Friday at lunch was my third visit to the radiation oncologist to get my breasts zapped so as to prevent the most unwanted side effect of hormone "therapy, " painful enlargement of the breasts. It's proven to be a strange, if uneventful, experience. Five sessions with each lasting less that ten minutes where you lay shirtless and flat on a moving table and radiation techs center the beam right on your nipple on each side. They flee the room and you can hear the machine turned on and zapping the tissue on each side for about 45 seconds. It seems this turns off (kills?) the estrogen receptors that both genders have in breast tissue, but are typically never active in males.. The only side effects I'm told I should experience are a reddening of the skin that was exposed in about 2 weeks, then all the hair in the "square" that was exposed will fall out and never grow back, which should look quite strange if I ever go shirtless at a pool or the lake again. Doing my part to Keep Austin Weird I guess.
Fatigue continues to be an issue. In the last week, during which I returned to work full time, I find that its all I can do to make it through my 8 hours at what is a relatively sedentary job. Even with a solid 7 or 8 hours sleep, I'm still running on half my cylinders. Yesterday, I managed to do a fairly good workout (elliptical, stretching, arms and chest) at the gym and grocery shopped. When I got home, it was all I could do to put up the groceries. Derrell woke me up and hour and a half later from napping when he came home from work on break. I thought the nap would rejuvenate me, but I was wiped the rest of the day to the point where I decided, after showering and getting dressed, that I just didn't have the stamina to make it to a friend and coworker's long planned party. The energy just wasn't there and I was in bed by 10pm.
This lack of energy comes despite upping the quality of my already pretty darned good diet. Berry/kale smoothies, multiple prostate friendly supplements and vitamins, vegetable juices, salmon, increased amounts of organic veggies and fruits........I will say, my skin looks amazing. But the energy and stamina is virtually non-existent. It's become apparent to me that a man in his 50s needs some degree of testosterone to function normally. The oncologist's plan is to keep me on Lupron indefinitely. I'm not sure that's something I can do. I've lost 13 pounds (mostly muscle), have little or no energy most days, severe tinnitus, a slight to moderate headache almost all the time, my extremities ache 80% of the time, I'm docile and weak and I just plain old feel like crap virtually all my waking hours. This is not quality life.