Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘grandfather’

The title I chose should give you the reason why I have not written here in a very long time. I find myself still writing, but mostly on Word. I have not shared much here because being completely honest, blogging is baring your soul for others to see. When life is going fine, I do not mind if others get a glimpse of my soul, but lately my life has not been anything to brag about. And so…I have gone silent.

Things in my life since 2015 have spiraled out of control and left me in some very dark places. From the death of my parents and many friends, to even a time when my own demise was so close, I could reach out and touch it.

I have a recently new friend that I have shared some of my writings with and he tells me that he enjoys my style of writing. But style is very different than content. Most things over the past couple of years have been what I have dubbed as “dark writings”. Similar to Poe in many ways. Not his genius of turning those dark thoughts into fascinating reads, just the dark thoughts.

My new friend encourages me to continue writing and so blogging seems to be about as close to writing as I care to get right now. I do have one small piece that I wrote, that I have decided to share here. Of course all of us know that once something goes to the internet, it cannot ever be changed or retracted.

It is one of many memories that I have growing up. Sometimes my head feels like bursting with things and typing away on my laptop is one way to open the pressure valve of my thoughts.

I am not sure how many, if any, of my thoughts I will choose to share here. I guess time will tell on that one. Words can be very hurtful. Much more so than any physical weapon. So if you should read anything I put here, and you take it personally, or adamantly disagree, I apologize now. Hurting anyone is not my intent at all. Which is why I am reluctant in sharing. I will start with something simple and see how it goes.

You may want to get a drink and some popcorn for this one. It is longer than I remembered.

Asking you to enjoy this is like asking someone to enjoy reading the obituaries. So in the words of Betty Davis, “Fasten your seatbelts, it is going to be a bumpy night”.

Remember

I laid in my bed tonight, wanting to drift off to sleep, but my mind would not let me. My thoughts would not allow the slumber that my body craved. My eyes were shut, but my mind rushed to a place that I had not seen or been to since I was 13 years old. With my physical eyes shut, a window in my soul opened to a place I could never forget…my grandparents’ home.

A seven-year-old scrawny boy, with cropped bright red hair, stood on the granite slab that acted as a step at the front door. I looked down to my right to see the familiar chiseled markings on the side. I stepped on the far-right corner and the stone rocked a little just as I knew it would.

The house was a small New England Cape. I thought the house was so beautiful. Now, looking back through the years, my aged eyes realized what disrepair the house had been in. The small summer kitchen and wood shed that at one time had linked the house to the barn, was no longer in existence. Long ago, I am sure it was a very quaint house with the large attached barn. But the barn was dangerously close to caving in upon itself and the house was not much better.

I harbor many memories here. The memories were mixed emotions of love and awe, to hate and fear. My mother came almost every day to visit her mother. Memories of my grandmother were all good. I felt an unconditional love with her. I knew that nothing could ever change that. A dull ache formed in my soul 44 years after her death for a time in my life that I would never be able to relive.

The house was covered in faded white paint, cracked wood and large paint chips missing. There were two windows on each side of the front door. Beneath these windows were bunches of tiger lilies and old-fashioned bluebell flowers. Seeing the tiger lilies made me smile because I called them freckle flowers. They reminded me of myself. Carrot-red hair and freckles.

I reached for the tarnished door knob that was as loose now in my mind’s eye as it had been so many years ago. The door slowly creaked open to the very small front hall. Directly in front of me was one step up to a door kept closed with an old-fashioned thumb latch. To my right was a door, rarely closed, that entered the kitchen. To the left of the step up was an antique hall tree. By antique I mean it was old, banged up and not worth very much. But I loved sitting on it to take my shoes off. Then standing up, I could lift the seat up to place my shoes into storage. It was like a secret hiding place to me. Then I would look in the mirror on the back and see the reflection of green eyes looking back at me.

To the left of the hall tree was a very small door that opened into a closet. This small door, also kept closed with a thumb latch, held many hours of exploration for me. Dusty boxes that held marvels for a small child. Old shoes and clothes that were far too large for me but were great fun to try on and show them to my grandmother who would laugh at how funny I looked. Small empty trunks and carpet bags that I used to hide my childhood valuables in.  Old, round tins full of assorted buttons, wooden thread spools, and many other things to intrigue me for hours of pretend. Behind me, opposite the closet door, was an old-fashioned steamer trunk. The clasp was always down, and the cover sat at a crooked angle due a broken hinge on the back. Inside of the trunk was a various assortment of mittens, caps, coats and such. A type of catchall to toss things in that had no other place to be tossed. In front of me was another closed door. My grandmother would only allow me through this door with strict demands of my behavior. No running or touching things unless she had given me permission to do so. I turned around and looked back toward the open kitchen door. I started walking toward the open door and with each step I took, I felt a chill in the air growing stronger. I stopped just outside of the door and swept the kitchen with my eyes. A rush of cold and dread knocked me to the floor.

My eyes flew open in the real world and I was laying back on my bed in the dark once again. My heart was racing as I remembered the fear that I felt as a child but could not explain. However, years later in adulthood, I recognized that fear as an evil, and I shivered as I realized how it destroyed the childhood of my mother and her family. And how that evil was always present and wanted to destroy everything that held any goodness.

I closed my eyes again and found myself still sitting on the floor looking into a very sparsely furnished kitchen. In the center of the room sat a large kitchen table with four carved legs and cross pieces to hold them in place. The table was far from being fancy and was painted white to make it look new. The wall to my right, the front of the house, had a tall metal cabinet used as a pantry cupboard. Between the two windows sat an old steel spring framed mattress folded in half and held by a clasp at the top. The mattress was thick and dark green. There were tears in the fabric with tufts of white stuffing poking out. Sitting in the corner was an old ringer washing machine. Its four legs had wheels, so it could be rolled over to the kitchen sink and be used. Small rust spots here and there around the screws holding the many pieces of the machine in place. Not much better than washing one’s clothes on a scrub board in a river but was a leap in technology for the house wife of the time. The side wall of the kitchen had numerous cupboard doors and shelves, a refrigerator with rounded corners, and an old chipped porcelain sink in the center. I knew if I ran and opened the cupboard on the far left, I would find a chipped, white coffee mug that I had claimed as my own. I did not drink coffee, but I would sit with my grandmother for hours sipping on a cup of weak tea with lots of milk and sugar in it, pretending to be an adult. A small window over the sink allowed natural light into the room filtered by old lace curtains. At the back of the kitchen were three doors. The one on the furthest corner was my grandmother’s bedroom. The next door opened to some very steep stairs that went down to a dirt floored cellar just large enough for an old wood furnace and a root cellar that sat empty with glass canning jars covered in cobwebs. The last door on the left now opened into an indoor bathroom. A very small room that had been my mother’s bedroom when she was a child. In that room was a closed door that went into the part of the house that I was rarely allowed into. Coming back along the center wall of the house was an antique Hoosier kitchen cabinet. The wooden doors at the top and bottom were painted white. The enamel baking top was also white with chips of missing enamel along the sides showing the black color of the metal. It had the enameled bread drawer on the left with a built-in sifter for flour and such. Four metal legs which had scratches and rust on them, held it in place. Next to that was an antique Barstow kerosene cook stove. There was a large kerosene tank on the back, eight cast iron cook plates on the top with an oven door on the front. On the side of the stove were two small square holes that were covered with mica. I used to love to watch the flames inside the burner as they made different colors on the mica and moved across the windows in waves of red and gold.

Beside the stove was a battered chair with worn and cracked brown vinyl cushions. I only ever saw two people sit in that chair…my grandfather or a friend of his named Henry that would sometimes be there. Henry never said much but just sat in the chair with a lit cigar in one hand and a bottle of beer in the other. The cigar smoke was a welcomed scent that helped cover his horrible body odor. He was extremely overweight and always wore the same clothes that were far too small for him. He barely acknowledged my presence in the room which suited me fine. He would be talking with slurred speech to my grandfather sitting at the kitchen table with his own cigar and beer. The last piece of furniture in the room was a rather battered rocking chair that set right in front of the cook stove. This was my grandmother’s chair and Grampa or his friends new better than to sit there. Especially since Henry never bothered to get up to use the bathroom. He would just sit in the old vinyl chair and wet his pants. I did not care for Henry at all since all he did was upset my grandmother every time he showed up.

A country kitchen can give so many people memories of love, laughter and the smell of fresh baked cookies. In my case, it was quite the opposite. I remembered arguments and quarrels that sometimes ended up in drunken brawls between my grandfather and his many friends and relatives that would always show up intoxicated. My grandmother did not drink at all and was pretty good at holding her own in the arguments until more of them would show up. Then she would call my mother in tears and Mom would drive the short distance to Grammy’s house. My mother, who also did not drink a drop of alcohol, was very good at dealing with a room full of drunks since she had grown up in that environment. Within a very short time, people started leaving the house very quickly including my grandfather. My grandmother would take me to the back part of the house and close the doors, but even as a child, I knew what was happening. Foul language filled the air, sometimes kitchen chairs would get overturned, the sound of breaking dishes, and once I remember seeing through the windows my mother swinging a cast iron skillet at more than one person, and she did not miss. She knew them all by name and could turn the air around her as blue as the best of them.

I once again opened my eyes in the darkness and as an adult, I now knew the chill that filled my memories of that small country kitchen. It was fear, lies, and hatred that alcohol could cause in a family. I would say very little during those escapades, and once things had calmed down, I would set to work cleaning up the mess in the kitchen, now listening to my grandmother and mother argue about letting that trash in the house especially if I were there. I hid my own tears and fright as I listened to my mother threatening not to let me visit any longer. My grandmother, still in tears, would plead with my mother not to do that. The volume and tone of the arguments would slowly calm back down once the influence of alcohol was cleared away. Years of growing up in a life like that, my mother did not want me to have the same battle scars that she had. She would take me to the front yard and open the car door for me to get in. She would then get into the car herself, start it up, and drive away. I remember looking out the rear window of the car and see my grandmother, still in tears, waving goodbye from the front door.

My heart ached at that memory and at last from pure mental exhaustion, I closed my eyes and this time there were no more memories for me to relive. Just the blessed quiet of sleep.

I woke up from a noise. Everything was still dark, so I figured it must still be night. But I felt disoriented. I could not see anything but slowly things started to come into focus. But they were things that did not make sense. I felt like I was in a fog seeing shadows of things as the fog swirled around me.

A door closed behind me and I finally realized where I was. I was back at my grandparents in the front parlor of the house. The room that I had to be very careful of. I was alone and just looked around me remembering every piece of furniture, the decorations, books, rugs, everything. And unlike the kitchen, this room was immaculate. Old fashioned wall paper. Built in corner cabinets. Marble top stands decorated with hurricane lamps, pictures, and beautiful pieces of glassware and china. I could look through an arch into the next room which was complete with a beautiful dining room set. China closets that sparkled. Even an old phonograph that still worked.

I walked over to an old hutch and opened the bottom drawer very carefully. My green eyes sparkled at an old cigar box that somehow, I knew would still be in place. I carefully lifted it out and set it on the table. I turned and closed the drawer and then returned to the table. I pulled out a chair with a soft, flowered upholstered seat and wooden back. I sat in the chair and remembered the feel of being there so many years ago.

I pulled the cigar box over to me and slowly lifted the lid. Inside of the box was something that meant so much to me, but probably would have meant very little to others. I called them peanut people. The reason why was because the bodies were made from actual peanuts. Each peanut was dressed in handmade clothes, hats, and painted faces to represent a different country. A well-traveled friend of my grandmother had made them and given them to her. At the bottom of the box was a map of the world with each country labeled for the correct doll. I carefully took out the peanut people and set them on the table. Then I unfolded the map and placed each peanut on the right country. It showed me where my grandmother’s friend had traveled to around the world. I would carefully study each one and see where they were on the map. My imagination brought them to life and with the hope that someday, I would be able to travel to all the same places and meet people that were dressed like the peanuts. I wanted a life that would be filled with awe and amazement of so many beautiful things around me. Just how I felt in this room.

I looked around me and my eyes settled on an old framed painting. I got up and walked over to it. Studying every detail and remembering the many stories that my grandmother told me…about herself. It was her high school graduation picture. I could always see a likeness in the face, but there was a difference. The difference was not apparent to me when I was only eight years old. But I now could see it. Her smile. She had a beautiful smile that the artist captured. A smile that no longer existed. I looked over at the closed door leading to the kitchen, and now I understood.

Alcohol. The evil influence of it had stripped the smile from her face over the years.

She appeared before me and I looked at her as an adult. She was not a ghost, but a memory that I had of her. She was laying in a bed in a nursing home. She had high blood pressure and because of a stroke, she could no longer move. Her eyes probed mine as she lay there with a small amount of drool coming out of her mouth that sagged open to one side. There was a plea in that look that I recognized as tears filled my eyes. The scene began to swirl away but the message remained.

Remember, Ricky. Always remember how the evil of alcohol destroyed so much in our family. Never give over to the evil but keep your life pure. Remember.

Read Full Post »

Lupron Shot

I had my last Lupron Shot on Tuesday. Out of the many side effects I would say I have fatigue, swelling of legs and feet, overall weakness, and mood changes.

This Shot is good for three months. I still take me bicalutomide every day. Nine radiation treatments to go.

My numbers look good according to my blood work.

My moods are the scary part. We all have good or bad moods. But as adults we know when to control them. As for me right now I just need to avoid people and all will be good! I’m so tired that all of my filters are gone. So I apologize in advance for what may come out of my mouth.

I’m normally a pleasant person…really!

😂😬😠🤪🤨😇😡🤬

Read Full Post »

The 12th Day of Radiation…

Not exactly a title to set to music, but coming up with snappy titles is not always my thing. I ask Ariel to help me out many times.

So 12 radiation treatments are behind me…17 ahead of me. My last blog was about side effects, so no need to go over those again. They have not really changed. Maybe a few have intensified, just a dash, but for the most part I guess (I hope) a status quo has been reached.

So this post is just a couple of heads up I have tripped over and hopefully others may avoid by reading this.

My hormone therapy creates havoc with my body. Several side effects are definitely icky ones due to blocking my testosterone. But now, about three months into it, I have found a couple of things that have helped.

One side effect is nausea…the second one would be agitation. I do not think either of these are avoidable, but I have learned to choose the “best” time to feel them at their worst.

The six months of treatment started out with a heavy duty hormone shot good for three months. Followed up with taking a pill every day. One side effect that was stressed to me was that I would feel fatigued or tired. Because of that, a lot of people choose to take the pill in the evening so that they can sleep most of it off. Since I had two months of hormone therapy before I started radiation, sleeping it off was not that big of a deal for me. I did not have to be anywhere at a set time so I was taking my pill before bedtime. I knew that I was not sleeping all that well, felt nauseas, and agitated during the night, etc. But not a huge deal since I could take a nice morning nap each day. But then I started my radiation treatments. I now have to get up at 5AM to start my day and make it to my morning appointment. One week of early morning alarms and I was like UGH! But being the not so brilliant person that I am, I did not think of changing the time that I take my hormone pill. Tuesday of this week I smartened up and am now taking my pill at lunch time. So my afternoons and early evenings are not all that great, but when bed time hits, along with the help of Melatonin, I get a good nights sleep. So the rest of this past week, my morning routine went much smoother. Mostly because I was awake for it.

So what I am saying here is be smart with the timing of your medication. Choose when you want to be at your worst and make sure to get SLEEP.

Read Full Post »

Things are going great!

After my first week of radiation, I think things are progressing along quite well. Don’t you?

Faceglow And I bought Wendy some lovely new lingerie! IMG_2109

Read Full Post »

Let the games begin!

After the news about Hope Lodge in Boston, Wendy and I had yet another choice to make. Do we look for hotels, an apartment, a private home, etc., near Dana-Farber or do we look elsewhere for my treatments. I knew that Wendy did not want to live in Boston for two months. She made that quite obvious to me. And I was not keen on the idea of Wendy driving around in Boston if I was not able to. Neither of us considered the commute a viable option. Sounded to me like we were on the road to look for a totally new treatment facility. Or go back to the VA which we were at least familiar with and we knew they were wheelchair accessible.

I called my Dana-Farber Oncologist to discuss our options. He had already been thinking about it and offered me an immediate solution that sounded too good to be true. He had contacted a Radiation Oncologist that he personally knew in Portland who worked for the Maine Medical Cancer Institute. He was willing to take over my case. At this point I was more than willing to go with that suggestion. I could at least talk with the new doctor to see what he thought. My biggest worry was starting all over again with doctors and treatment plans. An appointment was made for the next week and at the Scarborough Medical Center which is only 45 minutes from home. That certainly sounded hopeful.

Many of you may be wondering why I did not go there in the first place. After my let down with the VA, I wanted to seek out what I thought would be the premier of Cancer Centers. For the New England area, that would be Dana-Farber. I really had not considered looking into Maine Medical Center.

An appointment was made for the following week to meet with the new doctor. My MD Oncologist at Dana-Farber wanted me to continue with my hormone therapy until I spoke with the new doctor. He might want to continue on the same path I was already on, or he may want to change things up.

Wendy and I met with him, and for both of us, it seemed like our prayers had been answered. We liked the facility, the doctors, the nurses, and he wanted to follow the same treatment plan that I had started with Dana-Farber! I had finally found a door in the midst of brick walls.

So the way things are now, I am receiving my hormone therapy from Dana-Farber, and receiving my radiation treatments from Maine Medical Cancer Institute in Scarborough, Maine. I hit several snags on the journey but I feel like God worked things out that would ultimately be the best for me. I just finished my sixth radiation treatment today and have the weekend off! I am very thankful for that. I will share in my next post some side effects that have hit me. Some expected, some not so expected. BUT…After all of this, my new most favoritest (my word) verse in the Bible is Psalms 46:10a “Be still, and know that I am God”.

Read Full Post »

Are you kidding?

So I had rounded yet another corner with my treatment plan. I had decided not to have surgery like the VA wanted. At least not with some type of further testing done first, and some imaging done. The three Oncologists at Dana-Farber completely agreed with me, and with the scheduling of appointments, my first one would be to have an MRI done.

The following week I had my MRI done. The MRI showed that my prostate was cancerous with a tumor bulging out more on one side. The cancer had not metastasized which was good news. So my elevated PSA count, biopsy results, MRI results, and my concerns as a paralyzed man were all taken into account when deciding on a treatment course best suited for me. This is what I was asking the VA to do for me and was flat out told that is not their protocol. Looks like the VA medical system could still use some help.

So I would begin my preferred treatment plan immediately and it would go as follows.

  1. Begin hormone therapy. This would begin with an initial Lupron shot followed by a second shot in three months. Lupron Depot is classified as a leutinizing hormone releasing hormone (LHRH) agonist. HRH agonists work by telling the pituitary gland located in the brain to stop producing leutinizing hormone, which (in men) stimulates the testicles to release testosterone.
  2. Along with the shots, I would be on Bicalutamide hormone pills for six months. Most prostate cancers need the hormone testosterone to grow. Bicalutomide blocks testosterone from reaching the cancer cells. Without testosterone the prostate cancer may shrink or stop growing.
  3. Two months into my six month treatment program I would start traditional radiation. I was to have two months of radiation, Monday thru Friday.

The doctors were very knowledgeable and took the time to listen to me and my concerns of how a surgery would affect me. But even here I had to explain why going into this as a paralyzed person would be different than an ambulatory man. I pointed out several things that they had not thought of. Once again I wondered, was I the first paralyzed man to have prostate cancer? But they were willing to listen and agreed with my choice of treatment over surgery. All of this in hopes that at the end of six months, my body will go back to normal.

Most of the time Wendy and I were just listening as they explained the treatment, what to expect and possible side effects. here are some of the possible side effects that I might experience.

  • redness/burning/stinging/pain/bruising at the injection site,
  • hot flashes (flushing),
  • increased sweating,
  • night sweats,
  • tiredness,
  • headache,
  • upset stomach,
  • nausea,
  • diarrhea,
  • constipation,
  • stomach pain,
  • breast swelling or tenderness,
  • acne,
  • joint/muscle aches or pain,
  • trouble sleeping (insomnia),
  • reduced sexual interest,
  • swelling of the ankles/feet,
  • increased urination at night,
  • dizziness,
  • weakness,
  • chills,
  • clammy skin,
  • skin redness,
  • itching or scaling,
  • testicle pain,
  • impotence,
  • depression,
  • memory problems.

This was quite a list to hear as they went over it with me. Some of them did not apply to me because of my paralysis. I guess there is a silver lining to every cloud.

Next we discussed the Monday thru Friday radiation that I would be getting. They told me each session was extremely brief. The problem is that Dana-Farber is at least a two hour drive from home. But that, in theory, was no problem since they had a place called Hope Lodge that people could stay in for free during treatments. Of course that would mean Wendy and I moving to Boston for January and February. Neither of us were very thrilled about that prospect, but had little choice unless we wanted to make the drive in to Boston 5 days a week. I certainly did not want to do that.

So I received my first Lupron shot and had started taking my Bicalutamide when I heard from Hope Lodge. After I hung up the phone with Hope Lodge, I just hung my head in disbelief. I yelled for Wendy and told her the news…Hope Lodge rooms were not “exactly” wheelchair friendly, and their shuttle service back and forth to Dana-Farber was not handicap accessible AT ALL. None of their shuttle busses had ramps or lifts for wheelchairs. Wendy first asked what I meant about the rooms. They told me the bathrooms were small and that the showers were not roll in accessible for my shower chair. But the real kicker was that their shuttle service was not handicap accessible? In a major city, Boston? At a leading cancer center, Dana-Farber? I could not believe it. Did Boston miss the memo about ADA Laws? Wendy did not want to live in Boston for two months and she certainly did not want to be the designated driver in a busy city. And neither of us wanted to make the 4-5 hour drive, five days a week into Boston, for my treatments.

I called my Oncologist and told them the news. They were as shocked as I was and had no idea. They were tripping all over themselves apologizing. Yet that did not change the fact that I had hit yet another brick wall.

Read Full Post »

Decision Time

Some of you may be scratching your head after my last post…wondering what any of that has to do with prostate cancer. After I am up and ready to face a day, things go pretty smooth. I have my snags along the way, but so does everyone else. At the end of the day, which is very early for me because of dealing with chronic back pain, I have to get myself ready and prepped to go to bed. My point is this…nothing in my life is now easy or fast. Yet for some reason, doctors just do not get that.

Since September, here are some comments that I have had doctors make to me while discussing possible treatments. Choices that have no bearing at all to me or will make Wendy’s and my life horrible. I’ll tag the comments to the respective treatments. I will also mark in red how it does, or does not, affect me. Then you will see how I made my decision.

Let’s start with surgery without any testing other than a PSA count and biopsy.

“We will cut your Urethra Tube on each side of your prostate and remove your prostate. You will experience your bladder leaking, but that can be taken care of with medication and some exercises such as Kegeling to strengthen your bladder.” (Yes this was really said to me) “There may be possible radiation or chemotherapy after surgery if needed.”1508788941020

  1. Is the cancer contained in the prostate or could it have metastasized outside of the prostate? The Urologist was quite sure the cancer had not spread. Not sure how they know that without looking. I was told they would deal with any complications after the surgery. Sounded pretty complicated to me before the surgery.
  2. My bladder has the tendency to already leak and I have been on medication for that for the past 20 years. Which is in my medical records if the doctor had checked.
  3. Kegeling? Is there some part of paralyzed that the doctor does not understand?
  4. I will now have to change my lifestyle again and switch to using a condom catheter and leg bag 24/7…or take up wearing depends. 

Traditional Radiation

“This typically has best results over other forms of radiation. You may experience a slight rash or burning irritation at the entry points of radiation. Chances of your bladder leaking is minimized. However, you may experience loose bowels and increased urgency to go to the bathroom.”

  1. Regardless of what the radiation does at the entry points, I will not feel it.
  2. My bladder not leaking more than it already does would be a good thing.
  3. Loose bowels is a very bad thing for me (and not a good thing for Wendy to deal with). 
  4. I will not know if my body tells me there is an urgency to go to the bathroom. And even if I did think there was an urgency, it would make little difference since I would not be going “quickly” to the bathroom. My bowels and or bladder will do what they want to do regardless of where I am. In other words, I would no longer be leaving the house.
  5. But when the radiation is completed, there is a good chance that my body would revert back to how it is now. 

Chemotherapy

“It is unlikely that you will need follow-up chemotherapy.”

  1. Chemo is not even a consideration for me. I have seen too much suffering and death from this “cure”.

Protein Beam Therapy

“We do not think this type of radiation works as well as traditional radiation. It can also cause more extreme effects that traditional radiation causes.”

  1. I do not like the sound of more extreme effects.
  2. There are only a few places in the USA that offers this type of treatment. That would mean traveling or moving to a different location for the period of the treatment.

Low does radiation coupled with hypothermal treatments

I did not discuss this treatment with any doctor. Once again this would mean Wendy and I packing up and moving to a new place in order to get this. Remember that I am not just able to pick up and move to a new place without a lot of planning ahead.

Brachytherapy

“Research shows that this type of therapy works best for pediatrics. So we would not recommend this for you.”

  1. Interesting to hear since most definitions say that this is a cure often used for prostate therapy.
  2. There is the problem of planting radioactive seeds inside of my prostate and being around other people or pets. So either I leave home for a while to a place of hermitage or my family and pets leave home. And once again, Wendy would have to stay with me to assist with other possible side effects.

Traditional radiation coupled with hormone therapy

“You will have six months of hormone therapy. What that means is that you will be taking a medication to block your testosterone production which feeds the cancer in your prostate. After two months into the hormone therapy, you will receive six weeks of radiation. Both of these will likely give you loose bowels and an increased urgency to go to the bathroom. The hormone therapy will give you what we refer to as male menopause. Hot flashes, moods changes, and breast tenderness would be the most common. After your six months are up, you will start producing testosterone again and your body should return back to normal from the hormone therapy and radiation.

  1. Six months of male menopausal symptoms? Breast tenderness? The only good thing about that is once I am off the medication, by body “should” return back to normal. Same with the radiation. Six months of “ick” but then back to normal. Or at least my definition of what is now normal.

So…there are my cures. It was time for me to decide if I was going to proceed with any of them or do what I would prefer which is the “do nothing” approach. Once again, I needed to consider what Wendy wants, do a lot of thinking, and a whole lot of prayer time.

I decided to go with the traditional radiation coupled with hormone therapy. That meant canceling my upcoming surgery with the VA, and working with Dana-Farber. At least at Dana-Farber I was talking with Oncologists. Things seemed to be settling into place. Wow was I wrong to think that!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »