On April 6, 2011 (by coincidence, my 58th birthday), my oncologist advised me that I had 12 to 18 months left to live. Now, this wasn’t some kind of subatomic clock stamped into my DNA, but it was based on her experience with men in similar situations. Shortly thereafter, I made the decision to stop any further treatment beyond what was necessary to help me manage my pain and any other symptom that pops up as my cancer slowly kills me.
Ever since I was first diagnosed with prostate cancer in October of 2002, I have made it my mission to learn as much as possible about my disease so I could make informed treatment decisions. This has served me well, however, I discovered early on that there was very little information about the emotional impact of cancer. So I started a blog (talkingaboutcancer.com) and wrote a book (The Wolf at my Door) to share my own experiences with others facing this horrible disease.
But now that I am past all of that, I am much more interested in what happens next. And guess what? There’s not much information out there on what happens between the time someone discontinues treatment and when they die. So I decided to wind down talkingaboutcancer.com and create this new blog through which I can share my personal experiences – physical, psychological and emotional – right up to the moment of my death. It is my sincere hope that this will leave a valuable legacy of information on what to expect for others who find themselves in my situation. I also intend to supplement my frequent updates with musings, theories and questions about life, death and even what might come after. These are, after all, the things that occupy our minds when we are lucky enough to have the time to do so. After I am dead, perhaps I will arrange to have someone collect these writings and make them available in book or other formats.
In closing, I trust that you will quickly get past the initial feeling that this guy is pretty morbid, or depressed as hell, and try to get something out of what I experience and what I write. Death, after all, is something that happens to us all and, frankly, I am already finding it a fascinating subject!
So welcome to my world and join me on my journey. I hope it’s a lot longer than my doctor thinks. If so, I will have quite a bit to write about!