Treatment is all over, looking forward to the rest of my life…
Last Friday, the 14th of May was my final dose of radiation. They say it will continue destroying cancerous material for another month or so. It was nice to finish, but because of Covid rules it was sort of anticlimactic. I walked out to the waiting room by myself, the receptionist gave me some paperwork and asked if I wanted to ring the bell. What I really wanted was the radiation techs and Karen to be with me unmasked as we posed for a picture ringing the bell. Oh well, such was not to be.
I did not write a post that day as on the 18yh I had a debriefing re the treatment and a discussion about having a second shot of a horrible drug called Lupron. It is important for prostate cancer treatment, but the side effects can be dreadful. After the first shot, for 4 months I was kind of zombielike in having no energy or motivation. My thoughts were often cloudy, I lost a lot of muscle mass, and there was a serious concern about potential bone loss since I already had calcium concerns from my thyroid removal. I had already told the urologist’s office I did not want it and they would have to marshal some good arguments for me to change my mind. They seemed quite adamant that it was necessary. Some family members were concerned that I might be being shortsighted or foolhardy. We prayed and had others praying as well for a clear answer to this dilemma. We went to the appointment and a terrific physician’s assistant dealt with us. His first salvo in the argument was to say that while one shot was the standard “gold treatment” for my level of cancer, he did not at this time see any more shots as being necessary. He showed us results of blood tests from before and during treatment where the PSA had decreased from 8.4 to 0.9. without getting bogged down in medical jargon, suffice it to say 8.4 is really bad and 0.9 is very, very good. Now with the full treatment finished we can anticipate that my June 14 blood test will be even better. After that we will continue to monitor the situation with blood tests every six months. They also sent my biopsies off for genetic testing to evaluate chances of reoccurrence and levels of concern for my descendants. There are still some side effects from the radiation but I am assured that in a few weeks they should begin to lessen.
We continue to marvel at how mercifully God has dealt with us through this cancer journey of the past year. Cancer in two different and unrelated areas, three surgeries, two different radiation treatments, and what seems like gallons of blood drawn for testing and I am feeling good, regaining my energy, and medically have a good prognosis for a successful recovery.
I am challenged and comforted by this statement of JC Ryle “All the powers of the world cannot take away my life, until God permits. All the physicians of earth cannot preserve it when God calls me away.” Again, as I said at the beginning of all this, whether I live or die, I am comforted in the Hope of God’s plans and purposes and of my certainty that because of His faithfulness evidenced in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus my sins are forgiven and I will spend eternity with Him.
It is nice not to have to start my day with a trip to the Cancer Center after downing 24 ounces of water in a half hour. Making use of this freedom, we will leave on Friday for a visit to family in the Chicago area and be back after Memorial Day.