As I review a few decisions concerning cancer treatments I find myself thinking more and more about the absolute joy and happiness I’ve experienced in my life.
I have reviewed my recent, April 2019, CTscan and a few previous scans to determine any predictable rate of tumor growth. Considering no cancer treatments since November 2018, the tumors in my lungs have shrunk, the kidney also looks somewhat stable.
My friendly urologist recently preformed a cystoscopy surgery cleaning out my bladder. As it’s taken nearly six months to overcome severe blisters on my hands and feet, my oncologist suggested an “old school” oral chemotherapy called Capecitabine.
When I took a moment to examine likely possible side-effects of this particular “old school” treatment:
- Anemnia 80% experienced this (tired).
- Hand-foot Syndrome 60% experienced this (I’m just getting over hand-foot syndrome).
- Diarrhea 55% experienced this.
- Vomiting 27% experienced this. And the hits keep on coming, but I think you get the point.
If you have followed this blog at all, hopefully you realize I’ve tried to describe this life experience as accurately and honestly as I am able to. All things considered, with my feet on the mend, life has still been pretty good. Also I’m considering that the tumors in my lungs are shrinking, or stable, with no treatment in six months. So given a choice of continuing on without any treatment, or suffering from the previously mentioned side-effects, I choose to walk away from any treatments at this time. I might re-examine other treatments and experimental trials again in six months or so. Also thinking that between the first two experimental treatments and the countless other combination of drugs something still must be working. Then think about over fifty years of marijuana usage, I don’t know, but I’m just saying… In addition, “yea though I walk thru the valley of death I shall fear no evil, for the lord’s rod and staff will protect me.”
That’s the skinny on my stage 4 cancer since I’ve been off any treatment for over 6 months. Between November of 2018 and April of 2019.
Frankly, my options are getting somewhat limited. While I’m open to any variety of drug trials, old-school hardcore chemotheraphy isn’t likely option for myself. I do believe that sometimes the chemo might kill as much as it cures.
The tear that has been welling up in my left eye is not for self-pity nor from fear, actually these tears are from the joy of many thoughts and memories I’ve experienced in my 67 years of life! There were and are 2-sides to this story. Here is a paraphrase of The Traveling Wilbury’s “End Of The Line”. Kind of a guideline for traveling life’s unfamiliar paths at the end, beginning or during your journey through life.
Well it’s alright…..
- Riding around in the breeze, if you live the life you please.
- doing the best you can, as long as you lend a hand.
- you can sit around waiting for the phone to ring, at the end of line, waiting for someone to tell you everything, at the end of the line ……
- As long as you got someone to lay with, everyday is just one day
- Even if your’e old and grey, you still got something to say
- even when push comes to shove, if you got someone to love.
- remember to live and let live
- Best you can do is to forgive, it’s alright if you lead the life you live.
- Sometimes you gotta be strong, going to the end of the line
Hello darkness my old friend, I’ve come to talk with you again. And the vision that was written in my brain still remains within The sounds of silence. Silence like a cancer grows, Simon & Garfunkel
So I’m still standing, feeling pretty good and thinking that everyday is another opportunity to explore life and have a little fun at the same time.
Definitely not down, absolutely not out. Heading home to Las Vegas this week and then some serious adventure planning.. Happy Trails my friends, until we meet again.