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My new PSA: I'll drink to that!

glass of scotch 2/19/03

Yesterday, I had my first glass of scotch in perhaps six months.

I poured it over ice, an act that make some purists shudder, but it was my scotch and I'll drink it the way I want.

I hadn't been able to drink anything alcoholic after I started my ketoconazole treatment. Apparently the keto blocks the breakdown of alcohol and it can become quite toxic. I didn't like it, but Diet Pepsi became my strongest drink.

Then I got some good news and some bad news.

The bad news was that my PSA was climbing. The keto had not taken. We even monitored it for an extra month and watched it soar up from 1431 to 1770. That meant there was no need to continue the keto and that chemo was next.

The good news was that, until chemo, I can drink and so, yesterday, I bought some Cutty. It's not considered a great scotch but it was my first scotch and I've always liked the label. I wish it was for an actual occasion of celebration, but it isn't. It is just the momentary lull before the chemo and I might as well enjoy it.

I also had a blood draw yesterday but I am not expecting any drop because the pelvic and leg pain is increasing pretty fast and it is getting more and more difficult to walk or stand. I'll see my oncologist tomorrow and whatever the PSA is, it will be a new base PSA, against which we can measure the chemo. It will probably be Taxotere, with a chaser.

But first we have a couple of things to do.

I may need to get a port implanted. It would probably be in the upper chest. That's where I see them in the other guys. A port is merely a device that allows them to draw blood or give infusions without another needle into another vein. I really need one as it is getting harder and harder to find a vein on my arms, after three years. (I'd make a lousy addict.) They have to work the hand and wrist and I don't know how long this can continue. Caren, who also strives to keep a sense of humor in this, says, with my port, I may be mistaken for a Harkonnen, one of the tribes from the novel Dune.(smile)

The other thing is a haircut. I already went through a false trauma on this back in September when I thought the keto would produce hair loss and had a radical haircut, to no avail, so I've already drilled that one. Taxotere is not supposed to be as bad as the others but when I was getting my blood drawn yesterday, I was chatting with the nurse, who has taken my blood many times over the last three years, and told her about the decision. She agreed on the haircut, saying a lot of chemo patients find it better than cleaning hair out of the bathtub drain after a shower. If nothing else convinced me, that remark did it.

I'll also be giving up smoking. When I made the chemo decision last week, I started to give it up but then decided that if I am going to be miserable, I might as well do it all at once. So it is a matter of days until my new smoke-free, alcohol-free, hair-free life begins with Taxotere, my new drug of choice.

I prefer scotch.


Referenced material:
Deciding to get my hair cut at More karmic fun.
And getting it cut at Yup, I did it.

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