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Summer 2022 cancer update 

Captain's Log, Stardate 8/15/2022

So it's been awhile since I've updated this section, which could mean one of two things, either I've been busier than a pair of jumper cables at a Mexican picnic....(comedic pause) OR I've moved on to a higher existence.  Lucky for me, or unlucky, depending on how you view it, it's the FIRST reason.  To be succinct, my oncology team has reduced my PSA score, which was 645 at it's highest back in summer of 2020, down to 1.07!!  Amazing....  This translates to the original tumor in my prostate being shrunk down to the size of a BB.  Meanwhile, the bone metastasis has been unchanged since they first looked at them back in late May of 2022, and has been described to me as STABLE.  

I have continued to perform and do light work and physical activity, and everyday tasks comfortably and with little pain, thanks to a new med that I'm taking along with 5mg of Prednisone which has been a game changer for me in this regard.  I have my lord and savior God to thank, as well as all of your prayers, and light energy that you send my way.  Until further notice, the shell that God provided me is doing well, sans a few hot flashes here and there from the damn Lupron that eliminates all testosterone from my body.  Better than the alternative though.  Waaaaay better....  Captain Kirk signing out for now.  FD

It's my birthday today and I'm on the pill??? 

I apologize for not updating my health status for the last 4 months, but as is common in these situations, no news is good news, right?  Well gee, where do I start?  I have completed my six chemotherapy sessions, which all returned positive results as my PSA number continues to fall.  Back in late May it was up to 667 and after each chemo session it went down to 250, then a big jump to 69, then down to 25, followed by 11.55, then the last one about a month ago was 11.07.  Thankfully, I experienced almost NO side effects from the chemo or hormone therapy (Lupron) which restricts my body's ability to produce testosterone therefore allowing the estrogen to kind of take over.  I only had a few hot flashes and was emotional for about a month or so, but watched ZERO Lifetime movies and purchased no items from QVC, so that's a good thing.  In a word, I am blessed.  What can I say?

On October 28th I had my scans, one for the bones and one for my midsection.  The results of the bone scan came back "unchanged" which the doctor said was a good thing.  I had exactly the same amount of hotspots (where the cancer peeks out) as in May, which means there are no new hotspots.  This means we have that part under control.  The midsection scan showed that the tumor in my prostate is slowly shrinking - Hallelujah

The next part of my treatment is a brand new chemo pill that was JUST approved by the FDA four months ago, called Lynparza (Olaparib) and the doctor says there's something in my genetic strands called BRCA which makes me a prime candidate for this pill.  He told me, "Mr. Duran, if you were going to have cancer, you picked the best time to do that due to this pill.  I just started taking it last Tuesday and had a slight adverse reaction to it, being an annoying itch around my chest area and back of my neck, accompanied with my ears getting hot.  Thankfully, those symptoms have subsided and I feel OK now.  I have gained all of my weight back, up to 175 from 143 back in May when I had my kidney episode that required two surgeries on back to back days, and I was in deep trouble, in fear of checking OUT.  Thanks to all your prayers and donations via the Go Fund Me that my niece started, personal donations, plus sales of t-shirts and a benefit that Isabel's Amor organized, I have had little stress about being unemployed and ill, and have begun to slowly recover and gain some strength back albeit far from where I was on my last birthday, but WAY better than I was in the early part of 2020. 

You throw on top of all this, the presence of Covid-19 and that's a whole other story and struggle for someone like me whose immune system is compromised due to the low red blood cell counts (hemoglobin) brought on by the chemo.  I am now back home in Maricopa after spending 5 months at my sister Mary's house in Chandler while she basically took care of me during my most serious days of this condition that the cancer diagnosis placed on me.  Talk about the best caregiver you could ask for though, right???   I will try to rest and chill while my body hopefully continues to heal with this new medication and the hormone therapy.  I have to be careful not to bang my arms or legs on anything because we don't know how strong or weak my bones are.

Between the cancer and Covid, I simply have no projection for when I will return to performing again, so only God knows.  I cherish all of the thoughts, prayers, well wishes, and generosity I've received in the past 6 months, and I place all of my faith in God and the universe which provide all of the strength and positive attitude that I've leaned on during this crazy experience.  God bless you all...

Round 2: Chemo day 

On Monday July 5th, I had my second round of chemo, but it was my first session using my new port that was installed 2 weeks ago.  It went well and relatively easy to place the needle into my chest with little to no pain.  I received some great news this time around.  My PSA score has continued to lower as I begin my treatment.  At the time of diagnosis it was at 524, and then rapidly rose to 645 a month ago.  At the time of my first chemo session, I was informed that it had dropped to 240 after my Lupron shot (hormone therapy).  I was happy to hear this drop of 400 points.   Well yesterday (Monday) the doctor informed me that it has gone way down to 69!!   It looks like my therapy plan is working and your prayers and well wishes are bringing positive results.

I am now waiting to see if I have any side effects from this round of chemo, hopefully they are minimum if any at all, due to my weight gain and generally overall rise in energy and well being.  We shall see...  I have made a video discussing this news along with a general update on my condition.  You can view it here under the videos tab.

Once again, I am overwhelmed by your continual thoughts, well wishes, and prayers.  They do not go unnoticed, believe me.  May God bless you all....   

Round One: Duran vs Chemo ~ No Mas!! 

On Monday June 15th, I went in for my first chemo session.  Thankfully, it was uneventful and all went well during the 2 hour process.  In fact, I fell asleep through the last hour while listening to Lara Fabian in my headphones.  Tuesday was pretty good and I thought I might get through the recovery without any side effects, but then came Wednesday and BAM - I was like an energizer bunny very low on batteries.  I was very fatigued and my blood pressure went down drastically but still in the safe zone.  I found out that I had to drink a LOT of water to avoid dehydration and to flush the chemo out of my system.  And the anti-nausea meds had me constipated but the water and a few stool softeners alleviated that problem.

The video/song release for "Questions For God" went well and it's OUT now.  So please go to YouTube and search for the song and share share SHARE with your friends and family.  You can purchase the tune here on the website or by visiting:  I hope you enjoy the song and also will share it with your people for me.

On Monday the 22nd, I go in for my surgery to install the port that will be used for all future chemo sessions so they don't have to poke me anymore, but I will have this contraption sticking out of my chest for the unforeseeable future.  Wish me luck, and continue praying that all goes well.  I hear the bell signifying the end of this round and I'm walking back to my corner to recoup.  Adios and God Bless....

Don't hold back now, Doc!!  

No need to candy coat what I'm about to share with you.  On Monday June 8th, 2020 I had my first appointment with the oncologist, who gave it to me straight.  It was a lot to process and for the first time, I was taken aback a bit although I wasn't really expecting the BEST of news.  He explained that the cancer has now taken up residency in different hot spots throughout my bones (metastisis).  He told me that the cancer is aggresive and that he in turn wants to take aggresive action in treating it ASAP.  My Gleason score out of 1-10 is a TEN. (Do I get a trophy for this?? :-) )

Soooo....I begin chemotherapy next Monday the 15th, and will also be given Xgeva which inhibits the breakdown of the bone.  These treatments will go on for the next 6 months every 3 weeks.  He then made it clear that my respective cancer is incurable but controllable, and that I will probably deal with it as long as I live (however long THAT will be).

I received an injection of Lupron, which inhibits the male's ability to produce testosterone, which feeds the cancer cells, and I will receive every three months.  In turn, the estrogen levels will take over and due to that, I will experience female menopausal symptoms (Can't wait, boys).  But this is necessary to slow down the growth of the cancer because it feeds on testosterone.  At least I know I had high testosterone going in, but this serves as little consolation NOW.

On Monday the 22nd, I will go in to have a port installed in my chest to have easy access for the chemo needle/treatment.  This will be a brand new challenge for me, but I'm prepared mentally, spiritually, and physically for "What's next?"

I thank you all for your continued prayers, well wishes and support.  Believe me, I feel every bit of it and it lifts my spirit like you don't know.  I'm sorry if I can't answer each and every one of your texts, emails, Facebook comments and letters, but know that I am extremely grateful.

Look for the release of both songs/videos in the coming weeks.  First - "Questions For God" and then "New Mexico Midnights".  "Questions" specifically is SO timely for what our country and planet are going through at the moment, and I wrote it over 15 years ago, but the universe decided it was time to put it out in the cosmos.  I can't stop watching it and I'm so excited for you all to see what Carole Pellatt has created visually to compliment my song.

Adios for now and que, Dios los bendiga. (May God bless you)

What a week!! 

Whew....  It's been quite the whirlwind.  On Wednesday May 27th I was admitted to Banner Gateway hospital in Mesa for what was supposed to be an outpatient surgery where three procedures were to be performed.  During the surgery, it was determined that there was no access to the left kidney because a growth was blocking the ureter opening into that kidney.  At that point it was decided that I would need a separate surgery on the next day to inspect my left kidney to see if a stent was needed in that ureter.  In order to do THAT, the surgeon had to make the incision in my lower left back, through my upper kidney and if necessary place a tube there to drain it via another bag outside of my body.  Worst case scenario, I leave the hospital with two bags, one from a catheter and another from my kidney.

Thanks to God, both surgeries and all three procedures were successful.  My left kidney was in good condition and he only needed to open up the ureter a bit, my back incision was bandaged up and that was that.  So they kept me there for a third day to recover under supervision.  On Friday, my catheter was removed (thank you Jesus), and they finally released me, but only under the condition that I had to pee on my own by 3:20 PM.  Who'da thunk that would EVER be a lofty goal for yours truly.  Well THAT pissed me off a little :)  but I managed to pull it off by noon.  At this point, I would like to commend and thank the entire staff and medical team at Banner Gateway Hospital for their attention, kindness and professional manner in which they attended to my situation and care. BRAVO!!

I am now back at my sister's house in Chandler and recovering from this hurdle that was placed in front of me unexpectedly.  I feel better everyday, and emptying my bladder on a steady basis, which should slowly return my kidneys to normal function.  My appetite is back and my immediate goal is to try to pack some pounds back on, since I am a svelte 145 lbs.  I thank you for all your thoughts, prayers and uplifting comments.  I am resting for the next 7 days and looking forward to my appointment with the oncologist on June 8th, where I will be presented with my treatment options for what has been upgraded to "advanced Stage 4 prostate cancer", being that it has now metastasized now to my lower bladder and lymphnodes, besides my pelvic bone.  I finally get an upgrade and it's not the type one would hope for, but it is what it is and I have chosen to walk in harmony with my invader.  Again, shunning the word "Fight" for it's aggressive reference and stress inducing attributes .

On June 15th I will be releasing my next single and video, "Questions For God" which couldn't come out at a more appropriate moment in time.  I can't wait for you all to see and hear it.  The video is produced by none other than my right hand numero uno person and guitarist Carole Pellatt.  This will follow with the long overdue release of my song and video, "New Mexico Midnights" only three weeks later.  Putting out these projects is what has given me the motivation to remain strong and focused during this challenging time in my life.  Funny how a serious diagnosis can push the important things in life to the forefront.  I am well prepared and disciplined for, "What's next?"  God bless...

Getting the news 

​​​​​Welcome to my cancer journal.  I've decided this would be the best way to share my sacred journey with you.  Soooo, on May 14th of this year 2020, I was diagnosed with Stage 4 prostate cancer.  This was determined from a CT scan that was ordered after getting some bloodwork back in mid February that came back showing an extremely high PSA score.  I saw a urologist last Thursday May 21st, but I had a setback on Monday May 18th when I became suddenly lethargic and very anemic. 

Turns out my kidneys begin functioning at a low rate because my bladder was not emptying completely due to the enlarged prostate, which in turn was restricting my urethra.  I went to the ER and they put me on a catheter in order to assist in getting rid of all the toxins I was retaining in my bladder, therefore poisoning my blood and pretty much putting me at a high risk of God knows WHAT outcome.  

Fast forward to now.  The urologist is performing surgery on me this Wednesday May 27th, to do a confirming biopsy, possibly place stents in the ureters between my kidneys and bladder, and finally a prostate resection, coring out the prostate to relieve pressure on the urethra and hopefully improve my urine flow which will also improve my kidney function so I can get my strength back. 

I'm sure many of you have noticed that I had been losing weight at an alarming rate since January, when I had the flu for almost 6 weeks.  I just got the results that I am Covid 19 free and also negative on antibodies although I was very sick indeed over the holidays and all of January.

I have accepted the news with optimism and positivity and my mantra is "What's next?".  I will visit with the oncologist on June 8th to discuss treatment options for the future regarding the tumors in my prostate and spots on my pelvic bone.  Until then, prayers and positive energy are much appreciated and I will update you all again when there are new developments.  If I am unable to do so, someone will add to this journal for me.  I want to thank those close to me who have stepped up to make sure I'm in good hands.  They know who they are.  Much love...

I chose to go into detail so I don't have to rehash all of this information everytime someone inquires.  I hope you like the new website.  I have worked on it for the last two days with what little strength I have, but it's definitely worth it.  I'm waiting for my e-commerce system to go through so I can make my music available for download.

God bless...