When I was first diagnosed 20 years years ago at age 51 years with advanced prostate cancer, I had an acquaintance named ‘Edge’ — whether his real name or not, I do not know. Edge was about 65 years old and would bike everywhere. He had a lot of reconstructive surgery done to his face after dealing with a particularly aggressive form of cancer. I don’t even know which cancer it was.
The time I first met him, Edge’s cancer was in remission, however it had been in remission previously and come back. When it had returned some years earlier it came with a vengeance, and he told me that twice he was put into the palliative/intensive care ward for terminal patients. It seems he pulled through and survived by sheer will power.
When I was first diagnosed, Edge said to me, “are you a ‘why me’ person or a ‘why not me’ person?”
Sometimes I think I take the sympathy thing too far.
I must remember that having a family member with a terminal disease is not easy. In fact, often-times it is easier on the person with the disease than those who love them.
I can lie in bed and try to sleep; trying to deal with the pain and restlessness from whatever treatment I am on. Sometimes quietly making moaning sounds, often not realizing how disturbing I am being.
“People with cancer are easy targets for naturopathic scams because they can be desperate for hope and extensively research their treatment options.
‘Natural’ treatments with few side effects appear irresistible when compared to surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. But it is almost impossible for most people to know beforehand that these natural remedies won’t do anything for their cancer. If the cancer returns, they are more likely to blame the cancer rather than the ineffective natural remedies they received.” Source: By Suneel D. Kamath August 29, 2017
People who have read some of my blog will know that I have been dealing with advanced prostate cancer now for very close to 20 years. Initially I started off self-treating with the help of a naturopath with diet and alternative medicines and lots of exercise.
However, early on I had some good advice: “Cancer is an aggressive beast, and requires aggressive treatment, this can only be achieved by Western medicine”. Natural therapies can play a useful, supportive role even if only to enable management of one’s overall health pro-actively going forward.
This is the route I’ve taken during my 20 years of treatment and it has stood me in good stead.
Those who have read some of this site know that I have been dealing with advanced prostate cancer for a long time, 19 years in fact! (see this post My Cancer Story Summarized).
My prostate cancer is termed ‘advanced’ because from when I was diagnosed it was outside the prostate capsule, therefore it had metastasized somewhere else in the body.
For quite a few years now I have been on X-Tandi (Enzalutamide), but 8 months ago the prostate cancer biomarker, the PSA blood test, began to rise again. This meant that the cancer was again growing somewhere in my body.
I’ve been meaning to post about this for some time now in the hope it is of use to someone suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
Up to 12 months ago I had constant diarrhea for 2 years. It started after a particularly hot chilli Indian meal, that I knew at the time I shouldn’t have eaten, however I felt obliged as I was a guest at the meal. The next day was excruciating and no mater what I did over the following weeks the diarrhea continued. I had many tests including 3 different stool tests checking for bad bacteria, a colonoscopy and a gastroscopy (sometimes called an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy) and of course blood tests. Apart from a slightly inflammation of the bowel nothing showed up as a cause.
After 2 years of this, I was thinking it was something I was going to have to live with the rest of my (probably shortened) life.
About 12 months ago I got a throat infection and was prescribed a course of the antibiotic Amoxicillin. My diarrhea immediately stopped. But when I finished the two-week course of the drug the diarrhea came back.
I googled antibiotics and IBS and sure enough there were a few references by sufferers who’d had the same experience, not with Amoxicillin but some other antibiotics, the main one being Rifaximin (Xifaxan). Neomycin, Clarithromycin (Biaxin) and Metronodazole (Flagyl) were also mentioned. As soon as the 2 week course of the antibiotic was stopped the diarrhea returned. One did say that they were cured after two months on antibiotics.
(This post is my personal view and does not necessarily reflect the position of any organization or group).
In 1976 when I was 26 years old, I said to my younger wife “Do you know in the year 2000 I’ll be 50 years old!” We both burst into laughter. 2000 was so far away! Now it is 2020 and my body is 70 years old and it’s not so funny anymore. The years have gone by in a heartbeat.
As I get older, and because I’m suffering from a terminal disease, I realize my body, and my mind, are never going to get any better than where they are today. Not only have I all the usual onsets of the body deteriorating with its’ aches and pains, but I also have the side effects of taking 6 different drugs daily to keep cancer and other body ailments in check.
So, realizing my body and mind will only worsen from this day onward, I can see why people in my position may contemplate ending their lives. But this is not a solution to the suffering of the body. It is an option that will only cause more suffering to others and the person who kills his own body. Why?
I’ve been feeling run down lately (it’s now been 2 years on Enzalutamide) and I decided to take the self imposed pressure off from posting for a few weeks and just chill. Hopefully this will give me time to think about how to complete some of the many half finished posts I have been working on.
Every living being, and every person, has seated next to us, seated next to us in our heart, the Paramatma, an expansion of God, Krishna. It doesn’t matter how sinful I am, how low a life form my body is, the Lord’s there beside me. I am not alone. We are never alone.
I’ve mentioned before that with a serious disease I think we need to become active in the treatment of that disease. This is because not all doctors are created equal.
There are doctors that graduate at the top of the class and those that graduate at the bottom. And then there are those doctors no matter how smart they are scholastically will never make a good doctor.