To A Yooper .....
Congrats on 1000+ and thanks for the new term (to me) of "pay forward"!
Yep, I am one of those "newbie's" ... as of Saturday - three days ago. On the one-hand, it is a shame it took me so long to find such a comfortable avenue for venting (at times) and trying to help others (at other times) - not to mention other previously unknown needs ... but ... what matters is that I found it - and purely by accident at that.
It was just last Friday that I got a letter of rejection for substantial assistance from - and for - Xtandi (my oncologists latest effort). It was, at the time, looking like the cost was going to be a $2854. per month co-pay - and since my little business closed two years ago (the recession and my health both), and I am on SS with just a very small p.t. income and an even smaller SEP return ... I can't afford $34k per year for just one of my meds!!!!! Major depression sat in!!!!
Age - current at 70
Prostate cancer first Dx in 2003/2004
Brachytherapy and xternal radiation in 2003/2004
Seemingly cancer-free for about 6-years ... then ....
PSA levels up noticeably in 2010 - changed Urologist
Started recent pelvic catscans in 2010 - with 7 total to date
Started Casodex in early 2011 to late 2011
Started Lupron in late 2011 and continuing to date
Kidney blockage by tumor Dx in late 2011
Nefrostomy tubes (both sides) from February 2012 to May 2012
Kidney stent added (left-side) June 2012 to current
Kidney nefrostomy tube (right-side) added again June 2012 to current
Started Zytiga in February 2012 to August 2012 with PSA up to 54+
Started Taxotere in August 2012 to April 2013 with PSA down to 12+
Six weeks after Taxotere stop ... PSA jumped up to 23+
Oncologist wants to try Xtandi
That brings the history to now ..... Saturday, the day after my rejection letter, I was scanning the internet and found this website. I must admit, I spent at least an hour reading various forums and replies ... and was really impressed with how caring people can be - and most often without even knowing each other.
I have no brothers or sisters ... my mother is in an assisted living home and running out of money after nearly three years of diagnosed dementia ... I am in process of getting her old home on the market within a few days now ... and I live alone, or more correctly, with my dog - my one remaining purpose in life. My oldest daughter, I think, has been separating herself from me because she just doesn't want to deal with what I have ... or my death at some point. My youngest daughter, bless her, is trying to enjoy the hell out of her 27-year old life with a good job, a masters degree and living in one of the semi-yuppy areas of Chicago's near North side. My two grandaughters - I keep all detailed medical info away from them.
So ...... except for Gizmo, my dog - it gets lonely at times - especially when I think of the PCa and where it may go. I thank God that my side-effects have been minimal thru all of the above - and that my pain has been only occassional and not bad at all - and that I can function for most of the daily life needs without someones help.
You guys .......... have helped my psycological life path since I discovered this site. I don't feel alone anymore.
THANK YOU SO MUCH!