Today was the followup with my oncologist for my last three month “interval” (one month on Lupron, two months off). The day didn’t go very smoothly.
About an hour before the appointment I had a panic attack. Thankfully, I had some Xanax and managed to get through it relatively unscathed. It was still a presage of what was to happen.
The oncologist told me that my PSA had risen to 20.1 from 12.5. Because of this, he wanted to accelerate the schedule to a one month Lupron shot every two months. So now instead of six weeks of feeling “normal” across three months, I get two weeks of feeling normal over two months.
Part of me just died when he said that. I saw the time I can enjoy life just evaporating right before my eyes. It also wasn’t lost on me that if this protocol doesn’t work, it means he’ll recommend I stay on Lupron all the time. Wonderful. Near constant high level depression and anxiety for basically the rest of my life.
There’s also the jump from 12.5 to 20.1. While he doesn’t think it means the Lupron has started to fail, he wouldn’t rule it out. When the Lupron fails, I’m one big step closer to death.
I know there are many people out there on chemotherapy that have it much worse than I do now; they have no “normal” days. I hope my writings don’t offend. In time I’ll be given the “opportunity” to join them. That will be when the Lupron and follow-up treatments fail. In my case it’s very iffy that I’ll go the chemo route. There is absolutely no chance of a cure. Life extension can be as long as a year, but you’re stuck with all the side effects from the chemo during that time. I’m not sure it’s a trade I’ll be willing to make.
Right now I think I’m mostly in shock. The way forward doesn’t seem so appealing, but at least I’ll have some time that’s “normal”.