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Update and Photo Website Launch!

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Dec. 7th, 2006 | 12:04 am

We're off to Baja tomorrow! Here is an update that just went out to my e-mail list. Check out my new photography website!

~ J

Dear family & friends,

Although I have been communicating through my blog for a while I know that some people don't read blogs or even know how to use them. Now that I am more able to sit without pain, I can write, so here is an update on my life and my treatments.

Of course, the biggest and most wonderful news is that Bethleigh and I are married! Our marriage is a great source of healing and support as we go through the slow, ongoing battle with metastatic prostate cancer. Although things are difficult, I remain positive. I am very happy right now and I feel blessed to have so many sources of Love and support  in my life such as You. And I cherish every moment that I have. Being in the present moment makes all of this much easier, in fact enjoyable most of the time.

CHEMOTHERAPY:  I had my fourth cycle of chemotherapy last Monday and I am now familiar enough with the territory to know that after chemo I am down for at least a week. It seems to take a little longer each cycle, which I attribute to the toll and time it takes to rid my body of the toxins. My symptoms change every day but thankfully the major ones that I deal with are a product of my medicine and not the disease.  I often feel physically fatigued, like I mentally want to do something but my body won't let me. It feels like two hands pushing me down for the first week accompanied by flu-like symptoms, loss of appetite, nausea and pain. And finally 7-8 days go by and I start feeling better and by the middle of the second week and for all of the third I feel really good. If you want to know more about the side effects of the treatment you can read about it on-line here: http://psa-rising.com/med/chemo/taxotere_sideeffects05.html

Another longer term and more difficult side-effect is moodiness and forgetfulness. This is from the Lupron (anti-hormone therapy) plus the chemotherapy. So if I don't seem quite like Jeremy and if I forget to follow up on something, please understand.  If there is anything that I am learning, and practicing, its forgiveness of myself, and others.  It is another way of being that keeps me truly present.

PROGNOSIS: At this time things are going well. There is not much change in terms of my tests but my PSA has stopped rising and I am experiencing less pain and more energy. I had a little scare recently when I got my results of a third bone-scan and the radiologist described more metastasis in my thoracic spine. My oncologist later explained that bone-scans often have "flares" especially with prostate cancer and that a flare is quite possibly just a part of the scan that lights up because there is new bone growth and not tumor growth. One of the more frustrating things in dealing with this disease is that there are no perfect indicators of whether or not the disease is getting better or worse. The bone scan is actually a very crude test in that it only shows bone activity which could be tumor growth or death, bone growth or death, or just arthritis. And the other measurement that is used is the PSA (which in my opinion every male should get tested at least once a year starting at 30) and it is also not a specific measurement of the disease. But in my case, my PSA is now hovering around 70 and not rising. For those of you that don't know, when I was diagnosed it was at 441!

WORK: At this time I am still not working. My energy is a major roller-coaster ride right now and it is hard to set a schedule with constant changes. And most of all I want to spend my healthy energetic moments enjoying life with Bethleigh, being outside, spending time with people close to me and taking our dog Rusty on long walks. I am also considering doing a little work with Greenpeace early next year and I am starting to study Chinese Medicine at the Pine Street Clinic. That is really exciting. More on that later.

HELP: Mom recently moved back to New Mexico and so far Dad and Bethleigh are taking up the slack. The first week after chemo is by far the week that we need the most help with things such as food, errands and chores around the house. Some people have offered to cook us dinner which is a great treat and others have brought groceries and pre-cooked meals which are very helpful. If you are interested in helping please try and contact me a week before so that I can schedule accordingly. Even better, volunteer to help coordinate this kind of support since I need it most when I am unable to coordinate it. And please do not feel like you have to do anything if you are too busy. It is worse for everyone if you overcommit. And there is no need to since there are other people that can help.

FUNDRAISING: I just finished my photography website (http://www.jeremypaster.com) which is a new way to raise money to help pay for treatments. Please recommend this website to people that want to buy a gift for the holidays. And, as you may know, I have started Healing the Roots Foundation (HTRF) which can receive tax deductible donations that will pay for my medical treatments. If you request it, you can make a donation of $150 or more to HTRF and I will send you an archival quality print from jeremypaster.com. Also, if you like any of the photography by Dang Ngo  (the famous photographer and my very close friend) that are linked on my site, you can purchase one and all profits will go towards my financial relief. In addition, if you have the motivation to help raise funds for HTRF and you want to auction or sell any of the photos as a part of this project please just let me know.

Bethleigh and I leave tomorrow morning for our belated honeymoon in Baja so we will be out of town until next Tuesday, Dec. 12th. We will also be traveling to visit family and friends over the holidays so we may be out a lot in December. We will be checking e-mail and I will also respond to any requests for holiday photos.

Wishing You Very Happy Holidays and Warmth,


Blog: jerumi.livejournal.com
Web: www.jeremypaster.com

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Comments {2}

Beautiful website

from: lanihorn
date: Dec. 7th, 2006 07:44 am (UTC)

Hey Jer,

Have a great trip... Your pictures are just stunning and your website is really beautiful. I'll pass the link on to folks I know...



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Happy Holidays!!!

from: kilv
date: Dec. 27th, 2006 03:51 pm (UTC)


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