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Tic Toc

Tic toc! Tic toc! Tic toc! When I was a younger man, I never paid much attention to ever winding hands on the clock. Nor, did I notice that steady, grueling sound. Now that I am older and fighting the battle of my life against advanced prostate cancer with extensive bone metastasis it seems all I do is think about the time. Not only times past and present, but the future as well. My mind drifts as I sit in my favorite recliner and listen to those never ending tics. How many more tics, I wonder, will I be blessed to hear.

Cancer stops time

Time may be an invention of man, however, we are dependent on The Lord, our oncologists, our caregivers, our prayer warriors, our families, and our own will to fight. Each year a man grows toward old age, he must be ever more vigilant in seeing that cancer does not sneak up on him when he least expects. We are all going to live forever, aren’t we?

Cancer has no respect for time or person. The best laid plans can be interrupted and destroyed by this terrible disease at a moments notice. Just two years ago, I had all the time in the world or so I thought. A routine trip to the emergency room turned my life into a race against time. A PSA of 1300 stopped time dead in its tracks when I first learned of it. Then time reared its ugly head and set me in a footrace against this deadly foe.

Racing against time

It took critical time for my doctors to explain everything I needed to know to begin this tiring battle. I knew absolutely nothing about prostate cancer even though my own father was dying in the grips of this debilitating disease. My father, Elvis’ oncologist quoted time to him rather bluntly that very moment. Dad decided to fight with The Lord Jesus Christ as his co-pilot. He and The Lord made a grand run at cancer, turning two and a half years into eleven and a half.

We guys race through life with many important and pressing things to accomplish and we certainly have no time to see a doctor. Those tests just take far too long. I was just 53 when I was diagnosed with prostate cancer that had spread to many of my bones. Metastasis, who has time to look up that word, however, we all seem to know what Stage IV relates to with cancer.

The test of time

Now that we have been officially categorized, the true test of time begins. Time for an appointment, time for biopsies, time for prescriptions, time for radiation, time for chemo, time for grieving, and so on. I was very lucky, along the lines of, my care team understood the importance of time in mounting an attack against this invader.

When it comes to time, cancer can be very cruel. Once the treatments begin, it is time for all the vomiting, time for the pain, time for the hair to fall out, time to lose large amounts of weight, time for fatigue, and so on it goes. Some times you wish you were dead because you are truly living hell on Earth. One time, I even cried and dropped to my knees in despair, “I cannot do this anymore!

How much time do we have?

Further along in my treatments, I begin to wonder just how long I have remaining on this green Earth. Time has also suddenly taken on a new meaning to my loved ones as well. I can see it on their faces and hear it in their words. They too have started to ponder how long I have left to spend with them and love them.

As I sit in my recliner and listen to each second pass with every tic toc, tic toc, tic toc, I too ponder just how many more tics I may be blessed with. I have ingrained myself with a belief that I have many more precious memories to make and many more discoveries here on Earth to make. I will take all the blessing The Lord has provided me and learn to enjoy each and every tic.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Sam Collins
    5 months ago

    Thank you for sharing Duane. I have been living through the same thing. In 2007 my PC turned into stage 4. I was diagnosed with stage T2c in 2005. Every year and birthday I wonder if this is my last. Next month will be 14 years for me. I just keep trusting in the Lord to take care of me wither I live or die, so I just keep fighting and living a day at a time. I think about it everyday, but I just keep living. God bless you brother.

  • Duane Estep author
    5 months ago

    Hi Sam,
    Thank for your reply…I am the same brother…just went to two surgeries and I have been in a lot of pain…pain pump in with cath into my spine…3 teeth surgically removed and bleed heavy for 5 hours, nearly had to go to ER…I also keep trusting in The Lord he is my Rock! God Bless You Sam! I will pray for you my brother!
    Duane —

  • Richard Faust moderator
    5 months ago

    Hi Duane. Thank you for sharing your story. First, let me say that your father sounds like quite the fighter. Your message of vigilance against cancer is so important, especially if one has a history of it in the family. I know that your PSA has come down dramatically from the towering heights it was at. Do you mind if I ask what treatment you have been receiving? Wishing you much more time with that family. Best, Richard ( Team)

  • Duane Estep author
    5 months ago

    Hello Richard,
    My father, Floyd was indeed a real fighter and I never really knew how much until I found out I had it as well…Richard I am on to Zytiga and Prednizone steroid now and many supporting medicines such as the Vantas Implant (hormone)…please take the time to read my reply above to Sam…my PSA went up a bit this month from 0.31 to 0.66, I believe due to the surgeries I listed above to Sam…I started out on Casodex while they did testing…then onto Docal Taxatere chemo (very rough: lost 41 pounds, all my hair, my fingernails and toenails came off, extreme fatigue and so on) 6 infusions…then a rest period and my numbers started to creep back up, so we moved on to Zytiga pills 2 a day and it really helped me get my scores below 1…that is where I am at now Richard…my wife, Cristy is my caregiver and I, like Sam, rely on The Lord and prayer…Richard, please take the time to read my prior stories on here about my journey from being diagnosed to treatments…thanks for reading me and I will pray for your health…

  • Richard Faust moderator
    5 months ago

    Hi Duane. Sounds like you are quite a fighter too – what a journey. Glad to hear the Zytiga and prednisone have been helping. My wife was diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis, which is autoimmune, at two years old and takes prednisone as part of her treatment regimen. So glad to hear that Christy is there for you. Don’t know if you have seen this, but she might be interested in this article from the editorial team on resources for cancer caregivers: Wishing both of you the best going forward. Richard ( Team)

    P.S. I have family in southern West Virginia, including an uncle who is a PCa survivor.

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