Advanced Prostate Cancer
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Why are oncologists such Debbie Downers

Hi everyone and Merry Christmas! It’s been awhile since i posted and thought I’d check in. I often read your updates and pray for you. My dad (diagnosed in May w/ advanced..high volume) has already had quite the journey. Luckily his psa has dropped from 128 to .43 in that time frame on Lupron and zytiga. For this, we were excited but the onc tells us “it’s to be expected at this stage”. Ugh. My dad continues to have back pain and fractures they’re concerned about. We are trying to gently coax him back to the mri machine to make sure there is no impingement on his spine. This is such an emotional roller coaster. Every time we feel he may be succeeding and can beat the odds, i feel his doctor brings us back to earth. Maybe that’s their job but it sure it nice to rest in hope from time to time.

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Sometimes I think oncologists are aliens put on our planet to study human behavior while we are under extremely stressful situations. They talk like robots and look like androids.

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This would make sense

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I would prefer the straight dope to sunshine and happy thoughts. In my experience, my early doctors were overly-optimistic in their prognoses - first my urologist, then the first radiation oncologist. I don't think I really got the full truth until I found an oncologist specializing in Prostate Cancer - and I don't think my urologist and radiation oncologist had the expertise I require.

You and your father can at least take some comfort in the knowledge that many advances in treatment have been made in the last 5-10 years. I can tell you based on my case that there is more reason for hope and optimism on extending your father's life than there was in 2006 when I was first diagnosed.

Best wishes to you and your father, and Merry Christmas.

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Want a REAL doc? Give him a hit.....

Good Luck and Good Health.

j-o-h-n Thursday 12/21/2017 5:09 PM EST

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There is much more involved in advanced prostate cancer than just one's medical chart, test results, and the diseased tissues, themselves. All too often the doctors only talk about those things, and have very little time (or sometimes inclination) to talk about the Whole Person, instead of just their "patient", and the parts that can fit into the box of their medical expertise.

If you live in the Cleveland, OH area, you and/or your Dad might find benefit in going to a Support Group for Caregivers or a Support Group for Cancer Patients. In such groups you may be free to talk about those Whole Person kinds of things in an extended, personal, authentic way.

Yes, he may never be "Cured" of his metastatic prostate cancer, but there are many ways in which he and you may be "Healed" along the way, as his life and treatments continue.

Here is some info about one such support provider. You might check it out to see if it may be a good "fit" for you, and a place to get some of those many concerns and feelings out on a regular basis, in a supportive environment.

The Gathering Place

touchedbycancer.org/

CONNECT WITH US

phone: 216.595.9546

TGP EAST

The Arnold & Sydell Miller Family Campus

23300 Commerce Park

Beachwood, Ohio 44122

TGP WEST

The Sandy Borrelli Center

25425 Center Ridge Road

Westlake, Ohio 44145

And an early 2018 Calendar showing Support Group Meeting Times on Tuesdays and Mondays for groups of this type. Call ahead at 216.595.9546 to set-up 1st meeting attendance ahead of time.

touchedbycancer.org/uploads...

(My spouse and I have attended various support groups for 3-4 years since my own "incurable" diagnosis at age 65, and have found them helpful, particularly during the great emotional turmoil of the first year after diagnosis, and later during times of transition to new treatment options.)

Meanwhile, I hope you and your Dad have a Merry Christmas experience, too. These are the times to make those Good Times and Experiences with family and friends especially good and memorable. Cancer can also be an Opportunity in that way, strangely enough.

Charles

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Thank you, Charles. I sincerely appreciate the information. I don’t know that he’s quite ready yet as he’s mostly preferring to function as though it isn’t there. I know the time will come, however, when this will benefit us all greatly. I know what you mean by opportunities and healing . Trauma and tribulations have a way of transforming relationships and priorities. My family is closer than ever. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

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I have taken on a challenge to make my Oncologist to laugh every time I go in, working with death so much it would be a challenge to show a happy face. I have found him very intelligent as is the radiation oncologist I worked with. Very serious, treating a very serious disease. One time I went in late in the day and he was flat, so he laughed the rest of the appointment.

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My oncologist is a straight shooter, which I appreciate. For half to 2/3 of my clinic visits, I see his physician's assistant. I LOVE that guy. He's also a straight shooter, but, oh man, do we laugh. He was also voted best PA by one of the city magazines. I completely agree.

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It is a tough profession. Not many opportunities to take a victory lap I imagine.

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Yes, i would imagine .. my comment /post was mostly made in jest. They have a really tough job. We want to celebrate the little victories like a rapidly decreasing psa and seemingly good response to the meds - but are reminded nothing can be assured to us ..

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I've found they are more likely to be the little bluebird of happiness. I have been working to let them know there is nothing they can say which will scare me. I know it's going to kill me - I just want to know when so I can plan. But many people aren't ready to face their mortality and the docs know this.

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