The reality of what I may be facing hit hard today after seeing Dr. Bob this morning. If the cancer in my lungs is indeed the metastasized particles from my prostate, I have two choices:
1) Do nothing and face an almost certain painful death in 1-2 years
2) Begin androgen deprivation “therapy” which basically is chemical castration. The joyous side effects of this include:
§ Reduced or absent libido (sexual desire)
§ Impotence (erectile dysfunction)
§ Shrinking of testicles and penis
§ Hot flashes, which may get better or even go away with time
§ Breast tenderness and growth of breast tissue
§ Osteoporosis (bone thinning), which can lead to broken bones
§ Anemia (low red blood cell counts)
§ Decreased mental sharpness
§ Loss of muscle mass
§ Weight gain
§ Increased cholesterol
Hell of a choice. I never thought I’d be wishing for, indeed praying for, 2 types of cancer to be present in my body, but damned if I’m not! The stress of the last 3 months has left me literally shaking at times, unable to focus, in constant “fight or flight” syndrome (if not for anti-anxiety meds, I shudder to think what kind of mental shape I’d be in right now), sweating through anti-perspirent, snapping at people I normally wouldn’t. I could go on and on.
I can’t imagine that my only choice to stay alive may be the total emasculatization of myself. I’d already started to begun to realize I might have to have a radical prostatectomy and felt like I could work through those side effects. But even with that I’d still have a libido, a penis that looked normal, testicles that looked like a man’s testicles, no breasts other than those developed through working out (i.e. pectoral muscles). I wouldn’t have hot flashes, or anemia.
I’m overwhelmed by having to possibly make such a decision. I like being a man, I like having functioning man parts, I don’t want to have to turn myself into a menopausal woman to live.
The decisions are huge and I’m stressed, overwhelmed by them and wishing I could curl up in a ball and cry till it’s all over.