February 28, 2011

I've been here before

This morning I'm sitting in the waiting room at the cancer center and it came upon me that I must have been here at least 100 times. Not at this particular facility, but over the past six years, I have sat in medical facility waiting rooms well over 100 times.

This observation came to me as I looked around and noticed the others, waiting themselves. Those with bandanas are obviously grizzled veterans like myself. Then I witness the groups of families. Maybe mom, dad and one of their older children. They pick up and read the pamphlets and tend to be a bit more talkative than those who've been here before.

Each of us in this waiting room are not only in a different stage of the journey, but we travel the road that is the journey differently. Just this morning I was reading yet another story about the link between red meat and cancer. As I observe fellow patients, I am certain many of them skipped over the pamphlet that promotes the important link between nutrition and cancer. My remark is not intended to be snide or disrespectful, I just find it difficult to imagine myself, in this battle, still eating and behaving as I did before cancer.

A good, snappy analogy eludes me this morning. I know I've spoke of this in previous posts, but it really gets to me. I just want to sit next to people and try to get through to them and try to convince them that it is in their best interest to follow a low fat diet.We have so little in our control, diet is one thing we can try to do to help ourselves.

I pray that they eventually realize how important diet can be in fighting cancer.  I know most won't change, and some simply just don't want to.
In closing I should report that my Doc in Atlanta diagnosed my back as a muscle pull. It inially started a few days after I played disc golf (after a two month lay off). I followed that up by continuing working out each morning. Sometimes I can be a little stubborn. After not working out for almost a week and being extra careful, I'm happy to report I'm 48 hours without Advil and last night I slept better and without a heating pad for the first time in over a week. Thankfully, problem solved.

February 25, 2011


To someone who needs it:

When I see you like this,
I hurt so deep down inside.
It only gets worse,
when I consider that,
there is nothing I can do.

I can only hang out on the fringe,
witnessing your pain,
handcuffed to the reality
that is life.

This world is cruel,
and so are her inhabitants,
Gods creatures,
believers and hypocrits
all wrapped up in one being.

February 23, 2011


It was just a brief comment during a phone call. The friend, and fellow PCa patient, said something to the effect of  “You are out there trailblazing for me and the rest of us!”

Trailblazing? Wow, I never looked at it that way. Perhaps I was living in a momentary bout of selfishness? I was looking at my current clinical trial from a me, me, me point of view. Yes, it is true I really need this treatment to work, but just as important, we, all of us fighting this disease, need it to work. 

This past week I have been dealing with a bit of back pain. It is manageable, but I do plan to discuss with Dr. A in Atlanta on Thursday and with Dr.V next Monday. It's on my right side and feels like it is in the middle of one of my ribs. After doing some research on line this afternoon, I learned that back pain is one of the listed side effects for the clinical trial drub, so I am hopeful that is the source of the pain, versus a bone met.   Tylenol and Advil have been taking care of it and I have spent the last few nights sleeping on the heating pad, which has helped as well.

Tomorrow I will complete my second one-day round trip to Atlanta. When I printed my boarding pass for the departing flight this morning, the forecast said 61 and sunny in Atlanta. I just print the boarding pass for my return flight and the forecast says 41 and snow flurries in KC when I return! If my flight is oversold, I might just have to get off and stay the night. (Just kidding Mary!)

February 17, 2011

Lucky #7, again

Last Friday, February 11th marked the six year anniversary of my diagnosis. A few of us gathered at a local watering hole for a few beers and some lively conversation. I wasn’t up for anything big, and this was a big step from years past when I may have blogged about it or discussed the significance of the day with Mary.

I can’t imagine a day when we have a big party celebrating remission, a cure, etc.  But I can imagine a ten year celebration. After all, I’m now practically a week into year seven!

There is so much going on right now. Work is keeping me busy. It’s that time of year when I put together the catalog for our annual church auction/fundraiser. I also am preparing for a speech the first week of March. I will share more about this event with you at a later date. I also have been asked to submit a short letter for inclusion in one of the PC advocacy group's annual report. We have an FLHW Board meeting this week and I also have a committee meeting for a different project at church. So I guess that answers the question that might have guided you to log in to my blog, ‘I wonder how David is doing?”!

My presentation is all but complete, I just need to practice.  The draft of the letter is currently being reviewed and tweaked by editorial staff (Mary). Keeping busy benefits me in many ways, but the main one is to keep my mind off of the disease. I don't dwell on it often or for very long, and I appreciate the many distractions that I have throughout my day to avoid it from becoming a constant obsession.

So in conclusion, as I begin year seven, I once again feel blessed and remain optimistic about the future.

February 10, 2011

Like a finely tuned Swiss watch

4:30am wake up
5:01am showered, dressed and and out the door
5:43am arrive at KCI, terminal A
6:35am flight departs on time
9:22am arrive ATL Hartsfield
9:59am with large vanilla latte, board Marta red line
10:28am arrive at Arts Center Station
10:36am unlock the Zip Car
10:54am arrive at Oncologist's office (only 9 minutes late)
11:35am finish appt with medical staff and depart
11:41am finally get to have breakfast, coffee
12:22pm return Zip Car
12:26pm board Marta to airport
12:57pm arrive at Hartsfield
1:25pm Pass through TSA, no pat down required
3:45pm Return flight to KCI, on-time and with another open middle seat
6:02pm Back home, dinner with the family!

I can only hope that future trips go so well!

February 08, 2011

My Abby Road

I was looking for this post a few weeks ago, when it became apparent that Abby (Abiraterone) would become my next treatemnet.

I'm not suggesting that I'm Kreskin or Nostradamus, but it is crazy how close I was with some of the things in this post from two and half years ago. Provenge, I was nearly right on the money, it was 19 months later.

October 17, 2008

The fruits of medical research are growing. Here we are in February 2011 and there are a number of promising treatments on the horizon. Most are still in trial stage, but things are a lot different than the picture this old post paints. More options means hope and that is a good thing.

On another note, the dead of winter has set in with a vengeance and I really look forward to Spring.

February 05, 2011

When you put it that way.....wow!

On the prostate cancer message boards we often discuss the cost of treating prostate cancer. Last week I provided a summary on the 2010 costs for my treatment. Below you will find the summary, these are 100% prostate cancer related as I am otherwise healthy :-).

During the year I had two bone scans, a CT scan, a MRI, 14 radiation treatments, 13 Zometa and Lupron treatments. I was on DES (not included in this cost) I have been on Lovenox since mid-October.
Billed Amount $117,005.53
Paid by Plan $46,156.01
Patient Responsibility $1,684.97

Billed Amount = amount medical provider billed insurer
Paid by Plan = amount insurer paid medical provider

For a general idea of what this has cost so far, take these numbers and multiply times six.

All I can do is say a little prayer for the fact I have great health insurance!

February 02, 2011

It's Blog-aversary VI

February 2, 2005
Entry #1 - The start of the end?
(This is just a portion of my first entry)
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.

…. 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?.... 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......

February 2, 2011
Entry #589 – It’s Blog-aversary VI

Now I find myself here, an outlier, way down the right side of the bell curve. Wondering, worrying, still trying to find fresh perspectives to share with you.
I try to keep the focus on what I am feeling and thinking versus what I am doing. For example; when I share that I had/have treatment I think readers appreciate it more when I share that it worries me, that I am hurting and what I’m thinking about. Anyone can post the mechanics of living with this or any disease, but I have always tried to reach deeper, beyond the scans, tests and needles. I really try to provide something unique that other survivors can use. Maybe they learn something and gain just a little insight in order to deal with what may lie ahead for them.

As I mentioned to a fellow PCa survivor earlier today, “It’s a badge that most of us would relinquish if we had the option. We don’t have that choice so some of us share it hoping to provide just a little light in an otherwise dark cancerous world.”