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

My gift to you

with 3 comments

My fight – Weekly Update – 22 Nov. 2008

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Dear family and friends

The frequency of these updates is stretching out and I feel this is due to the gradual deterioration of my body.

I am tired of braving it out telling people I am fine when I am not!  I am equally sick of the platitudes of well meaning people who say things like ‘stay positive’ and ‘you’ll feel better tomorrow”.  I will not!  The disease is progressing and I am deteriorating … little by little … day after day.  That may make them feel more comfortable but it does nothing for me.

Since being diagnosed back in April, I have tried to learn as much about my condition as a I can but seem to be blocked at every turn.  I have never died before and I would like to understand the process but all I get is ‘everyone is different’ – that’s just not good enough!  Unfortunately, there is nobody living who can tell me what to expect.

As a result, I intend to tell you – warts and all – so that you might gain some kind of insight to help you cope when your turn comes.  That may put some people off but they would be the type that choose to hide from reality.  So please do not dismiss these posts as being negative as the fact is that I have terminal cancer and will continue to deteriorate.  Neither dismiss them as me being depressed – God knows, I have a right to be depressed and the medications I am on make sure that I remember it.

I have just had the strength of my pain killing medications increased because I could no longer cope on the existing regime.  Here is a ‘day in the life’ of Greg during that time.

Go to bed about midnight and wake at 1.30 with a need to urinate. You do that, take a drink of water because you are parched and go into a hot flush event sweating to the extent that you have to strip, towell yourself off and put on dry clothes.

You get back to sleep just in time to wake at 3.00 am to do it all again …  and then again at 4.30 am.

Comes 6.00 am, and this time you have the added burden of the bone cancer pain kicking in.  You take fast acting morphine liquid and go back to bed.  By 7.30 or 8.00 am you are awake again but frightened to move because of the bone pain, plus eye ache and sporting a hangover.  By about 10 or 11.00 am, you force yourself to get up and get dressed.  You take a heap of medication beginning with anti-nausea tablets which don’t always work as you have some breakfast and, halfway through, you find yourself with your head in the toilet bowl.  And that’s just to get going for the day.

The rest of the day is a series of hot flushes, unsettled stomach and the unpredictability of a random vomit.  As you can imagine, I can not plan on visiting people or going shopping for fear of having to strip to the waist with the sweating problem or throwing up in awkward places.

Last Wednesday, the palliative care pain management team came to review my medication only to recommend that I should be on roughly twice the strength that my GP had prescribed.  Since upping the dose to their recommendation, things have definitely improved and I am now p*ssed off with my GP for having me on ‘minimalist’ medication.

The middle of the night episodes are not as frequent or severe, the bone pain is no longer there in the morning nor is the eye ache or the hangover.  This has allowed me get up much earlier and feel far less depressed.

I am still sweating badly and out of sorts during the day and have to take frequent naps to get me through but there is the reality of it – I am deteriorating and am becoming more limited  on a daily basis.

But the burden of dying is nor mine alone.  I feel so sad for Pauline who can do nothing to help me through these events and she has to adapt to me and my limitations as they occur.

Well, I hope you didn’t find that too depressing as I intend to call it as it is happening until I no longer can.  That is my gift to you.



Written by Greg Naylor

23 November 2008 at 12:49 am

3 Responses

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  1. It’s not “too depressing”, Greg, and we all appreciate your brutal honesty. Don’t worry about any lack of comment on this – I mean, it’s obviously hard for others to say anything that wil comfort you. But we all understand, or more correctly … we feel for you.

    Ray Dixon (Bright)

    27 November 2008 at 8:39 pm

  2. […] real impact on those who have it – you need look no further than fellow blogger and a good mate, Greg Naylor of Whitfield, who has chronicled his own battle with terminal prostate cancer on his blog. Greg’s latest […]

  3. Thank you Greg for your honesty and for your determination to ‘chronicle’ the unvarnished truths. You are an inspiration. I feel guilty about making so much of my paltry brush with pc (my proton beam treatment was completed in early November and I will get fresh psa levels at the end of January) Keep on keeping on.


    5 December 2008 at 1:09 pm

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