Tomorrow morning, my healing schedule calls for prayer with my wife Joyce, 11 pills, prayer, radiation seeds implantation, then more prayer as my healing from brain cancer, prostate cancer and end-stage congestive heart failure continues.
I still fell no pain, am able to power-walk on my treadmill, gradually raising my time and speed. Three nights ago, I did 2.9 miles nonstop in 55 minutes. That's good news for my heart. The progress with my heart leads Dr. Allen Anderson, my cardiologist at the University of Chicago Medical Center, to believe I may not need to have an HeartMate XVE LVAS pumping machine attached to my heart to tide me over until I reach the cancer-free rating qualifying me for heart transplantation.
"You are progressing much better than we expected," Dr. Anderson told me in my last visit.
With my brain cancer being declared benign and held in check by a weekly pill (.5mg Cabergoline), I now tend to my prostate cancer with the implantation of radiation seeds.
I have chosen the seeds implantation because of the favorable recoveries by friends like Rev. Samuel Hinkle, Rev. Tommie McCray, Dec. Erwin Dabney, Dr. Ansel Johnson, Dec. Leroy Reed, Dec. Franklin Reed and so many more.
Moreover, the seeds procedure is quicker (roughly 30 minutes), less painful, has fewer side effects and requires less recovery time than the other treatment options. Those options are radical prostatectomy, where the prostate is surgically removed, external radiation beams (nine weeks of treatments), chemotherapy and a freezing of the prostate.
"I know of at least a dozen of my friends who received the seeds treatment and they're all doing well," Dec. Dabney said. "Another friend had his prostate surgically removed last year and he still has to wear diapers (because of incontinence)."
Rev. Hinkle underwent his seeds implantation in 2002 at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
"And I've recovered extremely well with minimal pain or side effects," he said. "It got rid of my cancer within months. God is able. He brought me through this with the aid of doctors. That's my testimony and I continue to share it wherever I go. By the grace of God, I am a cancer survivor."
So is my pastor, Dr. Clay Evans, founder of Fellowship Baptist Church, where Rev. Charles Jenkins has succeeded him as pastor. Dr. Evans was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer six years ago and given six months to live.
"But the Lord answered prayer, moved through His surgeons, and I'm still here preaching His word," Dr. Evans said. "I am a living testimony. God is our salvation in every situation, be it medical, legal, social, economic or whatever. And we must give Him the glory for it first and foremost."
My Wednesday radiation seeds implantation will be done as an out-patient procedure by Dr.
Brian Moran, renown radiation oncologist, at his Chicago Prostate Cancer Center in west suburban
Westmont. The CPCC is revered as the only free-standing facility in the world exclusively dedicated to
the seeds implantation procedure, which is called brachytherapy.
"I've been doing this for 13 years now and I personally have perform more than 7,000 on
patients from all over the world," Dr. Moran said. "At that rate, I believe I've done more than anybody
else. For years, radical prostatectomy was considered the gold standard for treating prostate cancer. But
brachytherapy has now evolved and improved to where it is as effective as, if not better than,
"The American Urologic Association convened a panel on this question about two years ago
and they concluded that all the treatments are equal in terms in cure. As far as our facility is concerned,
we have treated more than 10,000 patients from 12 different countries. We've never had a death, never
had incontinence, the risk of impotence is 15 percent and only two percent had a recurrence of cancer
because the cancer had already spread."
The CPCC has a staff of 40 that includes three radiation oncologists. It performed 1,101
brachytherapies last year and plans to do a record 1,3000 this year. Dr. Moran normal does 70 percent
of the procedures, which cost an average of $30,000. That's much cheaper than the prostatectomies,
which are in-patient procedure that required several days of recovery in the hospital, more follow-ups
and more uncomfortable side effects. Patients must also have to have a catheter inserted into the
penis and connected to a bag which they must carry around for weeks to collect urine.
I had a catheter inserted for about 15 minutes for a volume study of my prostate in preparation
for the seeds procedure and it was one of the most excruciating discomforts I've ever experienced.
Brachytherapy is done with the patient placed under general anesthesia. With recovery time
averaging 1-2 hours, the in-patient process takes roughly four hours before the patient is released
for a relative or friend to drive him home.
In my next entry, I will tell you how the brachytherapy went. I want to thank all my readers and
prayer partners for your support. My faith remains strong. What good is my faith if I can't put it to
use? God is not in my life for mere decoration. He is here to make up the difference between what man
can do and what must be done to get a difficult job done. Where man's abilities end, God's power, grace
and mercy extend to give us the victory in whatever endeavor.
God bless you.