Another Phase

Summer and the Radiation Moon

The waning crescent of the radiation moon was high in the south southeast sky this morning. As it wanes, so do the number of treatments. Yesterday was twenty-five, five-sevenths of the 35. My new calendar from Anova has an endpoint of August 9th, so two more full weeks. Barring time-outs for fumigation and heat treatments.

This does mean that my recovery from the radiation gets delayed. The first week after finishing mimics a treatment week, fatigue and gut wise, Dr. Gilroy said. After that my body gradually returns to normal. Of course, it’s a new normal. One that finds the cancer dead and gone, we hope.

Then the primary treatment related issues will be Lupron related. Again, so far, no hot flashes or other physical side effects. Yeah. May it continue. Kate and I have noticed some lability. I’m a bit more maudlin, though I have a maudlin gene anyhow. Sentimental guy. When I get tired, I’ve gotten a bit down, but nothing that’s lasted.

Entering another phase. As the radiation winds down, I’m finding my thoughts returning to the actual cancer. Been focused on the mechanics and logistics of radiation, waiting for side effects of the CyberKnife and the Lupron. Both their newness and their strangeness have served to deflect my thoughts from the cancer itself.

Without weekday trips to Lone Tree I’ll have no physical signal of the treatments I’m receiving. The Lupron is every three months for up to 2 years. Just a shot in the butt and done. Ten seconds every three months rather than ten minutes every weekday.

Sword of Damocles

Over the last couple of months I have stopped in front of my workout mirror on occasion and looked at myself. Maybe a bit thinner, but the same otherwise. No visible evidence of a terminal illness trying to reestablish itself, to finish the job it began 4 plus years ago. Which is, so far, the weirdest part. Some cancer is aggressive, of course, but prostate cancer, by comparison, is indolent. A good thing. But, its intention is the same. Occupy and eliminate the host. Me.

Until my first PSA I’ll have no idea if either radiation or the Lupron has succeeded. And, since the Lupron is temporary and reversible in its effects, I’ll not know whether the primary treatment, the CyberKnife, eliminated the cancer until I’m off the Lupron for at least three months. Months or years from now.

My gut feeling is that the CyberKnife will have done its job and I will be cancer free. Cured. But, I won’t know that until five years have passed with less than .01 PSA’s. Even then, another recurrence is possible, though less likely.