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Friday, July 25, 2014

Update 7/25/14

Another round of Chemo is done. It wasn’t too bad, Tuesday I did experience a bit of nausea but nothing serious, Weds & Thurs I felt good after both treatments. One of the side effects and to me the worst of the bunch is constipation, it is such a pain in the you know what, but we have ways of dealing with it. The other side effect is hair lose and I am losing it big time, everytime I rub my head I get hair, Sarah has cut it short but I imagine before long I won't have any at all. I do find I don't have to shave much and so I like that.

My blood work, taken prior to the treatment, wasn’t at the numbers the oncologist wanted but he okayed the treatment anyway. My red and white counts were below normal but I guess he thought it was still a good option to proceed. My task now is to stay away from crowds and don’t get into situations where there could be sick people, so we have canceled all travel plans until I see the doctor Aug 19th. Since the Chemo destroys the immune system I am not going to take any chances.

Not much else going on, I force myself to walk each day, I am up to a mile a day at this point. I know in a few days it will be difficult to get out and walk but I am going to do my best.

I have always had empathy for those who were going through cancer treatments but you can never understand the emotions and effect of the treatments until you experience it yourself and I wish that experience on no one. So I speak from experience to all men make sure you have a PSA done each year and after age 45 get a digital rectal exam. For those of you who didn’t go into the military, this is where the doctor says, “turn around, drop your drawers and bend over”. Both need to be done at the same time. I had the PSA done at each annual physical but not the DRE. Also make sure you research the symptoms for an enlarged prostate and get medical care if you get these symptoms see your doctor immediately.

Enough preaching but I believe it is very important. In my case I waited to long, in my opinion, to seek medical help and I am dealing with advanced aggressive prostate cancer. The doctors say I will have it the rest of my life, hopefully it can be stopped from spreading and then held in check. As the saying goes, all men if they live long enough will get prostate cancer, some of us get it sooner than others.

Life long friend Mark and wife Sharon stopped to see us last Saturday. Mark and I lived next door to each other for the first eighteen years of our lives. It was good to see them, we had a great time visiting and eating way to much food.

Daniel, Marie and the kids came over last Sunday, Sarah fixed lunch and Daniel did some things for that I couldn’t get done. It is always fun to see the kids, I wish I had their energy.

Robert, Sarah and kids are due to visit Aug 4 on their way to Denver, Sarah’s sister Catherine lives there. One of my regrets this summer is not having able to see Mason and Madyson play ball this summer. Hopefully next summer we will be able to get to see them play.

I guess that is it for now so until later.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Update 7/17/14

I have some folks asking me what stage of cancer I have, I have stage four prostate cancer. I asked the doctor how they know the stage and he said because it has spread to the lymph nodes it is stage four. Ok, I know what I have to do and that is whatever the doctors tell me to do.

I have not had to bad of a time with the chemo, I had it two weeks ago, I did not get sick, they gave me medicine for that, and the only side effects was being tired and constipated, which I believe is just part of getting old also. I did have a pain in my side which we believe may be a lymph node or muscle strain. The other side effect which is of more concern is the neuropathy in my hands and left arm. Sarah had this when she had her chemo, she also had very sensitive finger tips, I don’t have that as of yet. Then there is the metallic taste I have in my mouth and some foods don’t really taste and smell all that good, but I eat what does taste and smell good and that keeps me going. All in all the first round of chemo wasn’t too bad, I start a second round next Tuesday for three days and we’ll see how that one will affect me.

The last couple days have been good, so Sarah and I went shopping. Tuesday we went to find comforters for the beds, found some on sale at Younkers. Of course when we got home one did not look right on the bed so we took it back yesterday and found the right one. The all looked good to me but Sarah didn’t like the one but now likes the one she exchanged it for.

I found a rv dealer who will sell the camper on consignment, I know I will take a beating on this but I don’t want the camper sitting around, someone should be enjoying it. I just have to get it to the dealer which I should be able to do tomorrow or the next day. The truck I will sell on my own after the trailer has been sold.

We have had a few visitors over the last couple weeks, Carl & Merilee surprised us one Sunday night by stopping on their way to Iowa City, they spent the night and headed out the next day. Merilee spent last night with us on her way to Mitchell, SD, her and Carl bought a house there to be close to Amy and the grandkids.

Mark and Sharon are due here from Rapid City, SD on their way home to Burlington. They will spend two nights with us, we are looking forward to seeing them.

Larry & Kathy were here a few weeks ago, she helped put the shade in the half moon window we have in the living room, it sure helped with keeping the light out at night.

It is always good to have company so if anyone is in the area call, we would love to see you. Please don’t take offense if I tell you I am not up to seeing anyone at that time because there are days when I don’t want any one around, most days are ok but there are a few when I don’t want company.

Nothing more has been going on, that I can think of right now so I’ll end this and post another entry after this next round of chemo.



Time for an update. I had the bone scan and other than two abnormalities on one rib on the right and the left, the bones were clear. The doctor doesn’t think it is anything because neither showed up on the CT scan, so we’ll see if the next CT scan shows anything.

I finished my three day chemo yesterday. For those of you who like to know the details, I received a shot on Monday, Leuprolide (Eligard), I get this every 90 days for the rest of my life. On Tuesday began my chemo treatments, I was given two drugs, Eoposide 240mg IV and Carboplatin 550mg IV, and for nausea they gave me Zofran (ondansetron) and Dexamethasone, good drugs because I didn’t get sick. I also had a bag of normal saline going in at the same time as the drugs. That is a lot of fluids which necessitated a couple trips to you know where.  On Wednesday and Thursday I received the same treatment as Tuesday minus the Carboplatin.

I felt pretty good after each treatment but today I am feeling a bit out of it, just feel a little off kilter. Sarah keeps telling me that will happen, they also warned me that beginning about next Tuesday I will begin feeling tired and will become more susceptible to disease because my immune system will be gone due to the chemo treatment. Then the white blood cells will begin to regenerate and by the time the next round of chemo begins on the 22nd.

With all the negative press about the VA I must say I am very happy with my treatment here at the Omaha VA. The people are very helpful and friendly and I can’t say enough about the nurses in the chemo area, they are fabulous. I get my chemo at eight in the morning and my breakfast is waiting for me when I arrive, and on Tuesday I even got lunch. Like I said they have become very patient oriented. Now I was told that it hasn’t always been this way at Omaha, a few years ago someone took the bull by the horns and turned the facility into what it is today, not to say they are perfect but they have to be one of the best in the country.

As I have said before I don’t believe I could be in a better place to receive the treatments I am getting and I am very thankful for that.

Thank you for all your prayers and well wishes. You never understand what that all means to someone until you are on the receiving end of them.

Until Later.