My hands are shaking, my eyes are filling with tears and a variety of tremors are interfering with my ability to write but I feel compelled to write about my experience. These current circumstances are not promising. No one can predict the future. Nonetheless, I’m trying to keep an optimistic mindset and not freak out as the clock winds down. I keep telling myself to put up a brave front and carry on as though nothing has changed.
My husband’s issue began about midnight, he was uncomfortable and restless that night. He claimed that he was having trouble peeing and that, only a dribble was coming out. He enters and exits a comfort room every ten minutes. He was also having trouble walking thereafter, as though the right leg had become tight.
When morning arrived, I wasted no time in bringing him to the hospital for an urgent check-up directly to the urologist. The doctor conducted a rectal examination and right away, the doctor felt a firm lump which led to the suspicion that it was a prostate cancer. It was terrible and felt like the entire world had collapsed on me. It was a major setback as we were both surprised. I am speechless. Beforehand, we arrived with the understanding that it would simply be a urinary track infection.
Immediately, his doctor recommended a biopsy the following day, the legitimate outcome to identify malignant growth. The biopsy result ”Grade 5 Advanced Prostate Cancer” with a Gleason score of 9. The outcome was so discouraging and painful that it destroyed any little optimism I had.
Followed by a nuclear imaging test, a bone scan at St. Luke’s Medical Center Global city to check for a number of bone problems. I hoped and prayed for a good outcome and the result, increased activity seen in T8 right ilium and left, shoulder, joints, etc. on bone scan or skeletal scintigraphy report.
The time for the next scan had already been set, the CT scan was to determine the extent of cancer spread and to locate tumors and masses with pinpoint accuracy. The result were already disheartening and the delay in announcing the findings just made things worse. Malignancy was suspected in many areas, including the urinary bladder, liver, kidneys, hepatic lobes (segments 11, 11, and 1v), sigmoid diverticulum, and esophagus.
The cancer has already spread to other organs by the time it is detected. I cried out of disappointment. I pray it’s not an aggressive form of cancer but with modern methods of diagnosis and prevention, I know there’s still hope. When cancer has spread to other parts of the body, it requires more intensive care. I know that once it reaches an advanced stage, it won’t be cured and the chance of survival decreases dramatically and that scares me.
Cancer treatment is already complicated by the COVID-19 Pandemic breakout, you have to worry about adhering to the hospital’s health protocols as you receive increasingly extensive palliative care.
We continue to make treatment decisions as a team and he just completed Antigen Deprivation Therapy the doctor had recommended as a crucial step in halting the spread of cancer. What will work best for him among the available treatments is still unclear. From that point forward the next step is an infusion for possible skeletal issues. In addition to these, the doctor prescribed oral prostate medications, all of which are expensive treatments for advanced prostate cancer; bicalutamide bicapros (BiCAPS), abiraterone acetate (Abiraterone), and hydroxychloroquine (HCQ). Our problem here is the risks associated with oral and intravenous cancer treatments are now my primary concern.
This time around, I appealed to God in prayers frantically seeking God’s help and guidance since I was associated with bad hopes and emotionally needy. It was terrifying not knowing what to anticipate as the cancer spread but we’re determined to finish the treatment course in the hopes of saving his life. The final phase, the expected lifespan is a terrifying prospect. Do you know how much longer my husband has to live? I find myself wondering, “Is this all a dream?” If so, someone rouse me! It scared me to the point where I thought the cruel thing would be death.
Meanwhile, we’re doing our best to carry on as if nothing has changed and we’re committed to being there for one other no matter what the future brings with expectations that the remaining time will be blissful.
When I was alone myself and worried too much, I resorted to the internet and read about other people’s experiences with the same or comparable health problems. There’s nothing to be done but to accept what life has already predetermined.
I need to be resilient in order to tend to his requirements which includes keeping a close eye on his diet and only feeding him nutritious options (and doing the same for myself). I’m mustering all my might so that we can have a peaceful evening with our children. Spending time with loved ones is the best thing we can do at this time. I just need to be more compassionately patient and God will take care of the rest. I’m interested in hearing from people who have gone through a similar experience.
In spite of everything, at this pivotal time, being with my children makes me feel like I’m not alone and gives me hope for the future. I am grateful for the love and care shown to me by my closest friends and mentors who helped me figure out what to do and what to expect in the most difficult of times. I’d like to express my gratitude to my family, my siblings, my friends, my classmates, and my best best friend nearby. I appreciate it a lot. I write this in the hopes that it would give hope to others, especially those who have been through something similar.
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