FOUR YEARS LATER..... Update 9/22/2017
So it's been four years since I was diagnosed. Four years ago yesterday on Sept. 21 was my first appointment at Mayo Clinic. What an unpredictable roller-coaster these past four years have been.Quick Recap:
* September 2013 diagnosed PC, PSA 56, 11/12 biopsy cores were positive, most were Gleason 7-9, metastatic to distal bones and lymph nodes. Started on Lupron+casodex and X-Geva. PSA dropped to <1.0 within 5 months.
* Fall 2013 visited four cancer-centers, Mayo Clinic, AZ Oncology, MD Anderson and Dr. Schulz/Lam in L.A. Chose to stay with Mayo and had followups with Schulz for over a year.
* March/April 2014 PSA rose to over 1.0 and positive CT enlargement of pelvic lymph node. Stopped casodex, continued Lupron.
* April/May 2014 I did three rounds of Provenge immunotherapy and saw PSA drop to <0.75 immediately after.
* June 2014 started Zytiga+Prednisone and continued Lupron 4-month and X-Geva.
* Feb 2015 PSA became <0.10 undetectable.
Things are still good, more than good.
My PSA is still undetectable - this is now over 30 months of undetectable PSA, and 40 months that I've been on my current drug treatments and it's still working.
Mayo told me today "You're the patient we tell other patients about
to give them hope", which is a really good a feeling to hear. God has been very very good to us, so blessed.
My side-effects are still the same, lots of weakness and fatigue but I'm still able to work out and run (yesterday I did my fastest 1.5 mile run since before summer) so I'm still feeling pretty good, all things considered. I don't know if I can do a half-marathon again, but a 5K or 10K is doable I think.
My son was accepted to University last week majoring in Mechanical Engineering starting in fall 2018, and is trying to decide whether to live on-campus in their new dorms, or live off-campus or live at home. My wife has been such a incredible angel in my life supporting me the whole way, could never do this without her.
So things are doing very good. It's been four years, like a whole different life ago.
Again, facing this was devastating and I still have anxiety every 8-weeks anticipating bloodwork results. But it cannot and will not consume me.
I have it, it doesn't have me.
Reduce your stresses, find that anchor you can hold and have a reason to live for. Your spouse, your child, something bigger than you will keep you centered.
Live more, laugh more, exercise - stay physically fit as much as you can.
Think holistic - you are 3-Parts: Mind, Body and Spirit. Exercise ALL of you, all three parts.
I don't believe in "luck", I believe in "gifts" and "challenges" from God.
Have faith, practice faith, surround yourself with uplifting people of faith, and yes, even fake it if you have to. PRACTICE faith and you become better at it.
I have been so immensely blessed through this whole ordeal - such a incredibly long road, with the deepest darkest valleys and hardest days of my life. But somehow, somehow the past four years have also brought some of the highest peaks, brightest days and most joyous laughs in my life, and the strongest love with my family, in ways that I don't know if any other road could have revealed to me.
One of my favorite verses from the bible is, "All things work together for good to those who love the Lord." Somehow, this has worked for good in my life, or at least I know there is good that has come out of it.
So... things are still good.