Specialising in the human experience of Living with prostate cancer – warts and all

Crying with prostate cancer

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Weekly update letter

Dear family and friends

Living with cancer takes you through the full range of emotions. Whilst you can laugh at some aspects of it, the sad side of it is always with you. There is no relief from the reality of it all.

A couple of weeks ago, there was news of a new drug to extend the life of those with advanced prostate cancer and I volunteered to join clinical trials if they came my way (which is unlikely as the trials are scheduled for England and the USA).

These trials will provide two thirds of the participants with the new drug whilst the other third will be given a useless placebo. To qualify for the trial, the participants have to forego all other treatments currently being used.

That is one hell of a decision to have to make … take a 1 in 3 chance of going without any treatment so that the other 2 out of three get the chance to live another 12 months longer. I do not know if I have the guts to go for it.

As it stands, I have the chance of about 18 months remission if the PSA reading drops back to the normal range. After that, I can expect a constant deterioration until I lose the fight somewhere in the following year (+/- 6 months). No ifs or buts – that’s the way it is.

Recent developments don’t hold much promise either. They have trialed one form of chemotherapy that gives about half the patients an extra month of life but with major threats to the heart. Is it worth it? I don’t know.

Similarly, they have proven that another drug can slow down the inevitable osteoporosis of the hormone treatment but it does not prolong longevity or improve the quality of life. Is it worth it? You tell me.

Do not think of me as being negative here. Rather, I am explaining the reality of day to day life from the trenches … and there is nothing in the progression of the disease to be positive about.  You try not to let it get to you … but it does!  You hope for a miracle … but you prepare for the worst!  The only thing left is to try and get the most out of today.

Anyhow, the pain management becomes more finely tuned by the day and I actually got through a night without having to get up due to the pain / hot flushes.

This week, another donation of a trailer load of firewood turned up (thanks Wayne) along with a couple of meals of my favourite meal – lambs fry and bacon (thanks Shirley) and a bag of freshly picked King Valley oranges (thanks Murray).  That’s real country generosity and we appreciate it.



Written by Greg Naylor

9 August 2008 at 12:00 am

14 Responses

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  1. […] Read the rest of this great post here […]

  2. Well, Greg, that community spirit in places like the King Valley are hard to beat.


    9 August 2008 at 11:38 am

  3. I can’t give you any advice on the treatment options Greg, but I’d give up the lamb’s fry & bacon if I were you!

    Maybe tonight’s footy game will bring you some joy, although (as you would understand) I secretly hope it will not!

    Chin up old man.

    Cheers, Ray


    9 August 2008 at 11:56 am

  4. Ray, I’ve had to alter my lifestyle so much the lamb’s fry and bacon is non-negotiable 😉

    I’m even contemplating giving up the smokes as I am having breathing problems through the night. As you would be aware, you don’t die of cancer, you die with it as one of the vital systems fail and I would prefer it not to be respiratory failure. C’est la Vie!

    Greg Naylor

    9 August 2008 at 12:06 pm

  5. I’m asthmatic but I still smoke. A couple of puffs from the inhalers first thing in the morning and I’m right to smoke away! I reckon if I gave up smoking I’d die from heart attack caused by being overweight. Non-smokers are fat you see.


    9 August 2008 at 2:50 pm

  6. Thanks for tip Ray – I have an inhaler here – just hadn’t thought about it – I told you the hormone treatment affects the thought processes.

    Greg Naylor

    9 August 2008 at 3:18 pm

  7. Well, Ray, I hope it won’t be too much of a surprise to learn that you CAN give up smoking AND not gain any weight, as I have personally proved. It involves controlling what you pass over your bottom lip.

    One excuse down, how many more ya got?


    9 August 2008 at 5:58 pm

  8. Or what you pass over the lower ones?


    9 August 2008 at 7:08 pm

  9. Well, that (the footy) should make you feel better, Greg. I feel like crap!


    9 August 2008 at 11:25 pm

  10. I nearly phoned you at the end of the game but I thought it might be a two word conversation! And yes, it does make me feel better 🙂

    Greg Naylor

    10 August 2008 at 5:40 am

  11. That would not have been a good idea Greg. Good game by the Pies though. We were outplayed and outcoached.


    10 August 2008 at 10:44 am

  12. The last person who did something like that to me, Greg, was a Geelong supporter who called to gloat over Geelong’s “seven-goal win” over the saints earlier this year, even though I was watching it (on delay) at the time and the scores were even. His ears are still ringing.


    10 August 2008 at 7:03 pm

  13. Sounds like he’s still suffering from a big dose of “Ray’s Wrath”. And here I was thinking to myself, “That Ray Dixon’s a real gentle sort of bloke”.


    10 August 2008 at 9:12 pm

  14. Then option 2 wouldn’t have been such a good idea either …

    I thought of posting a full page picture of the Magpies logo under the heading, “Just for you Ray” 😉

    Greg Naylor

    10 August 2008 at 10:09 pm

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