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Bob New Heart

Bob New Heart
Life is Good

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Next Step

April 15, 2014

Tomorrow I go back to UCSF to meet with the chief of the Radiology Dept., Dr. Alexander Gottschalk. The discussion will be what non-invasive options are available to me to kill this prostate cancer.
 As a heart transplant recipient I take two meds every day specifically designed to suppress my immune system to prevent rejection. That is the big concern each transplant recipient faces the rest of his life.

 If you have major surgery then you need a stronger immune system to promote healing. It’s a double edge sword. If you increase the strength of one’s immune system you open the door for rejection of the heart while you are healing from the operation.It is for these reasons that any invasive procedures is off the table.
The options I assume are different forms of radiation. UCSF specializes in a new technologycalled CyberKnife  used to fight cancer . Google it...Interesting reading. Dr. Gottschalk is an expert in this new technology.

I like what I read about it as it is completely non-invasive and one needs only a few zaps and it is over. I hear from others who have had this procedure it requires no more than five or so treatments. All of my information at the present time is from others prostate cancer patients I have talked with and what I have read. Tomorrow I get the real scoop. More on that later
On the other side of the UCSF ledger, my heart transplant, I am in fine shape other than I am getting fat which impacts my heart . I gained ten pounds in less than ten months. Part of the reason is in that same time period I have had no aerobic exercise because of my back issue. I fell last June 28th and I had a compressed fracture of # 3 and # 4 vertebrae. That is on the mend slowly and I have just begun to start  using the stationary bike at the gym. Back still hurts a bit but I can no longer afford any more weight gain.

One interesting note is with the heart transplant, I was never emotionally affected by the heart failure prior to my new heart. I was in bad shape but never had any depression. It was an east fix. Get on the list, wait for the new heart, have the operation and move on. Don’t get me wrong the recovery time was long. I was in poor shape before transplant and was weak for months following.. I am in pretty good shape now except for the weight gain.

In this prostate cancer deal, I have had emotion swings and sudden flashes of temper more than my usual lack of patience. I am not concerned about dying as that is out of my control . I am just pissed off. I thought the heart transplant was my deal. Each of us in life gets one big deal and that was mine. Now I have this sudden arrival of something I can’t see nor do I have any symptoms other than the old man prostate issues not cancer related.

The other thing that is bothering me is this time I am on my own. I have no support group of friends as they are all busy and after all everyone gets prostate cancer sooner or later. It is not interesting and is viewed as quite mundane. My family is busy and I have this feeling that I am really on my own. I drive myself back and forth to the City for my appointments and I expect to do so while I am having the treatments.

Every man has prostate cancer.sooner or later. No very many people have heart transplants. I will report back after this appointment tomorrow. Later this month on the 30th , I have another appointment with my new oncologist, Dr. Matthew Cooperberg, where we will discuss the options and make a decision.

Life is Good

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