now me too got cancer
… and treating it is “dead” boring.
Latest update found in side notes.
Having prostate cancer treated, means laying about five minutes “dead
still” on my back, while having the area with the highly unwanted cancer
cells radiated from various angles in a Varian TrueBeam
Sounds easy, doesn't it? Well, apart from that the five minute session has to be repeated 37 times over as many days, this part really is easy.
If this was all it took, they could treat me for cancer all day long. I'm
a true expert at relaxing – have years of experience…
But, of course, if they did radiate me for longer periods
I wouldn't be around for long, cancer or no cancer. That “thing”
isn't a toy.
Now, my wife made me promise not to make a joke out of the entire “cancer issue”, and I am doing my best not to. I do find it hard not to laugh all the way to the hospital and back for each session though, and would not mind if I feel the same way when the treatment is over.
radiation often preceded by long waits…
Most days my name gets called up almost the moment I enter the hospital, but having to wait half an hour or more out in the hall is not entirely unusual. That … is boring.
When the hall is empty except for me – as on these pictures, it is kind
of alright to wait there for a while. Having to listen to, or participate
in, other people's small-talk for half an hour, is not all that interesting.
The art on the walls is “colorful but not all that inspiring”, if you know what I mean.
Someone should replace those awful “broad-brush paintings” with some slightly more naturalistic and inspiring ones, to give us in the radiation queue something to look at that might lighten up our minds while we're waiting.
Now, sooner or later it is my turn to walk through the glass door under the “radiation on/off” sign. This is what we are waiting in line for, because then we know there's only five to ten minutes till we can leave the hospital.
Tomorrow (five days a week) the whole “procedure” starts over again, but once we come out that door it is all over for today, and we can go home. That is really all that matters these days, to me anyway.
complications and side-effects…
The radiation treatment has so far not lead to major problems. Soreness in the radiated area is noticeable, but not too bad. May get worse later, they say.
(25.jun.2014) Towards the end of the treatment phase, soreness caused by radiation burns is indeed getting worse – much worse. I am not happy about it, but medical personnel say they can't do anything about it. I can't do all that much about it either, so what the heck…
(15.jul.2014) The bladder inflammation caused by radiation, gets worse for each day that passes. There is blood in the urine now, and the overall pain is constant – plus extreme pain when urinating. Need proper treatment fast, or else I am afraid the outcome will be really, really bad.
The doctor at the hospital in Kristiansand could not offer anything but empathy, after her prescribed one-week “cure” a couple of weeks ago failed to have any effect beyond maybe a degree of stabilization of the symptoms. A few empathic words really are not worth much right now though.
Early morning as I write this update, and I am on the phone with my
GP's office. Been told to expect some
reaction within an hour or so. We'll see…
Update: broad-specter antibiotics and strong pain killers prescribed. Hope it will work.
Update: Medication provided 30 hours relief and hope, and then
symptoms and pain was back worse than ever. Sleep deprivation is taking its toll
I will of course continue medication – have no alternatives. Not much hope that it will do me any good though.
(31.jul.2014) The one week cure with antibiotics
did stabilize the condition, and yet another combo of pain killers does have some
effect. Still feels like the condition will never end.
Having to run from whatever I'm doing every fifteen minutes to an hour, is very disturbing in day-to-day life. At best I get two hours continuous sleep at night, and the pain when urinating is just bearable.
treating with hormones…
The additional cancer treatment with hormones has of course put my male organ totally out of action for now. I/we can live with that … for a while.
(25.jun.2014) Haven't made up my mind whether to continue with the hormones much beyond the radiation phase. Some doctors say “one more year”, but they can't seem to agree between themselves so why should I.
(31.jul.2014) Now I have made up my mind: No more injections after the one I had now in early July, which means the treatment with hormones will last three to four more months – one year and some in total.
Worse is that the key-hole surgery performed last autumn related to probing for cancer spread, combined with the surgery performed on me to replace main artery back in November last year, have lead to increased risk for hernia. This creates problems right now, as I am in the process of regaining my physical strength after months of being pretty much tied to the couch with a bad leg.
I became member at Mandal
treningssenter (bodybuilding center) in early June, and had barely
started to practice when I noticed the signs of what may become a serious
problem – intestines not staying in place.
For the time being I dare not practice all of the heavy lifting and exercises necessary to rebuild muscles. At least not until the apparent weaknesses in the abdomen area have been checked and – if necessary – been properly dealt with.
(25.jun.2014) Those medical morons won't deal with it in fear of making it worse. Thus, I will just have to take my chances…
(31.jul.2014) I have bought a truss belt for use during heavy lifting and exercises. Seems to provide good support, and is well suited for daily use.
counting days? nope, not me…
I know some people are counting days till their radiation treatment –
and/or whatever other medical treatment they have to go through – is over.
Me, I am not overly interested in counting time for anything – not
anymore. It is all part of what I have come to call “business as
I hate to repeatedly point back to that bad incident in November last year, but my “life-watch” literally got reset when I went down, and I haven't bothered updating and restarting it since. I can't really see the point in counting days as they pass … I rather count flowers in our front yard.
I already knew last summer that I had prostate cancer, and it was no big deal then. If possible the cancer itself is even less of a deal now. Prostate cancer is probably not what is gonna kill me anyway, and it most likely would not be even if I had chosen to skip the entire treatment.
Everyday life is pretty straight forward around here, no matter how and where,
and in doing what, I spend my time. Thus, the minor inconvenience of
having to plan for daily journeys to and from the hospital, and shorter or longer
waits for treatment, doesn't make much of a difference in my daily life.
The simple fact is that whatever tomorrow brings, or doesn't bring, is pretty much outside my sphere of interest today. And, if tomorrow doesn't come at all, so be it. Regardless of whether I get a long or a short life, it was a good life while it lasted.
Nevertheless, I prefer not to die of boredom, and this endless line of
radiation treatments (37 in all) is now quickly leading to
“boredom-overload” at this end. Apart from airing some frustration
(which is what I do here), there is not much I can do about it as long
as I want the treatment. And, yes, I guess I do want to be treated
for cancer, but not at any price.
Once this is all over I will of course have to find something else to complain about. I'm sure I will manage to come up with something … I always do.
(06.jul.2014) Radiation treatment ended on July 4th, and right now I wish I had passed on the entire treatment. My experiences with and trust in the health services in Norway, are, if possible, worse than ever. But, it is too late now, the damage is done. Hopefully that too will heal in time.
(31.jul.2014) I have informed my local (GP) doctor that this is it! when it comes to cancer treatment. I will not let those same medical morons treat me again for this condition, thus no need to check results of the treatment for prostate cancer I now have behind me. They can write it, and me, off as a “total failure” for all I care.
To be perfectly clear: If I had known a year ago what I know now, the very thought of having prostate cancer treated at the Center for Cancer Treatment in Kristiansand, would not even have crossed my mind.
We live as long as we learn, so in that sense the treatment may not have been totally wasted. In any other sense it has been a total waste of time – mainly my time.
Now my focus is on repairing the damage done to my body over the last year, and get past all the problems and pain! the cancer “treatment” has caused. I expect healing to take many months, maybe years.
29.may.2014 - extended side-notes.
30.may.2014 - added "complications and side-effects" section
31.may.2014 - added headlines in side-notes, and included two hang-outs in main article.
25.jun.2014 - inserted some comments of the day.
06.jul.2014 - finished off.
15.jul.2014 - inserted comment about bladder inflammation.
18.jul.2014 - inserted more comments + pictures.
31.jul.2014 - inserted more comments.
09.sep.2014 - inserted update notes at bottom of side-notes.
13.sep.2014 - inserted in-page link in "finishing lines" pointing to update notes in side-notes.
last rev: 13.sep.2014