I’m a 66-year old guy who has a few thoughts concerning life and also concerning life’s conclusion. Being classified as a stage-4 cancer, hopefully survivor, and the life changes that come from this experience. I was “given” 4-6 months to live about 20 months ago!
I guess what I’m saying is, nobody really knows much about our body and exactly how it reacts and really operates for sure, except for God. While I am not a religious blog, I do absolutely believe that God can, and sometimes does make medical miracles happen. The medical community does have knowledge about cancer, but often when a complete remission or cure actually happens they are often awestruck themselves.
A life-saving drug trial at MD Anderson had been reversing my aggressive cancer and provided me with an opportunity to smell the roses for a while longer. Very few symptoms, almost no pain and a renewed interest in leaving this world with a changed impression of my life, actions, goals and thoughts. This all went good, until it didn’t January 25th, 2018.
I watched, via CT scans, my bladder cancer shrink for nearly 10 months, along with related tumors in my lungs and kidneys. Just as I was starting to think, this shit is working, it stopped working!
Feeling as if the curing rug had been pulled out from underneath me; however, I was able to gain my emotional footing much quicker this time around. After a 30-day cleansing of my system from the MDanderson wonder drug, I decided to directly target the unstable tumors in my lungs with a drug called Keytruda.
To that end, I started a drug trial of Keytruda on March 9th, 2018. I liked this therapy because it only required a 32 minute infusion every three weeks. Another plus was I could get this infusion at home here in Las Vegas or back in Bloomington, Illinois. The initial CT scans were every 6 weeks, now every three-month scans. So far, so good, the Keytruda therapy appears to be addressing the lung tumors and even showed improvement in kidney tumors!
My first three-month scan is about a week from today. Wondering what the scan will show is an understatement. This cancer thing is a strange trip that travels down a long, long road and often we don’t now what lays ahead.
As with any trip, the truth be known when the rubber hits the road.
Good news and a little bad news. Good news is that lung tumors are shrinking and my doctor was ready to send me in for a 32-minute treatment I had to stop the good news celebration.
I showed my doctor a set of progressive pictures of my massive blisters on both feet and the end result of a trip with a foot surgeon. I also had some issues with my hands.
I was grateful I had outlived the initial 4-6 month projection of my demise; however, the abject fear that I experienced with my initial diagnosis was gone. I have found, that while tears of anxiety are cleansing those same tears can be draining. Myself, I don’t have time for that whining crap anymore. That said, I do understand it.
After meeting more than a few cancer patients I found a somewhatsome common phenomenon and that was a return to faith, the power of prayer and positive thoughts. While some people don’t believe in miracles those who do are often the ones who wake up one day and the cancer is gone. One must think it is going to happen to make it happen!
Those I have met without any, or very little, faith unfortunately, often live out the balance of their life eaten up with anger of a failure to “do what needed to be done”. The anger may come from a lifetime of failing to live a life and the ultimate penalty for this failure is a misery only they are able to truly comprehend.
This journey has created many new friends and acquaintances who are sometimes also experiencing cancer and on this journey of life, what a trip it can be.
If you have an idea on how we can all leave a positive impression on our lives, I’m interested. That’s the story, you can change the ending!
Spending some time traveling, enjoying each day and also appreciating the joy of a great partner is the goal.
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