Scott Goodwin has been a guest writer on this blog. He has been sharing his experiences and feelings as he continues his journey on chemotherapy. Scott is not doing as well as we all had hoped. His final paragraph says “When does the time come when a man will stop all treatments and try to regain some quality of life?” – Joel

It has been a few months since I have updated my experiences taking chemotherapy. Since that time my PSA has been as low as 1.2 and as high as 1.79. At this time, my PSA is at 1.6. Even though these numbers don’t sound like big numbers, the doubling time is a bit of a concern.

Originally, I was scheduled for ten chemo treatments and did not really know what treatment if any I would be on after that. We did have some discussions at Duke University about possibly entering into a clinical trials. We did decided that I would stay on chemo as long as PSA stayed down.

I went back on Hormone Therapy (ADT) three months ago when my PSA started to rise. I definitely feel weaker but I am not sure if it is from the ADT, chemo or both.

I find that my life has become a three week cycle. I am sure that those of you who are also on Taxotere every three weeks understand what I mean by living your life in three-week cycles. The first few days of the treatment week I feel pretty good due to the steroid Dexamethasone which is also administered. It keeps me awake all night and sends my blood sugar through the roof. After about three days, I am pretty much confined to my bed due to weakness and the side effects I have from a shot called Nuelasta (designed to fight chemotherapy induced neutropenia ). Nuelasta makes your body create white blood cells and I have found it quite painful. To combat the pain I am now taking Oxycontin on a daily basis as well as Oxycodone for breakthrough pain.

Week two starts by getting being able to get out of bed a little. I do experiences some nausea, but it is not too bad. As the week progresses I am able to be a little more active.

Week three is a time that I am feeling better. This is a good time to try to get some simple chores around the house done as well as to enjoy life a little bit. I make it a point to squeeze in as many activities with my kids as possible, I know what is coming around the corner as the whole process starts again.

Through this process, I continue to get support from family and friends. I know it is hard for them to really comprehend how I feel and at times my family finds it very hard to cope, just as I find it hard. My 10 year old son, Hunter seemingly puts his life on hold until I feel better. My kids have become very strong through this and unfortunately have to witness their once strong dad be reduced to much less of a man than he used to be. I find this particularly difficult.

Treatment thirteen is tomorrow and I am reluctant to go, although I know I will. When does the time come when a man will stop all treatments and try to regain some quality of life? That is my dilemma. For now though, I will continue to take the medicine.

Scott Goodwin