Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I'm Back

Sorry I went silent for a few days, but honestly there has been little news to report. Over the past week, I have felt extra good on the outside. What I mean by that is with all the internal healing that has taken place, my focus has been on the inside. But now, I am feeling good on the outside, meaning I walk with my normal gate, am able to bend over without worrying that I will open the inscision, and just generally feeling more like my old self.

May God make you aware of His loving presence today.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Radiation Schedule

I saw Dr. Reza Shirazi, my radiologist, this morning. We mapped out plans for my "adjuvant" radiation treatments. That means it is a precaution, not "salvage" radiation treatment where there is known evidence of cancer after surgery. Adjuvant radiation usually begins 8-12 weeks after surgery, allowing time for the body to fully heal before suffering another trying, but necessary procedure.

I will begin a seven week regiment of daily radiation treatments on Monday, December 1. Dr. Sharazi's staff will administer the treatments Monday through Friday. They only take about twenty minutes, including prep time. I am fortunate to have them close by at Alvarado Hospital Medical Center, and should be able to continue working through the full seven weeks. Of course, I will miss a couple days Christmas and New Years, but those treatments will just be tacked onto the end. So I will get 35 treatments in all.

One of the biggest side effects is fatigue. I spoke with a few men in the doctor's waiting room before my appointment. One said fatigue was worse at the beginning, another said it was worse for him at the end, and another staid he experience no fatigue. So it is different for each individual.

Thank you all for your continued prayers as I begin this next phase of my journey.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Oncology and Radiation

I visited my oncologist this morning, and decided that I will have radiation therapy after all. It makes little sense to have the surgery and hope that we got it all when we can be as sure as possible. So the regiment should start in a couple weeks. They will consist of daily (Monday through Friday) treatments for about six weeks (about 30 treatments). There are a few side effects, but I will be able to continue work as long as my old nemesis "fatigue" doesn't get to me. They tell me the daily radiations take about 20 minutes (most of that getting prepped and in place - the actual radiation is only a minute or so).

A friend of mine at Healing Well said he "fired all torpedos" when he learned he had prostate cancer. So that is what I am doing. As Dr. Kossman suggested at the onset, we should be as aggressive as possible. For me that will now include hormone therapy, surgery and radiation. No reason to return to the airport with unused bombs still on the plane when we are in all-out war.

I hope you are all doing well today.

Thank you, Lord, for every blessing.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Pathology Report

I saw my urologist/surgeon today and received the pathology on my prostatectomy (September 15).

Here goes:

Staging: pT2c pN0 MX (Stage 2 Cancer)
Interpretation: pT2c (Bilateral disease, tumor involved both lobes of prostate)
Interpretation: pN0 (No positive regional nodes)
Interpretation: MX (Distant metastasis cannot be assessed (but earlier CT and bone scan saw no metastasis)
Gleason: 3+4=7 (biopsy indicated 3+3=6)
No discrete tumor mass
Bilateral involvement (both sides of prostate involved)
No capsular penetration (carcinoma extends into but not through capsule bilaterally)
Perineural (around the nerve) tumor invasion: present
Perineural margin: Free of carcinoma
Bladder neck: Free of carcinoma
Distal (urethral) Margin: Carcinoma present
Seminal Vesicle: None present
Lymph Nodes: 18 nodes free of metastatic carcinoma

I am pleased with the results. Cancer staging went down from Stage 3 to Stage 2, and Gleason went up from 6 to 7. But they seem to have taken all of the cancer out. Excellent news that seminal vesicles and lymph nodes were not involved. The only area of concern seems to be Distal Margin. My surgeon says he thinks he got it all. Pathologist is not so sure.

I will see my oncologist Monday to get his take on the path report.

The plan now is to see what PSA shows. May follow up with radiation, if indicated.

Some white blood cells were in my sample today, so I am on a week of Rx CIPRO. Not uncommon with catheter patients post op.

Thank you all for your wonderful support.
Bless you, all.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Major Milestone

Three weeks ago (right now, as I write) I was in surgery. Today, I returned to work at my Otay office; 100% pain free, and having full mobility. Drove myself to work (another milestone). It is so good to be up and about after suffering from cabin fever.

I’m proud of getting myself cleaned up and dressed for the first day back at work. In many ways (I’m sure Anita will agree) I have reverted to being a child; but working diligently at returning to being a responsible, self-sustaining adult as quickly as possible.

It has been an amazing journey since May 15, when I had the biopsy that revealed prostate cancer, with a flood of emotions: shock, fear, sadness, doom, anger, resolve, doubt, and finally: faith. In some ways, I wish it were possible to say I ONLY had faith. But I am human; and my testimony is that faith, in the end, won out over fear and doubt.

There were two keys to making it through the surgery. First and foremost, I learned first hand what I preached for forty years: Place yourself in the Hands of a Loving God. And that is the ultimate proof of faith. Had the outcome been different, that still is the place to be; whether you are being rolled into major surgery, or going through the routine chores of the day.

The second key was: claiming the presence and power of Guardian Angels. Thanks go to Blue Shield of California, my health care provider, for sending an audio CD called “Guided Imagery”. The 15-minute audio, which I listened to a dozen or so times before surgery, gave encouragement to gain comfort from Guardian Angels who go with me into surgery, and will be with me through recovery. If you had asked on May 15 if I believed in Guardian Angels, of course I would have said yes. But to experience them on September 15 was another story. I may never tire of telling it.

By placing myself in the Hands of a Loving God, and claiming the presence and power of my Guardian Angels, I was able to go into the surgery with a calm faith that whatever the outcome, everything would be OK.

So here is a message for ANY and EVERY day: Place yourself in the Hands of a Loving God, and claim the presence and power of your Guardian Angels, whom the God of Love has placed around you to help you where you cannot help yourself.

Finally, Blue Shield’s audio suggested I look into the faces of my Guardian Angels as I went into surgery. Do not be surprised, they said, if you recognize some of them. They were correct! Thanks, Pop, Ellen and Tommy for being there when I needed you the most.

I love you, all.

From the Quote Garden
“Angels descending, bring from above,
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.”
~ Fanny J. Crosby

Saturday, October 4, 2008


I am doing great today. Yesterday, I had some discomfort which I attribute to my "innards" growing back together. Lots of stuff got disconnected, then reconnected, in surgery. Tylenol was all I needed to get through that, and it was really no problem.

This morning, I'm working in my home office, watching college football (my favorite hobby) and surfing the net. No pains at all, and a continued feeling of wellness and wholeness.

Thank you, Lord!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Thursday Thoughts

Having had major surgery which included insertion of a catheter, I was not able to determine which aches and discomforts were due to the surgery and which ones were due to my new "artificial appendage". Now that it is gone, I can tell many of the aches were due to the catheter. Don't get me wrong, it was not painful.; and it served a critical role in my recovery.

The last couple days have been excellent. I was able to sit in my office chair in my home office (as opposed to the overstuffed comfy recliner where I have lived the past two weeks). Never thought I would celebrate sitting in an office chair over the recliner. This bodes well for me being able to return to my office at Otay on Monday.

I have also been able to return to having meals at the dining room table, instead of the TV trays Anita has so carefully prepared for me. Anita has gone back to work full days as of yesterday, and I am managing quite well by myself. She calls to check on me. And Chris is here until about noon every day, so I am well cared for.

I began today getting rid of anything that reminds me of being sick. By that, I mean I am trying to put everything at home "back to normal". Granted, that means putting some things out of site (in the medicine cabinet, for example). I want to think WELL, and not SICK.

I am feeling WELL, thanks to the Great Physician, my doctors, my family and friends.

Enjoy God's blessings today.