August 31, 2010

O summer, O summer, where art thou?

Seriously, it's August 31st? Where did this summer go?

For me it began in the abyss. After a serious flare up of pain and wide spread tumors in my hips and thighs, I had my first experience with radiation treatments. In the end, it wasn't so bad and the pain relief came almost immediately.  Fatigue, a slight skin rash, and gastrointestinal problems were primarily the only side effects we had to deal with.  Thankfully the radiation was effective and my PSA as well as the absence of pain is proof positive that the treatment regimen was a success.

By the end of June, I was 100% better but found myself without a job. I knew it was coming. It was not a surprise, but the reality can be eye opening. Mary and I agreed I would take July off, which has expanded into August, but now the search begins. I have been busy with the foundation as well as lending my skills to a friend who is starting a small web business. Time is flying by, so I need to bump up the career in the priority list once again.

I still have two weeks until my next Oncologist appointment, however I feel great. 'Keep on keeping on' is the current mantra.

This week I can finally return to the disc golf course. I will have to take it easy the first few times out, but I cannot convey how excited I am! The hardest thing is going to be easing my way back into it...I have a lot of pent up adrenaline and I am mentally ready to go!

Updates will follow as always, that is all for now, hello September!

August 24, 2010

Beach bum

We spent last week in Naples, FL
It was delightful and just what we needed to end the summer.

I was supposed to see Dr. V for my monthly appointment on Monday, so we had to do some shuffling of appointments.  Last Friday I had my Lupron shot and Zometa infusion, as well as the necessary blood test. Being that it was Friday the 13th, I was leery to get the results. Mary wanted to see them before we left for the trip, so on our way out the nurse printed us a copy.

My PSA dropped another 40% and now stands at 30.8.

This is the lowest it's been in two years!  Let's hear it for the radiation treatments!!

This news made it much easier to get up on Saturday morning before dawn to catch a 6:30am flight to Fort Meyers! We then proceeded to enjoy our time in Naples.We didn't do much except eat, lay by the pool and sit on our balcony and listen to the surf. It was fantastic.We took a trip down to Marco Island one day and another day drove up to Sanibel and Captiva.

Since returning home, we checked in with Dr. V, but it was a very short visit given the PSA result.
So now we transition back into school mode and planning for the upcoming golf tournament. In addition,
the job search continues. I've applied for a few positions of interest and even had a few phone interviews
but nothing solid has surfaced yet.

For now we will attempt to enjoy a few good weeks on this crazy ride that is our life!

August 16, 2010

Great Prostate Cancer Challange - Kansas City

For those of you in KC, here's a great walk/5k that you should put on your calendars.
Mary and I participated last year and really enjoyed it.

I hope to see you there this year!

Date / Time
Sunday, September 19, 2010 @ 8:00 AM
5K Race and 1 Mile Fun Walk - 8:00 a.m.
On site Registration - 7:30 a.m.

10701 Nall Ave, Overland Park, KS
Northeast corner of I-435 and Nall in Overland Park, Kansas

Registration Closing Date
Pre-registration via website through Wednesday, September 16, 2010.
On-site registration Sunday, September 19, 2010 beginning at 7:30 a.m.
  • $20 Pre-race registration
  • $25 Race-day registration
  • $10 Fun Walk
Entry fees are non-refundable

Brief Description
Join us on September 19, 2010 for the 2nd Annual Great Prostate Cancer Challenge® in Kansas City to benefit ZERO — The Project to End Prostate Cancer. In the inaugural race last year Kansas City Urology Care donated $10,000 to ZERO and $5,000 to the Kansas City Prostate Cancer Foundation.

We are passionate about prostate cancer! We are dedicated to helping fund research and educating the
Kansas City Metropolitan area about prostate cancer. Help us make this passion come true. Sign up today
to run or walk.

Information and Sign-up

August 13, 2010

Keep on keeping on

I don't think the nervousness ever goes away? Does it? It' been five and a half years and I still get a little nervous before going to the doc. It's probably the worst when those visits involve blood tests and a PSA test in particular.

Today this feeling isn't as bad as it has been at other times. I'm still feeling really good and the side-effects of June's radiation treatments is completely gone. I still have to forgo strenuous physical activity for a few more weeks, this will make today's charity golf tournament, in the 99 degree heat even more fun. It's for a good cause and I really hope my putter can help contribute.

Summer has evaporated and school starts in less than two weeks. Eighth grade for Brad, I can't believe it!
Post script: 9pm
My PSa test came in at 30, down another 40% from last month! It hasn't been this low in almost two years. Wow, did that make my day.

I followed that up with a great day on the golf course. How insightful the note from this morning (above) turned out to be: I won the longest putt contest (a 50 footer) and made two others from over 25 ft.

I guess for once I need not say more.

August 09, 2010

There are times when you just have to pray, and hold on

If any of you have watched the recent HBO mini series, The Pacific, there was a quote I had written down from Episode 2. I'm not sure the exact context of the statement. The series, produced by the same team that produced 'Band of Brothers', provides a glimpse of what these wonderfully brave men went through in order to defend our country. It's rather gut wrenching at times.

The quote, "There are times when you just have to pray, and hold on", stuck with me.With treatment and a doctor appointment coming up once again, I find myself in the 28 day funk I have mentioned here before. These four weeks between appointments just seem to fly by some months. 

I'm feeling great and believe, as Dr. S pointed out, that the radiation continues to provide benefits. Even with his recently positive comments, I don't know what will happen next week, next month, or next year, but then again, do any of us? 

No worries, I'm fine, it's just one of those moments when I find myself holding on and praying.

August 05, 2010

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month- act now!

Write your Senators today to support PCAM

This year more than 32,000 men will die from prostate cancer, but we can all help to reduce deaths from prostate cancer by raising awareness and educating men about prostate cancer.

Prostate Cancer Awareness Month is our chance to make a major impact in public awareness about the need for early detection, awareness and outreach.

S. Res. 597 was introduced last week with 28 co-sponsors in the Senate to show that our federal legislators are working to spread the word. Help us make sure that all 100 of our Senators pledge to help our cause!

Click Here to write to your Senators today and ask that they co-sponsor S. Res. 597 designating September 2010 as “National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.”

Thank you in advance for taking action and being a difference!!
Copyright © 2009 ZERO - The Project to End Prostate Cancer. All Rights Reserved. ZERO does not endorse any course of treatment for men with prostate cancer or other conditions. Treatment decisions should be made by a patient and his health service provider. All names, logos and articles are the copyrights of the respective owners.

August 02, 2010

Bliss equals this

I'm sitting here on the deck this morning trying to come up with something creative to post? You see, tomorrow is our nineteenth wedding anniversary. I think I was trying to hard, it was right there in front of me all the time.

The picture above was taken at a wedding two weeks ago. It was one of those pictures where you hold your cell phone at arms length and hope you capture a half way decent shot. In this case it was absolutely spot on!

The picture is almost as perfect as her. She is truly and honestly my best friend. I would be a shell of who I am today without her. On one hand, nineteen years has gone by in a flash, on the other, it is filled with so many, wonderful, beautiful memories.

As you might be able to imagine the last five years have been particularly stressful for us. Through it all she remains hopeful and positive. While this may seem expected in a spouse, I know through this experience and meeting other couples battling PCa that it is not always the case. This disease is not only mine, it is ours. With that burden I have yet to hear complaints. Yes the occasional 'I wish there was a cure' or 'I wish the FDA would hurry up and approve that new treatment.' As it relates to us and our battle, she is, as I have mentioned here before, my Gibraltar.

No relationship, friendship or partnership is perfect, but if this is wedded bliss, I'll have another helping please!