My PSA is now at 101. There is blood in my urine from a tumor that has invaded my bladder. I’m tired most days. I’m sick most days. Yesterday, I mowed the lawn and spent the rest of the day trying to take it easy so the bleeding would stop. I’ve also had some pretty impressive lower back and hip pain.
Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?
I don’t normally start a blog with a litany of problems, but that’s the kind of week I’ve had. I’ve been off treatments for over a month now. When I first got off the meds, I felt better. In fact, I felt so much better that I took off on my bike for a few 15 milers.
But now, things are starting to go south. I had a end of trial appointment with my clinical trial doc, and that’s where that PSA number came from. My latest scans showed that there was a tumor up against my bladder. A quick call to my urologist confirmed that the tumor had not yet invaded my bladder, that if that were to change, there would be blood.
Well, guess what? This past week my urine turned a light brown, along with a plug of blood when I start to pee. So, yeah, this is not great news. If I’m active, like yesterday, my urine gets darker.
It’s weeks like this that makes it really hard to get out of bed in the morning.
Is there light? Is there any reason to be optimistic?
I have a consultation this week with a doc to see if a recently approved drug for advanced prostate cancer is right for me. The drug is called Pluvicto, and it’s a radiation treatment that targets my cancer cells. It is administered by an IV infusion every 6 weeks a total of 6 times. 6 infusions times 6 weeks equals a little over 5 months of treatments.
Side effects? Of course. What cancer treatment doesn’t come with a side helping of nausea, tiredness, weakness and constipation? Par for the course. Although, usually treatments give me diarrhea, so constipation would be different.
Also, after getting treated, I’m radioactive. I have to stay at least 3 feet away from people who would normally be close to me for 3 days. I have to sleep in a separate bed, and use a separate bathroom. I have to stay away from pregnant women up to 15 days after treatment. If you drive me to my appointment, I have to ride in the backseat on the way home.
Even Zoey is at risk for 3 days. She ain’t gonna like staying away from me. She’s my favorite lap dog.
And once again, the drug has a name like a Marvel Comic villain. My friend Ken said it sounds like someone who would fight Buzz Lightyear. Yep.
This past week has changed my overall mindset. I’m just trying to survive.
I know I haven’t written about The Bucket List, Part 2 yet. That’s probably going to have to wait. My bucket list was pretty daunting, from traveling to Europe to jumping out of a perfectly good airplane.
But now, with the setbacks I’ve had, my bucket list pretty much consists of staying alive long enough to see my grandkids and hanging in long enough to keep loving my family and friends.
If the Pluvicto works, the list will get longer. But right now, I just take the good days when they come and thank God for the grace.
Thanks for reading.