March 24, 2011


It's not quite 7am, March 24th, 2011
I am writing this while in the air between KC and Atlanta as I make my fifth trip to see the Oncologist running the prostate cancer clinical trial in which I am participating.

I currently find my mind wandering to a place I've been successful in avoiding since I was diagnosed six years ago. The place I refer to is of course 'worry'. I worry when and if this current treatment will begin working. Time will tell and by late Friday or Monday morning I'll have the answer I both seek and fear.

This rant is the part I suspect is the hardest for people to understand. Perhaps I'm to blame for not spending enough time on it here. To me worry is whining. That is likely not a very good attitude to take, but I question if there is another better attitude to fight this fight with? My emotions are all over the place as you can probably tell.

I have options beyond this current medication but they are not the greatest. Two involve a return to chemo. One of the chemo options, though recently approved for use in cases like mine, is once again not a cure. There are several drugs in an earlier trial stage then my current treatment, but those become a matter of logistics since none are available in Kansas City.

Beyond the selfish worries my thoughts turn to my family, instigating additional worries. My son, being fourteen, is at a critical stage in his life. He's about to start high school and with that his world, challenges, experiences and such are set to grow exponentially. I want to be there as he matures through his high school years. Then there is Mary. Twenty-four years ago she came into my life. She is everything to me, my best friend, my confidant my heart and my soul.

We've known for six years that our dreams of a lifetime together, of spending our retirement years together were in serious jeopardy. There are times like these when it really doesn't matter that we may have discussed the changes to our grand plan, worry, pain, and mental anguish are at the forefront of my mind today. I'm hesitant to even type the words 'I want it all to go away' simply because those words ring of denial. It is what it is. I have stage IV prostate cancer, I'm struggling through a temporary funk, but I'll come out on the other side alive, mentally stronger and a better person for having gone through this experience.

A very good friend, Dr. S. and I discussed the power of the 'Serenity Prayer' once, the discussion is quite clear to me, like it was yesterday. As I write this from 33,000 feet I had to pull the prayer card that Mary had gotten me from my wallet and recite it three times. It gives me comfort right now and I would like to share it with you...

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time,
enjoying one moment at at time,
accepting hardship as a pathway to peace.
Taking, as He did,
this sinful world as it is,
not as I would have it,
trusting that He will make things right
if I surrender to His will.
That I may be reasonably happy in this life,
and supremely happy with Him,
forever in the next.


Anonymous said...

Ahmen, David.

Tom T.

Bob Evans said...

David, I think and pray for you daily and know you will stay strong.


Dan said...

Blessings on you, Dave. I didn't realize there was a "long version" of the serenity prayer, and it's lovely. Best of luck with this round, I'd be surprised if you didn't get some benefit from the Abiraterone... but as we all have found out, there's never a guarantee with any treatment.

Brian - Prostate Cancer IV said...

David, the one thing that I do know about these funks is that they are a part of living. I have learned to let them happen in order to see the life on the other side of them. Find out why you are in one, learn what it needs to teach, and then get back to what you are teaching all of us. My best to you my friend.

Mary and David said...

Reading that brings tears to my eyes. I am praying you get good news and that the Lord fills you with peace , love, and healing. Mary

Joan MacKenzie said...

David - There would be something the matter with you if you didn't have periodic worry episodes. I applaud you and Howard and all the others that continue to live life to the fullest even though facing a vicious and persistent opponent. Every now and then when test results weren't as hoped or a treatment failed, Howard would be very sad and subdued for a day or two. Then he would let that settle and reset his mind to future treatments, tests and hope. His smile would reappear and he'd start planning another trip to Italy. Wishing you great test results and many years ahead. I wish they didn't have to be complicated by the constant fight you must pursue.

Anonymous said...

We are praying for you, David. Hold tight to your faith. Remember God holds you in the palm of his not fear.

LeftTenant said...

My Brother, it occurs to me that while you have cancer--there is nothing the matter with YOU! Soldier On! I pray for well-ness and peaceful be-here-now moments with your great family and friends.