August 28, 2008

Hi, remember me?

Back in September 2006, I posted this.

Tomorrow I have to go in for what I am estimating is my 8th bone scan. This is a routine part of the clinical trial I am taking art in, so don't get worried. There's not much to it; I'll go in at 8:00, get injected with some radioactive fluid, then I'll come back two hours later and lie on an x-ray machine for about 40 minutes and that will be it!

Tuesday I'll review the results and they my provide me with chemo transfusion number five.

We have a big, busy weekend planned, more details on that in a later post.

Here's to long weekends, may each of you your Labor Day: be safe and enjoy some time with your family and friends!

August 24, 2008

54? Let's make it an even 72!!

Yesterday was a little more that a typical Saturday in August for David. Why let Prostate Cancer and chemotherapy keep you down when you love disc golf?

Joe, Rich and I decided we had talked about a disc golf road trip long enough, it was time to act. We decided we would make a day of it and play in Marshall, MO and two different courses in Columbia, MO.

So yesterday morning Rich and I left my house at 6:00am, picked Joe up and headed 60 minutes east on I-70 to Marshall, MO. They have a great little disc course there, Indian Foothills Disc Golf Course. When we tee'd off a little before 8:00am it was damp, due to heavy dew overnight. Our feet were instantly soaked, and they remained that way for the next 12 hours. This had no impact on our day however! The course was new to Rich and myself and the three of us really had a great time, despite the face full of spider webs each us experienced multiple times. Eww!!!

By 10:30 we were in Columbia, MO at Albert Oakland Park. I love this course. It had been almost four years since I played in Columbia, certainly - BC (before cancer). The threat of rain had long passed, the sky was still overcast but the humidity was typical for an August day in the heartland! Joe shot a nice round at even par and Rich and I finished equal at +3.

Next it was off to the campus of the University of Misssouri and lunch at Shakespeare’s Pizza.
The pie was delicious and with little delay we were off for our next round at Indian Hills Disc Golf Course. The previous time I played this course I really liked it. This time, by the time we reached the back nine we couldn't wait to leave. I'm all for a challenge, but this course is in need of some serious trimming! There was at least one tree and multiple limbs on every hole that needed to be removed. I even questioned at one point whether the Columbia Parks and Recreation Department owned it or knew how to operate a saw. I'm not whining here, but the condition of this course was ridiculous.

By the time we finished it was only 4:00. We agreed we couldn't finish on a bad note. A quick phone call to Mary and we were on our way back to Oakland for round four! 72 holes of disc golf in one day!

The last round was perhaps the most fun. We played in less than 90 minutes and finished the back nine in 28 minutes! Joe and I barely missed ace's on number 16. His shot went right over the top, mine cut right across the front of the basket!

In total, it was an unbelievable day! I haven't had that much fun playing disc golf since Europe in 2006.

Here are the scores for the day (Par is 54)
Joe - 53, 54, 60, 50 = 217 or +1
David- 61, 57, 64, 57 = 239 or +23
Rich - 57, 57, 70, 57 = 241 or +25

One thing to note - I definitely had an advantage over Rich in one aspect. I had played both courses in Columbia previously. Due to the layout, my experience did not provide an advantage at Oakland however, at Indian Hills, due to the number of blind shots, I had a leg up.

In the end, the scores really didn't matter. We had a fantastic time, a nice trip and great conversation on the trip home. Thanks Rich and Joe for sharing this day with me. You both are great guys. I wonder where we'll go next?

EPILOGUE: I was slightly concerned that after all that activity I'd be a little sore today. And of course, Mary shared in my concern. Well I was not fatigued or hurting in the least bit! Take that chemotherapy and PCa!!

August 22, 2008

Belated Milestones

This completely slipped my mind as I wrote my last post.
I actually spent a lot of time on the airplane Monday thinking about this, but forgot to include anything….

August 18th, 2008

This date might not mean much to most people. To me it marked 42 months, or three and a half years post diagnosis.
So much has changed, yet so much remains the same.

First and foremost, we, Mary and I have settled into a somewhat comfortable way of dealing with having cancer on a daily basis. I am not suggesting that it's easy, I'm just saying that it does not feel like this all encompassing burden. We have learned to deal with it, and we continue to live our lives, and maintain as much 'normalcy' as possible.

Next, I have met so many fellow Prostate Cancer survivors, it's incredible. From all over the US, from all over the world! I really cherish their friendships, advice and feedback. However, there are a number of good people that we have lost; Ric, Wes, Rick, Aubrey and more. This is the sad part, merely typing their names makes me cry. God bless them, God bless their families.

Finally I come to our foundation;
Faith, Love, Hope, Win. As the planning for our fourth annual golf tournament continues, I stop and think about what we have done in such a short time, with such limited resources. By the time our tournament is completed on September 26th we are hopeful that will be able to have raised over $100,000 for advanced prostate cancer research. Wow!

If you feel like reminiscing with me, this is a link to all the references of the word '
milestones' in my blog. Pretty interesting, at least it was to me.

I'll finish with a list from my blog entry dated July 21, 2005:
So these are my milestones, these are the things I roll out of bed each morning and work for, these are the things I live for and fight for:
- We will celebrate our 15 year wedding anniversary (Aug 2006, no doubt! ~ at a minimum 25 in 2016!!!)
- I will celebrate my Grandmother's 100th Birthday in November
- I will see my niece graduate from college (May 2008, for sure ~ as long as she doesn’t begin a 5 year plan, no pressure Meg's!!)
- I will see my nephew graduate from high school (May 2009)
- I will see my son get his drivers license (September 2012)
- I will see my son graduate from high school (May 2014)
- I will live to see him graduate from college
- I will live to see him get married
- I will live to be a grandfather
- I will live to be cured………

The first two are completed. The third…looks like I'll see her married before graduation, but that's OK. No doubt about number four. As for the others, I still have a few years, but each is getting closer and certainly more attainable as the days fly by! The final one is what I fall asleep praying for each night.

August 20, 2008

Running from Fay

I have been trying to put off work travel as much as possible, but I had to go to Orlando on Monday and Tuesday. I was originally scheduled to return Tuesday night on a 7:20 flight. As it turns out, that was supposed to be nearly the exact time hurricane Fay was to cross over Orlando.
After meeting for most of the day, the folks I was traveling with and I scrambled Monday afternoon to move to a hotel closer to the airport and onto flights that departed Tuesday morning. Things seemed to be in order, I was scheduled to take a direct flight and be back in KC by 12:30pm.
As fate would have it, things turned out a little differently. First, Midwest Airlines decided not to send the planes for their 11:20 and 12:30 flights into Orlando. They were the only airline that pulled the trigger this early. In order to shorten the story I'll just say my day was filled with many hours of standing in lines, employing patience and dealing with airport security. In the end, I was home by 7:00pm Tuesday night, about 12 hours after arriving at the Orlando airport. That sure beats the first response from the employee at the Midwest ticket counter…."The next flight we can get you on is Friday morning".
And now a health update, the reason most of you are here…..
I was pretty fatigued over the weekend, but I was able to get in a round of disc golf.
Blood test results from Monday showed the following:
WBC: 1.6 (all time low)
INR: 1.5 (Needs to be 2.0 to 3.0 so they have increased my coumadin from 5mg to 7.5mg)
The first accounts for the fatigue and elevates my risk of infection, amongst other things. The latter is being tracked for the blood clot medication.

August 13, 2008

Hair today....gone tomorrow?

First, I'm going public with this a little early: my hair is at best 'thinning' at worst I'm losing it.
It started last week at some point. I noticed more than normal on my towel and then Tuesday morning Mary said my pillow was covered in hair. It has not started coming out in clumps (that will result in me immediately shaving my head) for now, we're going with the description of 'thinning'.
On another note, the Lovenox shots will only have to continue for another two weeks or so. I just talked to Dr. V's assistant and I will start taking Coumadin (an oral or pill form of blood thinner) tonight. It might take a few weeks to get the dosage correct, so I will have to keep taking Lovenox at the same time.
I slept very little, three hours on Monday night however last night I was out for seven uninterrupted hours. That was a first in weeks, perhaps months!

August 11, 2008


I was going to drag this out, be cute, be creative, etc. but I am tired!
My PSA today was 39.98, a 25% reduction from three weeks ago!!!
As I mentioned above, I am beat. We did not sleep well last night, and we had to leave the house at 7:15 this morning to make the 8:00 appointment. I had both my monthly appointment for Lupron and Zometa and my three week chemo treatment all in the same day. We were through at the hospital 12:30ish. In the four and a half hours we were there, I had the following procedures:
- 8:35 blood drawn
> White blood count back up to over 12 !!!!
> Most other markers were back in range, red blood count was still a little low, but no show stopper
- 9:00 Met with Doctor V, the Physicians Assistant and the Clinical Trial Coordinator
Everything seems to be progressing as expected with the blood clot in my leg. The good Doctor did give me the green light to play golf on Wednesday afternoon, so I was happy
- 10:00 Began pre-treatments
- 10:40 Began Taxotere infusion #4
- 11:45 Began Zometa infusion
- 12:20 Received the Lupron shot
Mary and I made our usual stop for lunch at The Blue Koi and were home by 2:00.

August 08, 2008

I'm not 'Lovenox'

Last night I came home from work and after cleaning up dinner I noticed my right leg was slightly swollen and felt rather firm or tight.

Even though it was going on 7:00pm we called my Oncologist office, since they told us when I started chemo to call for whatever reason. Dr. V himself called back in ten minutes. He told me to keep it elevated the rest of the evening and come see him at 8:00am this morning.

Knowing that he would have to work us in, we prepared for another long day at the doctors office.

I was in the lab waiting for an ultra-sound by 8:15, finished with the scan and in his waiting room by 9:15. So quick my head was spinning.

So it turns out I have small blood clot or a Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) in my right calf. The good news is clots in this area, though a reason for concern, are far less serious than if it were located somewhere else. The bad news is for at least the next six months I have to take yet another drug, Lovenox.

At first blush this might appear to be so bad, expect the Lovenox is self administer as explained here. And comes with these side effects:

• Bleeding or oozing from surgical wound
• Any other bleeding episodes; for example, bleeding at the site of the injection, nosebleeds, blood in your urine, or if you cough or vomit blood
• Spontaneous bruising (a bruise not caused by a blow or any apparent reason)
• Pain or swelling in any part of your leg, foot, or hip
• Dizziness, numbness, or tingling
• Rapid or unusual heartbeat
• Chest pain or shortness of breath
• Vomiting, nausea, or fever
• Confusion

OK, I know this is serious, but Mary Brad and I are currently laughing about the last one!

With nothing more to say, I'll just end with this; the saga continues......

August 07, 2008

Click here, sign here!

Today I am writing to ask for your help.

There is a petition that the PCa community is circualting.
On January 20, 2009, a new President of the United States will be sworn in.
On January 21, 2009, that President will receive this petition.

Please click on the link above and, after reading it, if you feel compelled to do so, please sign it.
There are currently over 9,000 signatures and we are trying to get to 10,000 by the end of September (Prostate Cancer Awareness Month).

August 05, 2008

The Dog Days

We spent the weekend at the Lake of the Ozarks and it was HOT! The temperature was in the upper 90's all weekend but the worse part was at night and in the evenings it was so humid sitting outside was not even an option.

Some how, we had a good time anyway. We shopped, just a little, and went out for a few good meals. The most fun was at the water park. We were there for almost five hours and wiped out when we left. The heat is supposed to break tomorrow and last through the weekend.
Mary and I are hoping to get in another long weekend before Labor Day but we'll have to see.

While there I finally started a new book. I am reading "A Thousand Splendid Suns" by Khaled Hosseini (he wrote the Kite Runner). I'm almost finished and must say that it is quite good. A much different story than the Kite Runner. It takes place in Afghanistan and though this one did not make me cry, it is equally as engrossing. I should finish it tonight or tomorrow.

My brother is recovering at home after having his gall bladder removed last week. Apparently the stone was the size of an egg and the bladder so swollen it was pushing into his liver. It was quite painful but after a few days he's much better.

My blood test results are due at any moment, I'll post tomorrow