December 31, 2008

Another year closes

So here we are at the end of another year, anticipating the beginning of a new year. I'd like to tell you that I am looking forward to 2009, but as always, I try not to look too far ahead. At this point, looking or planning beyond January is difficult.

Where some of you may be planning Spring Break or a big summer vacation, Mary and I cannot look that far ahead. I'd love to do something special with Brad this year, but we have no idea where we are headed, treatment wise, after the end of January. We have several options to consider, but we have not made any decisions. That decision will dictate a lot.  

Monday is treatment #11. It has been a fairly easy journey to date. I still have my hair, and the side effects are very manageable. After my last treatment on the 15th, the fatigue was a little worse than after previous treatments. Work was busy on Tues-Fri and I even attended several after work Christmas parties.  However, by Friday night and Saturday I was wiped out. I spent Saturday in the house, enjoying the Christmas decorations and reading a book. I'm not a particularly fast reader but I flew through all 359 pages of James Patterson's '3rd Degree' in just over one day.  I have since completed Sue Grafton's 'P is for Peril', and am about to embark on 
'Q is for Quarry'.

Christmas in the Emerson house was wonderfully relaxing. We had nineteen over to the house for Christmas and ten more last Saturday. A quick trip to St. Louis lies ahead and then life returns to normal.

The weather has warmed slightly in the last week and I have played a lot of disc golf. So much that Mary reeled me in this morning! I was pretty willing, as I needed a break. I'll try to get in a few more rounds before returning to work next week, but we will see!

So what lies ahead for 2009? I think I'll use the following mantra as the year begins; LBC - Life Beyond Chemo. A week after my last chemo treatment I will complete year four and begin year five. My how time has flown. The future is somewhat limited but we remain hopeful and confident we will find the right path and God will guide us appropriately. The number of options continue to lessen but we march onward and I therefore ask for your continued support and prayers.

December 19, 2008

And so it goes....

It seems treatment number ten is being tolerated as well as those that I have previously received.
I have been tired in the afternoon and evening the past few days and am able to fall asleep soundly by 9:30pm. Metallic mouth is reeking havoc again, I could really use a grande, skinny, vanilla latte, the caffeine would do me good, but the taste would not be so good!
I am about 30 minutes away from being off work for the rest of the year! Mary and I are headed to lunch, then I have to run a few errands. One of those is a trip to the post office, ewww!
Winter has fully engulfed Kansas City. With the temperature for tomorrow morning's forecast at 21 degrees, I'm going to pass on disc golf. However, don't doubt there will be a number of the regular gang out there tomorrow!
Updates over the next two weeks might be sporadic at best, we'll just have to wait and see.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you and may the new year bring you much happiness and joy!
Peace be with you!

December 15, 2008

When a little is a lot

Let's get right to it, no messing around.....

PSA = 38.99 !!!

Yes it is a small decline, less than a point, but less is sometimes more!

We are just a little happy around here! May your week be as happy as our day has been!

Peace be with you all.

"...hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things. And no good thing ever dies."

December 14, 2008

Update before ten

Before I get to your real reason for coming here an update from today I have to share a weather 'event'. We were driving back from our annual shopping spree at Lake of the Ozarks and we stopped in Clinton, Mo, about an hour from home. When we got out to stretch out legs, etc. it was 65 degrees outside, absolutely beautiful. As was started back out, 15 minutes later it had dropped to 40 degrees and when we arrived home an hour late, it had dropped 41 degrees and was a mere 24! Overnight it is supposed to dip below 9 degrees! Crazy weather...

Hopefully the freezing rain we are also supposed to get won't make our trip to KU Cancer Cancer too dangerous. The only thing that might make things easier is that this appointment is not until the afternoon, with treatment not beginning until 2:00pm.

I am somewhat reluctant about treatment #10, particularly after the last time. Ten days before Christmas, I could use some good news, something a little encouraging. I spent part of this morning updating a matrix Mary and I keep with all my test scores, as well as a list of what options lie ahead. After looking it over, my mind is all over the place. I'm not really sure what direction I want to go? If we have to make a change we can add DES or estrogen while continuing to see Dr. V, if we want to seek others options and possibly other clinical trials we are in all likely hood going to have to leave KC. Where we end up going would entirely depend on the trial. This is a decision I have dreaded for years. Not much has changed, the dread is still there....

So, that is where I'm at mentally, a little bit all over the place. Apprehensive, scared, encouraged, hopeful, indecisive....... wondering.... what lies ahead?

December 06, 2008

Fold 'em? Hold 'em!!

On Monday December 1st we held the 5th FLHW Texas Hold 'em Tournament.

24 players attended and we were able to raise over $1,300!
The big winner was John Meyer Sr., he walked away with two round trip tickets on Air Tran Airlines.

December 01, 2008

Four Hundred

It was early December 2004 when this train wreck began. December 10, 2004 I had my first PSA test, the results was 189. It got worse before it got better peaking at 271 in early February 2005.

It was at that time this blog was 'born' and here we are 400 posts later. The original post from February 2, 2005 was titled "The start of the end?", here is a portion:

So here I am, a 42 year old, white male and tomorrow I am having a biopsy to determine if the problems I am experiencing are ultimately diagnosed as Prostate Cancer. Grim thought indeed.

Worse case, unsuccessful treatment, or surgery and death. Best case, it's simply prostatitis (sp?) and the wonderful world of medications will cure all. I'm remaining somewhat hopeful but because of family history and the number of symptoms I have, I am fighting to remain positive. I pray a lot more than I ever have.

I worry most about my wife and young son and how they would go on? Braggadocio aside, I am her life. We are very close and literally are each others world. She lost her mom at 8, the same age he is now. Financially she will be fine because of insurance and other investments we have made over the years. But I worry about them both emotionally and psychologically. I can't imagine going on without her or him, it saddens me deeply. I pray a lot more than I ever have......

I can still feel the fear in my inner voice as I typed those words. It was a lifetime ago, so much has changed, but one thing remains the same; I still have it and it's not going away.

The last three years and ten months have brought so much change, mostly positive, happy changes. Not all have been so.

Four hundred posts, I would have never imagined I had enough to share to fill four hundred posts?

The next four years are sure to bring as much change, chaos, ups and downs as the last four. Reading post number one, and comparing it to where I am today, it almost seems like another person wrote those words.
After last weeks chemo treatment my week was about the same. I experienced a pretty bad case of metallic tongue which kind of ruined Thanksgiving. I was also pretty run down on Wednesday night through Friday morning. Things have returned to 'normal' this week as have my taste and appetite!
On another note Mary and I have a very dear friend in Minneapolis, Mark B. I wrote about him back on October 29th. Mark is currently in the midst on his own chemo treatment for sarcoma and he and his family need all of our prayers. So I ask that you send one their way as they could surely use our help.