November 28, 2009

Plus Two

It's two days after Thanksgiving and what a great holiday it has been this year.

We spent Turkey Day with all of our family here in Kansas City, yesterday I returned to the disc golf course and today I am off to the Missouri-Kansas football game.

I ate way too much on Thursday, but it felt good and was as expected, quite delicious.

Though I didn't play particularly well on the disc golf course, it was great to get back out on the disc course yesterday. I played pain free! It was also one of my last few rounds with Joe before he moves away. The sadness will grow as we get closer to his departure date.

The weather was spring like, high in the mid 60's. Mary, Brad and I put up the Christmas tree and I got the outdoor decorations up as well.

Last night Mary and I had a great dinner at Bristol and then saw a comedy show. It was quite funny but the sex jokes got a little tiring after two hours.

Now I am off to the MU- KU football game! Once again, the weather is ideal and I predict a Tiger victory!

November 23, 2009

Alphabet soup

I think I have mentioned here before that I like to read. My primary authors these days are James Patterson and Sue Grafton. I like the murder mystery writings of both.

I am just getting into the Alex Cross series from Patterson and only have one of his 'Women's Murder Club' series to finish.

As for Sue Grafton, for those of you not familiar, she has written 20 books in the Kinsey Millhone 'alphabet series', "A is for Alibi....M is for Malice", etc. I have read all but "I is for Innocent". I can't seem to find it at any of the used book stores and may have to resort to the library.

I stumbled upon Grafton on Spring Break 2008. We were in Anna Maria Island and after day five or so I had already finished "The Kite Runner" and another book I had brought along. I remember standing in Walgreen's trying to find something, anything to read. It was there I found "J is for Judgment" and was immediately smitten with Kinsey Millhone.

The books all take place in the mid to late 1980's and without going into detail, Kinsey is some kind of character, pun intended. She likes peanut butter and pickle sandwiches, drives a beat up 1947 Volkswagon Beetle. She is pretty much a loner. I could go on, but as I finished the book tonight, this sentence had deep meaning,
I hadn't known him long, but some people simply effect us that way. Their sojourn is brief, but their influence is profound.

I add this as a footnote to the many, many men and women I have come to know over the past 4+ years. So much has changed, so much remains the same, and so much is still a mystery.

In case I don't post before Thursday, may all of you have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving wherever and whomever you spend it with this year!

November 19, 2009


There are times when I sit here and I wonder to myself.... "I have cancer...really?"

I don't want you to think I'm depressed, it's really the opposite. My leg/hip pain is all but gone and I'm feeling really good physically.

Maybe that's why at this particular time I'm questioning the reality of my condition.

I spent last weekend at my brother's property. He deer hunts with a few guys from St. Louis and I sit in the house and read books, watch college football and cook and overall just relax. This is the same place I wrote about in 2006 and in September of 2008. I would like to find more time to get up there. It's incredibly beautiful.

I'm really looking forward to Thanksgiving. I'm even trying to lose a few pounds as we approach the date. Looking forward to wonderful food and spending time with family. Again, more time to relax, and spend time with those I love.

November 13, 2009

What is it with bonfires?

There's just something mesmerizing...I can't find words to explain it. Even as I sit here enjoying this massive blaze here in north central Missouri.

It's maybe 50 degrees, but with little wind and a big blaze, it feels like a little slice of heaven.

The weekend ahead calls for nothing but relaxation, books, movies and quiet.

I'm writing this from my phone, more later.

November 09, 2009

Did you feel that? I did!!!

I had my monthly doctor appointment today and it well on all accounts.

First, I'm not sure what they changed with the process but it was more efficient than ever!
Way to go KU Cancer Center!

My PSA currently stands at 93.08, that is down from 101.46 last month!
It seems that the current regime of medications continue to keep things stable.

On another note, it seems I may have re-aggravated my right leg, again. The weather in KC this
past weekend was unseasonably warm, well into the 70's. Given that, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to play disc golf both Saturday and Sunday morning. Can you blame me? Sunday morning I had a really bad up hill shot through some trees and I twisted rather strangely on my follow through. I felt a sharp pain in my right hip and thigh for a few seconds, but as I walked off to the next shot it dissipated immediately.

It didn't really bother me the rest of the round as witnessed by my beating the other two players. (I won't name them to save them from the public embarrassment.) The pain didn’t surface again until trying to sleep last night and again today. Walking is fine but sitting and turning on the hip is tender.

We discussed this in detail with Dr. V and decided we will just be patient and see if it goes away like it had previously. Aside from Advil the only other option would be stronger pain killers and then radiation if it becomes persistent. I'm no where near that condition. It's good to know what the options are should the pain increase.

With the drop in my PSA we have another 28 day reprieve. This time there is likely to be much less disc golf in between visits!

November 04, 2009

A Mental Countdown

Four weeks went real fast.

Monday is my next appointment with Dr. V.

Where does the time go?

I approach this meeting with absolutely no expectation or preconceived idea about what the results
will show. I have been through the little dance too many times over the past 57 months to worry or even attempt to guess where this is going.

My leg is returning to normal, though there is still occasional, very mild pain. Usually if I sit too long. We will discuss with Dr. V for sure.

In the past week there have been three pieces of news related to prostate cancer that are of interest.

First, Dendreon Pharmaceuticals announced that they have submitted their application to the FDA for the drug Provenge. This has been a six year journey for them and somewhat good news for the group I fall into; late stage, hormone refractory. Provenge has been shown to add an average of four months of life. While this doesn't sound like much, it is rather significant.

A new drug from Epeius Biotechnologies called REXIN-G made quite a splash this week. In early stage trials it is showing very promising results. I am not one to get too excited, it's early, and the trials are limited, but it adds a little much needed HOPE.

Finally, the American Urological Association came out with a position that clarifies the need for continued early screening. I hope this goes a long way to help counteract statements made last month by the head of the American Cancer Society. As a PCa friend said via Twitter yesterday; screening should not be the controversy, the controversy lies in the decisions made around treatments. Particularly for men with early stage and low grade PCa.

And so I close with this, Hope lives on in me, always. This disease may take my life, but it will not kill me. What I mean by that, and pardon me for being repetitive, is that in the face of this adversity I push on full speed. With the strength provided by my wife, my son, my family, my friends and complete strangers, I march on into this daily battle with my head held high!