I ended 2014 relatively optimistic. I'd taken all the recommended treatments (Lupron and Docetaxel) and the cancer was, at the very least, stabilized. There was no evidence of lung mets anymore, my PSA was 0, the tumor seemed to have shrunk some and there was no longer evidence of extra-capsular extension or seminal vesicle involvement. That was the good news.
The bad news was I had little to no energy, had gained almost 20 pounds (despite having no appetite and having to be reminded to eat by my husband), my muscle mass was vanishing. I rarely got out of the house, was close to losing a job I loved dearly and the strain of taking care of me as well as dealing with his own new illness (seizures) was becoming too much to bear for both of us. The chemo had left me with severe neuropathy as well as chronic fatigue. I decided since I was done with chemo and, thankfully, not a candidate for another round but was due for another Lupron treatment, I would take a vacation and see if I couldn't get back to the old me. After a second consult at MD Anderson in Houston, I advised my oncologist here in Austin that I would no longer take Lupron and unless he had any other ideas, I'd focus on eating right, exercise, meditation and explore cannabis oil. He advised against all this and really wanted me back on Lupron, but I told him I'd rather die feeling like Scott than live longer feeling like Scott's withering away, female counterpart. I stand by that decision.....and if I had it to do over again, I wouldn't do the chemo either.
There are numerous blogs of women who took docetaxel who YEARS later report fatigue and extreme pain from the damaged nerves thanks to the chemo drug. This is what I struggle with now. Yes, I AM alive, but I have to take no less than 5 medications (narcotic and non-narcotic) to keep the pain manageable enough that I can be semi productive. I now live on $1505/month thanks to having worked hard since age 15 and paid into Social Security each year of my life. But more on that and where things are headed later.
I'm alive and getting to where I enjoy some days. That's the important thing.