Posted 6/10/2014 8:09 PM (GMT -7)
Wow, kind of overwhelmed tonight with feelings, with the many kindly worded posts and some special e-mails that arrived today. Thank you to one and all, makes me wonder if I am doing the right thing for the right reasons.
ziggy and tud - we are the "old timer's" now at HW, along with a few others, those going back to 2008 and earlier. we lost one of our other "ancients" when tonyc bowed earlier this year.
I think too of zufus and mal and billy, both from down under, some of my earliest friends here at HW. Seems so very long ago that I came here.
To Lynn and Chart, please don't cry, and please let Barb know I am still thinking of her. I may buzz into HW CP here and there to check up on her and your guys. I have a different bond with some of the CP folks, because we fight such complex and enduring pain battles. I won't forget you, as I know you too suffer greatly on a daily basis. And we fight the stigma of having "invisible pain".
I am looking and reading each post, and they bring back such personal memories of your own unique battles fighting the beast we call PC. I never for a moment think that anyone here has had an easy time. Some journeys are simpler than others. But each is a unique cancer battle regardless.
Some of you are winning big time, and that makes me very happy. And some of you are fighting for your very lives, and I understand and respect what you deal with. And then some of us, didn't make it, despite their own heroic and courageous fights along the way, all I can say to them - is that I take consolation in knowing that they suffer no more in the flesh, and hope and pray they are in a better place, and that their remaining family and loved ones are being taken care of in their absence.
Despite my endless setbacks, complications, disappointments, let downs, bad news, pain, fatigue, and suffering in general, I never once, have ever had any envy to all of you that are on the winning side. I truly feel a sense of joy every time someone posts another or a first time "zero" PSA report. Or if someone breezes through surgery, or radiation, or whatever their treatment choice happened to be. I share in your joy and happiness, even if it didn't happen for me.
I too, have become quite emotional when a brother loses his fight here, have shed my fair amount of real, from the heart tears, whenever we have lost another. Even one, is too many to me.
I will always have a special place in my heart to all my fellow vets at HW PC. We have an extended bond that a lot of non-vets will never fully understand. In particular, to my brother Viet-Nam vets. We were all involved in a very ugly unofficial war, most of us at fairly young ages. Doesn't matter what branch - Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, even Coast Guard. We did what we did, at a time when the public was opposed to what was going on, and many of us were horribly treated upon our return home from our tours. It wasn't like the atmosphere that exists now. Gee, if someone goes in the army and does latrine duty for 2 years at some post in Kansas, people will shower them and call them a hero. That bothers me greatly to this day, no disrespect to anyone currently serving. But most of the real heroes that I knew in my time, had to come home in a body bag/casket to earn that title. Despite my feelings and reflections looking back to something that happened well over 40 years ago, I would do it again. I appreciate you special brothers here at HW PC that have looked out for the good of all us veterans. Salute to you, you know who you are.
Then to the women of HW. Weren't but a small number in 2008, but now, there are dozens and dozens, and I respect and appreciate how they speak on behalf of the men in their lives, and act as great advocates for their journeys in progress. Place wouldn't be the same without that balance.
All my advice is old and stale at this point. I have never been one of the great researchers here, just not my personal take. Even my own stories are getting ancient, and probably no longer as relevant.
As I have said many times over the years, there are things I do understand quite well. I understand the fear associated with cancer, being that I am a 4x serious cancer survivor. I understand what it feels like to be totally ignorant about prostate cancer, I didn't even know what or where my prostate was, shortly before coming here. I understand pain, way more than a human should have to know about, and it never, ever, gets any easier to deal with - especially when the doctors all tell me, that it's never going to get better. That's a hard nut to swallow, can't lie. And I know about so many different types of suffering, I can pretty well empathize with anyone else's misery and plight.
Age: 61, 56 at PC dx, PSA 16.3
3rd Biopsy: 9/8 7 of 7 Positive, 40-90%, 4+3
open RP: 11/8, Catheter in 63 days
Path Rpt: 3+4, pT2c, 42g, 20% tumor, 1 pos margin
Incontinence & ED: None
Surgery Failed, recurrence within 9 months
Salvage Radiation 10/9-11/9, SRT failed within 9 months, PSA: Too High
Spent total of 1 ½ years on 21 catheters, Ileal Conduit Surgery 9/10,
7 other PC-related surgeries