15 comments on “A Mixed Bag

  1. Hi YAPCaB, good to hear from you. Great news on the PSA. I was told 2.5 years ago that I had 2 years left, and I am still kicking. I have learned that stats are fine for the academics, but we are individuals. The stats also probably apply to a different age and demographic as they are historical and relate to older people and treatment options. I am giving less attention to tests (can’t handle the scanxiety) and more attention to quality of life and positive living with a healthy natural lifestyle. I’ll never know if this is a smart plan but it works for me. Sending all my positive vibes and best wishes for a healthy, happy and long life for you. Thanks for sharing your circumstances. Keep punching. Cheers, Phil

    • Thank you so much. You’re right I need to ignore the averages and just get on with life. I am trying to reduce my test count. I refuse to have any test whose result won’t affect my treatment plan – no tests just to check up on where things are. I’m happy to hear you’ve found a balance in treatment and life, and also a little jealous!

  2. I’m right there with you. I’m doing fine, but I’m incurable, so my mortality is always in my thoughts, and you describe the situation well. It’s really hard! I hang on to the fact that the drugs ARE working for me right now, and the longer I can stay alive the more developments will come in the future.
    A friend of mine who works in cancer research put it succinctly, ‘these days we can regard cancer as a challenging chronic disease rather than an acute, fatal one’. I think the accent is on the ‘challenging’!

    • You are forever the optimist – it inspires me. I’m also glad someone else understands how mortality is always in in your thoughts.

      How are the books coming along?

  3. Great to hear from you; I had been thinking of you lately. My now-retired boss is now at least 3 years past a diagnosis that could hardly have been any worse, including bone mets. Progress is being made every day against cancers of all types. Keep on keeping on.

  4. My family was reminded just how abruptly it can all end when my sister-in-law died suddenly of a pulmonary embolism in December. There was no warning. She was 45. While I acknowledge the circumstances are completely different, I feel her passing has given me a window of sorts into your fears. The family was devastated, but on top of that we’ve all been dealing with the possibility that things are great one day and the next day, you’re gone. The now has never been more important to me, because it’s the only weapon I have against that anxiety. That being said, I am really happy to hear that your PSA is so low! And I agree with everyone else’s recommendations to ignore the averages as much as possible. You’re alive! I’m alive! Hooray!

    • The now and memories of the past is all we ever really have. The now is somewhat malleable, which is very nice and helps with anxiety., but it isn’t guaranteed to last very long. It can also be fairly hard to stay focused on the now – a skill I’m working on.

      I agree I need to spend less time thinking about averages, it’s just that my formal training in statistics makes that hard to do.

  5. I think I get what you’re saying about everyone is going to die, but we are dying decades earlier than normal. I explain it to people by saying that they are booked on standby, but I have my boarding pass.

  6. good to hear from you. Also encouraging about the PSA numbers although it must be so stressful to live your life by the tests and numbers. I can’t even imagine the terror that you described before the test. as always sending good thoughts.

  7. Hey, YAPCaB! Hope you’re hanging in there! About those treatments I’ve had: My primary therapy was surgery. Then when they found the lymph nodes with cancer, I had 27 months of hormone therapy (Lupron). Nine months later, my PSA came back and was rising slowly, so, in 2011, we did 36 radiation treatments. That takes care of me for both surgery and radiation. Down the line, I don’t know if there’ll be another go of Lupron or one of the other, new drugs. I’m hoping it’s a *long time* before the onc and I have to discuss it. Here’s to upbeat — and to more good news! Thanks for looking in on me! Abrazo, B

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