The results of my last PSA test are in. Somehow, I got lab results on a Sunday afternoon. That never happens. But in this case, I'm glad it did. It will make tomorrow a much less stressful day. But we've reached a turning point. The result was not what we hoped for. My PSA is 5.45, up from 3.72 a month ago. Zytiga didn't help, or at least not enough. My cancer is still growing, and there's no holding it back now.
I'll admit that I'm relieved that I no longer have to take Zytiga. It was anathema to me since I first unpacked the box it came in. I now can go back to following my heart. I may be approaching the end of treatment, but at least my heart is free.
I can't tell you everything this means, but I can tell you a few things. It means that the Lupron shot I'll get on Thursday will be my last cancer treatment. It means that the calendar has been accelerated, and hospice is not far in the future. In fact, it could start this week. That's one of the things I expect to find out when I see my oncologist on Thursday.
This also means that, at least in terms of physical healing, I was not the Morsefest Miracle. But I think our being there in the first place was a miracle. The fact that, at Stage 4 for a year, I was able to take part in it so fully is a miracle. God gave me a whole new family because of it. That's a miracle right there.
The hardest part of this has been sharing the news with loved ones. I had a conversation with a friend last night about it. He asked what was new, and I told him I'm being given months. He said, "Months? Less than a year?" "Much less," I replied. I saw another friend who hasn't kept up with my story this morning. I told her that the result of this test would determine if I stay on this medication I tried, or go into hospice care. "But you look fine!" she said. "That's because I haven't done chemo," I answered. "If I'd been on Taxotere, I'd look like every other Stage 4 patient you've ever seen." The look of grief on her face haunts me.
I see those looks of grief everywhere I go now. As the reality of the situation sinks in, many who love me can't hide their sorrow. It breaks my heart to break theirs. Or yours. But as I made calls and sent emails and texts to my inner circle, (a group that keeps growing, for which I am immensely grateful) I find myself apologizing for being the bearer of bad news. It hurts me to see how this hurts you. I am the one who is dying, but you are the ones who will have to live with it. I am so sorry for that.
I love each and every person who reads this blog, but I have to say something to some of you. Not all, by any means, but some. The time for denial is over. This is going to happen, and soon. I can feel it. But that's a whole other blog post.
I am tired of treatment. After two years, I'm ready to call it a day. No more pills, and after Thursday, no more Lupron shots. I finally get to do what I've wanted to do from the beginning of this. Just trust God. To that end, I ask everyone who reads this to please refrain from suggesting treatments or diets. No videos, articles, or links, please. We're past that now. What I need from you is empathy, prayer and support. This is an appointment we all must keep one day. Nobody gets out of it. I know I'm special, but I'm not that special.
I emailed Neal Morse today to tell him my results. When we talked after the second worship service after Morsefest, he asked me to keep him informed. In my email, I told him what the result was, and thanked him for his ministry to me and so many others. Then I referred to that conversation we'd had just a week ago. I told him then that if God heals me, to God be the glory. And if he doesn't, to God be the glory. Either way, he is Lord. To paraphrase Job, the Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.
I have much more to say, but it can wait. I want to talk about trusting God, and what that means to me. I want to explain my view of mortality, and tell you about this feeling I've been having for about three weeks. I want to explore the concept of Heaven being Home, and what that means. And so much more. But that's for later. Make no mistake, I will bear witness. I will keep the faith.
I'll never be able to express my gratitude enough to all of you who read this blog, react and comment. It's very reassuring to receive so much love and support. Please stay with me all the way to the end. It's gonna get pretty grim, I can't lie. I will look death in the face and not flinch. In fact, I will laugh. Because death has no hold on me. Jesus defeated death, hell and the grave when he rose again. Because of him, I will rise again too. #waroncancer #bearingwitness