Undetectable for Another Quarter But…
…the prospect of my last Lupron injection is a mixed bag.
I corresponded with my oncologist on Friday and the good news is that my PSA levels remain undetectable (<0.1). I see him today and am scheduled to get my last three-month Lupron shot tomorrow. Then, starting August, we’ll start the wait and see process to evaluate what kind of success my aggressive treatment program has provided.
To be honest, even though I really do not like my life on Lupron, a small part of me is reluctant to give it up this summer.
While I have disliked greatly its side-effects, Lupron has provided, as one friend put it, an emotional and physical safety net. You see, Lupron is a palliative, not curative treatment. If radiation did not catch all the metastasized cells, at least Lupron will have been working as a damp blanket on the cancer camp fire. Lift the blanket and the embers will eventually flare as testosterone begins to rebuild over the next 12-18 months.
Two week ago while I was in the depths of an emotional spiral, my wife asked: “Are you afraid of coming off the Lupron? Is that part of what you are feeling?”
It took me just a few second to consider the question and say, “Bingo! I believe that’s part of it…” As I thought more about it, I must admit that the prospect of losing the safety net has been lurking in the wings of my emotional stage for the past few months.
Soon, I will have to jump into the waters of no active treatment and see how I do over the next 2-3 years. Luckily, my trusted oncologist will be on the sidelines as lifeguard, tracking my progress. It will be a prolonged sink or swim scenario. Naturally, I’d prefer to swim. But, should rising PSA start to pull be down, it’ll be back to the Lurponized wrestling mat for another round of competition. If that’s the case, it would probably be ongoing intermittent treatment until my body engineers a way to workaround ADT and other treatments need to be evaluated.
One way or another, I’ll have a clearer understanding of where I stand. As I have said all through this journey, clarity–any clarity–is a good thing.