A new year is upon us – it’s time to get after it, folks. We all have challenges, but we have a promise from Christ Himself to sustain us:
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.
In this world you will have trouble.
But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
– John 16:33
Because of this promise, even when we lose ground, may life find us plotting and scheming as to how we’re going to gain it back again. It’s about realizing, no matter what happens to us, we are deeply loved by God (which gives us courage) and we don’t in any way deserve it (which gives us humility).
“Nothing is more important
than to learn how to maintain a life of purpose
in the midst of painful adversity.”
– Tim Keller
You might remember that my first round of “thanksgiving” chemo last November was treated by my body like a death serum. Toxicity was high, to say the least. Now for the bad news – it doesn’t appear to have worked. Here are my latest PSA numbers:
Yep, I jumped 90 points after receiving the chemo. Efficacy was non-existent. What to do? I know! Let’s try a second dose this Monday, hoping for different results (with that statement I can now be certified insane).
There is some hope that if we “personalize” (cut in half) the dose, the toxicity will be reduced. Couple that with the outside chance that the chemo is just late to the cancer-killing party and, frankly, the idea of doing this again still sounds really stupid.
I’m a desperate man. Did I mention that?
Under the banner of full disclosure, you should also know I made a deal in a smoke-filled room full of doctors. I promised my overzealous oncologist that I would go at least two rounds in order to give the treatment a fair shake. I see you all shaking your heads sadly back and forth. You’re wondering, “How can we save this man from himself?”
Again, desperate times, folks. There is a silver lining, though. My older sister is coming to town later in the week. Even though I love her dearly, she can sometimes get on my nerves. If this happens, all I have to do is projectile vomit all over her and back to her hotel she will scamper. Score one for chemo and Ed!
While thinking about all this craziness, this vintage Charlie Brown cartoon came to mind:
I’ll let you know if this was or wasn’t “the time.”
You may remember the vacation that I’ve been on from my anti-man shot, Lupron – the drug that has been sucking my masculine soul out of me. The break has been so glorious I have decided to make it permanent (note bold print). Umm, yes, this may have been my plan all along.
My doctor has now labeled me as “non-compliant.” Hey, I’ve been non-compliant all my life. I’ve just kept it under wraps so that you would like me. Glad to be out of the closet, finally. I am stubborn as a mule.
Anyway, great news. My testosterone has tripled! It has gone from 4 to 13. Can I get an amen?
There’s only one tiny issue – just a small thing. Castration level for testosterone is 20 or lower. Sigh. Mine used to be 633 before the cancer. Ok, let’s call it a start. “A journey of a thousand miles begins with . . .” and all that.
There is one cool thing: remember a couple of posts back when I put George Clooney’s photo at the end of my blog, pretending it was me (now that I was off Lupron)? I have been informed if you do a Google image search for “Ed Hague” that you now get this result:
Ignoring the weird guy at positions two and four, note the photo in position six. This is not photoshopped, folks. It is reality if you do this image search. George and I are morphing together! Welcome to my world, George. I think you’re going to like being me.
Speaking of photos, apparently I got off Lupron just in time. I had no idea it had gotten this bad. This picture was taken the day before I said, “No more”:
Next treatment update:
Speaking of getting my testosterone back, you ready for this? Apparently, there is a new theory out there that says drying up a man’s testosterone for the rest of his life is not very effective in fighting his prostate cancer (sigh).
Instead, the thought is why don’t we stun the cancer with an overdose of testosterone and catch it napping. Yes, we’re talking about fighting cancer with high, not low, levels of testosterone. Sign me up, doc!
At the conclusion of a recent study at Johns Hopkins, this was said:
“We gave high doses of testosterone to men with prostate cancer who were progressing (getting worse) on long-term hormonal therapy,” Samuel Denmeade, M.D. said. “Surprisingly, many of the men in the trial had a drop in PSA levels and a decrease in the size of their tumor sites.” The testosterone did not cause any harmful side effects. Instead, “most men experienced an improvement in their quality of life.”
“These results suggest a new paradigm for treating prostate cancer that would involve sequentially lowering and then raising testosterone to high levels. This treatment is unique as far as cancer therapies go in that it has the potential to stop the growth of cancer while at the same time making the patients feel better, not worse. As one might expect, the concept of using testosterone to treat prostate cancer is quite “out-of-the-box” and counterintuitive.”
Ya think? I told you my doctor was a bit crazy! Or maybe he’s crazy like a fox.
Think of me.
Then think of me with the growth of my cancer stopped.
Then think of me with the growth of my cancer stopped and my testosterone level one thousand times higher than it is now.
Then stick your head in a sink because your hair is on fire.
Hey, even if it doesn’t work, I get the sense that I would die happy.
If I don’t write next weekend, I promise you chemo and I didn’t run off together. Check the hospitals and the blood banks. If I’m not there, check the pharmacies to see if any injectable testosterone has gone missing.
That would be me.