The Lesson for Today

“A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord determines his steps.” – Proverbs16:9

Homo proponit, sed Deus disponit – Thomas a Kempis

I’ll ask some indulgence while I grieve a bit, even though it’s really unwarranted. There are others who deal with issues that make mine very pale in comparison. But any time someone has to adjust to large-scale changes in their life it’s a big deal, and there’s a level of grieving that naturally occurs.

I returned to the oncologist this past Tuesday for a follow up visit and to receive my next Lupron injection. The good news-the REALLY good news- is that my PSA is now 0.4, which is worlds better than 52 in January and even 2.0 in April. With that news in hand, I anticipated that some of my treatment might be curtailed, most hopefully that the Zytiga and prednisone could be discontinued. In my mind, I was close enough to the finish line to coast a bit.

Unfortunately, I was quickly disabused of that notion. While 0.4 is good, it’s not good enough. What the doctor wants is an undetectable reading; in other words, zero point nothing or close to it. Their original plan was to keep me on Lupron for 18 to 24 months and it appears that time frame is locked in solid. The Zytiga continues, given the metastatic nature of my cancer. No end date has been discussed but I have to assume the duration will be much the same as the Lupron.

I should be thankful for such spectacular evidence that the treatment is working, and I am. But because it’s working so well I’m ready to be done with it so I can return to feeling more energetic and able to do stuff. Being told this is going to continue for another year is disheartening to say the least. I’m tired of riding the roller coaster of finally gaining a little energy only to have it disappear every time I get another injection. I’d like whatever is left of my testosterone back.

The problem is I thought I was just about finished and started making plans on my own. What compounds the problem is the plans were based on rather shaky assumptions. Having recovered from this once before I automatically figured I could do exactly the same thing in exactly the same way. The reality is I’m twelve years older and my body has been so abused by treatment that it’s not going to happen. I may be able to gain back a little but I’m never going to be what I was before. And so the grieving process has begun.

And that’s the lesson for today. God is simply reminding me that He’s in control of the situation and I need to keep walking in His paths, not mine. I’m not what I used to be and in many ways that’s a good thing. I can mourn over not being able to do the things I once could, or I can be patient and let God show me what He plans to do with me. Based on previous experience I know it’s going to be something good.