Whine Country

Ok, I going to do my best to not whine about the fact that I was supposed to spend this week in the Napa Valley drinking wine with some of my dearest friends. Unfortunately, cancer had a different set of plans for me.


Where I last left off, I was lamenting the fact that two additional cancerous spots had been located with a CT scan on June 4th, but I was simultaneously celebrating the fact that Oxycodone (aka Percocet) had virtually eliminated all pain that I was experiencing from the cancerous lymph nodes pressing on my ureter.


Unless you have a reason to know this, you probably don’t know it, but one of the downsides of using a narcotic to blunt pain is that it has the potential to create constipation. I began to experience that in a pretty severe way by about day 3, so I promptly stopped taking it and figured I would just gut it out. Only one problem, by several days later with taking no Oxycodone, things were no better. In fact, they were much worse.


My radiation oncologist – believing that this did not sound right – went back and reviewed my recent scans with a radiologist and discovered that prostate cancer tumors have now invaded my rectal wall, which is shrinking the size of that “passageway” and making it different to perform bodily functions that most of us take for granted. Those of you that know me well know that I don’t like talking about bodily functions, so let’s leave this one right here.


So now the question becomes, what do I need to do about it?


I finished my final radiation treatment for the two initially identified spots yesterday (June 17th) at about 4:00 p.m. Meanwhile, last Thursday, I was contacted by MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and informed, following a two-month wait, that I am not eligible for their PSMAfore clinical trial due to the presence of an AR V7 “splice variant” in my last Caris report. This is difficult to understand since that marker was readily identifiable in the Caris report I had done in February and provided to MD Anderson in advance of my April 11th visit there, but oh well. It is what it is.


This news means that I cannot rely on the Lu-177-PSMA-617 drug protocol to knock back the tumors in my rectal wall, so a different, more traditional strategy is needed. I met with my medical oncologist several times this week, and the current plan is that I will have a treatment port surgically inserted this coming Thursday, and will start chemotherapy with Taxotere on Monday, June 27th.


Proving that God has a wicked sense of humor after all, it appears that I will lose some or most of my hair in the coming months. The hair sometimes referred to by friends as the “pompadour” or the “man mane.” Easy come, easy go. Oh well, at least I’m not whining… or am I? 😊


Until next time,


Steve