It feels good to be writing again after a two-week hiatus. Lots going on in between posts!
One of the best things about being married to your best friend of 43 years is that your arguments can be restricted to the important stuff, like whether “Hotel California” is one of the best rock songs of all time. I am firmly on Team Hotel California, whereas Diana can’t move quickly enough to turn it off.
To say that I understand more than half of the lyrics to that song would be a stretch, but the one line I have always thought was brilliant that lends itself to so many situations is the chorus. “Welcome to the Hotel California… you can check out, but you can never leave.” My journey with advanced prostate cancer has been very much like Hotel California.
There are a few perceptions about prostate cancer that are generally true:
It is an “old man’s” disease.
It is a slow growing cancer.
You don’t die of prostate cancer, you die with it.
Unless that is not the case…
My journey with prostate cancer has been different than the 70+% of guys that are cured with no recurrence. Although I hope I die *with* prostate cancer and not of it, I recognize and accept that this is a possibility for me. A prime example was two weeks ago, when I got the news that my PSA had decreased significantly in response to starting on a different drug. On the heels of this great news, I checked out of Hotel California but before the valet could even bring my car around, my PSA started going back up again. With advanced prostate cancer, you can check out, but you can never leave.
Which brings me to my latest bit of “oncotourism,” which was my trip to meet with a top specialist at MD Anderson in Houston that specializes in genitourinary cancers, and prostate cancer in particular. We reviewed a whole host of options yesterday afternoon, and my best option appears to be a clinical trial at MD Anderson that leverages the research findings behind the recently FDA-approved treatment of Pluvicto. The approval of Pluvicto has been eagerly anticipated by guys with advanced prostate cancer who are failing hormone therapy and need a way to either slow or reverse the growth of their prostate cancer.
Basically, the concept here is that the same “radiopharmaceutical” that is used to find prostate cancer cells lurking in the body can be armed with targeted radiation that can simultaneously begin killing those rogue cells. Pluvicto is only available to guys who have also had chemotherapy, but the clinical trial is for those that are failing hormone therapy but have not yet had chemo. I hope to find out soon whether I will be accepted into the trial. My goal today is the same as it was the day I was diagnosed… to die WITH prostate cancer and not OF it.
Until next time,