Seven years into my journey with prostate cancer my oncologist walked into the examination room and said, “Ken, treatment for prostate cancer has changed.” Really? When?
Cancer patients are accustomed to the roller coaster ride known as treatment. One day you’re up, the next you’re down. We have, therefore, come to take all news — good and bad — with the proverbial grain of salt. This week I got good news.
Cancer can be an inconvenient conversation. People want to know how you’re doing, but they might not be ready for all the gory details. It’s like driving by a bad accident on the highway. You can’t help but look but hope you don’t see anything ugly.
I’ve seen them down the hall, behind closed doors; the chairs where people in various stages of concern are hooked up to tubes as drops of life-saving medicine drip steadily, hopefully, into their arms.
Try as she did, the Red Cross nurse couldn’t get the big steel needles in my arms to cooperate. One clotted. The other simply didn’t work. Therefore, Plan B in my recent adventure to receive the Provenge treatments for my prostate cancer involved some minor surgery.
If you’re a cancer patient, there’s a milestone moment when you realize your doctor is no longer trying to save your life, but now simply trying to extend it. That moment came for me a few weeks ago when Dr. David Ellison, medical oncologist for Roper St. Francis, suggested I try Provenge