After a terminal, metastatic diagnosis, planning a longer life
In 2011, I was diagnosed with aggressive metastatic prostate cancer. Because of this, my doctors had very little hope I would still be here four years later.
But after hormone treatments, injections, a radical prostectomy and lymphectomy to treat my metastatic prostate cancer, I'm still here. Not only that, but my doctor, Ana Aparicio, M.D., tells me I have reasons to hope.
Finding hope at MD Anderson after my metastatic diagnosis
Dr. Aparicio told me there are two immunotherapy treatments coming down the pike that could be game-changers for metastatic prostate cancer patients like me. They are in the last stages of clinical trials and are showing very encouraging results. Prostate cancer treatment is progressing at a very rapid pace. The longer I'm alive, the greater the chances that more therapies can benefit me.
Because of my prolonged successful time on hormone therapy, Dr. Aparicio indicated that I may respond well to other treatments.
I spent some time asking about other treatments and new ideas I had read about. What I appreciate about Dr. Aparicio is that with many of these new treatments and ideas, she isn't just reading about them like everyone else. She is in the conversation and part of the debates and discussions. I'm so thankful that she's my doctor.
New possibilities for my future despite my metastatic diagnosis
We know there are still no guarantees for me, regardless of new prostate cancer treatment options. In many ways, it's beyond my control. It's not all about a positive attitude or exercise. If it were, we wouldn't be losing so many great people that have practiced all of these things. It just is what it is. I do hope and pray that things continue to progress for me, but I realize that I can't and don't control this realm.
My wife and I have changed our outlook on our life together. Most likely, we will have more time together, more time to be a family and more time to create longer-range plans and goals. It's pretty fun to allow ourselves to think about a five-year plan. That might be a stretch, but maybe not so out of reason.
Prostate cancer is one of the areas MD Anderson is focusing on as part of our Moon Shots Program to dramatically reduce cancer deaths. Learn more about our Prostate Cancer Moon Shot.