Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Life seems to be getting back to normal

It's been just over 12 weeks since my surgery for prostate cancer.  I was told that I could resume certain activities, like skiing and easy running, at 4 weeks, as tolerated.  Weightlifting was supposed to wait until 6-8 weeks, but I did some light lifting before that.

However, I was told to expect it would be 3-4 months before I should expect to feel normal.  I'm just about at three months right now, and I think I've finally hit that mark.

Last week, I was able to do a hard CrossFit workout and then ski hard the following two days.  I only skied once over the weekend, so I went to CrossFit the last two nights.  I worked hard each of those nights and it felt good.  My plan for the rest of the week is two more days of CrossFit, a Friday evening jog with my wife, a rest day on Saturday most likely (rain in the forecast) and then skiing on Sunday.

The good news is I feel like I'm really ready to train hard again.  And my body is tolerating it so far, as long as I take some planned rest days.  But, at age 52, I think rest days are just a part of life.  If I tried to do CrossFit 6 or 7 days per week, I am sure I would end up over-trained and possibly injured.

I still have some milestones to deal with from the surgery.  I have my first post-surgery PSA test on 4/14.  I am sure I will be anxious about that test.  Basically, as long as my PSA remains undetectable, there are no more treatments required.  According to some nomograms on Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital's web site, I have only a 3%-4% chance of a recurrence in the next 10 years.  At five years, doctors start to use the word "cured" for cases like mine.

But, if I do end up with detectable PSA levels, I would be looking at radiation treatment, possibly in conjunction with Androgen Deprivation Treatment, something that seriously and negatively affects quality of life for men.  But, the odds are with me, and I'm anticipating a good lab result on 4/14.

I still have some side effects from the surgery that have not resolved, but I remain optimistic that they will resolve with time.

So, I'm looking forward to skiing some more this season.  I'm looking forward to trout fishing.  I'm looking forward to running and hiking and biking this coming spring and summer.  I'm looking forward to shedding the body fat that I've added since my surgery.

I'm looking forward to a mini-vacation weekend with my wife in a few weeks.

And, I'm looking forward to a lot of lab tests in the future that show no detectable levels of PSA in my blood.

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