Monday, October 10, 2011

September 26th through October 10th

Think it not Strange or Explaining the Unexplainable

Today is Monday October 10th. I worked like crazy yesterday to get you caught up to the 25th of September (which is when I started the last update). But tonight I am going to get us all caught up to today and that involves telling you all about the miracle that occurred last Wednesday October 5th. I'm afraid from this point on unless there is a major event I will mostly be updating things monthly, typically the first week of the month, which is when I go to my appointment at the Mayo Clinic each month. BUT my promise is that I will regularly post within a few days exactly what the appointments reveal.

I don't remember much happening between September 25th and October 5th except for two things. First, the tubes coming out of my kidneys got irritated, slightly infected and made it a bit difficult to sleep or sit with my back up against anything. But, with the liberal use of neosporin and the regular replacement of the bandages this passed within about a week. Second, you may remember the weird attack on my left heel from a few weeks ago, well, on Wednesday morning September 28th I woke up with a tremendous pain in my right foot centered around the big toe joint but it wasn't a gout attack (been there done that got the T-shirt). All the same it hurt enough that I called Mayo and left a message for my Dr. asking what my options were. By the time I got a call back a few days later I could tell that it was lessening and we agreed that if it was still bothering me when I got there for my appointment on Wednesday the 5th of October we would do something then.  By Monday the 3rd it had all but disappeared.

While I am sure this seems unrelated, bear with me, it will tie into my story in a minute. I won't go into all of the detail, but, Sherry has been battling a strange lung infection for about a year. It has left her lungs with some "holes" in them (revealed in a CT Scan). After having a biopsy it was discovered that she had two problems. One was a different form of pneumonia (which was treated with a 5 day course of antibiotics). The other appears to be some kind of mycobacteria, but they haven't been able to identify it. It's like a cousin to TB but isn't TB. So she was put on the most logical treatment which is 2 heavy-duty antibiotics and 1 anti-bacterial of some sort. She has to take this for 3 months (and get her eyesight and liver checked monthly). So we figured since we are going to be at the Mayo Clinic monthly for awhile we should get a second opinion from a pulmonary Dr. there. The earliest they could schedule her appointment was December 7th.

So now we are at Mayo and it is Wednesday October 5th. I had my blood work done at 7:30 AM and then Sherry and I went to the building where most appointments take place. We went to the 18th floor so that Sherry could see if she could get into her Dr. any sooner. There is no waiting list at Mayo the only option is to show up and register then sit and wait to see if someone no-shows the Dr. you want to see then if you are the first in line you get to see them. So after a quick breakfast we sat and waited for an unlikely opening with her Dr.

Just before 1 PM I headed down to the 7th floor for my appointment and Sherry stayed on the 18th floor. At about 1:20 I got called into my appointment. Just as I was about to enter my exam room (there are probably 100 of them on each floor at Mayo) I saw my Dr. doing some paperwork on a kiosk in the hall. As he looked up I smiled, shook his hand and he said, "I'll be with you in a few minutes, actually it may be a bit longer than that". I sat down in the room and continued working on a crossword puzzle I had been doing. Within about 5 minutes the door burst open and my Dr. came in exclaiming, "Holy crap I honestly didn't recognize you, you look great, the jaundice is gone and you have put on quite a bit of weight. I don't need to tell you that the last time I saw you 6 weeks ago you were a very sick man! I honestly can't believe the change in you in such a short time." He then said he had to go take care of a few things and he would be back in a few minutes. Then he left kind of shaking his head (in a good way).

The heavy door to my exam room closed and a few minutes later from the hallway I hear him loudly exclaim, "Holy @#$%*, I can't believe it. Hey... come here look at this, have you ever seen ANYTHING like this". I heard other voices say "No I've never seen anything like it" and then some mumbling. I had no way of knowing whether the exclamation had anything to do with me, nor if it was an extremely good or extremely bad report. But it seemed like a good one and I hoped it was for me!!!!! Of course the enemy came right away to plant the thought that Oh it's not for you and it's not good news.

A few minutes later my Dr. came in and confirmed it was not only for me but it was incredibly awesome good news!!! My PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) which he said was off the charts 6 short weeks earlier (meaning it was above 20,000, that's right 20,000) was now 103. Praise God, what an amazing miracle! What a mighty God we serve!!!

The Dr. preceded to tell me that in all his years of practice he hasn't seen this dramatic a result with any patient and that I had both the highest PSA he had ever worked with and the largest lymph nodes. He emphasized that this just doesn't happen, lymph nodes shrinking within 30 days of the first hormone injection and the PSA dropping so dramatically. He stated that something was telling him that it wasn't quite time to let up so we are going to continue to treat this aggressively and "ride this horse as far as it will take us". We also talked about his studies using immune boosters and he said that if we get to that point I would certainly be a candidate for a study and would have a 67% chance of getting the treatment drug(s) as opposed to a placebo. He was awesome and wrote a note to Sherry (who was still waiting on the 18th floor) telling her my PSA count. Of course I ran and told Sherry, gave her the note and we both broke down in tears of joy!!

So, since then I have been on cloud nine (what is cloud nine anyway,  is it not as good as cloud 10, but better than cloud eight? Just wondering.) Celebrating the miracle working power of God through His son Jesus Christ. I have received a miracle. Just what I have been praying and believing for for the last few years. It is happening and I am very thankful. It is amazing. I have a theory on what the catalyst for the manifestation was but the crux of it is that just as the Prodigal Son woke up in the mud in the pig sty and the Bible says he "came to himself" (in other words he had nothing left physically, emotionally, financially, etc., he had spent it all) and like the woman with the issue of blood who for 18 years "spent all she had" (again physically, emotionally, financially, etc.) I had to get to a place that I was at the end of myself, the end of my options, no alternatives or back-up plans left. But God.......had a plan. His ways are higher than our ways and his thoughts higher than our thoughts.

So next month, the first week of November, I will return to Mayo for 2 days of poking, prodding, testing, replacement nephrostomy bags and I am quite sure another great report. I'm told I'll get the all-the-tests-you-can-take-in-a-day wristband. Kind of like an all-access backstage thing.

Looking forward to hearing from you. Thanks again for all of your prayers, it's not time yet to quit we need to press through to the end. I love you all and can't wait to see you. Write, text, comment here on the blog whatever you can do. I really appreciate hearing from everybody especially since things are so good. Let me know if you need prayer from us for any reason!

All God's Best,

PD aka Bucky

Sunday, October 9, 2011

August 18th through September 25th

Well I have intended to get this update completed innumerable times since my last post but it wasn't happening, but, at this point the good reports are piling up so fast that if I don't get on the stick and begin posting them I won't be able to catch up. WARNING: THE BLOG YOU ARE ABOUT TO READ IS GUARANTEED TO STRENGTHEN YOUR FAITH. IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO BE ENCOURAGED OR HAVE YOUR FAITH STRENGTHENED DO NOT READ THIS BLOG.

So, if you have the fortitude, strap yourself in, here is the update. In short, everything can be summed up in the word MIRACULOUS!!! God has and continues to deliver "above and beyond all that I could possibly ask or think". Had I been given a blank sheet of paper (following my visit to Mayo August 17th) and asked to write down what I was believing God for I would have fallen far short of what has actually occurred. Although I know (according to the Word and what our inheritance is as heirs to the New Covenant (salvation, healing, deliverance, prosperity and all things that pertain to life and godliness))I am incredibly humbled and "blown away" that God (according to Psalm 8) is mindful of me and this is actually happening!!!

My color (both skin and eyes, although eyes took a lot longer) continued to be a little less yellow (jaundiced) every day. NOTE: I didn't mention in my last post that a few days before my visit to Mayo on August 17th, I had a terrible attack of pain in my left heel, it was extremely sensitive to the touch and very painful to walk on. I dealt with it for a few days doing nothing, (I was already doing anti-itch and pain medications daily) figuring it came quickly in the night and would leave as quickly. After 2 days I started wearing some kind of foot brace Sherry got when she thought she had plantar fasciitis. It at least enabled me to walk because it absorbed most of the weight instead of putting it on my heal. It was bad enough that for my visit the 17th to Mayo I rode around in a wheelchair part of the day.

I went back to work on Thursday the 18th of August and there was no change in my heel. In fact by Friday it was so bad that when we went to the Steele County Free Fair in Owatonna with some friends I rented a scooter in order to get around! It was somewhat embarrassing since I really have never considered myself to be sick. By Saturday morning the pain in my heel had lessened for the first time and by Monday the 22nd, when I returned to work, my heel felt fine.

All during this time I was feeling a little better each day, but working a full 8 hours a day was quite exhausting. I'd come home each night and crash hard. The jaundice continued to lessen so that you really didn't see it in my skin tone and just barely in my eyes. Also, each time one of the multiple medications I was on ran out, I would either stop taking it or back off the dosage substantially. Very quickly I was down to taking only two pills before bed for restful sleep and the last remnants of itching. Early the week of September 12th when those last two prescriptions ran out I stopped taking all meds. All during this time my appetite vastly improved (I'm sure I have put back on a good deal of the weight I had lost when I weighed below 170 with maybe 20 lbs. of tumors in my gut) and I gained energy every day. I am back to normal color and weight-wise although I can't put an exact date on the return to normalcy.

2 or 3 weekends ago I went out and worked on a project in the garage but after a couple of hours I had to call it quits, I was exhausted! However, yesterday September 24th I got up early went and had coffee with Sherry, then we shopped for several hours, even hit a couple of garage sales, came home and tackled some projects around the house and felt great!!! Today for the first time since June 30th I went out, mowed and weed-whacked the entire yard (despite the fact that Sherry and Brileigh had tried to keep up with it, it was incredibly long) then did a brake job on my car, now I'm doing the blog. It is an awesome testimony to the goodness of God!!! I really am feeling back to normal and doing everything I was doing back in June, but certainly have a new appreciation and thankfulness for the good heath I have again (and which so many of us take for granted). But I am rushing ahead.

On Monday September 5th I felt a prompting to do a Google search on my Dr. (Dr. Eugene Kwon). What I found was amazing. If you're interested you should check out these links and
The long and short of it is that once again God's providence was in operation. I had initially called the Mayo Clinic and was randomly (I thought) scheduled as a patient of Dr. Kwon's. It turns out he is a leading researcher in the area of immunology as a treatment for prostate cancer. For two years I had used naturopathic treatment methods  changing lifestyle, diet and exercising more trying to boost my immune system in order to "destroy" the prostate cancer, as a result of the long-held belief that the medical profession only offered surgery, radiation and chemotherapy as options for cancer treatment. Then as "luck" would have it I am "randomly" assigned to a Dr. whose entire research focus is on using therapies which boost the patients immune system to eradicate cancer and specifically prostate cancer.

Again, things continued to improve a little bit every day I had more energy and by the time my next Mayo Clinic appointment arrived (September 9th) I was feeling really good. I went through the normal drill for my appointment (Early AM blood draw, then CT Scan with & without contrast then a 1:00 PM Dr. Appointment, following that a Lupron shot (the hormone treatment that blocks the production of testosterone). They had to wait this long (a month) to do the CT scan with contrast because my impaired kidney function wouldn't have been able to handle the contrast dye earlier than this.

Dr. Kwon was not there for this appointment so I met with his assistant Dr. Wynn. He informed me that a number of my lymph nodes had shrunk in size approximately 1" in diameter. In his words this was extremely unusual to have this dramatic a result in this short a time (just 1 month). Dr. Wynn is normally very reserved, doesn't display a lot of emotion, but in this case he was VERY animated and visibly moved by the incredible results. He went on to say that most of the time it takes up to 12 months to see any results from the hormone therapy. Needless to say I left the appointment feeling incredibly blessed and encouraged!

Over the course of the next several weeks I have continued to get stronger, feel better, look better (I'm told) and also feel the pressure that the lymph nodes were putting on my entire abdominal area, lessen. For the last 6 weeks I have been back to work full time and the only negative is the multiple "hot flashes" I get each day as a result of the Lupron therapy (basically it is manopause). But after being incredibly cold for the last year or so (I'm guessing as a result of the cancer) I'm thinking that the hot flashes will provide some welcome relief this winter.

One of the challenges is to remember those long nights of uncontrollable itching, jaundice and weight loss and feeling miserable and remember what I have been delivered from. Because God has answered my prayers for relief from all of those things. It truly is a miracle!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks to each and every one of you for all of your prayers!!! I know I wouldn't be where I am were it not for those prayers, your love and support and your powerful encouragement. While it is a bit too early to celebrate the complete victory, I would ask that you continue in your prayers for me. But, all indications are that if we continue on this course it will eventually lead to a complete healing with no lingering or recurring effects. Thanks for all of the awesome emails, texts, voicemails, phone calls, visits, letters, faxes, etc. they have been incredibly encouraging and uplifting. I appreciate them more than I can express. I love hearing from each and every one of you and apologize if during these many distractions I haven't gotten back to you in a timely manner. Just as I eventually get around to updating this blog I will eventually get back to each of you. All God's best in every area of your lives.

Paul (and Sherry)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Thursday, August 4 through Wednesday, August 17

Wow it doesn't seem possible that it has been 2 weeks since I updated this, but I've got too much great news to report to let things slip another day.

I have purposed in my heart that I would keep this updated more regularly but you know "Life Happens!". There is always something to fill in our time even if it is nothing, right?

So Thursday August 4th I showed up at St. Mary's Hospital in Rochester at 6:45 AM (affiliated with the Mayo Clinic) with the intention of having shunts put into both kidneys (called a nephrostomy) which drain fluid directly to drainage-collection bags. I actually think that whoever invented cargo pants must have had this operation, because they work perfectly to hold the bags without them being so "in-your-face". They checked me into a room and Sherry and I were fully expecting to stay there through Friday.

The surgery went without a hitch (I don't remember any of it) and by 10ish I was back in the hospital room, feeling really good. Sherry and I took a long walk around the entire floor of the hospital (which is huge) and the Dr. and nursing staff were so pleased with my progress they sent me home. First they gave me a bunch of supplies. One set of drainage-collection bags for daytine usage (each bag holds about a pint of fluid) and a different set of bags for nighttime (each holding about a quart of fluid). It takes a bit of getting used to and presents somewhat of a challenge when sleeping but I got the knack pretty quickly.

It is the Dr's. hope that the hormone shot will shrink the size of the lymph nodes in my abdomen and reduce my PSA from 8,300 and that the surgery will restore full functionality to my kidneys and relieve the jaundice and the incredibly pesky itching. That combined with the knowledge that one of the many provisions of the New Covenant (Testament) is that Jesus took all of our sins, sicknesses and diseases on the cross so that we don't have to makes it a sure bet that I am healed.

Friday evening Sherry, I and the girls (and each one brought a friend)and the dog headed up to the Luck/Cumberland WI area to stay at my boss Norm's cabin. What a great place to get away and just chill (Thanks Norm!!!!!). I spent a good bit of time that weekend figuring how to work with this newfangled plumbing of mine. We did a bunch of hanging-out, some four-wheeling, had a great time watching hummingbirds feed at the feeder on the porch. Of course the girls stayed up until all hours talking, playing guitar hero, etc. and before we knew it it was Sunday afternoon and time to head back to reality.

Monday the 8th it was back to business as usual. I headed into work and began the process of wading through emails and getting back "into-the-game". It felt good to be back to work, get caught up and everyone said I looked 100% better, not as yellow (less jaundiced). I worked all week on a somewhat reduced work day since it takes a while to get the plumbing squared away and to do all of the other prep work necessary first-thing in the morning. Everyone said I looked a little better each day (I'm guessing I must have looked HORRIBLE prior to getting the nephrostomy) and I felt a little stronger each day as well.

The weekend was really chill, nothing very eventful, went to church Sunday morning relaxed in the afternoon and got to bed early so I'd be ready for the week. I worked Monday the 15th and Tuesday the 16th and Tuesday night Sherry and I and the dog (the girls stayed at some friends (Thanks Kari and Jordan)) headed to Rochester so we could be at the Mayo Clinic early this morning Wednesday the 17th.

So we got up early, Sherry's Dad Gil dropped us off at the appropriate Mayo building and at 8:15 I was giving my first vial of blood. At 9:30, I was getting a shot of radioactive dye for a bone scan and Sherry an I went and had some breakfast. After breakfast we had a few hours to kill before the bone scan (the dye needs about 3 hours to get where it needs to) so we went to the Plummer Building which houses the archives and kind of Mayo Museum.

Many of you wouldn't know that my grandfather (my mother's Dad), Dr. Samuel Franklin Adams, was a doctor at the Mayo Clinic (my Mom was born in Rochester, MN before moving to White Plains, NY). He entered The Mayo Foundation as a fellow in 1921 and left the Mayo Foundation in 1931 following 10 years of dedicated service and research. My grandmother often told the story of him administering the FIRST shot of insulin to a human patient. It was a farmer from the Rochester, MN area who was found in a diabetic coma, he administered the shot and the farmer sat up and returned to his fields that afternoon. She said it was truly a miracle!!!! There is some correspondence in his file at Mayo with Dr. Best (of Banting and Best fame) who did most of the pioneering work in the development of insulin. Quite fascinating stuff. His bibliography cites 22 different items published in various medical journals. While most all of his published works dealt with diabetes, insulin, diet etc. Sherry found it very interesting that he had one article entitled Carcinoma of the prostate gland with early and extensive metastasis to the cervical, axillary and inguinal lymph nodes!!!! Interesting. Anyway my grampa, Dr. Adams, died in September of 1933 of pneumonia, quite ironic don't you think?

So back to our story, at 12:30 I went back to have my bone scan and when that was completed we had about 3 hours to burn before all of the test results would be in and we would meet with the urologist. So Sherry's high school friend Kathy came and picked us up and took us back to her house to relax for a few hours before the Dr. appointment.

We went back to the clinis at about 3:30 and by about 4:30 the Dr. finally had all the test results in and we sat down with him. Here is what we found out:
1) The bone scan showed no evidence of metasticized cancer into the bones. Praise the Lord!!! My Dr. was absolutely shocked by this as he was sure we would find it in the bones.
2) All important numbers in the blood analysis are moving in the correct direction (improving), meaning that the nephrostomy and the hormone treatment are doing their job.
3) Kidney function is rapidly returning to normal. His comment was that if I had waited another week there would have most likely been permanent damage to the kidneys.
4) Everything is going just as he had hoped. We will wait and see what impact the hormone therapy has on the lymph nodes. He mentioned that there is a one in a million chance that the hormone therapy will eliminate all signs of the cancer. I am going to believe for that option!!!
5) I will return on September 9th for a Chest and Abdomen CAT scan with contrast, ongoing blood samples to monitor progress and to get the next 30-day hormone shot.

So until then I am to just sit tight, continue getting lots of rest and eat "right" and we will see what miracles the Lord has in store on September 9th.

What I know as of today is the report I received COULD NOT have been any better!!! We are on the right track!!! Soooooo...please keep up your prayers
it isn't time to let up yet. In fact let's double-up on prayer so that the report on September 9th is even more positive.

A big shout-out to you all for your prayers, support, phone calls, emails, texts, etc. I appreciate each and every one of them!!! I do my best to get back to you in a timely manner but please accept my apology if it has taken me awhile to respond to you, forgive me! It has been a busy time to say the least. Hang in there and I'll get to you as soon as I can.

All My Best,

PD aka Bucky

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Monday July 25 through Wednesday August 3, 2011

Okay after the latest lengthy missal I'll try to keep this short and to the point.

I really appreciate all of the phone calls, prayers and well wishes, but I figure if I can get a bunch of folks keeping up with the symptoms and daily developments on this blog it will leave more time on the phone for positive conversations, prayer and general catching up. Please feel free to leave comments and to call me at any time. I'll do my best to get back with you as soon as I possibly can. Please understand if it takes awhile, just bear with me.

So, Monday the 25th was fairly uneventful as I worked from home, adjusted to the new meds and a different sleeping schedule than normal (it seems like I didn't really get good sleep until about 4AM) still coping with some sporadic itching.

Tuesday Morning the 26th I woke up with a terrible eye infection in my left eye. I got right in to the eye Dr. and was diagnosed with an ulcerated cornea. Which is the result of wearing a soft contact in my left eye (only) for way too long. Anyway it hurt to keep my eye open and it hurt to close it. I got antibiotic drops and went home. It was a very painful experience but I kept putting the drops in every chance i got and by the time I got up Wednesday everything with the eye was good.

Wednesday I kept up the drops, worked from home and continued to make appointments for the following week (actually this week).

Thursday a return to the eye Dr. confirmed that my eye was doing well and I was scheduled for a follow-up a week later.

Friday I worked from home in the morning and had a Dr.'s appointment in the afternoon with the general practitioner who tried to wrangle all of the specialists together for me in the hospital. We chatted about the plan which was to work with Dr.'s in Burnsville, The Mayo Clinic and The U (University of Minnesota) hospital to triangulate on a solid diagnosis and develop a comprehensive treatment plan. He ran some blood tests (I've had quite a few of those lately, kind of surprised I'm not tapped out) and we generally agreed that we would make sure that all test results were forwarded to him and we would continue to use him as an advisor through this process.

The one weird piece of the puzzle is wildly erratic PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) numbers. On Monday the 18th the blood test showed that it was about 8,300 (remember 0.0-4.0 is good), in the hospital it was taken at least twice with one test showing 99 and another that showed 4,000+, another test showed it was immeasurable (off the charts). So it would be nice to get some answers regarding this. Although in any case the number is not good.

The weekend was very chill. Braden came over Saturday, we went to the store and bought a bunch of stuff to grill and eat (and He split the grocery bill with me, which was an awesome gesture) then we headed home and got to fixing dinner: Grilled steaks, chicken and shrimp; cilantro lemon marinated asparagus and green beans; sweet corn, coleslaw and potato salad. It was a great time. Braden did all of the grilling and did a masterful job!

Sunday we went to church, got blessed and prayed for then headed home for some leftovers and a big nap. Again, thanks for everybody's phone calls, facebook posts (to sherry's wall), texts, emails, etc!!!! They mean so much. Especially the prayers of Faith everyone is offering up. See James Chapter 5 regarding the prayer of faith.

Monday the 1st I headed in to NPC to work for the first time in weeks. Thanks Norm, Rich and the rest of the great team for all of your incredible support and understanding. It is overwhelming!!! I worked from 10ish to 4PM and was pretty worn out, so I headed home.

Tuesday Morning the 2nd I had an appointment with the urologist I had seen a few years earlier. He listened, evaluated what he could of the test information we could provide and recommended hormone therapy (drugs which stop testosterone production which tends to relieve symptoms and shrink testosterone positive tumor tissue). I'm not too keen on the hormone thing since it induces Manopause and can lead to hot flashes and other similar symptoms and the results of the therapy are strictly palliative (deals with symptoms but doesn't cure the disease). He didn't seem too concerned with the continued jaundice and/or kidney function. So we really didn't feel he engaged too much in the process.

Tuesday night (last night) Sherry and I drove down to Rochester to stay at her parents since my appointment was at 6AM at The mayo Clinic. My Mom and Dad were gracious enough to stay at the house with Breanna and the dog. Thanks Mom & Dad!!!

This morning Wednesday August 3rd we showed up at the Mayo Clinic, with our 20 pages of paperwork filled out. I gave a blood sample and a specimen then we headed up to see the urologist. They work as a team of 3 a Dr. a Physician's assistant and a nurse. The Dr. introduced himself and his team we had a brief chat regarding the seriousness of the situation and he excused himself and left me in the capable hands of his PA. After an hour and a half of various questions, his recording previous tests in their database and a prostate exam he set up: extensive blood testing and another specimen; a Lupron Depot hormone shot 7.5mg(a one month dose), an EEG and an appointment for tomorrow to have some shunts put into my kidneys. This is in order to help them drain properly and relieve them of the pressure they have been under for the last month. The shunts will come out my back and run into a bag. Not my idea of a great time but... I'll deal with it.

The idea is to restore optimal kidney function so that they can move ahead with high contrast diagnostics. The contrast dyes they use put an excess burden on my kidneys and they didn't want to do that while the kidney function was compromised.

So tomorrow morning I will report to St. Mary's at 7AM to have the surgery performed and then they want to keep me overnight for observation to make sure there are no complications from the shunts. I'm okay with that!

I'll update this as I can in the next few days, so that you all are on top of the situation. I should be home sometime Friday. Current plans call for further testing the 17th of August at Mayo. In the interim I have a few appointments in the Twin Cities with Oncologists and at the U to continue to sort through things!

In the interim I know a few things:
1. According to Deuteronomy 28:61 Prostate Cancer and Metastasized Prostate Cancer are part of the curse of the Law and pertain to the Old Testament (Covenant).
2. According to Galatians 3:13 Christ has redeemed me from the curse of the law and made me (through my confession of Him as my Savior) an heir to a better Covenant with better promises!!!

Therefore, I am redeemed from Prostate Cancer and it's metastasis and consequently it has no place in my body. If you are not a Christian and are reading this it may be confusing, I am happy to explain it. If you are a Christian, then I appreciate your prayers of agreement, which line up with the fact that it is God's will to heal me and everyone who believe on the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ!

Thanks again for all of your prayers and support!!! I Love You All!

PD aka Bucky

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I'm Back

Hello All!!!! I'm Back.

WARNING, this particular Blog entry will be long in order to catch y'all up on the events of the past month. In the future I will do entries every day or two and they will be short and sweet. Thanks for hanging with me. I really cherish your calls, thoughts and prayers. PD aka Bucky.

The whole Bucky Festoon thing is explained in an earlier blog post

Things have changed a bit as it pertains to my health. I figure this is the easiest way to communicate the information to the largest number of people without having to repeat it over and over. The number of phone calls, people who visited me in the hospital last week, Facebook posts (Sherry's, I'm still a holdout from all things Facebook)and the generally overwhelming show of love, support and prayers brings tears to my eyes. Thanks to everyone, you are all an incredible blessing!!!!!!!

Now onto the details. For those of you who are mostly up to date this will repeat quite a bit so bear with me. The last week of June I was on a business trip for four days. It is always a challenge for me when I'm away from home to eat properly and maintain the routine I follow when I'm home. 2 days into the trip I started feeling some stomach type problems, so I began avoiding the conference food and eating better and this passed. I got home Thursday night June 30, unpacked, repacked for a week in Indiana (at my brother and sister-in-laws) and left for an overnight in Rochester, MN at Sherry's parents (where we dropped off the dog). Friday morning at 3AM (because we are on vacation and have to get going early in order to savor every possible restful moment)we got up, got the car packed and headed to Bremen, IN where my brother Bruce and his wife Adelle live.

I continued eating the best I could and taking all of my supplements (about 100 pills throughout a day, in addition to homeopathics and other liquids)and felt fine through Sunday July 3rd. On Monday (the 4th)I started itching all over my body, like the worst case of poison ivy you can imagine or 10,000 strategically placed mosquito bites. The itching was so bothersome I just couldn't stop scratching and would scratch until I bled, then move to another spot and repeat. Some of this continues today although I have been taking medications to try to minimize it.

On Tuesday I was in the hot tub with Sherry and she said "are your eyes yellow?" I, in denial, said "of course not". Minutes later however I looked in the mirror and the whites of my eyes were indeed yellow, indicating early stages of jaundice. We stayed in Indiana through early Saturday morning, trying to control the itching with Benadryl, lotions and an occasional apple cider vinegar wipedown (I smelled like Olive Garden) but it wasn't working very well. By Saturday morning I also had a full blown gout attack in my right big toe. Because of the itching I hadn't had a good nights sleep in 4 or 5 days, so I was ready to head home to my own bed. Thankfully my brother had some gout medicine which enabled me to get through the next few incredibly painful days.

On Saturday (July 9) my appetite was non-existent which didn't help matters. I just wanted to get home. We got home, ordered pizza which I ate some of (even though I hadn't had any in several months)and I began my detox regimen* and juicing** (Gerson Therapy), but I had no energy and felt really lousy. I did not sleep well (a result of the itching and coffee enemas***) and at 3AM I lost my dinner, felt terrible but somehow managed to get a few hours sleep. On Sunday I really began pressing in with prayer and reading the Bible and in particular F.F. Bosworth's Book, Christ the Healer but I wasn't feeling any better. No energy, severe itching, gout hurting incredibly and very tired. This was probably my low point!!!
* detox regimen - a combination of coffee enemas***, ionic footbaths and lymph drainage using a special machine called a light beam generator.
** juicing - drinking raw, fresh, homemade organic juices (carrot, carrot/apple and green (using a specific mixture of green vegetables (a la Gerson Therapy))
*** coffee enemas - a technique which uses organic, caffeinated coffee for enemas which stimulates the liver to open up the bile ducts and release accumulated toxins into the intestinal tract.

I didn't feel well enough to go into work on Monday so I worked from home and hit the juicing and detox as hard as I could. Obviously it is impossible to follow the Gerson Therapy at work. By Monday night I was feeling much better so Tuesday I went into work. I didn't scare anybody too badly with my yellow tinted skin (think really bad spray tan) and yellow eyes but by the end of the day after not detoxing and juicing all day I was exhausted and could barely drive home. Wednesday morning I called into work and asked if I could work from home through Friday (July 15)in order to continue working the Gerson Therapy which was having some success (although when I laid down the itching intensified and the gout was really flaring up and hurt like crazy). In addition Sherry and I agreed that if I wasn't feeling (and looking) better by Friday we'd go to the doctor.

On Wednesday morning at 3 AM (between naps) I was reading Christ the Healer and I had a spiritual revelation (which seems foolishly simple as I write this). It was as if a switch was flipped inside of me or a bomb went off in my spirit. All of a sudden I realized that "I WAS HEALED", 2000 years ago. It didn't matter what color I was (yellow), how much I itched, how much my toe hurt, etc., etc., etc. I had been healed. Not, I am presently being healed or I will be healed at some time in the future, I WAS HEALED!!!!! It was incredible. I realized everything our five senses pick up in the natural was first birthed (or came into existence) in the spirit world. The realm of the unseen. "Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed)of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed by the senses]. (Hebrews 11:1 AMP)

On Friday, although I felt much better, had a great deal more energy, etc. I didn't look any better, nevertheless, we agreed to give it a few extra days and see a Dr. if things didn't change by Monday. By Monday I continued to gain strength and generally felt better and the gout pain was slowly subsiding, but I still had the jaundice and itching so in the afternoon we prepared to go to the hospital to have blood work done and get a medical opinion. At 3PM I got a call from the Naturopathic Dr. I had been working with and she indicated that she could order whatever blood work we wanted and wouldn't have the expense of the hospital. So we switched gears, headed to the lab got the blood drawn and Sherry and I went out for a nice organic dinner.

Tuesday morning, first thing, I got a call from the Naturopath saying my blood numbers were all out of whack (the lab has to call the Dr. when results are this dramatic so that they can act immediately)and I should head to the hospital ASAP. I gave her the hospital fax number and asked her to fax the results to the ER. So, Sherry and I and Pastor Tim (who had stopped by the house to pray with me) jumped in our cars and headed to Burnsville (Fairview Ridges Hospital ER). On the way the naturopath called me to report that my PSA (prostate specific antigen, a possible measure of prostate cancer probability) was 8,279 (normal range is 0.0-4.9). I replied that "this is a new personal best!" she didn't think it was funny. My feeling is that you have to laugh when you can. After all "a merry heart doeth good like a medicine". It took the better part of an hour to get me into an ER room, then they wouldn't really start anything until a payment counselor made sure my insurance was good, verified the coverage(s) and demanded payment for about 15% of the high-deductible for the policy we have. Once that was taken care of, well, let the billing begin. That even allowed them to turn on the TV in the ER. My how far we've come, I can't wait to see the improvements in the system once Obamacare kicks in!!!

In the ER they drew lots of blood (to compare with the faxed-in results), sent me for an ultrasound of the abdomen and pelvis and sent me for a CT scan of the chest, abdomen and pelvis (for anyone that cares they couldn't use contrast since I had compromised kidney function). The blood work showed some improvement, the ultrasound showed normal gallbladder (no stones), normal liver, spleen was unremarkable, the pancreas and other organs couldn't be seen because they were obscured by several enlarged (up to 6" x 4.5") lymph nodes. They felt that the partial blockage of the bile duct and tubes running from the kidneys to the bladder was caused by the enlarged (cancerous) lymph nodes in the abdomen. The CT scan verified that the liver, spleen, pancreas, adrenals and kidneys are all good (unremarkable), but, again felt that the jaundice is caused by the enlarged lymph nodes pressing on the bile duct and the kidney drainage tubes. At this point they admitted me to the hospital, gave me the all-the-rides-you-can-take wristband and wheeled me up to my room.

Once I was in my room the hospital Dr. saw me and recommended a group of specialists be brought in to best facilitate diagnosis and treatment(GI, Urologist and Oncologist). I must say that the interaction(s) with this group was less than stellar during the 3-1/2 day stay. Communication was poor or nonexistent, solid diagnosis and a treatment plan still hasn't happened. There was early talk of using stints or shunts in order to provide for good kidney and bile duct drainage. It seems that the blood tests they ran were getting steadily better so they opted not to do the stints/shunts but no one communicated that to me. Because of the indecision (and the possibility of surgery) they had me on a complete fast (not even ice chips) for a good bit of the time, occasionally they'd lift that and allow me to eat a meal. By Thursday (July 21) I was frustrated to say the least. Despite numerous medications, preparations, lotions, potions, etc. I was still itching,not sleeping particularly well, not eating well (although I had a good appetite)was still yellow and their team didn't seem to have any sense of urgency regarding diagnosis and treatment. So on Wednesday night I suggested that they do a biopsy of the enlarged lymph nodes and maybe we could start there.

On Thursday morning they conducted the biopsy and said it would take 4-5 days to get the results. On Friday I suggested they release me from the hospital since they really didn't seem to have a clear solution to anything and I might as well itch, and not sleep well at home. So I was released Friday afternoon with a fistful of prescriptions and told to follow-up with the Dr.'s Monday (July 25). They gave me four prescriptions: an antihistamine for itching (which seems to have moderate to poor results); a well-known pain med, I suppose to keep the gout under control (since they didn't want to give me any other gout medications because of their effect on the liver), an anti-convulsant and neuropathic pain agent (again it must be for the gout). I haven't had a single seizure since I started the medication (of course I haven't ever had a seizure). Finally the coup de gras, a tricyclic antidepressant used to treat depression, which I have never had!!!! Go figure, its no wonder our medical system gets such a bad rap.

The weekend passed unremarkably. After 4 weeks of itching and yellow skin and eyes I am no closer to a solution. The gout seems to be under control. I feel as if some (perhaps all) of the medications are unnecessary. I don't really have a Dr. who will take charge, get a full diagnosis and help develop a solid treatment plan, but, I will continue to look for one until I find them. Other than the itching and jaundice I feel fine, no pain, urine and bowels are just fine (sorry for the graphic detail), appetite is great. In the last few months I am down to 177 lbs. probably a bit too skinny but it feels great.

I will pick up the next blog entry with Monday July 25, "looking for Dr. Goodguy", adventures in getting appointments with busy MD's at some of the midwests finer medical establishments. Or, does it really take 3 weeks to get an appointment with a Dr. or do they do that so that you think they are incredibly busy. Sorry if I offend any Dr.'s.

My heartfelt thanks and blessings to everyone who has been: praying for me and/or my family, thinking of me, visiting the hospital, calling my cell numerous times and still haven't heard back from me, hanging out with me, giving gifts, loving on me and/or Sherry. Thanks and Thanks again!!!!!

To Sherry, Braden, Brileigh, Breanna, Joe and family, Mom & Dad, Gil & Elaine, Bruce & Adelle & Family, Steve & Faith & Family, Doug & Pam & FAMILY, Tom & Leah & Family. God Bless You Every One. I am a blessed man!!!!! And a better man because you're in my life.

All Love,


Saturday, November 21, 2009

So how am I doing?

First of all, let me say that I've never felt better! There is no pain, no change in what I can do. I really do not notice any changes or effects from this in general. A few years ago I noticed a slightly reduced bladder capacity but just added that to my list of irritating things that happen as you get older. And of course accompanying that were a trip or two to the bathroom at night (which seemed to sort of creep up on me).

Next, I want to encourage anyone reading this to buy this book if you really desire to understand what I am doing and why. It is written by a guy named Bill Henderson (I will be referring to Bill from time to time in this blog) and there are two primary reasons I chose this as my guide during this journey.
1) Bill's first wife was diagnosed with cancer in November of 1990 as was my first wife Saundra. His wife died in November of 1994, 2-1/2 months after Saundra died. We both sat by and watched as the treatments recommended by the medical community ravaged our wives and as a result we both developed a passion for natural healing methods. My belief is based on the fundamental understanding that God created a miraculous machine (the human body) which when given the necessary building blocks (good diet, exercise, stress relief and faith) is capable of overcoming all manner of sickness and disease including cancer. (Every day each of our bodies produce millions of cancer cells which a healthy immune system is very capable of handling. However, at the point the immune system becomes compromised, or distracted with other sickness/diseases it begins to lose this battle and "cancer" begins.)
2) Bill is a "layperson" with an incredible passion to see people avoid what his wife went through. Over the last 15 years he has maintained his independence from the medical community, alternative treatments and providers, supplement manufacturers, etc. The result is that he is able to present an unbiased viewpoint in the book, on his website and in his newsletter. This means that as new and better treatment "protocols" show evidence of promise he is able to add them to his list or replace existing recommendations with new ones.

His web site is
If interested you can subscribe to his free (and very informative, with no advertising) newsletter on the website.

Regardless of how you think people get cancer (or other chronic degenerative diseases) or how you think it should be treated you will know many people who end up with cancer. This book and these resources (along with many others) will provide you with information which will help you help them and perhaps more importantly help you avoid a cancer diagnosis in your own life. Bill is only one resource and may not even be a source that "resonates" with you, however, my main point is more that we each need to have information so we can make intelligent choices in our own lives and potentially help friends and loved ones along the way. This may be a good starting point. No I don't get any endorsement money from Bill I just think his materials are very well researched and fundamentally sound!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Intro to Bucky Festoon - Welcome

Hello and welcome to my first Blog. This is Paul.

I have been searching for a simplified way to communicate with everyone interested in keeping up with my life. Since there are sometimes numerous developments in my life on a daily basis I need a way to communicate these with family and friends (and anyone else that may have an interest) in a timely manner. As much as I would love to communicate with everyone personally it is virtually impossible. I will continue to do my best to communicate personally when possible, but, please feel free to come here and I will attempt to keep this information as current as possible. Thanks for understanding.

Those that know me know that I have been told that it is "very likely" that I have prostate cancer (no big C for me) that has metastasized into my lymph system. If that is true it would be stage IV. I have chosen not to use the generally accepted treatments recommended by the medical community (surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiation). Instead I have opted (with the understanding and complete support of my incredible wife Sherry) to use a combination of faith (in God's desire for me to be completely healthy, and His provision through His Son Jesus for that healing) diet, lifestyle changes, supplementation and exercise. I will explain all of this in detail as I fill in the blanks in later blogs.

So what or who is Bucky Festoon??? Well, this is a funny pseudonym I came up with several years ago. Since I am not interested in having my name plastered all over the internet and am not clever enough to come up with a blog name in the allotted 6 seconds (that I won't have second thoughts about later) I chose Bucky Festoon. It's that simple.