Career after PCa diagnosis? - Advanced Prostate...

Advanced Prostate Cancer

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Career after PCa diagnosis?

DarkEnergy profile image

I've been working for a large company as an IT employee. But, after being PCa diagnosed and all the treatments involved, especially the mind-bending ADT drugs, the quick thinking, swift information sweeping, memory recall and overall mental acuity seems challenged to say the least.

So, I've finally announced retirement due to personal health situation.

But, is this just a typical aging process, without PCa, at early 60's of age, this would occur regardless?

Or blame cancer and its becomings...

125 Replies

ADT shouldn't take away anybody's mental capabilities. I am on ADT for nearly four years. I am over 80. Still I can solve mathematical problems I did in my twenties as a theoretical physicist. Never give up.

DarkEnergy profile image
DarkEnergy in reply to dac500

I used to pick up any software development language and start coding, this is why I've been a consultant. These days technology branding is the norm, for example, C++, Java, JavaScript, Rust languages are like a persona.

I hear you of not given up, don't want my brain to get lazy...

TNCanuck profile image
TNCanuck in reply to dac500

It shouldn’t, but it does. My brilliant chemical engineer husband has diminished memory and just isn’t as sharp as he was pre-ADT. He will be 62 in June.

CSHobie profile image
CSHobie in reply to dac500

As we age, our natural Testosterone levels drop. At 80 the drop from your normal is not as severe as the drop from a 50 or 60 year old man, to zero.

I salute you for still being as sharp as ever. I wish I could say that.

DarkEnergy profile image
DarkEnergy in reply to CSHobie

Excellent!

I've been explaining this phenomena in a round about way, your subtle explanation nails it!

PeteN profile image
PeteN in reply to dac500

You are fortunate. At 64, Lupron every three months and daily Casodex have left me with fatigue, cognitive decline and a horrible memory. There is no way I could continue my job as a decision maker. I have one more year of this facing me. I look forward to the day my testosterone comes back.

dac500 profile image
dac500 in reply to PeteN

Sorry to hear about the impact of ADT on you. In my case, I have severe impact with fatigue, depression, anxiety, and lack of interest. I have some impact on my short term memory, which could be due to my advanced age. However, I have my long term memory more or less intact. I force myself to engage in mentally challenging activities. I know if I don't do that, there would be considerable impact on my intellectual capabilities.

My husband was dx with mild cognitive impairment by memory loss / alzheimer's specialist. At 78 he is considerably older than you, though. But he did have a tough time on ADT & I don't think he fully recovered from its side effects. . . You could start by talking with your oncologist or even family doctor.

DarkEnergy profile image
DarkEnergy in reply to Lyubov

I've tried some other drugs to help, like Venlafaxine, this took me into zombie world.

PeteN profile image
PeteN in reply to DarkEnergy

My MO put me on Venlafaxine after I began to show symptoms of depression. I felt like it was rewiring my brain, not in a good way. I weaned myself off it.

I took an early retirement also.

Nice, wake up in the morning free...

I have been on adt, lupron and abritone for almost 2 years, still work 22 hours a week, very niminal loss of memory, not much tiredness and will be 71 this year, very active. You should try it first before deciding on retirement, these drugs affect different people different ways and you could always go part time for a few years, do not give up your future to this disease. I know one person that had had this fir 26 years and is doing very well.

Yes, we're all different, I'm not easy on meds, when had my ACL repair surgery, the pain meds made me hibernate in the closet for a few days.

At 56 I took retirement and went on disability

DarkEnergy profile image
DarkEnergy in reply to mrscruffy

Interesting, I looked at the Social Security (SSA) process and decided to forget early retirement. To prove my treatment has stopped working seems subjective.

mrscruffy profile image
mrscruffy in reply to DarkEnergy

Our cancer is on a list of approved disabilities. You file and they do all the work. Didn't receive the first time so I hired an attorney and was granted after he represented me at a phone hearing. Super easy and you get pay retroactively

They reject you on first try ...its part of process. ..i got rejection letter almost before i got home from ss office....reapplied....got phone interview and accepted imiedietly with back pay from first time i applied ....stage 4 is automatic acceptance....my guess they dint think we'd be around for long ...jmo..bw

Cooolone profile image
Cooolone in reply to DarkEnergy

StageIV diagnosis is an approved Disability! There really is no question, maybe if you're in your 40's. But if you're mid 50's+ it shouldn't be a question. And you'll collect as if you worked to full retirement age. If course everyone has their own financial situation and it's not a one size fits all.

Boywonder56 profile image
Boywonder56 in reply to Cooolone

Actually they pay what you'd get at 65.......

Cooolone profile image
Cooolone in reply to Boywonder56

I'm full SS @ 67, and I got full now @ 57... But maybe because I was at top tier and hit max contribution to SA for years as well. In any event, it's all good.

PeteN profile image
PeteN in reply to Boywonder56

Only if your full retirement age is 65. You get the benefit you would get at your full retirement age, whether it’s 65 or 67.

Boywonder56 profile image
Boywonder56 in reply to PeteN

Correct.....

mrscruffy profile image
mrscruffy in reply to Cooolone

I am very lucky, was planning on retiring this year so house paid off and near top or retirement scale. I make more now than on the job

Cooolone profile image
Cooolone in reply to mrscruffy

Yes, retirement is different... Weird because you are now a liability to each of these funds or savings you may have and not a contributor any longer. But your net, is much higher and there's more disposable income because you're not spending to work (commute, etc).

So yes, there's more equity in not working, than busting your backside to work. Might as well enjoy life and not sweat the small stuff!

mrscruffy profile image
mrscruffy in reply to Cooolone

I like to tell my former co-workers that they are paying me not to show up🤣

Cooolone profile image
Cooolone in reply to mrscruffy

😂

DarkEnergy profile image
DarkEnergy in reply to Cooolone

I've read disability for stage 4 Prostate Cancer, it has to be castrate resistance to get approved. Was this your case?

Cooolone profile image
Cooolone in reply to DarkEnergy

That is I believe incorrect...

Disability Evaluation Under Social Security

13.00 Cancer - Adult

Section

13.01

Category of Impairments, Cancer(malignant

neoplastic diseases)

...

13.24 Prostate gland- carcinoma.

A. Progressive or recurrent (not including biochemical recurrence) despite initial hormonal intervention. (See 13.00K8.)

OR

B. With visceral metastases (metastases to internal organs).

OR

C. Small-cell (oat cell) carcinoma.

13.25 Testicles- cancer with metastatic disease progressive or recurrent following initial chemotherapy.

13.26 Penis-carcinoma with metastases to or beyond the regional lymph nodes...

Every case is different, as is mine. I am StageIV with mets to my Peritoneal and Appendix. But I'm hormone sensitive... Anyways...

I would suggest hiring an attorney. A good one, familiar with the process. Their compensation is capped, so if there's a chance you won't or shouldn't receive a Disability determination, I'm sure the attorney won't want to take you as a client. If they do, then it's just a matter of seeing it through! There's a whole bunch of other things that all come together for it to work. They only go back so far as well. So don't wait too long as you might leave some meat on the table so to say, lol.

👍

Lulu700 profile image
Lulu700 in reply to mrscruffy

I was 53 with only some savings no retirement plan . Always self employed. Still , I couldn’t work . Lucky to be here now !

At 60 i did same...

Me too, it was physical work, it wasn’t possible, I do get annoyed with myself, as I’m not who I was. But as Lulu700 says “ I’m still here “. It’s a personal thing.

Keep fighting, even if you can’t remember why 🤔🤫😬🧐

Lulu700 profile image
Lulu700 in reply to Lettuce231

Yah man! That’s it. Some amazing chaps work for a decade. That wasnt me. I got clipped like him put dumpty . God bless those that are suffering . 🙏😔

Lulu700 profile image
Lulu700 in reply to Lettuce231

I was so spaced out for two years . I couldn’t compute! Physical or mental stress had to go. I always sweated the little stuff in life with a priority towards $$$$. I had to derail and destress from everything .

I'm 55 and took retirement. I do voluntary work now which keeps me much more active than my previous administration type job. Brains ok most days. I took the decision as I wanted to give back.Good luck my friend. Dropping your number of hours might be a balance of you like your job.

DarkEnergy profile image
DarkEnergy in reply to lcfcpolo

Well, a good point, do I like my job is a good question. Us older software developers go into IT management jobs and get depressed.

So true!

mrscruffy profile image
mrscruffy in reply to lcfcpolo

I am kept busier than ever around the house and my working friends and family constantly have projects for me and lunch dates 3 or 4 days a month. Busier now than when I was working

StePeteMN profile image
StePeteMN in reply to lcfcpolo

What do you do for health insurance? I'm thinking of cost of scans and treatment--pretty high--and how that works at our age.

lcfcpolo profile image
lcfcpolo in reply to StePeteMN

I was able to cash a pension but so far my treatment is free on the NHS - UK here. I most probably will have to downsize my house soon though if I go overseas for treatment.

StePeteMN profile image
StePeteMN in reply to lcfcpolo

Understood--NHS. I think about my future often. I work for a great company with very generous benefits (super important over here) and I've had a no-questions-asked experience so far (many scans, chemo twice, plenty of radiation, lots of drugs--all covered) and I would expect a government plan would cost me more out-of-pocket, but I don't really understand how Medicare works.

DarkEnergy profile image
DarkEnergy in reply to StePeteMN

Impossible to compare US insurance coverage with other countries. This is why announcing my retirement from a corporate US company could be life threatening. For example, I'm currently employed with a large "healthcare" corporation that pays the medical treatment bills directly.

So, my employer, "ABC Corporation", has a contract/partnership with UnitedHealthcare Insurance company for employees healthcare services.

UnitedHealthcare has established payment agreement contracts nationwide with healthcare providers. Example case: when an employee of "ABC Corporation" goes for a radiation treatment, UnitedHealthcare manages the services, but "ABC Corporation" pays the bill. To be clear, UnitedHealthcare does not pay the bill, the funds comes from "ABC Corporation".

Medicare is funded by the US government.

Does this make sense?

Lulu700 profile image
Lulu700 in reply to DarkEnergy

United health care is the 19th biggest company in the world if we can fathom that? Wow! They dropped me a yr ago and bcbs picked me up ?? Medicaid

Lulu700 profile image
Lulu700 in reply to StePeteMN

Great to hear! A Good company!

Lulu700 profile image
Lulu700 in reply to lcfcpolo

Downsizing is good. We did it. What a relief it is.

Lulu700 profile image
Lulu700 in reply to StePeteMN

I spent bucco my first two years in treatments . I had bc bs . They paid $850 k or more I spend $40 k . Then broke I went on ssdi and Medicaid at 53 . Not the grand retirement scheme one had hoped for . I’m just lucky to be here today! You betcha! ✌️

I sold my dental practice and retired at age 58. We all have to do what seems right for ourselves. I volunteer now, which gives me purpose without requiring a consistently tight schedule.

Yes, think will replace the term "retired" to "transformed"!

Lulu700 profile image
Lulu700 in reply to DarkEnergy

Maybe transcend ? 🙏✌️

Lulu700 profile image
Lulu700 in reply to onajourney

Bravo! 🎉

I'm going back to work till at least 70 after up-till-now successful primary treatment, partly because my wife still works, and partly because I want to max out SS in case the other shoe drops on this PCa and need expensive treatment. I couldn't work FT on ADT-- it diminished my initiative and made cognitive errors.

I retired recently at 57. I have been on adt for 6 years and that isn’t the reason I left. I worked 32 years for the Government and I feel like the last couple years I have been just herding cats with my employees. Covid made it harder as we were full time teleworking so I couldn’t separate work from home. So I hung it up. We just had a pool built so I am the pool boy and the gardener plus I have two little doggies to fill up my day. My wife is substitute teaching so it’s almost like she is trying to get a break from me too lol. Anyway if you feel it is time you will know it. Mainly I wanted to get out there and start living stress free and travel to see my sons in different states of our great nation. Best of luck!

Lulu700 profile image
Lulu700 in reply to Mikes21

Cabana boys have all of the fun. Dogs make living great! 32 yrs is enough of anything I think? Enjoy it! 🎉

Hip hip hurray ! Retire , you ve done amazing working through this . I couldn’t do it .anymore at just 53 .. 7 yrs on ssdi and adt .. was completely unable to work in my old high stress environment . Im 61 soon . I had to de stress . I Remember you in that commute .. Good luck and God Bless you friend . I’ve always liked you . Hang in there dude ! 🎯🙏

MateoBeach profile image
MateoBeach in reply to Lulu700

Se ding love to you Scott. And a memory via email today. Paul, Johane and Mateo. 👫🐕‍🦺🙏

Lulu700 profile image
Lulu700 in reply to MateoBeach

We love you all! God bless ! 🙏🙏🙏❤️🕊🕊🕊

I think the biggest mistake people make when they retire is to immediately jump into something else to fill the time. Take your time and get to know yourself free from work first. Then if your able and want to go back part time or volunteer you can.

That’s very good advice. I’m coming up on one year of retirement. I retired from IT at 62. ADT, and having PCa in general, certainly played into my decision to retire. Fatigue and just a general lack of drive we’re ultimately the reasons. During the last year the best thing has been the freedom to do what I want. And a lot of the time I just sat and streamed Netflix and haven’t felt guilty about it. I’ve been constantly asked ‘what are you going to do now?’. I usually say I’m still trying to figure it out but I’m glad I retired. There’s no reason to think you need to jump right into something immediately after one retires. Think about it first. Retirement gives the ultimate luxury - free time.

Now a year out from retirement I find I’m thinking more often about going back part time. Maybe 3 days/week. My former employer has repeatedly asked if I’d like to come back. Sure some extra cash would be nice but the real incentives are the social interactions and the sense of purpose that comes from work.

After 2 years of struggling with the ADT and RT side-effects, I finally organised with my employer to work 3 days a week. It's the best solution for me, as I get a partial age pension to top up my overall income. I'll be 70 in July. Work gives me a sense of belonging, usefulness, camaraderie and extra money. Plus it gives my wife a break from me. Win win!

I am 57 and diagnosed last year and had started consulting/contracting after my company decided to pull out of my state and I didn't want to make a 3.5 hrs commute 3 days a week. I had 6 months off when I took my package and enjoyed time training my dosg and spending time with my family. I enjoyed consulting/contracting I was getting my hands dirty again vs stomping out fires. Then covid and PCA happened. I subsequently ended up taking a full-time position at a company I was consulting with. I struggle with when should retire. The ADT has impacted my mental agility but I am still competent it just doesn't come as quickly as it used to.

Hi Dark Energy, I took retirement 10 years ago after my radiation of the postate & have been on part pension ever since, I tried so hard to work but the mental energy was just not there even at the ripe old age of 61.These days after 10 years of ADT & time off I could not do active work & I am 100% sure it is because of the ADT drugs, but what are the alternatives?

Recently my diesel car was found to have a tank of petrol, OUCH $$$ to repair, that hurt!!!

Lulu700 profile image
Lulu700 in reply to ARIES29

Agreed! It’s 100% Adt causation or simply no t . 7 yrs this way for me . Petrol into a diesel ? Woah! 😩

ARIES29 profile image
ARIES29 in reply to Lulu700

Hi Lulu, yea & after the shop replaced the head & injectors etc they found petrol where it should not be. Very, very expensive mistake. I blame the idiot that wrongly diagnosed the problem but ADT & maybe the fact that I was not there mentally at the fuel pump?

Lulu700 profile image
Lulu700 in reply to ARIES29

Darned! TGI Good Friday ! Enjoy the weekend.!

I'm 63 and hoping to keep working at least till I can get Medicare at 65. I mostly do research from home for a law firm. The pressure varies. The first year on ADT I struggled with organization, emails with missing words and misspellings no matter how many times I proofed. I noticed a big positive difference in cognition, mood, and sleep when I started low dose estradiol patch 2.5 years ago. I continue to be challenged with organization, but I am better than pre estradiol.

I’ve Lost cognition . Although I had little in the form of schooling I used to have a great command of spelling . Now I need to google simple words and I might need to do it three times before I can get it into my iPad s scribbling here . I slathered onto my thighs a tube of estradiol fir three weeks . My tits boomed and became immeadiatly very painful for me . II stopped it . Self medicating with this on adt was a mistake for me . I’m 61 now. If I live until 70 with no signs I might then risk injecting t? For now , I’m Just fading into the no t dust . Oh well , beats pushin daises . I owe i to m young beautiful healthy wife to holy and hold on for as long as possible . But we all once APC turns its head the second time we are Fonda . Pluck the day , as they say . Good day! 🙏🙏🕊🕊

I say 15 percent age / hereditery.....85 adt ...especialy if doing brain blood barrier poisoin like erleada.....i was a quick thinking...do business in my head ...nevervlate for an apt.... etc....now after 5 yrs....just today i couldnt even recall what i did with a furniture dolly....from yesterday.....i tell people that my brain is only in the present.....even though i can remember plenty from 50 yrs ago...at 66 the decline from 60 is like what iwould suspect at 75.....now heres the good part ....i swear i can watch,/ read/ listen to audible book.....and pretty much week or 2 later do it again....and be pretty much clueless....before apc....i could count on 1 hand the books/ movies i had revistef for mor than a few minutes and did not finish because was still fresh in memory bank....

DarkEnergy, I'm confused. In your post you say that you are an IT employee, and you've announced retirement. In an answer to a reply, you say you are a consultant. Which is it, e.g., do you get a W-2 or 1099? I ask because if you are an employee of this large company, and you retire, can you continue to help them on an as-needed basis as a consultant? If this is possible, you might consider this if you enjoy your work (or it helps your self-esteem) or you could use the extra income.Here is the connection with PCa: If, as you say, you have ADT brain fog, you can do contract-based consulting work presumably from home with more flexibility. In my case, I work when my fog is minimal, and/or I bill only one hour when I've worked a fog-affected two hours.

For your amusement: Much of my consulting work involves running 50-year-old FORTRAN-based codes that simulate complicated physical processes. There happens to be no modern codes that do the same thing, and almost everyone else that understood these codes is dead.

DarkEnergy profile image
DarkEnergy in reply to Gearhead

I was a consultant (contractor), then joined the company as an employee.

Well, I'm still alive. I did machine tool programming using Fortran IV from 1970 to 1978 and also moonlighted in between until I burned out. Got promoted and I returned to a good nights sleep. I think I can still write code from memory. Working on any cars?

I was fortunate enough to have disability insurance that allowed me to stop work upon diagnosis at 55. The ADT has reduced my physical energy level and my mental sharpness. There is no way I could work at the same pace I used to.

I am grateful to have a few years of retirement while I am still relatively healthy. Who knows what this cancer will do to me in the near future. I also think the lack of work stress and the extra time I now have to focus on healthy living is helping me battle the cancer. I have no regrets about early retirement.

Lulu700 profile image
Lulu700 in reply to MarkBC

Don’t know if it I was really luck for me ? But I too went on ssdi at 53, due to Métzs on bladder & tubes into kidneys for 18 months. What a ride! Just grateful to be alive! Happy Easter ! 🙏

I think that PCa and ADT affects us all somewhat differently and I suppose that it’s to be expected.

For me I was forced into early retirement aged 58 and diagnosed aged 59. The ADT began to cause cognitive decline in the first year.

It hasn’t progressed much thankfully, but that decline and the physical impairments ADT induces is enough for me to be thankful that I haven’t had to work these past 3 years, I doubt that I would have come through the experience without seriously damaging relationships.

I appreciate that I’m very lucky to live in a country that values social supports for its citizens with disabilities (obviously I could do with more money!) and provides healthcare nearly free for cancer patients who don’t have financial resources.

I’m also very lucky to live in a rural retirement village (it doesn’t have “facilities” like in the USA) and I can say that the ADT effects make me less sharp and able than most of my neighbours and most of them are older than me; so it’s not age that has diminished me, it’s the cancer treatment. Without the treatment my life quality and expectancy would be very low.

I count my blessings every day and every day I’m grateful for all that I have, I am a very lucky man.

Hugh

Lulu700 profile image
Lulu700 in reply to Aodh

Correct Hugh! Thank God ! For Everything ! Happy Easter! 🙏🕊🕊🕊

My husband is 68 and still works full time. This past year, in addition to ADT, he has had chemo six cycles last year and 8 this year. He does tell me he needs to double check his work, but he thinks being active and involved keeps him from being depressed. I recently retired at nearly 70 due to a downsizing at work, so he announced a July 1 retirement but plans to consult.

Everyone’s path is different, but work has been valuable for him.

Lulu700 profile image
Lulu700 in reply to leebeth

Amazing guy! 👏🏼👏🏼😎

I’m still working full time as a Chartered Accountant at 67. I have no immediate plans to retire. I have been on ADT for nearly 7 years and have had no decline in my cognitive abilities. I have fatigue but manage it as best as possible. I guess we all experience different outcomes and make different decisions about work and life

Lulu700 profile image
Lulu700 in reply to MikeDonald

😎👏🏼👏🏼Bravo!

At 58 I did the same . Fatigue ,pain and brain fog did me in . Luckily in the Netherlands we have a pretty good system that pays a monthly disability. Together with an early part pension of my former employer I hardly notice the difference money wise . I still do some work for a former client, just a few hours a week and only when I’m up to it . Sounds strange but I feel these are thé bed years if my life , I can concentrate on what really matters for me .

I also worked in IT, and as a employee, contractor/ consultant. Over the years my days were filled with, deadlines, overwork, extreem stress, on call which diminished sleep all of which which probably diminished my immune system. I actually quit one job as a employee due to concern as to what lack of sleep and interupted sleep could be doing to my health. Doctors said work stress can be having real negative effects on health.

I retired at 56 right after my six week RP followup where I had persistent PSA. Salvage radiation which was planned to follow RP was cancelled, go on ADT for life I was told, they weren't going to look for where it was. I was a lost cause.

My PSA was in the 50 range, I was told I would die from the cancer, I was told I had 5 to 10 years left probably no more than 7 years. I was a Gleason 7 (4,3), with a third most common type of 5.

Then while I was realing from what I already heard the Dr said "you have aggressive cancer, boy do you have aggressive cancer, you have the real McCoy".

Every doctor since has been concerned that I had some pattern 5 cancer, it didn't bold well for me.

My previous life ended there, I went into extreme emotional distress. I was going to be dead at 61, or 63, best shot 66. All my plans my hopes my dreams, my future retirement were over. Every thing I had worked for, saved for, was done.

I lived the next year as a ghost, I literally felt transparent, felt I was a observer of the living, not one of them. People couldn't see me, I didn't matter, I was no longer alive.

Prior to that meeting I was recovering from RP, out of work for several weeks and then working from home. I was incontinent beginning at 10 pads a day, suffered from ED. I had been spending at least 3 hours a day at work totally distracted. Now it was much worse, I lost all composure talking to my bosses. I resigned.

I went on Lupron the day of that six week followup, it made me weak, it decreased my ability to think, to remember, to pronounce words correctly. I had the hot flashes. I got lost driving. My wife had to help me think right. I no longer had confidence I could solve problems, that could be capable of learning new things or performing what I had done at work.

What mattered to me changed as well.

I got off ADT after second opinions, my new full time job was my health, exercising, researching PC, my wife, my dogs, myself.

It took me 7 months to get continent again with keegles every night, it was depressing, and hard work, at times ready to give up, but eventually I was mostly dry.

My focus was salvaging everything I could in my remaining time. Knowing I had a ticking bomb inside of me, not knowing when it would go off, when my health would decline, from treatments, from PC.

I had to do things now while I still could.

It's been 5 years now, I did get other opinions, I sought treatment all over the US, scans from coast to coast, North and South. I received the salvage radiation and two years of ADT. I reached <0.01 but it's slowly climbing again. I'll likely add international treatments to my care.

I bought a RV after diagnosis, my wife retired early too. I make major life decisions quickly now, selling buying houses, RVs, I don't dwell on price, I don't have time, I need to do things quickly and I do.

I'm running through my bucket list, spending time, time I never had working, with my wife and dogs. We've travelled in my RV to all 48 states. Been to Hawaii, Canada, and looking at getting Alaska too. Spend winters in FL, can't waste my life/time stuck in a house in cold weather.

I exercise which I consider essential to maximzing my health and my life span. I'm doing the things I like, I'm reducing and avoiding stress. I get sleep. For many years the stress of having cancer interrupted my sleep and I couldn't fall asleep until the wee hours of the morning, now I can sleep late when I need to or want to rest up. It still happens but not as often.

Naps most afternoons are the norm especially on ADT, or after exercising.

If you can swing it, I believe retiring early has prevented severe depression and may have actually saved my life. I'm enjoying the life I have been dealt as best I can, and try hard to make sure I'm enjoying each day of early retirement.

My efforts I believe have lengthened my expected life span, given me more time more quality time. I'll continue living the best life I can, and see where it takes me.

Boywonder56 profile image
Boywonder56 in reply to TJGuy

I remember mo telling me....not really any side effects from lupron...cept the hot flashes....the aplutimide they didnt know at the time....i was a guinee pig.....now when he sees me aka homer simpson....its " side effects of treatment".....my psa creeping up too....but this is it for me..couldnt imagine less qol.....going to live like no tommoro from here on OUT....

In a world where people like putin and biden control the worlds freedom...i digress..f

🇺🇦kputin.....letsgobranden......bw

MateoBeach profile image
MateoBeach in reply to TJGuy

Thank you for sharing your insightful and inspiring journey TJGuy. We love traveling with our RV, wife and dog, and my big BMW motorcycle. Journey on!

I'm a professor and went on adt at 42 and found it difficult at times to remember things, to think deeply, etc. I came off after two years and my cognitive function got better over time. My testosterone has not recovered. With my psa creeping up, the journey continues. I'm 48 now. Retirement isn't a possibility for a while.

Lulu700 profile image
Lulu700 in reply to Jp2sea

42? Dam! I’m sorry . Thought I early to the party at 53. The younger the man the more sympathy I have . Keep rocking kid! 🏜✌️

My MO gave me some great advice in this regard, “don’t do anything that you’ll regret”. I worked full time through chemo and did experience some chemo brain fog and physical fatigue which my employer was willing to accommodate.

I didn’t experience any significant problems with ADT so you may wish to look for other reasons such as depression or

Medication effects. Your MO can help you with that.

I also found doing post chemo PT to be helpful and Confidence building.

Finally, be careful with HR. Know your right but don’tgo to HR too soonand talk retirement. They’ll write you off pretty quickly.

I suggest you meet with an experienced employment attorney to review your case. You are in at least 2 protected classes. You’ve earned them and make sure that your know your rights.

Also, understand the transition from employer sponsored health insurance and Medicare. Mine did go smoothly. It’s way more complicated that you think especially since you’re not at full age.

Good luck! Jason

I was an airline pilot, captain,, big airline,, big jets......and had to retire at 57. It devastated me that I had to, but I found that once you let go of chasing the money, prestigious positions that make you feel important, the travel and sense of really having a great purpose of being a badass .... you see the world different, and it's relaxed, calm, and has way more love in it. And I think I'm already a better person as I adjust to it.. Don't worry, you'll be ok.

MateoBeach profile image
MateoBeach in reply to GummyToad

👍👍🙏. There are gifts hidden within the thorns of this disease. And you are finding them with courage.

Lulu700 profile image
Lulu700 in reply to GummyToad

You are the Captain ! Bravissimo! Thanks like your style! 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👨‍✈️✈️✈️✈️

DarkEnergy profile image
DarkEnergy in reply to GummyToad

That reminds me, during flight school (private, commercial and instrument) in Miami, FL, while maintaining first-class medical certificate. I choose an eye surgeon for a check-up, darn, discovered a rare condition in one of my eyes.

At the examination room, the lights were turned off, then the doc flashed a light into my left eye and it jumped a little. Well, forgot the diagnosis, but devastating, my flying career aspirations was over! Although, during this time, there was an air traffic controller shortage, was offered an interview, but was frustrated and declined.

The amusing thing, my airline pilot friends envy me because of my software development career. Remembered my pilot friends bidding frustration, they're like crap, got the freaking India line!

GummyToad profile image
GummyToad in reply to DarkEnergy

I enjoyed the military flying better than airlines, and true, the airline business has it ups and downs bigtime. I really wish I was a rock star ...I wish I could start over!

For me ADT has definitely caused some cognitive issues, i had a very stressful, physically (travel) and mentally demanding job. I retired early and never looked back. Life is peaceful now and I view every day as a precious gift. I’ve never heard a funeral eulogy where someone talks about “what a good worker” someone was. Only about memories and time spent together.

Ed

Lulu700 profile image
Lulu700 in reply to EdBar

I am the same EdBar. No looking back! 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼🕊🕊🕊🕊

DarkEnergy profile image
DarkEnergy in reply to EdBar

Exactly, for me, just announcing retirement is making me motivated about stuff I've been wanting to do. I've been doing part time options and crypto trading with surprising success.

A risk is losing the corporate sponsored health insurance. So will need to pick up the monthly COBRA premium for 18 months. I think the time limit is 18 months, short of Medicare for me. So, disability will be the best way to go.

EdBar profile image
EdBar in reply to DarkEnergy

Yep, that’s what I did.

Could and Would...

Well... It's really just personal decisions, not necessarily a forced one at that. Everyone has different tolerance levels to pain and different identifications of what pain is... And everyone has different ideas or expectations of what they consider their careers.

For me, diagnosed at 53, RP @ 54, ADT/RT too, then recurrence and StageIV discovery at 56... Amazingly at each threshold I went back to work, worked through the 40 IMRT treatments, etc. And even last line of therapy, Docetaxel just last year, when I began, fully expected to go back to work.

But things change!

The harshness of the Chemo treatment made me sit and think about what comes next. No crystal ball in my possession, I had goosebumps crawl my skin when I thought that working until I heard a doctor tell me get my affairs in order ... So I had my awakening!

Nobody knows... Regardless of our illness or perfect health, when our bell tolls. And I certainly wasn't ready to hang up my cleats, but I realized that I've done enough. I've worked 36 years in an industry that I've mastered and there's nothing left for me to give to it. Is time to pass the torch and let the new world beaters take over. That it's time to begin the next chapter of my life and enjoyment. That my purpose is now to smile as much as possible, daily and often. To figure out to do the things that I've always wanted to, or that just are there in front of me for the taking. I've worked since in 15 and not a paper route, I worked 100 hours per week back then and did that throughout my career. Up to the point where it almost put me in a hospital from working too much. And I worked @ Ground Zero for 18 months with those hours too, most likely helping my good fortune to tickle this beast to life (PCa). But whatever, it's all spilt milk, no looking back, no regrets, it's been a hell of a ride!

And it's easy to walk away from, when you get your mind right, for what's best for you. Time to be selfish! And that's ok! Jokingly have told the kids I'm spending their inheritance and the account balance will be ZERO when that bell rings! Lol... But honestly, it will be hard to spend it all. I worked and saved well for this time

I now have a plan and it is being implemented as I write this post. Retirement was always down the road, something in the future. Sure, my wife, my highschool sweetheart and I have had discussions as to what's next, what do we want to do, where to go, etc. But it's different when it's "over there" than when it's staring you right in the face. But it's a "GO" and there's no getting off this launchpad!

That all said, I can say the last year or two has taken some noticable amount of mojo from me and I've lost a step or two. Fatigue is real... And absent the daily pressures I worked under, the mind relaxed is not as sharp. I forget things too now whereas before I never needed to write things down. So it's a new life for sure, and adjustments are necessary. But absent the high pressure work experience and daily stress it presented, I can take ten steps back. I don't need to be sharp, only awake and smiling. I don't need to be able to do marathon work weeks to bring a project in on time. I don't need anything but what brings me and my loved ones joy!!!

And THAT is what I'm gonna do!

So I've hung up my cleats, passed the torch and I'm cashing in all my chips while stepping away from the table in order to ride into that sunset... However long that road may be, I'm going to stretch it out for as many miles I can.

I'll leave with a thought... I remember reading an article when I was first diagnosed and like everyone, searching for answers. I came across this piece written by a RN who was an oncology nurse and had a full career providing comfort to many patients at late stage, end of life care. She noted the transition, but more importantly shared something that has stayed with me since. She said that in all the patients she was with as they left this world, she couldn't recall a single one regretting not working more, or that they didn't get a project done. For the most part, many had wished they spent more time with friends and family and that they didn't spend enough, or more time on themselves, finding happiness.

So yes, I have a defined benefit pension to collect, and have already submitted to SS for DI which I've been approved. And we are probably going to sell our home of 23 years in order to move. The kids are good, they're on their way in life and building their careers, unsettled though and we may relocate again once they do. It's all good really. I look at it this way, 78yrs is average life expectancy for a male. This is without our baggage we carry (PCa). I'm 20yrs shy of that... If I make that, I'll be laughing all the way, but the immediate plan is to figure out how to stuff 2x the living into that container... So foot is to the floor and I want to see what this baby can do!?!? What's the top speed and how well does it handle corners? Lmao... Because I'm going to drive this beast (life), hot lathered and sweaty, until it drops!

;D

Best Regards to All!

Lulu700 profile image
Lulu700 in reply to Cooolone

Pedal to the metal Cooolone! Thanks for sharing your story . I like your thinking. I too worked from 15 to 53. Saved some but a few more years earning would have helped. Still, priories of cash gave way to survival mode and cutting all stressors out. We start a new life.. Stay strong amigo! 🤙🏽

Cooolone profile image
Cooolone in reply to Lulu700

I agree, retirement was down the road, closed my eyes for a moment and wholla, it was right in front of me. Scary nonetheless... No matter what though, definitely full speed ahead!

You keep the wind at you back my friend!!!

Lulu700 profile image
Lulu700 in reply to Cooolone

Sail on Cooolone! We’ve got one shot at this life . Keep the sails full! Happy Easter ! 🤙🏽🕊🕊🕊

You're exaggerating and indulging in self-pity. If you really feel like you can't function in your job and you're in a position to retire, then retire and be happy!

I've been on ADT for 2+ years and there's nothing mind-bending about it. Buck up and look forward to good times ahead!

joeguy profile image
joeguy in reply to SteveTheJ

If you have no side effects from ADT, consider yourself lucky....

Lulu700 profile image
Lulu700 in reply to joeguy

🎯🎯🎯🎯👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

Lulu700 profile image
Lulu700 in reply to SteveTheJ

Dr , that’s a little harsh on the guy. Some men get hit very hard adt . I Was one. Good for you that your mind wasn’t bent. Mine dam near melted. Happy Easter!

Depending on what ADT combo you are on, cognitive function can be impaired quite a bit. When I was on Firmagon and Xtandi, I was a mess. I am a manufacturing engineer, and I was struggling to find solutions to simple problems. Because of this, I was sort of put on "light duty" for a while. I ended up taking a break from the Xtandi and Firmagon, and am now on Nubequ and Orgovyx. The side effects from the new ADT combo are much less severe, and cognitive function seems to be greatly improved.

DarkEnergy profile image
DarkEnergy in reply to joeguy

Yup, I was on quarterly Lupron injections with daily Zytiga/Prednisone. Then was prescribed Venafalxine to help with anxiety and insomnia, but it just magnified my situation.

I did got transformed to "light duty", from writing software code to IT systems administration and support, but - this made my depression worst.

There's always been this debate, software development is not engineering, basically because the former is fluid, just hack, worry about structure and stability later...

Try changing your schedule to working part time. I have noticed after ADT that I still can perform mentally well for four to five hours daily. After that, I find that I am prone to mistakes and have difficulty with memory recall.

There is a thread of strong support in these comments for memory loss. My experience, 5 yrs ADT, is long ago memories have faded & vanished. But could it be 74 has something to do with it?My Oncology team supports an ADT effect.

Retired? From one job then took another until 2yrs ago. Now I do wood crafts, solar consulting, and have authored a book: writing 2 more now.

We are each different but in many way the same.

Live life now; it's the only one you have.

😎🤙🏽

I was able to work while on Zytiga and prednisone but when I went on xtandi my dental career ended. Aches, hand and back pain made it impossible to work a full day. I am forgetful and battling fatigue like I never experienced before. It was a good run for forty years but no longer. It's getting harder to push through the fatigue I but keep trying. Good luck.

You can let others coming up behind you do the IT now, Dark Energy. (That’s the energy that makes the universe expand.) it is certain that both ADT and chemo can cause very specific yet variable forms of cognitive impairment, such as verbal learning, etc. But it does not impair the capacity for deep understanding. Nor the capacity for profound enjoyment and for love.Early retirement can be an opportunity to discover new dimensions in your life and develop a more complete fulfillment of your self. The Great Adventure. So say “Yes” to every positive opportunity that comes your way. There is no time to waste! Paul

I am 62 and own my own real estate/appraisal business. I have been on Lupron 1 year. I feel the constant mind challenging events help to keep my mental sharpness. That being said, it can be hard to focus on a single task and stick with it for hours. My wife will attest to the forgetfulness on non-business tasks, appointments, etc. I do not and will not take supplements for mental sharpness due to possible conflicts with other meds I take. There is nothing wrong with retirement, but keep yourself physically and mentally active. Never stop learning!!!!

"Cognitive decline" is a common SE of ADT. As is the case with all the others, not everyone experiences it, and those who do have different types and severity. I couldn't read books or watch movies, because I couldn't follow the plot.

Lulu700 profile image
Lulu700 in reply to Horse12888

I’m am the same with books now! 😣

I sold my business, went on ssdi and took early retirement at 49.

Lulu700 profile image
Lulu700 in reply to DonM253

Oh yah! 👏🏼👏🏼👍

I kept my job and took on a second job as a "Chippendale Dancer" four nights a week. Only problem I have is sometimes forgetting to put a rolled up sock inside the front of my briefs...or in some rare cases placing the rolled up sock in the back of my briefs...Funny thing is that after performances, I usually find women's fake finger nails in the bottom of my briefs. (I'm starting to collect them together with my collection of door knobs)...

Good Luck, Good Health and Good Humor.

j-o-h-n Thursday 04/14/2022 7:09 PM DST

Lulu700 profile image
Lulu700 in reply to j-o-h-n

Is your stage name tri-Pod? I’ve heard of you! Luv ya! Happy Easter!🐇🐣🙏

j-o-h-n profile image
j-o-h-n in reply to Lulu700

That was my old my stage name: New one, did you ever hear of 50 cent? Well they call me by my retired Gangster Rapper Stage Name: "Dollar Bill" I was twice as good as 50 cent.

P.S. and a happy Easter to you and yours, my Easter (Orthodox) is one week later 04/24)...

Good Luck, Good Health and Good Humor.

j-o-h-n Friday 04/15/2022 3:42 PM DST - Uncle Sam's original Birthday

Lulu700 profile image
Lulu700 in reply to j-o-h-n

Dollar dollar bill now! 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼😂

DonM253 profile image
DonM253 in reply to j-o-h-n

That’s my kinda funny 😀

Lulu700 profile image
Lulu700 in reply to DonM253

If we could only see this? 😂👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

I think everyone has to discover how their own body reacts, but between all the appointments and reading about this disease and also experiencing the side effects of ADT and prednisone, I had to retire before I had planned on it.

Lulu700 profile image
Lulu700 in reply to garyjp9

Me too. At 53.. keep rolling ! 🤙🏽

Hey brother- you have a right to blame anything on cancer. Can’t due the dishes tonight- it’s my cancer! Need to go fishing to deal with my cancer! I need to retire early because of my cancer! We take a lot of arrows fighting this beast - it all adds up and affects people different. But more importantly- congratulations on your retirement! I’m jealous but still too young

DarkEnergy profile image
DarkEnergy in reply to Chugach

Appreciate your response, this is why we're here, we kind of seek validation - and its been great!

You got it, when we're told of the diagnosis of Stage 4 Advanced Prostate Cancer, what happens in the mind?

Waking up at 6 AM every day for a few weeks to undergo radiation treatment, laying there in an metal bed, while some hovering creepy structure with eyes is looking down. And the staff looking from beyond a glass barrier is surreal.

Then I have to explain at work, why was late to a meeting, indeed, surreal...

Lulu700 profile image
Lulu700 in reply to DarkEnergy

Hang in there. You’re saving yourself ! 💔😔

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