Seven days after the 3rd chemo session and I am finally beginning to feel somewhat human again. The main remaining side effects are dry mouth and fatigue. I seem to need 12 hours sleep per night. The sense of taste is slowly returning and last night I enjoyed the baked fish, peas and carrots that Stefanie cooked.
We had to rise early this morning for an abdominal ultrasound at 8.00 am. The CT scan report said I had a possible hernia, but it seemed like the ultrasound was looking for other things. The sonographer was a student and the procedure took an hour. She spoke fairly softly and would say, “breathe in” “hold it” and “relax”. Only sometimes I didn’t hear “relax”! She was pushing down in the same place an awful lot and by the end I was covered in goop. Report to my doctor in a couple of days.
Latest psa is 500, up slightly from 480. Not good news but not necessarily bad news either. Hopefully we will have 2 good weeks now and then back on the chemo coaster!
Pain wise, things have settled down with the 50mcg Fentanyl patches and there is very little breakthrough pain. I also seem to be more stable walking and am able to go out for short periods. So, it appears I will make a good recovery from the latest chemo session and therefore I say, bring on the next one! I guess the future of chemo will depend on the psa response, hopefully a significant downward trend.
I find myself thinking of fellow bloggers who have passed on. Overall I feel I am fortunate to have made contact with these brave men who faced their inevitable end with courage and dignity, and were prepared to share their experiences with the world.
Today I received news that my dear friend Jim came to the end of his prostate cancer journey a week ago. I say dear friend even though I never met him or spoke to him. We communicated through our blog pages and occasionally by email. He was a source of so much comfort and inspiration to me. I can guess how much he was suffering in those last days, yet, just 6 days before he passed on he was offering me words of encouragement. Jim, aka “Yapcab” will be sadly missed by many people. He stayed strong and positive to the end. Cancer may have taken his life but it did not beat him. In many ways my journey has been similar to Jim’s. I only hope that when my time comes I can face it with the same courage as he did. To his wife, Lisa, I can only offer my heartfelt condolences. You too have suffered along with Jim. I believe he has gone to a better place and that his pain has ended. I hope that good memories sustain you in the days ahead.
It is some time since I wrote a book review. You can blame Netflix, Britbox and Acorn for that. Just in time, a friend gave us a new book for our evening reading ritual that had somehow become degraded to watching the pixelled screen.
The Angel’s Game, by Carlos Ruiz Zafón was translated from Spanish to English. The story is set in the late 1920s in Barcelona. David Martín is a talented young writer, with great expectations, hoping to become a famous author. He seals a deal with a publisher only to find himself locked into a contract that requires years of commitment under a pen name.
Some time later he is approached by a dark and mysterious stranger who offers him a way out of his contract if he will write a specific type of book for him. The plot involves two young women, an old and benevolent book seller, shady characters from the recent past and three rather nasty police officers among others.
David lives in an old house that contains many secrets that slowly emerge during the telling of the story. Interestingly, to me at least, is the inclusion of a classic car, a Hispano Suiza. An Australian TV series, Miss Fisher Mysteries also features a Hispano Suiza.
Back to the story. The climax of the story would make a good thriller movie and results in David escaping the somewhat ineffective arms of the law following the tragic death of the woman he loves.
The story closes with a twist that we did not see coming, yet it is hard to envisage a better ending. All in all, The Angel’s Game may not be our favourite book, but it was hard to put down and, on the whole an interesting and enjoyable read.
As can be seen from my latest psa chart, my psa has begun to rise, with a vengeance! 48.6 up from 12.9 in 3 months. I still hope for a black salve miracle, but it is a faint hope. My psa is doubling every 5 weeks, so by the end of April I fear it will be over 100! Re Black Salve- My back is still producing small eruptions near my spine. Something is happening, I don’t know what. I have had no ill effects, so maybe another course won’t hurt!!
S and I have booked a 3 day holiday on Vancouver Island next week for my 70th. We plan to enjoy it. Barring a miracle lottery win I will have to make the hard decision…Do I return to Australia for treatment? Do I stay and await what comes?
I feel fine within myself, even my sinuses are a bit better. I don’t want to leave S and return to Australia, not knowing how long before I can come back to her. I don’t know how such a move will affect my chances at gaining permanent residency in Canada. Not well, I suspect.
A part of me wants to stay and enjoy what I have for as long as I have, but S wants me to get the best treatment I can. I don’t know what treatment that would be. Radiation or Chemo? How long will it take? How much benefit would there be? What is my prognosis if I do nothing? Can I put S through the pain of watching me deteriorate? Life seems so unfair. My original life estimate was 15 years- that was back in 2008. It hasn’t even been 10 years. It was only 12 months ago that I had radiation to a pelvis metastasis. So many questions. I have contacted my oncologist in Australia for advice and am waiting for his reply.
Medical costs in this country are out of reach as I have no insurance or eligibility for government assistance. Maybe a return to Australia is inevitable. Decisions…
In a recent post I asked a friend to list 7 things she would do if she had less than a year to live. She challenged me to do the same, so here goes:
- I would make sure my loved ones know that they are loved by me.
- I would visit long lost relatives. I would get as many hugs from them as I can.
- I would try to leave no financial burdens for anyone.
- I would enjoy each day as it comes.
- I would remember every day that life is worth living.
- I would maintain hope for a miracle.
- I would trust my doctors and also try every alternative within reason.
Of course this is subject to change at any time!!
God bless my fellow sufferers and all of you who support me. I appreciate you, every one!!