This is one of several essays from my private cancer journal. It is not intended as anything than a record of my states of mind as I struggled with the disease and the effects of the treatment.
Notes From That Wilder Shore:
Remember that "WOW"?
[Posted to several prostate cancer lists on September 29, 2001.]
Back on 8/7, I posted a bit of my history, how I was diagnosed with a PSA
over 1000 and how it dropped to 1.4 and then slowly climbed to 88.6 on
6/7/01. We then omitted the then-due Zoladex shot and instead I was put on
50 mg of Casodex and a month later it dropped to 5.1. On 8/7, I was it had
fallen again to 0.9 and I made my "WOW!" post.
Well, I had my PSA taken on 9/19 and was given the results yesterday. It
has dropped again and is now 0.45. I'm still eating what I want, take no
supplements, still enjoy a good beer, or some wine and sometimes scotch and
still smoke, all of which violates all the rules, regimens, recommendations
and popular opinion.
Yeah, I'm happy, for I fully expected that it would start to climb again.
But since my PSA has played around at such high levels and I've made it
this far, it does give me a strange sort of leeway for being concerned as
to what is a "high PSA."
After I was told, something else happened.
I remembered, for the first time, what such news can do to others who
aren't doing as well and I paused. I wondered if I should make the
announcement, even though some possibly can't deal with it. We all know
that feeling. It is like being flat broke and then a friend excitedly tells
you they just got a large pay raise. It is hard to smile.
But then I realized, no, we can't hold back. Not with prostate cancer. Yes,
some are losing to it but others aren't and it isn't right to hold back
those successes, even out of courtesy. All one can say is, yes, I know
others aren't doing as well but, dammit, you can't give up. And I'm not
speaking just to holding onto a hope that maybe the next drug or treatment
will have a desired effect.
I recently posted to Phoenix5 sections of Viktor Frankl's book, Man's
Search for Meaning because it was not only one of the most meaningful
books I have read but I found it relevant to those of us with cancer. Here
is the quote on the menu page at
When we are no longer able to change a situation - just think
of an incurable disease such as inoperable cancer - we are
challenged to change ourselves.
Or that more common adage that you can't change the wind but you can trim
I fully expect and hope that if and when the cancer begins to take its toll
on me and if I change my view that others will remind me of the same. And
don't take "no" for an answer.(smile)
Until then, I am here as an example that one can start with a PSA of 1000+
and mets everywhere and two years later - despite the odds - be enjoying
life to the fullest. How much longer? I don't know and I don't care and I
think that is part of my success thus far. (See Stephen Jay Gould's, "The
Median is Not The Message" at
And if anyone wants to see what I feel was the turning point when I stopped
getting ready to die and started getting ready to live, read my essay of
Meanwhile, 0.45 it is, dammit.
Dx'd 11/23/99 PSA 1000+ Stage M1c
To help men and their companions with the effects of prostate cancer