Doctors don’t use the word “terminal” anymore unless they’re talking about a recent experience with an airport. When we met with Dr. Green at 21st Century Oncology this past Monday he shared that my biopsy confirmed that the lesions on my pelvis were cancer, meaning that cancer cells inside my prostate had spread. “This doesn’t mean you have bone cancer” he said. “You have metastatic prostate cancer”. Good to know I thought. “However” Dr. Green continued “There is no cure”. Turns out the only thing they can do is try to keep the cancer cells from growing. For right now I will receive an injection once every three months that treats my entire body including the prostate, the bone lesions, lymph nodes and any other place the cancer has spread to.
I got my first Lupron injection yesterday morning. Lupron is an anti-antigen that prevents my body from producing testosterone, the stuff my cancer feeds on. Dr Green says Lupron is effective for about two years. So what happens when the Lupron stops working you might ask? Well, then we look for another drug to take its place. Here’s where it gets a little tricky. I was warned not to go to the internet but that’s like waving a red flag in front of a bull. I’m not the kind of person that doesn’t do their homework so of course, I searched the net. I’ll spare you the details but the long and short of it is that their are a few studies and a couple FDA approved drugs that may add another six months or so.
Here are two things that give me hope. First, the medical field is evolving rapidly. Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers found in men and a more effective miracle drug could come along any day. I plan to participate in any clinical trial I can find and will travel to whatever research center (M.D. Anderson, John Hopkins, Sloan-Kettering etc.) that is making headway in this type of cancer. Thank God for my Aflac cancer policy! The second and by far my greatest source of my hope is my faith in God. I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior in 1989 and have been growing in my faith and understanding of God’s character ever since. My life verse is Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Acknowledge Him and he will direct your path”. This is where I came up with “My Directed Path” as the title of this blog.