Thursday, June 29, 2017

Let The Games Begin

Not quite 2 weeks after the PSA that came back elevated, a second reveals it has risen 0.03 already.  Now .25.  Quick for prostate cancer.   Pelvic MRI tomorrow, consult with radiation oncologist next week.  Meeting with urologist after results of MRI are in.  Dr. Knoedler, the urologist, is well-reputed and has a relationship with Brad's brother (prior to Brad becoming a patient) and to Brad himself outside of this.  So Brad feels good about the doc not thinking of him as 'just another patient'.   But honestly, I know my young patients at the hospital stick with me,  I'm pretty sure Brad's situation would stick with Dr. Knoedler regardless.

We had gotten to a pretty good place the last several days.  Matter of fact, feeling like we can handle radiation, staying present with all the goings on here (my parents visit, Cate's birthday).  But this conversation rattled us both.  Words like "aggressive, concerned" and "50/50 chance".  We were told there was a 50/50 chance the cancer would return in 10 years after radical prostectomy.   It's been 2 1/2.  Now we're being told there's a 50/50 chance radiation will kill it.   I'm sorry, but WTH?!  I would have thought radiation would have a greater return, you know?

I had written a slew of fearful thoughts here, along with a few other negative-ish comments throughout, and this morning am editing and deleting them, while still trying to stay true to the situation.  My beloved friend, a ridiculously wise and powerful Type I diabetic who has undergone 3 organ transplants, multiple heart surgeries, lymphoma, a myriad of other issues and oh, is also completely blind, strongly encouraged me not to write down the specifics of my fears.  Writing them down, having others read them and react in kind, all that only draws energy to what we don't want.  Stirs up the universe's creative energy in the wrong direction, you know?

We will always think of this in association with Cate's 5th birthday, no matter the road from here.   Certain events creating the Before-s and Afters of our lives.  Before Anna, After Anna.  Before living children, After.  Before....After.   I've been through enough of life to know it never stays the same, there are unforeseen surprises and scenes you dare hope for that come true...and ones you pray never do.   My mother's response to Brad's news was to say something along the lines of "How much crap can happen to one family?"   But my answer was "But so much good has happened too.   Cate, Matt.  Our home, Brad's job, everything about the last 5 years.  This is Life.  The good with the bad."

I believe radiation therapy will give us time.  I'm going to hold the vision of a very, long, time.

Please join me in that vision!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

How 0.22 can change your life.'s back.


It's an infinitesimal number, really.   Teeny.  One would think, inconsequential.

Except when that number is supposed to be 0.00, or "undetectable", as it has been for the last 2 1/2 years.

Yesterday Brad found out his PSA level was 0.22.  An elevated hormone showing up in his blood from a piece of his body that's no longer there.  Which means one thing.

Cancer is back.

His urologist is out of town until Monday and so we won't know his opinion or next steps until at least then (which is also the date we're throwing Cate's 5th birthday party, so that won't be surreal at all).  We suspect another blood draw to re-test and a bone scan to start.  The hope is radiation to the surrounding prostate tissue and that will be it.  Done.  Onto gymnastics lessons and hockey and plays and all those ordinary moments that make life extraordinary.

Last night I felt like I was sputtering and in danger of drowning on oxygen, very nearly sending out a cut-to-the-chase email to our tribe.  That knee jerk response of wanting to know you've got people holding onto your hand just enough that you can keep your face above water.  But maybe in a show of slight personal development, I didn't and decided to write here instead, as those who read this are the ones who can probably handle me at this early stage and throughout whatever is next.

Shit, you guys.  Just...all the swear words.