Friday, May 4, 2012

Reading About Side Effects May Cause Side Effects

Okay, I haven't really had any side effects in the first 24 hours, but that side effect list is long! I know they have to list every side effect possible, but reading through it all makes it seem like your whole body can fall apart.

I stopped reading after the first half, if I have a side effect I will deal with it. Otherwise, too much knowledge can cause mental damage.

So the process has started, and I have had a day to mentally get back into the treatment mindset.

And, as I noticed in the past, the mindset is a very big thing. It is not always easy to be positive and upbeat, but I try to look for the hope that every step I take on this journey. There are times I crash to floor, but those times often don't last too long and I can get back up and see the blessings I have in my life - family, friends, great church, a God who beat the crap out of death, and the list goes on and on.

Yesterday was one of those up and down days. I met with the oncologist in the morning and we talked about the results. The most positive thing that came out of it was that I can now start this treatment, and it does have a good success rate.

But there was also a reality check. As the doctor said, this drug is not a cure. With it what we hope to do is manage or eliminate symptoms, which you don't really have, and prolong life.

So I said that the drug only has one purpose with me then, the prolong life as long as possible. I still have a lot to do here!

He also said that when it comes to cancer that has metastasized to the bone, it is not the cancer that kills you. Instead the cancer provides ways for other things to kill you. That is why they are so concerned with the spot on my C2 vertebrae.

He checked me out, saw no other signs or problems. I am still an enigma since the only symptom I have had is this eye distortion, which may or may not be linked to the cancer. So he is as pleased as he can be and hopeful about the med.

I then saw the nurse who gave me my first bone-hardening drug. I will get this once a month to help prevent any erosion in my bone, especially my spine. I will also do blood labs once a month to make sure that there are not any issues developing with my kidneys or liver.

I am due to see this doctor in a month to check on side effects and in two months I will have a PET Scan and get the results. At that point we hope to see a change in the spots.

On Monday I meet with the Radiation Oncologist and we will set up a plan for radiation therapy. I am assuming it will be 25 sessions and will focus on the neck area.

So with all the medical stuff in place, this weekend we are going to our Synod Assembly, which is held in the Wisconsin Dells this year. We are bringing the girls with us and will celebrate my birthday up there as well.

The other mental shift that I have made in the past day has to do with where I am going to choose to put my energy. We all know that our time is limited, and sometimes that knowledge is shoved in our face in a fairly uncomfortable way. My re-diagnosis reminded me of that once again. So I want to spend my time, as much as I have celebrating all of the good things and people in my life. I have books I want to read, places to see, the gospel to share, girls to chase, a wife to love, fires to sit by, and sunrises to experience. Like I said, I have a lot to do, so the med needs to work for quite a while and I need to make the most of it.

But don't we all?

So what are some of the things you want to do with your life?

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