Well, it’s ironic that my last post, just yesterday too, was about making lemonade when life gives you lemons. I’ve been given some lemons that I’m not sure I can do anything with.
In 2018 I was diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer. It was locally advanced, meaning that all of the cancer they could detect was located in the abdominal area. So, I went for the cure – surgery, followed by 35 weeks of radiation, followed by 16 weeks of chemotherapy. I also started ADT when I was first diagnosed and continued that for 2 years.
I’ve been off all treatments for 2 years now and my PSA has been 0.000. My oncologist was becoming hopeful that we had beat it and was going to change my checkups and labs from every 3 months to every 6 months, but my last PSA came back at 0.014. We retested again 6 weeks later (yesterday) and it came back at 0.049. It has not reached the level to be considered a biochemical recurrence, but it is on the way and moving quickly (it tripled in 6 weeks).
So what does this mean? It means I will go back on ADT and stay on it until it fails. ADT lowers your testosterone to castrate levels. It keeps you alive, for a while, but there are side effects. Tiredness, weight gain, constant hot flashes. Also, long term use can lead to osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease.
How long will ADT give me? No one knows. Two years? Maybe five? Maybe longer, but the answer is no one knows. It varies from person to person. What will I do when it fails? I will probably try Provenge, a therapy that turns your immune system against the cancer. This is not a cure either, just another therapy that will also eventually fail, but it might buy me a couple more years. After that? Maybe Zytiga, although that therapy shuts down the adrenal glands and I will likely be on prednisone for the rest of my life, however long that may be.
Anyhow, I’m dealing with a terminal disease now and being only 59 years old, it is highly likely I will die from this. If I were 70 years old, all of the therapies and treatments available would possibly keep me alive until I died from some other age related ailment. My hope is that the therapies available will keep me alive until some breakthrough treatment becomes available.
Anyhow, I am facing a giant and I need to focus my energies on getting my affairs in order and making sure my precious wife is taken care of if God decides to call me home. This is my last post on the blog. It was never my intent to gain a large following or to monetize this, I just enjoyed writing. For the handful of people who follow this blog, thank you. For Sebastion, who “likes” all of my posts, thank you.
As far as the farm goes, it’s not my dream anymore. The days I have left, however few or however many, will be spent loving my family.