I had made an appointment on August 25 to see about hospice care at home. I didn't intend at that time to start hospice, but I was convinced by the admitting nurse to begin immediately.
My medonc (medical oncologist) had suggested stopping the Xtandi and remaining on palliative care, but it was plain to see that the Xtandi had stopped being effective after 25 months. I had new lymph gland metastases and some increased bone mets, along with some increased "uptake" on my entire skeleton, from shoulders to feet---"possibly arthritis" or something else?>
But the cancer plus the radiation treatments, Xtandi, Firmagon and Lupron had left me so weak and emaciated that chemo wasn't possible and it was obvious that any additional treatment would be too hard on me to tolerate.
Some guys can go through so many rounds of different treatments, or even just the hormone treatments and successfully control the cancer for ten years or more, but I have a particularly sensitive metabolism, and I seem to get the full side effects of just about every medication. Where the Firmagon or Lupron frequently causes weight gain in a lot of guys, I lost so much weight and muscle mass that I am very emaciated.
At first, it felt like a defeat going into hospice, but it's not really a defeat, it's an acceptance that I have to face reality, and that it's time to rest from the battle.
Now I am trying to regain some strength again, and to at least be as comfortable as possible before I face the final battle. It may be a battle, or it may be a slipping gently away, but I'm hoping that it won't happen for quite some time.
Whatever happens, I want to face the end with courage and grace and serenity.
I intend to keep posting about my experiences with hospice care at home for those who want to know more about it, and who have been following my case. And I hope to inspire others who face this difficult part of the journey..
If I can find the courage and strength of spirit to face the inevitable; anyone can.
I never thought of myself as a particularly courageous or strong individual, but somehow I've found the strength within myself to deal with the fact that I have an incurable illness. And if I can do it; anyone can. Adversity can bring out the best in almost all of us. I found great strength from the cancer support sites, like this one, and the now-defunct Malecare Advanced Prostate site on Yahoo.
I felt so alone and lost when first diagnosed---I didn't know much about the advanced metastatic prostate cancer, but learning what I face, the information about treatments, and the fact that I'm not the only one going through this was a vast help to me.
And then I seemed to inspire others with my postings about my battle, and this was so gratifying, to be of some help, and feeling useful in spite of my limitations
God bless all of you,