It is scan day for me today. Scan day is something I have experienced 3 times before. Scan day happens when my PSA shoots up for some reason, so the docs want to know what is going on inside my body and if my advanced prostate cancer has spread to my organs or my bones. Scan day used to freak me out with lots of crying and general carrying on, but now, after doing this a few times, it really is no big deal to me anymore.

For you muggles out there, here’s what happens on scan day. I wake up early and head down to the hospital to the nuclear medicine department. Nuclear medicine sounds like a scary, intimidating thing, but it’s really not. It’s just really kind of advanced radiology, because they need to shoot some radioactive isotopes into your bloodstream so things will light up for the scans. It’s kind of cool, really, except for the fact that this is all being done to make sure you’re cancer hasn’t spread.

I arrive early so they can put an IV port in my arm for the dyes and the radioactive stuff to work it’s way through my system. I’ve never been a fan of needles, but being a 7 year cancer survivor has made me completely oblivious to them. The thought of me walking around all day with an IV port in my arm is no big deal to me. The old me, the pre cancer me, would totally flip out with just the thought of a needle in my arm for hours at a time.

I’m telling you these things, how I’ve gotten used to things like needles and taking an entire day to have scans done in a nuclear medicine department, to tell you something else I have had to get used to. I am used to the thought that there’s a good chance I will no longer be alive in another 5 years.

Here’s the thing about prostate cancer. If the cancer escapes the prostate and is not totally encapsulated in the prostate when it is removed, you are basically fighting a losing battle. There are cancer cells floating around somewhere in my body, and they keep showing up with my rising PSA. Now, things like radiation and hormone therapy and other therapies will keep driving down my PSA and help me live longer, but eventually these therapies will no longer be effective. When the cancer eventually spreads to my organs or my bones, chemotherapy can be used to slow down or stop the cancer from spreading. But even those treatments will eventually be ineffective, and the side effects would make my life so miserable that a decision would need to be made if the treatments would be worth the few months of life that they would provide. Those decisions are incredibly hard to make, and a lot of factors would need to be weighed.

There is no cure for advanced prostate cancer. You can manage the symptoms, you can extend your life with different therapies, but, eventually, it’s gonna get you. This is something’s I’ve had to come to grips with. This is my everyday.

So, before that happens, I’m gonna drink in life. I’m gonna see Maine and California. I want to see Normandy. The bucket list will be worked on.

But more than that, I want to just live. I want to get up, go to work, do my job. I want to love my wife and kids as much as I can, for as long as I can. I want to laugh with friends. I want to dig my toes in the sand with a drink in my hand. I want to watch the sun fall into Lake Michigan and light up the sky with orange and red and purple and blue. I want to listen to music and sing along.

I’m going to be there for my son’s wedding. I want to be there for grandkids, but I’m not sure if I will be. If I am, I will rejoice. If I’m not, I will be with the Lord rejoicing with Him.

And that’s kind of the point, isn’t it? Enjoying the life God has given me, and then, when that life is over, taking His hand and rejoicing in my new life. That thought calms me, and gives me peace.

I know I have a lot of people praying for me right now. Those prayers have given me the strength to once again get through this, and carry on.

Thanks for the prayers. Keep ’em coming.

And thanks for reading.

Peace.

3 thoughts on “Scan Day

  1. Prayers, Dan. None of this is easy but really don’t know how anyone can be at peace without the knowledge and acceptance of heaven and an existence of Someone who gave His own life for our future with no pain or tears. And did it when He had done no wrong. ‘Will I dance with you, Jesus’? You bet I will!!! God be with you, wrapping His big, loving arms around you. Your heavenly Papa loves you, Dan.

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  2. Dan always praying for strength for each day for you and your family. As christians we are aliens here on earth. Our home is heaven, our desires and hearts usually finally get that as we mature in our faith and or we loose someone dear to us. My journey to that place of longing to return started the year my mother died suddenly. All the verses became clear that although we enjoy our lives here on earth with our family and friends, our focus should be on the journey to heaven. In that journey we are called to inspire, share the gospel, and point as mant people as we can to Christ, to accept His free gift so others will be with Christ one day. I said that really started my focus to be more intentional in my walk, with Him. My life foever changed again March 2015, when God called our daughter Dana home. I know where she is and my mother heart just wants to be with her. Grief of a child takes a long time to heal. I am not there, nor will I ever be totally healed from the loss of her. Each day i think of her and what she is experiencing in heaven and how one day I will be there. Until then, i wake up, praise the Lord for my health, my job and family and friends who pray. Because, It is easier to be with other parents who are walking the same journey. They understand the constant ache, the unexpected waves of tears for no reason. Our journeys are different, but yet the same. In the end, our hearts just want to be home with Jesus. Until then we put one foot in front of us each day, look for God’s loving hand of strength and peace. All the stuff of this world doesnt matter. Love you and your family friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Love you and your family also. I can’t even fathom what you and your family have gone through since the loss of your precious Dana. Christ is here for us and one day we will be with our Lord in heaven, but that doesn’t stop us from shouting “Why?!” every now and then. I don’t get it, but, I guess, we’ll all find out someday. Or, maybe we won’t but it won’t matter because we’ll be reunited with everyone we love in heaven. I’m not smart enough to figure all that out. All I know is that you miss her right now and that will always be. I’m glad you have joined other parents who understand your pain. Trauma can be so isolating, and it’s nice to know you are not alone. Prayers for you, Bill and the girls.

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