Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Heavy decisions to be made.


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

 

Or

 

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

§  Fatigue

§  Increased cholesterol

§  Depression 

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.

5 comments:

  1. Scott,
    I am now following your blog. You may remember me from our conversation on Inspire. I also have prostate cancer. Fortunately mine was contained within my prostate gland. I had brachytherapy on May 2nd. My PSA has gone down from 8.4 to 1.2 ten months from my surgery. I do have continuing side effects from the surgery but I thankfully my cancer hasn't spread. I think you writing on your blog will be a great help for you in dealing with your situation. I know myself my blog has been so helpful in so many ways. My best to you Scott.
    Ron

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    1. Hi Ron:
      I do recall our conversation and I appreciate you kind words and support. I'd enjoy keeping up with your blog if you would please provide the address.

      Best wishes,
      Scott

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    2. Scott,
      Sorry I didn't' get back to you before. I've had some issues here but not nowhere near what you're going through. I feel so bad for you Scott. And to think I was warning you about the pain and discomfort of the prostate biopsy which is nothing like you're enduring now. The address of my blog is "Retiredindelaware.blogspot.com."
      Just to keep life interesting, yesterday I had my followup visit to my cardiologist. My extra heartbeat is still there which he thinks is affecting the blood flow to my heart and thus why I fatigue so easily. And here I thought it was my seed implants causing me to wind down around two every afternoon. He also said he thinks I have sleep apnea. It never ends Scott but I am thankful I don't have a more serious condition. I just have to take one of their "sleep" tests then a stress test in August.
      I read where you're taking all these pain medications, which are necessary. I had to take them too for my kidney stone last year. HAD TOO or I would have went crazy. The big downside to all those paid medications is major constipation. I don't know, sometimes I feel I would rather have the pain than be so plugged up.
      I know it's easy for me to say Scott but you are in my thoughts. I find writing about my condition sometimes help from going completely nuts. I hope you find the same. We just don't have much of a choice Scott but to take each situation as it comes and hopefully not be in too much pain or discomfort.
      Your friend,
      Ron

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  2. This situation really sucks.

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    Replies
    1. Indeed it does James, indeed it does........

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