Cancer update: I am now fully baked

Since I told you all about my cancer treatment, here is an update.

I have completed my 28 radiation treatments. Here’s a picture of me inside the enormous radiation machine at Maine Medical Center in Scarborough, Maine.

The preparation I got from my physical therapist and my dietitian was extremely helpful. The dietitian also had suggestions during the treatment that helped me to manage the side effects.

The suggestions and support I got from all of my readers and friends were also helpful.

I was disciplined about preparing for the daily treatments, and I believe that discipline helped me to stay still in exactly the position and condition that the doctors had asked for. That likely improved the effectiveness of the treatment and reduced the side effects. If you’re going to go through this, it’s worth some effort to get it right.

There were side effects. I won’t go into detail — you really don’t want to know — but those side effects were best described as bothersome. They interfered with my sleep and upset my digestion. I took the doctors’ advice on how to medicate to reduce the effects. They were tolerable, and I tolerated them.

The doctors now tell me that due to the cumulative effect of the therapy, I’m likely to continue to have the side effects for two more weeks, after which they’ll subside. I’m looking forward to that.

It was a good choice to keep my workload tolerable during this time period. The combination of the time spent preparing for therapy, traveling to it, getting it, and traveling back from it cut into my productive work hours, and the side effects reduced my stamina. It was frustrating not to bid on some projects that looked like fun, but it was the right decision.

As you might imagine, radiation messes up the cells in your prostate and therefore interferes with blood tests that detect prostate cancer. But in about three months, I’ll be healed and will be able to get a PSA blood test and see if this treatment worked. It’s very likely that it did.

I did get to ring the bell (anyone who’s been treated for cancer knows which bell). I got a graduation certificate. As to whether my irradiated parts are glowing, I’ll never tell.

Thanks for caring.

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  1. Despite having read your book and being a regular follower of your blog I can’t really find the right words to respond….so, I just want to say I’m wishing you all the very best.

  2. Congratulations on ‘ringing the bell’. The machine is enormous isn’t it? I’m 7 weeks post-treatment now and for me things did get worse before they got better, but side-effects are now much better, tho’ not gone. I’m medicating as advised and being patient. Kudos for keeping up the level of work output you’ve managed, including this blog!

  3. Josh, I am so glad the radiation treatments are behind you and that the bothersome side effects will soon dissipate. You are a model patient! Wishing you a speedy recovery back to your old (or perhaps, new) self!

  4. I’m so glad you were able to tolerate the treatment and side effects. I hope the rest of recovery goes smoothly and that the test in 3 months gives you even more peace of mind. That’s a great bell to ring! You got this!

  5. I did not know you have been sick. Sending thoughts for healing!! I just got a friend at a co-working space to buy the WWB book and she really likes it. We still use all the tools quite a few years after you came to JSI. Feel better soon!

  6. Very happy to learn you completed your radiation treatments. I hope they prove to be successful. Hope it won’t be too long before we get to read a post where you declare yourself cancer-free.

  7. Josh, Thank you for sharing your experience with us. As always, you set a great example in your inimitable style. In between treatments you have remained impressively prolific. There is no one quite like you, Josh! Keep up the good fight and keep us updated.

  8. Josh, I have always been so impressed by how you have managed to write this blog every day, keep it meaty, relevant and often laugh-out-loud clever — all while still managing your writing career and publishing books.

    I hope that you are taking the time to care for yourself and, as you say, let a few projects go in favor of healing. Wishing you nothing but the best outcome going forward!

  9. May you experience a complete recovery. I’ve been following your blog. A close friend of ours is also awaiting the results of his prostate treatment. Thank you for your generosity in sharing your journey through the process.
    Best wishes,
    Judith Lief