Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Chugging along

I've said it before, but no news is great news. :)

I'm doing well.  Still a little burning and the occasional start-stop-start when urinating, but if I had to live with this level of symptom for the rest of my life I would feel like a very lucky man.

Onward to a new year!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

No News Is Good News

Nothing really to report, which is good news.

I'm playing the same 'symptom - no symptom' game.  Still have some burning and pain but nothing extreme.

The fatigue and nausea are almost completely gone.  I'm back swimming 4 days a week, and while I'm not up to my peak-performance workouts I'm still managing 2500 to 3000 yards a day.  My stamina has grown by leaps and bounds over the last two weeks.  It's nice to feel myself getting stronger instead of weaker.

So, no news is not only good - it's great.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Mummies with prostate cancer

A very fascinating read.

Mummy Had Prostate Cancer

Some things don't change.  But I'm damn glad I live in the day and age that I do.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Good News Everyone! (Redux)

I went in for my three month PSA check this morning and everything is chugging along right on schedule.

My PSA dropped from 4.8 right before the procedure, to 2.09 this morning. That's great news.

We also discussed my persistent side effects. And, unfortunately, those are normal and on schedule.

So all-in-all I couldn't be happier.

I'll be checked again in three months. That will be the schedule for the next few years.

So . . . yay!

Monday, October 17, 2011

3 Months - The peak of radiation.

So, here I am at the 3 month mark.

The radiation has peaked, and should start dropping off which means my side effects should really start tapering off. Good.

I went in for a PSA test today, the first since the procedure. They will monitor the PSA every three months for the next two years. That's about the only way they have to see if the treatment was effective. The PSA levels can bounce all over the place for the first year or so with brachytherapy. So, I'm not looking for a miracle on this first test.

I'll see the Doc in a couple of days, get the results of the test, and take it from there.

I'll post when I know more.

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Problem With A Compromised Immune System

As I'm sure you'll understand I have a bit of a problem with my immune system.

This isn't something new - it is related to the Prolactinoma, and possibly the arthritis. But with the prostate cancer and the radiation it seems to be a bit worse.

Which brings me to last week.

I got, what I realize now, was a touch of the flu. But when you're sick any little thing sets of a roller coaster of turmoil. Is it the cancer? Side effects of treatment? Or, and this is the scary one, something new?

Because, you know, I just don't spend enough time thinking about my health. I would love to take a vacation for a few days. Unfortunately, it's impossible to vacation from yourself.

Well, not without anesthesia. :)

But I'm back baby! Ready to go. Now if I just had last week back . . . :)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

And another week down

It's been an interesting week.

The fatigue is gone, the nausea is gone, and the other symptoms seem to each have their 'special day'. One day, I'll have a restricted urinary flow, the next . . . well, there's an analogy about a race horse in there somewhere. Use your imagination.

It's interesting. In a clinical sort of way.

The other side effects come and go. None of them are incapacitating. Just irritating. Well, and sometimes painful.

I'm also getting that feeling of 'sitting on a golf ball' that some patients have reported. That's okay, I don't like hard chairs. :)

I am very much looking forward to the next couple of months and slowly returning back to 'normal'. Whatever that is.

I had an appointment with my endocrinologist the other day. (For an unrelated condition - a Prolacinoma) I did not take the hormone therapy because this lovely little nugget I have in my noggin suppresses testosterone. I had been on bi-monthly injections until the diagnosis in April. Anyway, we were discussing when I could start the testosterone again because honestly - the side effects from the brachytherapy are irritating, but the lack of testosterone permeates every part of my life. It's kind of a double whammy.

It's not looking like he will be willing to start the treatments any time in the near future.

That sucks.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Side Effect Redeux

Well, I seem to be on a 'side effect' roller coaster.

Just when I think I've put some things behind me . . . BOOM! There they are again.

It's not incapacitating. It's just a little miserable. And annoying.

Dang will I be glad with the next few months are over.

Of course, I also know that if I could get back on the bike my perspective would be much better. I really thought I would get to catch a little bit of summer, but no such luck.

Well, that's what heated clothing is for. :)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Exactly what I've been saying

I don't know why the doctors continue to paint such rosy pictures for normalcy after prostate cancer. Each of the docs I went to said "The other therapies leave significant side effects, but not mine."

Then they would offer reassuring words, give me a handout with statistics to back up what they had said, and out the door I went.

Here is the sobering truth.

“I had surgery by a doctor who said 98 percent of my patients are perfectly fine,” said Mr. Nelson, now 51. “Of course, I wasn’t perfectly fine.”

The Side Effects? Well, There Is One...

Realistic expectations MUST be communicated. Otherwise you set men up for a double-whammy.

But I have a feeling that it once again comes down to money. Physicians don't follow the #1 rule of a great business - under promise and over deliver.

But then again, we don't have a lot of choice, do we?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Guess I didn't know . . .

You ever notice that sometimes you don't know how sick you are until you start to feel better?

That's what happened to me this weekend.

Finally the fatigue and nausea lifted. I've actually spent the last 5 days or so with little to no nausea. That's a big difference.

And a welcome one.

But it does make me look back over the last few weeks since the procedure, and realize that I have been very, very sick.

I think one of the main things that has bothered me about this whole process is that every piece of literature I've read - regardless of the method of treatment - lists the possible side effects but ends with 'but you'll be fine'. So, we expect to feel bad for a couple of weeks and then get on with our lives close to normal.

A few weeks ago a study came out showing that men that have had prostate surgery are deeply regretful about 2 years after the fact. The medical community kind of tossed it's hands in the air and said that the patients were 'overly optimistic' regarding their recovery and the life-ling impacts of the surgery. They couldn't understand why the men aren't getting the message.

Life After Prostate Surgery Worse Than Men Expect

Well, that's because side effects are downplayed. In the literature AND in the physicians office.

Over-promised and under-delivered. That's a recipe for dissatisfaction.

I'm still glad I had the radiation. I think.

I guess we will have to see where the next couple of years takes me.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Whine, whine, whine

Okay, I think I've been very patient. Hardly whiny at all.


Ask my wife Suzanne. She will tell you that's one of the first signs of me feeling better.

But now that I can no longer ignore the fact that it is fall - after a full three weeks of summer here in the northwest - it's ticking me off that I can't ride my bike.

I know, I know . . . small price to pay and all that.

But my motorcycle is what keeps me sane. Honestly. Riding is a form of therapy - a zen-like state of machine melded with the forces of physics into a symphony of gravity and acceleration. Punctuated only by teen-age girls on cell phones.

It has now been a little over three months since my posterior graced the saddle, and I'm gettin' a tad twitchy.

I know that I still have a couple of weeks to go before my butt hits the seat. And as I watch the days get shorter and the temps fall, it feels like I'm in a race for those last few magical days of non-rainy riding.

In the meantime I plan to start back on my regular swim schedule. The local pool has been closed for a bit and now that it's all shiny and clean, it's time to get back to my other home - the water. I won't be back to full workouts for a while, but I know swimming will be a boon to my soul as well as my body.

But still, it's not like a few hours riding around Mt. Rainier, or hopping over Chinook pass. Twisting and turning up those hills with Suzanne in the seat behind me, stopping for lunch or a picnic beside a quiet river - that's what's required to make me feel . . . normal.

That's really all the therapy I need.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A rant on life by Dennis Leary

Ran across this first thing this morning and I thought I would share:

“Most people think life sucks, and then you die. Not me. I beg to differ. I think life sucks, then you get cancer, then your dog dies, your wife leaves you, the cancer goes into remission, you get a new dog, you get remarried, you owe ten million dollars in medical bills but you work hard for thirty-five years and you pay it back and then -- one day -- you have a massive stroke, your whole right side is paralyzed, you have to limp along the streets and speak out of the left side of your mouth and drool but you go into rehabilitation and regain the power to walk and the power to talk and then -- one day -- you step off a curb at Sixty-seventh Street, and BANG you get hit by a city bus and then you die. Maybe.”

--Dennis Leary

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Doc Visit And Pesticides

So my Doc visit two days ago was a non-event.

Quick physical check, a few questions about side-effects, and I was given two thumbs up and a 'right on schedule'.

That's good news. No, that's great news!

Doc was also ecstatic that the placement of the seeds were "spot on", and he estimated target coverage at 98%. That's also great news.

But it still astounds me that something that looms so large in my life is, in reality, just a blip in the machinery of modern medicine. Day procedures and follow-up visits. Honestly, when I had my gall bladder out back in the early '90s, (and yes, this was RIGHT before the laparoscopic procedure was developed), it was a much larger event than this prostate cancer.

It's not that I want to be in the hospital, or undergo a series of procedures or radiation - I am very, very fortunate on that front, but I don't know how to explain it - it all seems sort of anti-climactic.

Now we follow with blood tests every 3 months and watch the PSA levels.

The radiation will peak in another month and a half, then start a slow decline as the radiation from the seeds begin to diminish. So a few more weeks of intense side-effects and then a gradual decline.

That will be nice.

Of course I also understand that I'm not out of the woods just yet. That story will be told over the next 18 to 24 months as we watch the PSA. I'm not really concerned - I'm just going to assume that the radiation did the trick.

That's kind of the way I approach most things anymore: I can either dream and fantasize failure or victory. Cure or curse. Whatever I spend my time contemplating isn't going to change the outcome one iota, so why not think positively? Otherwise I'm thinking of all the horrible things that could happen, and doing that - and you'll have to trust me on this - robs you of today. That's no way to live.

So, now you are all caught up.

As I've said before there are a slew of reports that come out everyday concerning prostate cancer. My inbox is stuffed every morning with articles and new drug therapies and all the latest advances. Some are encouraging, some are not.

One that caught my attention is this one:

Pesticide - Prostate Cancer Link

Well pugnuts. Yes, I said pugnuts.

I grew up in a small town in eastern Washington until I was 9 years old. My family then moved to 'the coast'. Which, for anyone living in eastern WA meant everything west of the Cascades. Like most of the people I knew, our house was surrounded by apple orchards. And I mean surrounded. Huge orchards that stretched forever. The apple trees bordered my backyard - and continued across the dirt road in front of my house for another good stretch. Other huge tracts of fruit trees lined the two-lane highway that bisected our small town. I could almost chuck an apple from my front yard across the blacktop into the other orchard.

I guess looking back it was one huge orchard with a few houses clustered here and there.

I also remember the tractors pulling the big tanks with the huge fans on the back that drove between the trees flooding the orchard with pesticides. Sometimes it was my Dad driving. He would come home for lunch - his clothes literally dripping with the stuff - and the house would fill with the peppery/chemical/acrid odor of the spray.

But my family followed safety precautions. I wasn't allowed to go outside to play until the fog had settled, and I had to stay at least two orchard-rows away from where they were spraying. Then I had to be careful not to walk under the trees while they were wet and dripping but we were kids and didn't listen as we should.

I won't even get into how they kept the frost off the trees back then. Let me say that it involved hundreds of 'smudge-pots' lining the rows, filled with oil - coal oil I think - and set afire to keep the frost away. I always knew when the mornings were cold because the thick smokey fog permeated everything, seeping into the house like an unwelcome guest.

Now I realize just how horrible all of this sounds. But it really was a different time. My family had been working in and around orchards for years. It was just part of the job and not a big deal.

Now you tell me times haven't changed.

And for the better.

But still, I think back and wonder how many of my health problems originated in those orchards.

Probably more than I would ever want to know.

Monday, August 29, 2011

My First Doc Visit

Today I get to go see my Doc.

This will be the first post-procedure visit.

I hardly know what to expect. Oh, I know I'll be poked and prodded - that's a given - but beyond that what will transpire will be a mystery.

There will be a lot of talking, of that I'm sure.

I'm doing better than I was last week. And certainly better than the week before, so there is progress. Just not fast enough for me. :)

And I probably won't mention all of the stupid stuff I did at my daughter's wedding last week. I'll just skirt that issue thank you.

But for some reason I'm a little nervous.

I'll let you know what happens.

Friday, August 26, 2011

I Loves Me A Good Joke

So, I've lost a little weight.

It's the nausea and fatigue.

I haven't lost a tremendous amount, but enough that people are noticing. And they tell me, repeatedly how good I'm looking.

To which I reply, "It's that new cancer diet. It's effective, but I wouldn't recommend it."

LOL. I crack me up.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A Little Over A Month In

Been a busy couple of weeks around the old homefront.

My oldest daughter was married to a wonderful man, and the wedding came off without a hitch. We couldn't be happier.

With the wedding came two-weeks of frantic preparation, family in town, new family in town, dinners and airports and a general level of chaos that's pretty rare around the empty nest these days.

I did pretty well, although the fatigue and nausea are my constant companions. Add the arthritis and it makes for some difficult times.

They keep telling me that only two more months and the side-effects should subside. Can't happen soon enough for me.

I had someone come up to me after the wedding and ask me if I was having a good day or putting on a 'stiff upper lip'.

Well, a little of both. I danced with my daughter sans cane, was on my feet more in one day than I usually am in a week, and never stopped moving for hours. But it was worth it.

Sometimes you just have to push on and pay for it later.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Back to the pool

Got back in the water for the first time in a month yesterday.

It felt good.

I took it very easy, completing abut 1/3 of my usual workout, and even that wore me out a bit.

Still, the physical exercise does wonders not only for the body, but the mind and soul as well.

And, it was REALLY nice to get back to some sort of a routine, even if that routine is an abbreviated version of my regular day. It makes me feel 'normal'. Well, normal for me.

Plus I've got a huge group of friends at the pool. It felt like going home again. If by home I mean a wet, humid, chlorine-filled environment.

Every day is a little better. I know I'll have my ups and downs, as everyone does, but it's nice to see some progress.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Damn Cancer. Always with the problems.

Well, the nausea and fatigue didn't really go away - it just changed patterns.

That should not be allowed by the rules.

I like my life like I likes me womenz: Strong, dark, and bitter.

No wait, that's not right. That's coffee. OH! I know! I like my life to be somewhat consistent.

Stop laughing.

Anyway, I'm still experiencing some secondary side-effects. They get worse, then they get a little better giving me some hope that I'm on the downhill side, and then they get worse again.

I can handle the discomfort. I can handle the pain. I can handle the nausea and fatigue.

What I can't handle is every time I go to the bathroom wondering if the next time I'll have to be cathed. Interesting, because I've become a tad phobic about being cathed. (You can't see me right now, but I gots me a case of the 'willy-shivers' going on.) And it's so stupid, because I've been cathed quite a few times and while uncomfortable, it really isn't that big of a deal.

So, this will be the pattern for the next few months to a year. Although, if I can make it a couple more weeks, the odds that I'll have to have 'the tube' drop significantly.

I think it's more the idea than the physical actuality.

But, that's a hell of a lot of life, isn't it? The reality is often much more benign than thoughts that precede. Stupid humans.

There have been a couple of times over the last few days when I wondered if I'd selected the right treatment. With surgery it would have been done. Over. On to recovery.

Now it's like pulling a splinter out of your finger ever so slowly.

Of course with surgery it would have been like amputating the finger to get the splinter.

Damn cancer. Always with the problems.

Friday, August 5, 2011


So, I'm at that stage of recovery from the procedure where I'm . . . getting antsy to get back to my life.

I'm really missing the pool. I need to get back in the water for a host of reasons. I have a great community over there, and it would be nice to think about something other than cancer. Plus, my body really needs some exercise.

Don't you hate it when what they tell you is right? Exercise my friends. Exercise hard. It does the mind and body wonders.

They symptoms haven't really eased much, but I'm less tired now, and the nausea is slowly slipping away. Those are good things.

So, back to the pool for me on Monday. I'll be doing light workouts for a bit, but I'm sure I'll be back to my pruney self in no time.

Hey, it's a look.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Two Weeks In

Two weeks ago today I had the procedure.

I suppose it was naive of me to think that I could skate through this unscathed. But that's human. We have to do what we need to do to get through the day.

It's not terrible, but I'm certainly feeling the effects of the radiation. I'm experiencing quite a bit of fatigue, especially in the early afternoon. I'm queasy as hell a good bit of the time. That's always a fun combination. And, unfortunately, I'm also experiencing some urinary problems.

I had a friend ask me what it felt like. I told him imagine sitting on a grapefruit. Now add a pretty good Urinary Tract Infection on top of that and you'll get the idea. Except that when you go to pee, you can't.

The hell of brachytherapy is that I haven't really hit the toxicity mark quite yet. I could have these side effects for the next 18 months, or they could go away tomorrow.

I vote for tomorrow. :)

I'm sure I'll feel better once I can get back in the water. I don't think it will happen this week as I still have a couple open wounds. Pool water and wounds. That's not a good combo.

I also had my first true 'cancer moment' this weekend.

We went to Spokane to see relatives. It probably was a little early for that much traveling, but both Suz and I needed the trip.

So, I'm sitting in Spokane in the parking lot of a supermarket with my brother-in-law, while Suz and her sister ran inside to get some ingredients for dinner when the nausea kicked into high gear. I fought it for as long as I could but the hand writing was on the wall. Had to have my bro (Thank you Jahn!!) drive me over to the edge of the black top. As sick as I was I was still being considerate. No one wants to watch a bald man yak in the middle of a Safeway parking lot.

The whole damn episode was just weird.

I'm crossing my fingers that those days are going to be behind me very soon.

I'm also in the 'whiny' stage of recovery. One of Suzanne's favorites. :)

That's where I am. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, July 25, 2011

And I'm back.

Well, mostly back. :)

Firstly, let me say that if you ever need a medical procedure done, Swedish hospitals in Seattle are excellent facilities. They have their 'act' together so to speak. If you have been fortunate enough not to have experienced this first-hand, you don't know how rare of a quality this is in today's modern medicine.

The procedure went fine. Much like, "Okay Mr. Moore, we are going to give you the anesthetic . . . Wake up! All done!"

That's my kind of procedure.

I've been sore for the last few days, and some of the usual side-effects that one would expect, but nothing too terrible. My chief complaints would be fatigue and nausea. Hopefully that will clear now that I'm off the antibiotics and some other meds.

Now we play the waiting game.

I'll be able to go back to 'light' swimming in the next week or so. No lawn mowing (aw shucks) for the next month or so, along with no motorcycle riding, or any kind of jarring activities. Gotta make sure those 'seeds' don't dislodge until they have time to heal and set properly.

Not that those are issues at the moment. I'm still not feeling quite good enough to ride anyway.

But all-in-all I'm on the mend.

I'll keep you posted.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Tomorrow is D-Day.

By this time tomorrow I should be about to check into the hospital for my little procedure.

For those that are interested, this is a fairly good article explaining exactly what's going to happen.


My job in all of this is to show up, and lie still while they slip the IV in the vein.

Then it's off to sleepy town!

And then wake up again after it's over. As I understand, the going to sleep part is easy. But sometimes the 'wakey-wakey' part is a problem.

Various people over the last few days have asked me if I'm nervous or anxious about the procedure.

Not really. I suppose I could work myself into a tizzy be imagining every horrible outcome there could be. Running that scenario over and over in my head until I was a basket case.

No thank you. Been there. Done that.

You know, we harp on people for living in the past and missing out on the present. And I'm sure we all know someone like that. But living in the future is no better. Well, it is if you fantasize an ideal future, but how many of us do that? No, we run every possible situation we can imagine, trying to 'prepare'. But reality is never as we imagine. So why go there?

That's what causes worry and anxiety.

Here's a 'Davidism'. (Feel free to use it so long as you credit me as the originator. :)) Worry is nothing more than fantasizing failure. Think about that for a minute.

The best words regarding worrying, and ones that I've probably posted before, are from the Dali Llama. "If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it's not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever."

I've heard him condense this to: "If there is a problem, and you can do something about it - no worries. If there is a problem and there is nothing you can do about it - there is no reason to worry."

So there you are, and here I am.

I'll post more when I get back from the other side.

See you soon.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

And we start the preparations

I just hung up from talking to the pre-op nurse at Swedish.

That's always a bit of fun.

Oh sure, it starts out fine, but as I've said before, after I list my litany of medications and conditions the mood changes. Trust me on this, when the medical community as a whole starts sympathizing with you, you know you're screwed.

Which reminds me, last week I had lunch with one of my dearest friends. We've known each other since we were 11 years old. A few years ago I had her beat on the medical front. She was all healthy and I was broken. Ha!

Now the situations are reversed. About a year ago she found a lump that she thought was breast cancer. Turns out it wasn't. It was a melanoma. And over the next few months we watched as this 'little lump' that was going to be no big deal turned into a very big deal. The melanoma was systemic, and had metastasized. Tumors were showing regularly, and they put her on every med they could without results. Then the clinical trials started.

A few months ago they found two tumors in her brain. Before they could do anything about them, one ruptured. She suffered a pretty major stroke, then then an episode of cerebral salt-wasting syndrome. Even she didn't think she would leave the hospital. But she fought, and here she was sitting across from me at a small cafe in Tukwilla, discussing the joys of the human body. Just this week her oncologist had given her the news that there was not much more they could do for her, and that she and her family should prepare for the inevitable.

That's light lunch conversation, let me tell you.

So I do the only thing I can do for her. I try to make her laugh.

"Annie, I'll bet I know a word that you've come to hate hearing."

"What's that?"

"I'll bet you hate it when you're called an 'inspiration'."

She paused, blinked, and burst out laughing. "Oh my God!! I know!"

"Get that a lot, do you?"

She giggled again. "Oh honey . . . I hear it everyday. It's beginning to wear thin. But you with your swimming and everything, I'll bet you hear it too."

I smiled back. "Oh yeah. I hear it all the time."

"Does it bother you?" she asked.

"Yes. And I'll tel you why. Because when someone says 'Oh, you are such an inspiration!' it translates as 'Oh my God. You are so fucked. And here you are, living, doing things that I would never do, and you're sick and it kind of makes me feel shitty like I'm wasting my life and I'm so exhausted all the time and you're also beginning to make me feel guilty but I can't be mad at you because you're sick and I don't want to hurt your feelings so I'll say you inspire me. But really, it means you're fucked and I'm not.' You never hear anyone say that to someone healthy, or has all their body parts."

She paused, looked me in the eye, and burst out laughing.

"Oh my God! That's exactly what that means!"

I laughed. "I know! Bastards! I know I'm screwed. Don't remind me."

We spent the next couple of hours talking about her challenges, the future, the past, and what the hell it all means.

Unfortunately we didn't come up with any answers.

But it made me realize once again that in the grand scheme of things I have it pretty darned good. I live in an age where my health issues may not be able to be cured, but they can be controlled. I'm damned lucky.

It doesn't take much to get yourself off the pity-pot. Sometimes all you have to do is open your eyes and look at the person sitting across from you.

So bring on the implants! Let's get this show on the road so I can look at it in my rear-view mirror. Like my Dad used to say, a job well begun is half done.

Let's rock.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Two weeks until treatment

I returned a few days ago from a 2600 mile, 10 day motorcycle trip down to San Francisco where I swam the "Escape from Alcatraz" event, and then we wandered up the California and Oregon coasts to home.

The swim was fantastic, and we had a great time in San Fran, but I think I found my endurance limit. 10 days, with the kind of riding we did (crossed the mountains from the I-5 corridor to the coast several times), was too much.

The effect of no testosterone is really getting to be a pain.

I kind of new that I was running on fumes a couple of days from home. But by that time there really wasn't much I could do other than soldier on.

But when I got home it hit me like a ton of bricks. When I get exhausted it throws my entire system for a loop. I feel tired, but have trouble sleeping. I feel like I run a low-grade fever. My body temperature regulation (from the hypothalamus) is . . . well, buggy. I'm either too hot or too cold. And not like, "Oh, I'm warm. Turn on the fan." More like piling on sweaters and blankets, or breaking out in a cold sweat.

So, that was how I spent my weekend and the 4th of July. Not a ton of fun, but I'm feeling much better now. Time to get on with treatment. The sooner I get this process started, the quicker I can get back on my meds and some semblance of 'normal'.

Well, as normal as it gets with a prolactinoma.

I go in a week from last Tuesday to get the seeds implanted.

That should be . . . interesting. But I'm more than ready.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A Treatment Has Been Selected

What an interesting trip that was.

So I went to the Seattle Prostate Cancer Institute at Swedish on Monday.

Seems that I AM a candidate for seed implantation therapy. Contrary to what the radiology oncologist told me. Let's see, whom shall I trust? A nationally recognized treatment center, or a doctor in a small town that has invested heavily in an external beam radiation setup?


Brachythereapy it is! That means that on July 19th I go in for a little day surgery where they will implant 44 to 100 radioactive 'seeds' in my prostate. Doesn't that sound like fun? The next day I go back for a CT scan, and barring any complications I won't see the doc again for . . . 3 months. Then a visit at 6 months.

And that's it.

I don't want to get my hope up, but the incidence of incontinence, bladder and bower toxicity, and all the other happy things that go along with this condition are - according to the Doc - very, very low for me because of my age,general conditions, and symptoms.

No daily visits. No extended hospital stays. Nothing 'cut out'. How cool is that?

It was interesting as well because the nurse assigned to my case demanded that I get a second opinion on my pathology reports - which she is doing as we speak. None of the other Docs suggested that or even brought it up during my visits. You gotta love that.

I'll still have some of the same problems as traditional radiation. That being fatigue and nausea. Don't have to worry about the hair loss! Ha! Got ya on that one God!

It will be nice to get on with some kind of treatment. I'm REALLY starting to feel the effects of my lowered testosterone. The quicker we can start the treatment, the quicker I can start the injections again. At least we are putting this off until after my Alcatraz swim. I honestly don't know if I could swim it with the radiation and lowered testosterone.

So there you have it kids. I'll keep you updated.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


So, got the word yesterday that Loma Linda, and the Proton Beam Therapy, is definitely not in my future.

That leaves me with either the seed implant therapy, or the external beam radiation therapy.

I'm not really enthused with either of them, but they are both preferable to surgery.

Who knew cancer would be such a pain? I didn't sign up for this, and I would definitely like to speak to the management. I've been calling for ages, but no one seems to answer.

So that's where I stand. It's a bit of a surreal life right now. I have my book signing tomorrow night at the Mint in Enumclaw, and I have my 'Escape from Alcatraz' swim on the 25th of this month. The yin and yang of life.

And I'm REALLY beginning to feel the effects of lowered testosterone. I'm back to the way I was a few years ago. Tired, workouts are drastically reduced, recovery time is longer, etc. Damn brain tumor.

Time to get some treatment underway so that I can get it over with. As they say, 'a job begun is half done.'

As I think I said before I'm seeing one more specialist next week, then I'll make my treatment decision.

If anyone has any advice I would love to hear it. Post in the comment section or send me email.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Well, well, well . . .

I visited the Loma Linda Proton Beam center yesterday. Quite an amazing place.

Unfortunately, it looks like I may not be a 'prime' candidate for the therapy. Because of my artificial hip.

Well monkey farts.

The Dr. suggest that I go with bracheotherapy where they implant radioactive seeds in the prostate, but unfortunately the radiology oncologist said that was not an option.

Double monkey farts.

Seems this ride is going to be a little more difficult than I had hoped.

I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Buckle up kids! The fun starts now!

Wow, what an interesting couple of weeks.

First, I turned 50 on Sunday. Yes, I do accept PayPal for gifts. :)

In my family, that's kind of a milestone. Both my older sister, and my mother died at the age of 47 from cancer. Not that I'm terribly concerned about that, but it does play around in my brain from time to time.

And tomorrow I leave for my consultation appointment with the Proton Beam medical team. I'm not expecting anything out of the ordinary, but with cancer . . . you never know. Cancer is a sneaky little bugger.

We'll find out if the artificial hip is going to be a problem. As I've said, early correspondence with the Docs indicate that this is something they can work with. Also, I'll be checking out the area for housing, proximity to the Loma Linda Medical Center, and all the other fun stuff that comes with the possibility of an extended stay.

I think I've said before that if possible I'm going to push my treatment until after Labor Day. Logistically this would make more sense for me. It would give us a little more time to get our stuff in order, and would certainly help with the issues of leaving the house in the middle of the growing season. I have about an acre of land that I maintain - lawns, flowerbeds, etc. - and it requires almost constant attention. At least after Labor Day things have gone dormant or significantly slowed in their growth.

Plus, on a personal level, I did not live through two winters and a crappy summer last year to abandon the warm months to come. It seems like a waste to go to So. Cal. when the weather here is nice. That's like giving up your ice cream so you can have a banana split. I say eat your ice cream, wait a couple of hours, then eat the banana split.

We have the possibility for a good riding season coming up, and I don't want to miss it. Riding in the summer in the Pacific NW is heaven. The snow melts, the mountain passes open, and everything bursts with life. It's glorious.

Damn cancer always ruining my plans. Had I know it would be this much of a pain, I wouldn't have signed on to the program in the first place.

Anyway, I'll keep you posted. :)


Monday, May 16, 2011

All The News. All the Time.

One thing that our information age has brought us is . . . lots of information.

Now I know that sounds redundant, but think about it for a moment. If you're over the age of 35 you can probably remember a time when information wasn't nearly as accessible as it is today. If I have a question - about anything from the mating habits of the Amazonian Milk Frog, (I just looked it up. It's real.), to the 1951 Q1 US GDP. (It's $211,250,0000 by the way - that took 30 seconds on Google.)

Before the internet there were 4 sources of information for the average person. TV, Newspaper, Encyclopedia, and whomever was sitting next to you at the moment.

With this avalanche of information comes, as this should be no surprise, some contradictions. And those contradictions are never more apparent than when dealing with one's health.

Case in point: Remember when eggs were good for you? They some 'experts' came out with a new study that said eggs would kill you? And now they think they're good for you again?

I could cite examples with confirming URLs, but that seems like a lot of work. I don't have an extra 2 minutes to spare.

So, as an experiement I set up a Google News Alert for 'Prostate Cancer'.

Oh my . . .

I have several other alerts set up to deliver information to me on various topics relevant to my interests. Mainly motorcycles. Possibly some LOL Cats. Meat. And I get a few links a day delivered in my email. Sometimes not.

Now I will share with you one day's worth of alerts regarding prostate cancer.


Rising prostate cancer rate seen in US servicemen
By Amy Norton NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - The rate of prostate cancer among active-duty US Air Force members has been several times higher in recent years than it was 20 years ago, a new study finds. Researchers believe that the trend is not a sign of ...
See all stories on this topic »

Protein Plays a Bad Role in Prostate Cancer
(Ivanhoe Newswire) – Prostate cancer affects many men nationwide, and if caught early enough is curable, but little is understood about the mechanisms that cause a tumor to metastasize and spread to other parts of the body. ...
See all stories on this topic »

MDV3100 in New Phase II Study
Medivation, Inc. (MDVN - Analyst Report) and Astellas Pharma, Inc. recently announced the initiation of a phase II study with their prostate cancer candidate, MDV3100. The study will evaluate MDV3100 as a monotherapy in hormone-naïve prostate cancer ...
See all stories on this topic »

Prostate cancer screening doesn't cut death rates
A 20-years study from Sweden suggests that screening for prostate cancer does not substantially reduce the risk of death from the disease. On the other hand, a good many men might receive false-positive results and over-treatment, adding an element of ...
See all stories on this topic »

Early intervention key to surviving prostate cancer
UVic chemist Dr. Fraser Hof, front, gets funding for his research into prostate cancer in part from proceeds raised by bikers Ike de Jong, back left, Frank Scott and Graham Mitchell. By Kyle Slavin - Saanich News Certain traits run in the family. ...
See all stories on this topic »

Cancer screenings: Safe or superfluous?
By MARY SHEDDEN | The Tampa Tribune As far as he knows, no one in Terry Boykin's family has had cancer. Still, in August, motivated by his wife's concern, the 42-year-old Pinellas Park man took a prostate cancer screening test. ...
See all stories on this topic »

No excuses: Get screened
Arizona Republic
Maybe you've heard about new research questioning PSA checks, blood tests that indicate prostate-cancer risk. Or about a study suggesting that many older men are getting PSA checks they don't need. And a new survey announced that 30 percent of women ...
See all stories on this topic »


Take a look at those last 4 headlines.

Confusing? You bet. And that's one of the problems with today's information age - we have tons of information, but really no reliable way of quantifying the quality of that information.

I'm not saying that's wrong. We need to read all the information we can and make informed choices based on that information. But when the information is contradictory, what do we do?

Friday, May 13, 2011

I'm just sayin', I should get a cookie.

You know what really disturbs me?

When I go into my primary-care clinic and everyone give me that 'awwwww. . . ' look.

You know, the kind of look that you would give a puppy with a bucket on it's head. The cone of shame according to Dug.

I like my medical staff rushed, surly, and contentious. I find all this sympathy unnerving.

And you kind of know you're screwed when you hear the lab tech pull the head tech aside as say, "Are you sure all of these are for him?"

Pfffttt. 8 vials. Although, I did feel like I needed a cookie when I was done.

And a Superman bandaid.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Yay! Maybe my artificial hip won't be a problem


Well, after a lengthy discussion with a nurse, it looks like my artificial hip won't be a problem for proton beam therapy! (Pew Pew!)

Which, as we professionals say, is a good thing.

It's a weird feeling. Suddenly, it seems very real.

Now come the logistics. Which should be fun. If by 'fun' you mean pulling your lower lip far enough down that you could step on it and trip.

Most of my questions won't be able to be answered until my two days of consultation. We will go from there.

Here is something cool though, to shoot the proton beam in exactly the right spot, they take a cylinder of metal - think of a large coin about 6 inches thick - and cut a whole in it that is the EXACT SHAPE of the tumor, which forms the coutures of the beam. How weird is that?

And I also get a full body mold made to hold me precisely in the right position for therapy.

Heh. I hope they got a whole mess of casting material.

More news as it comes available.

I'm also working diligently on marketing the book. It's a busy, busy time. But for all that's going on, a good one.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Setting The Course For Treatment

Wow. What a week this has been.

The book is starting to take off (Yeah!). People are also starting to ask me for autographs and to sign the book. That is just about the weirdest thing in the world. It make me feel . . . like a big 'ol steaming pile of fake.

But, during all the chaos, I've decided on a course of treatment that I'm going to pursue.

I'm going for the Proton Beam therapy at Loma Linda University.

It's not a sure thing. We've got the insurance coverage worked out - mostly - but there may be a problem with my artificial hip. Seems that if the cancer is in the wrong place they can't shoot the beam correctly and it will bounce off the prosthetic hip. From my understanding of particle physics this would be . . . bad. I won't know until they do a full CT scan.

Yet everyone tells me that I have, "The good kind of cancer."

Really? I thought the 'good kind of cancer' was no frickin' cancer at all, but what do I know. I'm just the patient.

So, towards the end of the month I'll be going down for a couple of days. They'll do the CT on the first day, and the second day more 'pics' and then they will map out (literally) a treatment plan. We won't know if the hip is going to be a problem until probably 2 to 3 weeks after the consultation.

And even then, there are the logistics of a 8 to 9 week stay to figure out. Do we rent an apartment? Extended stay hotel? Buy a cheap RV? With the price of gas you can pick them up for pennies on the dollar. Although, all I can see is me in a big floppy hat, cigar in my mouth, in my bathrobe, emptying my solid waste into a sewer drain while Chevy Chase looks on at me with disdain.

Much of this depends on when - and if - the treatment can start. I've heard that there is up to a 4 month waiting list to get into the program. Which, for Suzanne and me, would be a good thing.

That way we still get our riding season.

Plus, there is that pesky NW lawn that needs cutting twice a week this time of year, the weed eating, etc.

All minor inconveniences in the grand scheme of things. I am so lucky to have choices.

Now if this damn NW weather would turn around and warm up all would be right with the world.


Now I'm off to do another video promo for the book. I don't want to spoil the surprise but there may be sock puppets involved. Stay tuned. :)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Free prostate cancer checks at Harley Davidson

I'm not even joking.

Free Prostate Cancer Checks At Harley Davidson

Now, I'm all for early screening. Really. But this? At a Harley Dealership?

So we shall now enjoy an inappropriate addendum of my own:

"In a troubling follow up to the story, it was discovered that the dealership had actually closed 6 months before."

"Well, I wasn't too worried about a little dripping here and there. I ride a Harley you know."

"The Event was sponsored by the 'Friends of Dorothy Motorcycle Club'".

"The big seller of the day was the optional chrome glove."

"For being a big, tattooed man with a few missing teeth, Skeeter was surprisingly gentle."

"I don't know what the hell happened! I came in for an oil change, and the next thing you know I'm in the service department on a rack, and they're asking me if I want synthetic or Harley Brand lubricant."

I've said it before, and I'll say it again - this prostate cancer is a comedy gold mine!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

New Video Promo for the Book.

You should probably buy 7 or 8000 copies.

Cause ya know . . . I gots the Prostate Cancer.

I'm just sayin'.

Friday, April 29, 2011

I highly suggest that you buy several thousand copies.

I have cancer you know. It's the prudent thing to do.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

My Radiological Oncologist And A Possible New Therapy

I met with a Radiological Oncologist on Friday.

Which was . . . about as much fun as meeting with a Radiological Oncologist.

My first impression as I walked into the building was, "Whoa! That's a strong smell of (medical) marijuana floating around the entrance." Which, for some reason, made my cancer seem very, very real.

It's strange being young, (well - relatively young), with a disease that primarily effects older men. I was the baby in the waiting room. The other men in there were in their 70s and 80s, and not looking in the best of health. Hey, they have cancer. We can't all be beautiful.

The consultation with the oncologist was rather routine, although he was highly impressed with my upcoming swim in San Fransisco in the latter part of June. Here's what I'm swimming:

Escape from Alcatraz - Sharkfest 2011

He remarked a few times about how long, and how hard I've been training for this event and what a shame it would be to miss it. This made me feel a tad guilty. I swim a lot - but I don't really 'train', if you know what I mean. I just swim. It's the only way that I can keep semi-mobile. Open water swims are a side-note; something to do on the weekends with my buddies from the pool.

He then went on to explain why radiation was better than surgery, what to expect, etc. Nothing too surprising there. Cure rates between surgery and radiation are about the same. Risk of serious side effects almost the same - a 50-50 chance, yada yada yada. Although with surgery you know immediately how screwed you are, but with radiation it sometimes takes months - or years - for the damage to show.

If I were to choose radiation therapy I would have daily treatments for 8 to 9 weeks.

I was going to post a graph of the various side effects and risks for each of the therapies but I found it depressing. You can look it up if you're that interested.


As I'm sure you'll agree these are both, what we professionals refer to as "suck ass" therapies.

But as I'm learning, you can't really complain about the effects. Why? Because people will yell at you and tell you to be thankful that 'you're alive'.

There is an interesting gender phenomena regarding that statement above, but more on that later.

There is another therapy available. Although neither my urologist nor radiological oncologist suggested this form of treatment.

Why? Well, let's see; the urologist specializes in radical prostatectomy. He has a robotic surgery suite that he paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for, and it's what he studied in school. The radiologist has an advanced machine that he's paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for, and it is what he studied in school.

Never forget that cancer is big business.

Proton Beam Therapy has the same cure rate as surgery or radiation. It has a lower recurrence rate. But the cool thing is, proton beam has very, very few side effects when compared to surgery or external radiation. Not completely gone, but so much less it's not even funny.

Say wha?????

Unfortunately, there are only 9 Proton Beam Therapy Centers in the US at this time. Seattle is building one, (Seattle Cancer Care Alliance), but it won't be open until 2013. I just can't wait that long. I suppose it's not easy to construct a cyclotron. The nearest center for me is Loma Linda University. It's where they developed the therapy 20 years ago. Plus, the therapy is EXPENSIVE. And, even if insurance will pay a portion of the cost, I would have to figure out how to relocate to California for 8 to 9 weeks with all of the housing/food costs that would occur.

I need to win the lotto. Or sell like 7000 bracelets.

But still, to come out with a good chance of no lasting side effects? Seems like a no-brainier to me. Here's a good article from CBS News talking about Proton Beam Therapy:

CBS News Proton Beam Therapy

So I'm in the process of gathering medical records, talking to insurance, etc. Even if I clear those hurdles I might not be eligible because of my hip replacement. We shall see.

It's hard to not get really excited. But I wan't to be realistic.

So that's where I am today. I'll keep you posted.

If anyone reading this has any experience with any of the therapies I would request that you share. Comments are always welcome.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Two New Cancer Bracelets!


The bracelets are a big hit. Well, except for one tiny little thing that my daughter pointed out to me.

She said, "I would wear one of them in a minute! But I dontz be gotz da cancer."

That's a fair point. I told her she should go to her doctor and tell him/her that she needed to get her prostate checked, but then she went on a diatribe about health care costs and some other stuff. I got bored and stopped listening.

I can do that. I have a brain tumor. And the cancer.

(Sidenote: I have a very, very short period of time that my family will actually feel semi-sorry for me. That's why I have to work fast to get presents NOW. In about a week I'll start getting the, "Yeah, ya got cancer. So?". Until then you would be amazed how much my cancer acts up when it's time to take out the garbage. Or visit Aunt Martha.)

So, ever the helpful one that I am, I have designed two new bracelets that my friends and family can wear with pride.

These cost a little more, but still a bargain at $199.99.


Monday, April 25, 2011

The New Bracelets Are Here!

So I've been looking at all those nifty cancer bracelets.

How cool are they! I mean, you wear one of those things, and it just screams "I'm supportive!".

Plus it's like you're in a club with one of those things on your wrist. The brotherhood of the feral cells. The sisterhood of rogue tissue. Or something like that.

I was going to go and buy a whole bunch of Lance Armstrong's 'Live Strong' bands, but the message just didn't seem quite right. Live strong? How the hell else would one live?

So I looked, and I looked, and I looked. Oh, there were wristbands and bracelets a plenty, yet none that I thought could sum up my experience. None of them 'hit the spot' so to speak.

After much thought and careful planning I came up with a bracelet of my own.

I think you'll agree that the message could not be plainer.

I give you the David bracelet.

I'll have them for sale soon. At a reasonable price of just $99.99. This way I only need to sell a few. And all the proceeds from the sale will go to . . . something really good.

Not gas for the motorcycle.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

For The Physicians That May Read This

Most of the physicians I've dealt with in my life have been caring, capable individuals.

And some are not.

I'm not talking about the 'touchy-feely hold my hand' crowd vs. the 'all business' crowd. I have both types of Doctors.

Take my Endocrinologist for example. It's taken me two years to even get the man to smile. When we have our visits every couple of months or so, he sits in a chair and studies the blood-work reports from the lab, barely glancing in my direction. I am a collection of numbers, a block of data to be fine tuned and adjusted into hormonal balance.

Some people look aghast when I tell them this, and state that 'they wouldn't put up with someone like that'. So why do I stay? Well, the man is a very, very good Endocrinologist. He may not be extremely comforting, but I know that he's doing his absolute best, and I have full confidence in his abilities. I went through other Endos before finding him. The other Docs were more personable, but . . . well, I'll get to that in a minute.

Plus I like a challenge. It makes my day when I get him to crack a smile. As he did the other day when I showed up in his office to tell him that "I have a touch of the Prostate Cancer".

Oh, Prostate Cancer is a rich vein of comedy just waiting to be mined.

And his staff are on the ball. From the front desk to the nurses, everyone is professional. Professional and competent.

Which brings me to the subject of the day. I'm thinking of firing my Urologist.

Why? Well, he's a nice enough guy, good with the cystoscopy and the prostate biopsy procedure, and seems to be intelligent. Yet there is a red-flag. I've ignored the first couple of warnings, but I think it's time to take this a bit more seriously.

It's his staff and the way they run the operation.

Calls not returned. There's confusion when I call the front desk. Medical records have been sent to the wrong place. Messages are missed or ignored.

I've dealt with this before but I'm getting to a point in my life where I am unwilling to go through this again.

In my experience, the problems that I see with the internal operations are symptomatic of one of two things: Either the Doc is overbooked and overworked - which is a recipe for disaster, that's how major mistakes are made - or worse, they just don't really give a shit. Take the medicine and shut the hell up.

I don't really care about the reason.

Imagine going to a restaurant with an acclaimed chef. A fantastic, world renowned, chef. As you walk in you have to wait 50 minutes because they lost the reservation, then the host misplaced you on the list, you have to wait some more, and they act like it is your fault. The waiters are surly, neglect to bring you drinks or silverware or any other basic service unless prodded. The tables are sticky, the chairs need washing, the windows are filthy, and when you finally get your food - wonderful as it is - it's cold and looks like it may have been dropped on the floor between the kitchen and the table.

Are you going to go back? Not me. No matter how good the cook, there are just too many things that can go wrong that are going to affect my dining experience. Possibly my health.

It is no different with a Doctor's practice.

Don't ever forget that you are in control of your health. We rarely think of it this way, but Doctors are hired by US to make us well. If you're not getting the level of care you need, or think you should be getting, then fire your Doc and find a new one. Pronto.

There are way too many competent medical practitioners out there to put up with the bad ones.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

That is some Sci-Fi right there

So, I've been looking into various treatments for my 'touch of cancer'.

I have to be honest . . . none of them look particularly pleasant. Who knew Prostate Cancer would be this ookie?

Yes, I said ookie. Deal with it.

There are two main methods of treatment: One is surgery - either robotic or the old-fashioned way by hand. And either 'open' surgery (ugh) or laproscopic. The other is some form of radiation.

Both have their pluses and minuses. The plus for the surgery is they cut the cancer out. The minus is, well, they cut. Take the entire prostate. Snip snip. Ouch ouch.

With radiation there is no cutting, but there potentially be 8 to 9 weeks of daily treatment.

Although surgeons and radiologists will disagree, both have serious side effects. The main being impotence and incontinence. Which, I think you'll agree, is just a barrel o' laughs. Of course there are many, many other potential side effects, but let's stick with the big two for now.

Now surgeons will tell you that you should cut first because if that doesn't work they can always try radiation. But if you go with radiation, they can't do surgery later.

I read somewhere - and I can't say where because I've been reading a lot - that the best way to describe the situation is this:

Imagine the prostate as a piece of cheese between two slices of bread.

With surgery, you lift up the top piece of bread, remove the cheese, and replace the bread.

With radiation, you put the sandwich in a microwave for 30 seconds. Now try to lift the bread and extract the cheese.

Well excuse me, but neither scenario exudes confidence in me. And my damn prostate is not a piece of cheese! At least I don't think it is. To be honest I've never looked.

The cure rate is about the same for each method.

One new advancement in surgery is the 'robotic surgeon'. Which I'm all for, because as any one of my friends can tell you, I've been planning for domination by our Robotic Overlords for quite some time now. All hail Klatu369!!

There are various robotic systems, but a popular brand is the Da Vinci Surgical System. (No hubris there, eh?)

Now you tell me that isn't some Sci-Fi shit right there. Six blades. I've had nightmares about similar beasts. I also may have commanded something along those lines in a video game.

So that's where I am. Weighing the pros and cons. I've also started looking at Proton Beam Therapy. Which would be cool, because . . . well Protons! Pew! Pew! Pew! Launch that torpedo straight at my prostate Captain, full shields and all ahead full!

More on that later.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Men In My Life

I'm noticing a curious trend.

When I tell the men in my life about the prostate cancer, I'm getting the same reaction.

Of course they are concerned, and express their sympathy/condolences but then . . .

Then I see the fear come into their eyes. They ask me "So, how did they catch this? Routine visit or did you have symptoms?"

I know what they're thinking because until a week ago I would have thought the same thing: 'Well, if HE has prostate cancer, then I could have prostate cancer.'

And, unfortunately, they are right. Sometimes prostate cancer presents with no symptoms. No symptoms at all. And how scary is that? It's like there is a boogeyman hiding around the corner, waiting to blind-side you at the first opportunity.

I really wish that I could comfort them and allay their fears but I can't. Prostate cancer really is the boogeyman.

The only thing we, as men, can do is visit the Doctor once a year and get a DRE (digital rectal exam), watch our PSA levels, and be on guard for symptoms.

In my case I was presenting with symptoms. Difficulty and pain in urination, and unable to void completely. However, I'd been experiencing some of these symptoms for a long time. I'd had several bouts of prostititus over the years, and until the biopsy all the Doctor's were fairly convinced I was experiencing BPH - Benign Prostate Hyperplasia. Also, some of the meds that I'm on for the cavalcade of fun that is the prolactinoma can irritate the urethral tract. So honestly, I wasn't that concerned. Even when they ordered the biopsy and cystoscopy.

My brothers out there reading this - I wish I could allay your fears and make you feel better, but I can't. The truth - if you get a Doc that is honest with you - is that almost all men develop prostate cancer at some time in their life if they live long enough. How many actually die from prostate cancer is up to debate. Most prostate cancers are very slow growing, and many men that have undetected cancers will die of some other cause long before the cancer gets them.

One thing I have discovered in my research that kind of surprised me, although I don't know why it should, is that prostate cancer is big business.

Big business and big money.

More later.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

My First Week

So, it's now been 1 week since the diagnosis, and what a week it's been.

I've run the gambit of emotions. From unbridled optimism to a soul-scorching fear.

If I had my druthers, I much prefer optimism. :)

And really, there is no reason not to be optimistic. All indications are excellent for a good recovery.

Still there is that nagging doubt. You know - the one that comes on at 1:30 AM when the world is dark and quiet and it feels like morning will never come. Yet morning does come, and with the light the demons of the night are banished as quickly as soap bubbles on the sidewalk.

No matter how strong my spirit those doubts were doubled when I logged into FaceBook yesterday and saw a new posting for "In Memorium - Auburn High School". Reluctantly I clicked on the link only to find two friends had recently passed. We hadn't kept up since graduation, but these were guys that I'd went to school with since Jr. High. We weren't 'best buds', but we took many of the same classes, sometimes sat at the same lunch table - you know how it is. In my mind they are frozen in time. Both still those awkward teens with acne and lofty dreams and a brand new Driver's License.

And now both are no more.

I don't know what happened to Joe, I couldn't find any hint on the web other than a short obit, but Tony died of cancer.

Add to that one of my dearest friends - also friends since 7th grade - and one with which I have kept in contact - is at this moment in a Seattle ICU battling melanoma and apparently a brain hemorrhage. I remember just a little over a year ago her and I sitting at a Starbucks, joking about the 'little tumor' they found on her chest/shoulder, and how it really was more of an inconvenience for her than a worry.

So no matter how confident I am those situation tend to gnaw at my resolve.

It doesn't take much for me to realize how lucky I am. Even with all the crap going on I will get to see my 50th birthday, and hopefully years beyond, while Joe and Tony's lives have ended. I can't even bring myself to think too much about Anne, although I still do.

On a positive note I've seen my Endocrinologist this week as well as my family Doc and both appointments went very well. I'll post the details another day.

So there is nothing to do but move onward. I'm looking into various prostate cancer treatments at the moment and weighing the pros and cons of each course of action.

You know, it's not that there isn't enough information out there. The problem is there is almost too much information. I feel a bit overloaded. More on that later as well.

In the meantime I'm still proofing the galley of my book. I'm planning my marketing and starting to think about cranking up some publicity and signings. I'm training for my "Escape From Alcatraz Swim" on June 25th, and tentatively looking at some longer motorcycle rides.

But for right now it all feels quasi-real and a bit hollow.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

So, I gots da cancer. Oh, and a Prolactinoma. And Osteoarthritis. It's the trifecta of fun!

Firstly, thanks for visiting.

Secondly, if you are not a fan of dark humor, occasional profanity, stark honesty and snacks, then kids, this ain't the place for you.

So, I have prostate cancer. Early stage. I'll go into all the details in a later post. One thing I've learned in the past week is that we men love details - it's kind of like batting scores. We all know our stage, type, location, and possibly familiar lineage and voting preferences of that group of rogue cells causing all the fuss in our bodies. As well we should. Education leads to informed decisions.

And yet it's all very confusing. After looking into the available information on various treatments I feel like I've followed Alice down the rabbit hole. More about that later as well.

Personally, I'm handling this like I do most other things in life- with a bit of absurdity laced with . . . well, more absurdity. If you can't laugh then you're screwed. I like to tell people that I'm not really sick. I just have one of those 24 hour cancer bugs that hangs on . . . and on . . . and on.

As some of you know from my other blog Big Frickin' Adventures where I'm serializing my upcoming book, it's been one hell of a week for me.

Last Thursday morning I received the galley-proof of my book "David and Suzanne's Big Frickin' Canadian Motorcycle Adventure", (available soon on Amazon and other retailers! Yay!), and in the afternoon I was diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Talk about two ends of the emotional spectrum.

Actually this whole cancer thing pisses me off. It's not like I'm particularly healthy to begin with. Along with the prostate cancer I also have a benign brain tumor. A Prolactinoma. Which, for a man, is about as much fun as having your lip stapled to an overstimulated cat. Yet people hear 'benign', and then kind of lose interest. Then there is the osteoarthritis. From the base of my skull all through my spine. That's a barrel o' fun as well. I will elaborate on both, and how this impacts my decisions on treatment as we go along.

So, dear readers, in the following months - or years - I'll chronicle my journey. Warts and all. Everything from symptoms, fears, conversations with Doctors and specialists, and my own inner emotional landscape.

Hope you come along for the ride.

But let's agree to make it a short ride, okay?