A Good Oncology Visit

Fall and the Michaelmas Moon

Sunday gratefuls: Mark Horn. The sephirot. The Tree of Life. Zoom. Kabbalah. Astrology. Alan. The Parkside. Breakfast out. Jackie. Oyama. Kristie. Quest labs. Golden Trees. Tall Mountains. Water falling down the Mountainside. The new trail. Evergreen.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: The Tarot

Tarot:  The Moon, #XVIII of the Major Arcana

 

Guess this is good news. I didn’t remember my visit to my oncologist when I wrote yesterday’s post. Anyhow, I’m remembering it now.

The route I took so often with Kate. To Swedish Hospital. Down the Hill to 285 and go on until morning. Well, at least to the Safeway just past Broadway. Urology Associates has an office at the Swedish campus, one of three.

Saw Kristie. Whom I like. She shows me my reports, prints them out. Explains things. She’s an advocate for her patients. Will listen to whatever question I have and answer it as well as she can. She’s never in a hurry. “I want to be your cheerleader.” From a lot of folks that would make me bristle, but with Kristie, I hand her a pompom.

In less than a month Orgovyx has taken my PSA down from 7.4 to 1.0. “That’s a great result.” Two bits, four bits… The side effects have begun to diminish. The debilitating fatigue is gone. The hotflashes are intense but shorter and less frequent than the Lupron induced ones. It did not raise my blood sugar. Somehow the lipid panel got missed, but I’ll find out next time if it’s pumping up my triglycerides.

I’ve achieved castration level testosterone reduction. Gosh. Isn’t that good! …a dollar. All for vanished testosterone stand up and holler!

My location in the prostate cancer trajectory has changed. I now have advanced prostate cancer. In essence this means it can no longer be cured. But, it can be managed as a chronic disease. Androgen deprivation therapy, ADT, can work, does seem to be working for me right now. However, ADT often finds its utility waning after it has been used for a while. Some kind of resistance builds up.

And so. I had a blood draw at Kristie’s request. Well, Aster tried twice to draw my blood, said “I failed! I’m gonna get Paula.” Aster told me the story of her first for real blood draw. “The guy forgot to tell me he was terrified of needles. He jerked when I poked him and the needle went in, under the skin, and came out further on. I think I was more upset than he was.” I bet that’s a memory that will last. Paula succeeded.

The blood draw is for a genetic test that identifies 32 genetic mutations known to cause prostate cancer. Kristie, “This is not only for research. We now have targeted drugs for some of these mutations. If you have one of them, we may able to give you a specific therapy for your cancer.”

Thinking to that day when ADT no longer works.

A good visit. As good as you can have at your oncologist’s. Cancer losing. More losing expected. Other treatments available.

Told Kristie I realized the other day that I’ve now had prostate cancer for six and a half years. Glass half full Kristie said that means mine is less aggressive because I went for some time with lower PSA’s. True. But. Aggressive enough to keep coming back after the two gold standard treatments: prostate removal and radiation.

Even so. It was good.

Not going into it today, but I started my Tarot and the Tree of Life Spread class. Mark Horn is a good teacher. Organized. Thoughtful. Kind. Responsive.

The Moon. #18 in the major arcana. Again. I keep drawing major arcana. The Lady. The Moon. The Hermit. The Devil. The Chariot. A lot of energy swirling around me, in me. Feels right.

Will just note here that I’m having a push/pull experience with my Kabbalah, Tarot, Astrology learning. The skeptic, a key part of my mental habitus, keeps screwing up his face. C’mon, Charles. Whatcha doin?

Another part says, yeah, I know. But the way these cards have spoken to me, I can feel an inner world value, an introspective assist that helps me. Same with the Kabbalah. Astrology still kicks in the skeptic, but I’m trying to figure out how it fits with the archetypal insights from Kabbalah and Tarot. I’m holding all this in my alembic, believing that the fire of continuous practice will decide how I really feel.

 

 

 

 

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