Speaking of walking, we are still continuing to walk 3 miles every evening, rain or shine. Lately, rain. We almost had to swim home last night. I have also begun to lift weights to regain some of my muscle mass and lose my “lupron belly.” How much are you lifting, you ask? Let’s just say that women come by, smile patronizingly at me, then pat me on the head and say, “Keep at it, studmuffin. Long way to go.”
Nevertheless, I am continuing to receive great benefit from Xofigo. I just had my 4th injection last week and was able to have a good conversation with my doctor about the future at that time. We have decided to stop the injections at #6 (which marks the end of the clinical trial I am in) to give my body a break from the radiation. Since this is a new drug as well as a new type of drug (alpha-emitting radiopharmaceutical for those interested) we want to make sure I don’t experience radiation toxicity (picture me with two heads each talking to the other).
Remember, no one in the world has had more than 6 injections of Xofigo. Talk about being on the bleeding edge of medicine! So we will give my body a break and monitor my cancer. If/when it starts growing on my bones again, we will call in the cavalry again. I have to tell you that going off Xofigo makes me feel naked and vulnerable. But aren’t we all?
As I approach the one year anniversary of this stage IV advanced metastatic prostate cancer diagnosis, my heart remains a jumble. I am so grateful to still be alive and miraculously improved in health. I am also now paranoid about every ache and pain I have. It is so funny. I feel amazingly better, but am still unsettled in my spirit over things which I have no ultimate control. I want to be fully alive to every glorious day of this reprieve I have been given, but I am also haunted by the question, “When will this cancer ultimately overwhelm my body?” (because Xofigo is not curative). But who knows? Maybe Xofigo will get me down the road to the place where something else that is curative is available. We can hope, can’t we?
I know I have an enemy that is trying to destroy me, but, by God’s grace, I now also have an ally that is fighting for me. So little is known about Xofigo at this point, though, that there is a great deal of uncertainty going forward. The path I am on has not been walked before. I will be one of the first which makes me both excited and terrified. Do you hear in all this my continued desire to be in control? It is so interesting that the moment God grants me a reprieve, I want to be back in control, managing my life and future again. But if I have learned anything in the last year, it is that control is an illusion.
Here is wisdom for me in this situation: “Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good” (1 Peter 4:19). Once I push away the questions spinning around in my head, this is the deep desire of my heart. To entrust my soul to a faithful God for the remaining days of my life, to suffer well if need be, to continue to do good in this world, and to never, ever, ever give up.
I love this quote from Tim Keller:
“How you respond to the troubles in your life will go a long way toward whether or not you ever, ever, ever develop courage, ever develop patience, ever develop compassion, ever develop sobriety and humility, ever develop any of those things. Don’t waste your sorrows.”
Finally, when I get overwhelmed by all this craziness, I read this and just laugh and laugh!
Grateful to be counted among your friends,
For a brief video depiction of what my life has been like the last year, click on the link below:
Be sure to NOT stop midway through the “poor mouse” scene – stay with it. Xofigo shows up in the end!