Stable, mostly

After two months, time (actually past time) for another update.

The good news: The tell-tale PSA blood test is remaining stable and low at 0.2. The most recent result arrived today. It hasn’t gone up or down over the course of four tests since April 14. Not going up is a very good thing, for now; not going down…a little less good. I guess that’s why they call it “stage four.”

Ideally, with all the chemo in me over the last 15 months, we’d like to see the PSA reported as “undetectable,” as it was in 2018 during Season One of this long-running medical cliffhanger. Basically, with trace amounts of PSA still floating around, this means that my merry prankster prostate-cancer cells are chilling, just hanging out in my lymphatic system as they work on a way to prosper and grow without testosterone, which is their breakfast, lunch and dinner of choice. When that happens, we leave Season Two and debut a rather more dramatic Season Three.

So, not being greedy, we’ll take this as good news. And, for the most part, life goes on. We just spent a terrific week in St. Augustine Beach with Allie, Sophie, the Petleys and, for one glorious dinner, Neil and Chelsea Garfield. (I turned 75 last week. Grandson Sol was at sleepover Boy Scout camp.)

Returning to things medical, what is undetectable is my testosterone. Reminder: The chemo is intended to block nearly all production of testosterone, as that is the primary fuel for prostate cancer cells. (The PSA test measures apparent activity of the cancer cells.)

Alas, the lack of testosterone produces many, many consequences, none of them good. And the longer that persists, the worse the consequences.

Among them: My leg and arm muscles, and probably other muscles, are slowly melting away. Likewise, my joints and other connective tissue. I’m not falling down or anything like that, but my gait has changed a bit and I’m not as steady on my feet or as steady of hand as I had been.

Marion and I are still walking as much as we can during North Florida’s swampy summer, and I still do as much yard work as I can. But…consequences, and they spin off other consequences.

One of them: I have to get rid of my beloved red Lexus LC500 sports car/convertible. I just can’t get in the damn thing comfortably and move around in it. You should see me try to spirit a Tic-Tac out of the front-door pocket. As you probably know, due to supply-chain issues, this is a great time to sell a used car (and mine is barely used) and a lousy time to buy a new car.

Fortunately, we have a terrific and well-experienced sales associate at a Lexus dealership in Jacksonville. Also a cancer patient, Don conjured and hid from other sales associates an incoming fully loaded NX350 Luxury mid-size SUV, with all of the whiz-bang technical bling that I like. It’s white over black, not my first choice, but one really can’t be too choosy these days. Literally every car is sold before it’s even built. Mine was built on July 8 (my birthday) and should be delivered in about two weeks.

I’m actually looking forward to it. The convertible was swell but it just wasn’t much fun anymore. I guess it’s time to grow up, car-wise, and the new one should be far more appropriate. And the deal…holy bottom line, Batman. Due to a disparity in value, I end up getting a fully loaded new vehicle and a healthy check from the dealership. Hard to beat that.

The old.
The new.

Meanwhile, because I’m an idiot, I’ve taken on another ambitious ghost-writing assignment, despite recent vows not to do so. It does keep my brain and fingers relatively sharp, so that’s good. But it also weighs on my mind a bit, which probably is not good. Overall, though, it’s interesting and challenging, and I think it was a reasonably wise thing to do.

So, that’s the update from Prostate Cancer Central. Steady, low PSA. No testosterone. Out with the fancy sports car. In with the new SUV. Same terrific family and friends.

Oob-la-dee, oob-la-dah. Life goes on.

15 thoughts on “Stable, mostly

  1. Congrats on the score–both prostate wise and car wise. Thinking of you, as always. (Another writing assignment–seriously??? Guess it’ll keep you off the streets. Lotsa love from CA to FL

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Marty, Happy Belated Birthday! Hugs to both you and your lovely wife! We, too, are continuing our battle here in Northern Cal. Stress is affecting me as caregiver but I would not wish to be anywhere else but beside my warrior. Your news makes and keeps me happy and hopeful. God bless you. BTW, my hubby’s situation is very similar to yours, including the PSA. His is lingering around .46. His oncologist says he has “plateaued”. Why does the theme song from the movie “Jaws” come into my mind? A little humor is always good, right? Prayers and best wishes to you! Gloria and Nacho

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Gloria. Thanks for the good wishes. Yes, I guess plateauing is the proper term, and a little scary because I guess we all know in what direction it eventually will…stop plateauing. Still, we need to appreciate every day that we reside on the plateau. I hear you regarding the stress, but we can’t dwell on what might come in the future. Really no point in doing that. We gotta take it, as much of a cliche as it is, one day at a time. Best to you and Nacho. With a name like that, he must have had a really tough time in middle school. 🫣😇

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  3. YOu continue to fill me with awe….your grace, your humor and your determination to LIVE until you can’t. I aspire to be as gracious as you are Marty. I am glad to call you friend and colleague!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Marty,

    Thank you for updating your fans. In general, I am very glad to read this report.

    I’ll pray that the treatments continue to work and hope that maybe some physical therapy might help with the muscle challenges. I’ll bet you already have someone like that onboard.

    My very best to you and your family.

    Onward!

    Colin

    Please excuse the typos, sent from the iPhone of Colin Hackley.
    850-294-3442

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Marty. Your attitude is wonderful and will take you far. We belong to a Miata club and membership is dwindling because drivers can’t easily get in their card anymore. We, too, have been fighting the big C and are happy for advances in treatment. After 6 months of chemo all is at bay got my better half except for those pesky lymph nodes seeking to lodge somewhere else. Making the most of life Is the best medicine. I’ll pray an ecumenical prayer for you.

    Liked by 1 person

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