The search for the oncologist went quickly. My urologist referred me to one doctor, and there was a second doctor that I had been told, by a friend, that is excellent. Since both doctors had good reviews, I made an appointment with each of them. The most important thing to me, was looking for an oncologist who would be aggressive with treatment; I had no intention of sitting back and letting the cancer grow. One of the ways that this form of cancer is different than some of the others is that the doctor; rather than telling you the next steps, based on past success rates — will offer multiple options and let you decide the course of treatment. I have also found that different doctors offer different solutions, which is a blessing and a curse. A blessing, because it will offer me more options and allow me to form a treatment plan that I feel comfortable with. However, a curse, because it can get very confusing and overwhelming to know what the decision should be. During these appointments I looked for peace and God’s direction, Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us, “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” I will be the first to admit that this trust can be extremely difficult sometimes, but we need to be intentional in what we allow to enter our minds and our hearts. I choose to trust God and allow Him to direct my pathways.
I kept the two appointments with the first doctors that I was referred to, and upon seeing that they had a slightly different perspective of what next steps should be, I was recommended to go back to Barnes Jewish in St. Louis for third opinion. This third opinion would be with the original oncologist I saw directly after surgery. What this third opinion came back with was completely different than anything the first two had said. This specialist told me to go off all treatments and just wait and see what happens… then when it grows into tumors then we can deal with it… really? The idea of going off hormone therapy was wonderful, but I struggled emotionally if it was a wise choice. The hormone therapy has been awful, but I know it is suppressing the cancer cells. My wife and I thought more about this doctor’s suggestion and asked for some feedback from other people going through the same thing — still we felt no peace. I gauge the next steps based off of whether or not I feel at peace from God about moving forward. Especially when my wife and I both lack peace from God about the next steps, all we have then is to seek God and His Wisdom. The Scriptures tell us in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you: not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” What a great promise, it is much easier going through life trusting in my Savior than trying to do it in my own strength, which is guaranteed failure.
After discussing the information, we received from these three doctors, with my wife. I believed that we need to go to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota and see and very well-known and well-regarded urologist and researcher Dr. Eugene Kwon. Dr. Kwon has a strong reputation when it comes to Advanced Metastatic Prostate Cancer. We had heard about him some time ago and wish I would have went to him earlier in my diagnosis. My wife (my earthly rock) called up and secured an appointment for January 2018. We gathered all of my records from my multiple doctors I have seen, as well as original tissue samples from my biopsy, and post- surgery pathology, and forwarded it to Dr. Kwon.
The next step was to wait with greater anticipation. This was a period of time where it was tempting to want to take back the burden and worry, that we surrendered to the Lord. However, we knew that all we could do do was continue to trust in Him knowing that He remains in control and knows what is best for us. The Bible confirms this in Philippians 4:6-7,
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Okay so all we can do is wait for the upcoming trip to Mayo and see Dr. Kwon and see what he suggests we should do. I feel good about this upcoming appointment and believe he is the right doctor. I was prepared to move forward with whatever treatment he suggests I should do.
Road trip coming up….