I originally wrote this post on the Prostate Cancer Support Group on Facebook. Obviously Christmas and New Years are now in the past so this thing is a few weeks old. But I wanted to put this on my blog for two reasons.
1. It shows what kind of mental state I’m in right now.
2. This post gives a little glimpse into what cancer patients deal with when they go to the doctor and have to deal with treatment options. For a non cancer survivor (I need to come up with a cool Harry Potterish word for someone without cancer. I always liked the word ‘muggle’ for mere mortals) a treatment that could save your life seems like a no brainer. Far from it. When you have to deal with the side effects of those treatments every day, the decision on whether or not to treat is not always an easy one.
Here is my post from December 20, 2016. Peace.
Every time I post something that I am experiencing it should come with the disclaimer: Warning, your results may differ. Please consult your doctor if you have any of these symptoms or you could be just as messed up as Dan is.
If I had a blog, or better yet, if I didn’t find blog sites so confusing, the topic of my blog for this week would be The Death of Passion. I would put that at the top of the blog with some sort of swirly thing around it making it seem artsy and cool. Unfortunately, the title of this blog sort of betrays why I don’t have a blog. I just don’t care. About anything. At all.
And, you see, that’s the real issue. Lupron and Xtandi have not only chemically castrated me, in some ways it has taken out most of my passion for life. There are still some things I like (sci-fi movies, historical documentaries, Michigan football) and some things I dislike (reality shows, game shows, Ohio State football) but the true passion that I used to have for everything is just not there anymore.
Now, don’t get me wrong. There were times in my life that my passions got me in some real trouble. Many times I would say the wrong thing, lose my temper, or worse. My passions have nearly cost me my job and my marriage. But that was me. For better or worse, that was me.
But now, in my new reality, I am an even-keeled go with the flow type of guy. I had a few moody up and down days when I first started on Lupron, but things have settled down a lot since then. Almost too much. To the point where my wife Holly looks at me and says, “Who are you and what have you done with my husband?” And friends, I am not really happy with all this.
You see, to me, if you want to accomplish something in your life, you need to have some passion for it. Before I was diagnosed, I was just a few credits shy of getting a degree in organizational communications(because I like a degree with a lot of syllables). I quit going to college cuz I figured “Eh, what’s the point?” I know,I know, I should go back. But I can’t find the passion for it.
As a long distance runner,(2 marathons, a bunch of 25k and 10k runs) I always used to tell people that the most important thing when training for distance running is training your mind. You need to shut off that voice that is telling you to stop, that voice that is asking you why, and replace it with a voice that is telling you to get through it, that is telling you the goal is the most important thing. That goal oriented voice has been chemically castrated out of my life.
And then there is the bedroom. I used to love the anticipation of sex, the hunger for it, the need to have it part of my life. Gone, gone, gone.
So after all the words you’ve just read, and thought,”Jeez, Dan, get to the point,” here’s the real question. Is life still worth living without passion? Now, I know there are a bunch of people on here that are stage 4 and would do anything not to be where they are and I get that. But we all have a different journey through this cancer thing, and as I move forward in my treatment, I can’t help but wonder, is this it? Is this my life from now on?
I miss the feel of crossing the finish line. I miss the feel of elation at finishing and getting an A in a difficult class. I miss the excitement of touching my wife. I miss my life.
I know that I have a ton to be thankful for. I’m still breathing. But as the Christmas holiday approaches and I just feel sorta blah about it, I wonder how much of this I can take. When do I go into my docs office and tell him, no thanks, I’m done with all this? To me, that is the most important question of all.
To everyone out there, please have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. And find whatever passion in life that you can.