Tuesday, September 13, 2016

A Day In The Life

I woke up angry this morning. Not just angry about something, but angry at someone. I had lost sleep because I went to bed angry. It doesn't matter what I was angry about, or at whom. The point is, I was angry for the first time in months. Long time readers of this blog know that anger was a real issue for me for a while, because of the effects of Lupron. But that hasn't been true lately. I had forgotten my anger. I didn't feel like I needed the 5-HTP supplement I'd been taking. I felt good. I think therapy is the main reason why.

Then, last night, something set me off. I struggled to sleep, and woke up tired and still angry. I took a 5-HTP in the morning, which I hadn't done for weeks. Normally, if I took one, I took it at night. I got past my anger and got on with my day.

I did some work. I recorded a song parody for a radio station in Houston, Texas. It was a parody of Queen's "We Will Rock You." "We Will Brock You," about the Texans' new quarterback.

I have the genuine privilege of officiating a wedding this Sunday. Some dear friends of ours are getting married, and they asked me to perform the ceremony. It's one of the greatest honors of my life, and I'm so excited about it. I wrote the ceremony, borrowing liberally from the traditional wedding ceremony so many of us remember. I spent much of the day practicing the ceremony, and communicating with the bride and groom. That was a really good part of today.

Of course, if you've been following along, you might remember that today is the day of my Lupron shot. That wasn't something I was looking forward to, but, been there, done that.

I've mentioned before that our insurance has a high deductible. The costs of the bone scan, CT scan, and Lupron shot are all still under the deductible, and very expensive. We weren't sure how we were going to pay for it, but we knew God would provide. He always has since we entered this valley.

About noon, the mail arrived. In it was the answer to our problem. We no longer have to worry about coming up with the money we need. It's covered. It felt like a miracle, and it still does.

Now, this was starting to feel like a really good day. And I still had my shot ahead of me.

The shot itself was a breeze. I insisted on a specific shot giver. The same one I had last time. Her name is Melanie. They wanted to give me the shot last Friday, but Melanie wasn't there, so I rescheduled. This just in: The painfulness of a shot is in direct proportion to the skill of the person giving it. Ask for Melanie by name.

After the shot, I went to the billing office. I told the financial counselor about our change of status regarding our insurance. She looked at her computer and said everything was in order. That made me happy, of course, and she said she likes making people smile. I could be wrong, but I'll bet financial counselors in hospitals don't get to do that a lot.

This was a really good day, in spite of how it started. To celebrate, my wife and I went to our favorite dinner spot. While we were there, we were talking about something, and I suddenly got very angry. It was over nothing, really. But my flare of anger ruined dinner.

I'll admit, I played the Lupron card on the way home. I had just had a shot about three hours earlier. Lupron brings anger with it, at least for me. And maybe there was some residual anger from earlier, still bubbling under the surface. We had talked about that at dinner.

So I took another 5-HTP when we got home. Only it was a new bottle, so I had to cut through the child-proof cap. I had to laugh at myself over the possibility of having a tantrum because I can't get the 5-HTP bottle open.

That's a day in the life of a man with prostate cancer on Lupron. Peaks and valleys. A roller coaster ride. Being Stage 4 only heightens it.

Tomorrow, I'll go back to taking 5-HTP every day. Twice a day, if I have to for a while. I'm not the only one living here, thank God. And I don't want to be angry.

The anger will fade, but the blessing will remain. The miracle will endure. Warts and all, it was a really good day. #waroncancer


  1. Perhaps it's anger about the stage IV news? I certainly would be.

    1. I don't think so, Peter. I'm not angry about that. Some of my loved ones are, but not me.

  2. As always, thanks again for writing and sharing it! I'm sorry for the circumstances, but appreciate what you are doing.

  3. I believe you, just thought you had missed it. Good writing Mark. God Bless.

  4. Your gift is writing... and you use that gift to help yourself and others,, if nothing else I can see writing helps the most.....