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

MY Fight – approaching one year

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Monthly update letter

Dear family and friends

It is now eleven months since I was diagnosed with final stage prostate cancer with extensive bone metastasis throughout the pelvic girdle.  My treatment is entirely palliative.  The cancer is too far advanced for intervention.

This update is not seeking sympathy, it is attempting to explain the degeneration process as it becomes more noticeable.

There is no such thing as a good day anymore – there are good moments during the day but the overall feeling is one of burden.

Cut surface of a :en:humerus sawed lenghtwise,...
bone cancer

When I wake up, I am feeling great so I lay there to enjoy the moment but then the hot flushes begin.  You become saturated in your own sweat so you get up and cop the stiffness of the joints as you try to become functional.

The morning round of medication leaves you stranded over a cup of coffee until the drugs kick in and another day is underway.

You read of people ‘losing the fight’ against cancer.  I have never felt I am fighting it rather, I have been living with it.  However, it really is a daily struggle to continue knowing that it is all downhill no matter how slowly it may be happening.

By lunchtime, I am feeling better and can manage most things.  My energy level varies between useless and functional.  It is so frustrating to have to call on neighbours to sort out the routine jobs like keeping the water pump operational.  Murphy’s law says the pump will fail, the moment I am incapable of fixing it.

During the rest of the day, there is a nagging ache in the left hip region with the occasional shot of morphine or cannabis required to make me feel more comfortable – but it never goes away.

In the evening, the cancer gets the better of me once again and I spend two hours tripping out on medication and  constantly stripping off to towel up the sweat.  By 10.00 pm, I have reached the apex of my health for the day and watch Lateline and surf the web til about 2.00 am when I am finally tired enough to have a good night’s sleep.

Pretty boring isn’t it?  As the degeneration continues, I am becoming increasingly tired.  When I am sleeping or resting, I am at peace. I will be satisfied if it continues the way it is heading.  The big fear, of course, is the reported agony that many bone cancer patients have to endure.  I don’t know that I can cope with that.




Written by Greg Naylor

5 March 2009 at 12:15 am

8 Responses

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  1. Thanks for that update, Greg. Your candour is remarkably humbling and it puts all our petty issues into the crap box where they belong.

    Do you have a time frame on this yet, or is it the case that you want to take it one day at a time?

    Cheers and hope to catch up again soon. Do you think you’d be up to another bloggers’ meet?


    Ray Dixon (Bright)

    5 March 2009 at 12:49 am

    • Hi Ray. No one will offer a time frame – all you get is the cliché that everyone is different. As I said to my GP a month ago, if the rate of degradation continues as it is, I am not expecting much for next Christmas – but who really knows. He expressed surprise that I was still here then.

      I am not feeling that I can see the end of the road. I am feeling far more restricted than the last time we met and, now that I have defined my status a little better, I will seek the GP’s opinion once again. I am simply trying to recognise the ever increasing limitations that the dying process imposes.

      Whilst I can, I have every intention of living as much of my time as I can and this is in no way a declaration of giving up. I’m certainly up to another Bloggers meet. Do you have any suggestions for a date? BTW: How is Corinna getting on?

      Greg Naylor

      5 March 2009 at 1:18 am

  2. Thanks for that update, Greg. Your candour is remarkably humbling and it puts all our petty issues into the crap box where they belong.

    Hear hear.

    Kieran Bennett

    5 March 2009 at 1:01 am

  3. I’d suggest it be this month, Greg. Any Saturday from the 14th on is fine by me. How about the others?

    Thanks for asking about my daughter. She’s doing OK, about half way through her chemo, but she goes onto Perceptor soon too and then radiology. It’s a long road. And then there’s the recovery. It’ll be a concern for a few years hoping it doesn’t return.

    Ray Dixon (Bright)

    5 March 2009 at 10:32 am

    • Ray, I suppose it is because of my own situation, but she comes to mind whenever I communicate with you.

      Let’s go for the 21st – I will notify the others or if they read this, they can notify me … that is the magic of blogging 😉

      Greg Naylor

      5 March 2009 at 12:12 pm

  4. Hi Greg

    Came across your blog today as I was checking if my new one – Prostablog: My PC Adventure: A Kiwi male’s brush with prostate cancer – had registered on Google.

    My sincerest sympathies. Reading your monthly newsletter reinforces for me the importance of men getting the message about early checks.

    I’m one of the lucky ones, I think. I’m two weeks past a radical prostatectomy and the prognosis is good.

    My blog is into its fifth part, with a lot more to come. If you’re up to it, please have a read.

    You’ll find it here:

    Kind regards

    Jim Tucker
    NZ Journalist and teacher

    Jim Tucker

    9 April 2009 at 7:32 am

    • Welcome aboard Jim. I have added your blog to my blogroll. Unfortunately, we block the possibility of prostate cancer from our minds until it claims someone close to us. I should have been checked earlier, but wasn’t – now I am suffering the consequences. Please stay in touch

      Greg Naylor

      9 April 2009 at 2:13 pm

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