taxotere 151mg

The first four are given for swelling, nausea, allergic reactions etc.

Brad and Mary are here, my God I love them so much!

My pre-treatment PSA came in at: 52.02
Up a little, not as high as 2006, the last time I almost started chemo.

Just to give you an some insight into today's hospital visit: I've been in the chair since 11:10. Treatment was schedule for 11......It's 11:52 and we have yet to begin. So drag this out for 6 weeks....then make me wait another hour, what ever works for you!!! Sorry, just venting - thank goodness the people are so nice here.

*Live update!!
12:35pm Pre-meds have all been administered and as of three minutes ago....the Tax (chemo) is flowing!

Peace be with you each...

June 08, 2008

...I'll get by with a little help from my friends.

I'm about 18 hours away from chemo infusion #1 and a few hours away from beginning the pre-medication.
This evening I will start taking Dexamethasone and in the morning Prednisone. Both are steroids used to assist the chemo.
The Dex I take 12mg the night before and morning of chemo. Regarding the Prednisone, I will take one 5mg tablet twice a day...., for the duration of the trial, 36 weeks from now.

There is one thing that concerns me; though they are very small dosages, I have visions of being up at 3:00am, unable to sleep and needing to work a few hours later. Dr. Van said we could adjust the Prednisone and just take both pills each morning if I am having trouble sleeping.

Not knowing the road ahead, I got a lot accomplished this weekend. Two rounds of disc golf and today I mowed the lawn and dug up three stumps from some Japanese Yews I cut down last week. I took Brad to the driving range and practice green and now we are off to Mass and a surprise dinner of some sort? I'm not asking and she's not telling!!!

So now I come to the title, I need your help, your prayers like you've never sent them before!

Stay tuned for a complete update tomorrow.

June 04, 2008

Scanning the horizon

I had my sixth set of scans Tuesday. Chest X-Ray (as part of the clinical trial), CT scan of my abdomen to look for organ and lymph node 'involvement' and a full body bone scan.

Not much to report on items one and two, the results will be discussed on Monday prior to my first chemo treatment. (By the way; 96 hours and counting).

The bone scan was the usual process; lie on my back, the first few minutes are very claustrophobic [I just say a few Hail Mary's and keep my eyes closed] but after twenty minutes it's over. This time they took extra pictures from the side focusing on my ribs and pelvis. These are the areas that have always had noticeable tumors.

I was able to talk the technician into showing me the x-rays! The following is only my unprofessional opinion; full body scan: looked the same; spots on my left rib, pelvis area (a.k.a tumors) and the ankle I broke last May appeared the same as in February. Best news - my spine appears to remain tumor free! Finally, no new areas showed up (again, the radiologist may say differently).

As for the side views: not much was revealed on the rib scan, the side view of both hips showed three tumors on the left side and two on the right. I hate to describe these as 'substantial', they are there are have been there throughout. I'll post the scans after I get the CD on Monday.

Happy Birthday Trevor and Happy Anniversary Doug and Michelle!

that is all.....