Barry was right - I have to put my 10 cents in.
You say Rick said "no more treatments". Unless I'm reading your signature wrong, I don't see where he's had any treatments so far. As a layman, I can foresee only three kinds of treatments in Rick's future - ADT, RT and chemo. I've already been through the first two. I'm overweight by 40 pounds according to the charts and so out of shape that I huff and puff with the slightest exertion and have been like this for many years. I had no ill effects from the radiation (both IMRT and HDR brachytherapy) except some constipation. And, while I realize some guys have more severe SEs from the ADT, mine were very slight - very mild hot flashes (I have a little fan on my desk) a hard time sleeping through the night without a sleeping pill and and inability to stop snacking. I attribute the last two to the ADT, but am not really sure. I've suffered no ED and no incontinence - not a drop. I can't speak about chemo in the first person yet, but I know it's in my future. I've known many people who've undergone chemo and, yes, it does "wipe you out" for a day or two with each treatment. Apparently the nausea can be made to disappear almost instantaneously by placing some new med (sorry I don't know the name) on your tongue.
Sure, sure, I know some people react worse than others. But, I believe we'll all react pretty much in the same way to end stage metastatic prostate cancer. It's pretty horrible. Horrible for the patient and horrible for his caregivers. I think the patient has to consider his caregivers very seriously. In most cases, and certainly in yours Rick, the caregiver has gone all out, heart and soul, with help, worry and consolation. How fair is it to just give up and, in essence, say to your wife that all she's done for you hasn't mattered a bit?
I've been on anti-depressants for a long time. I'd been taking what doctors referred to as a pediatric dose of Effexor for many years before my diagnosis. During the last three years, my doc has doubled the dose twice and I'm very content to stay at this level. I'm not at all embarrassed to discuss it - it's just a med which my body needs to combat an internal imbalance.
about six months after my Dx I started seeing a therapist. I've mentioned Gina before in several of my posts. She's been wonderful for me. In the beginning, when I had the darkest of dark thoughts, and then again when I learned of my mets, she's been the voice of reason. Every time I've done my little "woe is me" speech for her, she's been able to reason me out of my despair.
Rick, I don't think what I've written here is the best I've ever done composition-wise, but I hope I've been able to influence you a little. There are so many new discoveries about cancer being announced every day that I'm convinced if I can keep my cancer under control long enough, a cure will be found. I'm not afraid of dying, but I'm certainly not looking forward to living the last few weeks of my life on morphine. The treatments we have available right now are not anywhere near as frightening or horrible as what the disease can do if left untreated.
If you'd like to speak to me, write a little note here and we'll set something up.
1/2005 Dx PSA 26.5 Gleason 7 (4+3) @Age 61
1/2005 Start Casodex and Zoladex
PSA drops to <0.01
7/2005-8/2005 5 weeks of IMRT and then HDR brachy
1/2007 Rad Oncologist orders CT scan of pelvis
because of complaints of pain in both thighs
MRI confirms pain not caused by cancer BUT
1/2007 CT scan of pelvis picks up a nodule at bottom of left lung
5/2007 CT scan of lungs shows 1/2007 nodule has grown and
there are numerous nodules on both lungs.
6/2007 Thoracic surgeon removes wedge of left lung for biopsy
6/2007 Path report says 95% chance of metastatic PCa, but she's
never seen cells like this before.
8/2007 2nd opinion at M.D. Anderson in Houston.
They confirm: mutated PCa, very rare, but seen there 2 or
3 times. Recommendation: have CT scans every 6 weeks
and watch for change. At that point start chemo and will
survive for 22 - 24 months thereafter.
PSA still undetectable, but get Lupron shot to bring T down from 27
2/2008 Trip to Houston – PSA now 0.5 and nodules larger. Lupron shot.
6/2008 Trip to Houston - PSA undetectable, T is 20 and only one nodule has grown (from 8mm to 12mm). Feeling much more confident than after 2/2008 reports