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I've got a question

Kentr
Posts: 111
Joined: May 2009

I am approximately 18 months out from brachytherapy (January 2008), been reading all the postings and, frankly becoming a bit concerned that almost eveyone else has done the Davinci surgery instead of brachytherapy.

My recovery has been OK so far. I'm scheduled for another follow up PSA test July 10th and becoming more concerned (for absolutely no reason other than what's referenced above).

Is this normal? I mean to go almost 18 months with no significant concerns and then suddenly start worrying about it?

Your input is most appreciated, thanks guys!

Kent

lewvino's picture
lewvino
Posts: 1004
Joined: May 2009

There are numerous factors to consider in treatment. My father 10 years ago did a different treatment then I have chosen. I think this whole disease gives us many questions in our minds. There are just so many unkowns. When I spoke with my Doctor yesterday based on my age I decided that surgery was my best option. I had also talked to a brachytherapy doctor.

The ultimate goal is to beat the Cancer regardless of which treatment has been chosen.

Larry

RRMCJIM's picture
RRMCJIM
Posts: 149
Joined: Mar 2009

I think it is the nature of this monster, so many options, and which one is best. It came down to my age,54, and expected longevity. I decided on surgery because of the fact that if I had radiation, the options are limited in the future, if needed. They said surgery after radiation is usually not available. That and the fact I wanted it out, not just treated, out. That is the mechanic in me tho, fix it and get on with life. I am sure you and your Dr have done what is best for you. It will always be in the back of our minds, till our test comes back psa 0.0, then we will feel better about our decision. Hang in there, Someday it might even get easier...
Jim

Kentr
Posts: 111
Joined: May 2009

Thanks guys! I'm almost 68 and spent a lot of time exploring options. Like you said Jim, radiation has problems. What I learned was that external beam radiation was pretty much an un-focused scatter gun approach and so strong that, in the event I needed to have the prostate removed at a later date, I would have a real problem because irradiated tissue does not heal. This consequence never came up in discussitons with any of the doctors vis-a-vis brachytherapy, nor did it surface in my research. As a result, I went with brachytherapy in order to keep the radiation more localized wihin the prostate just in case I had to have it removed at a later date.

In any event, while I'm not in a state of panic over this, it just started bothering me and I was looking for a little support which you have provided....Thanks!

Jim, it won't be long until you're back on the Harley. I sold my FXDL about 2 years ago and still miss it.....

Kent

lewvino's picture
lewvino
Posts: 1004
Joined: May 2009

When I spoke with my surgeon yesterday he said so much depends on a mans age. With me Being 54 he said I'm ideal for the surgery. I was told that if I did brachytherapy I would also need radiation. I have talked to some men that have had excellent results with it including my ex-father in law.

My dad was treated at age 66 with external beam radiation. Still doing good at age 77.

Larry

Kentr
Posts: 111
Joined: May 2009

Larry, that's interesting. When I went through the classes on brachytherapy (Kaiser) they said that was the whole nine yards - put in the seeds, go home, get your PSA checked periodically and have a nice life. They never even suggested additional radiation treatments. Maybe because I was at stage 1 or that they put in 70 seeds and that's enough?

Oh well, I'll just keep my fingers crossed that my upcoming PSA is where they feel comfortable.

Glad to hear you dad is doing OK! I'm sure you'll do equally well!

lewvino's picture
lewvino
Posts: 1004
Joined: May 2009

Yes, I'm Glad my Dad is still with us. He was diagnosed with the Prostate cancer in 1997 and started treatments that summer. So he is going on 12 years cancer free this summer. He turns 77 in August. He told me that About 2 years was when he totally lost the ability to get the erection.

The Dr. that diagnosed me stated he would recommend surgery either traditional or robotic. Or if I went with Seed implants he recommended combining with radiation treatments also. I believe since I'm stage 2 with perneural invasion noted. They might have to take 1 of the nerves during surgery but time will tell and Dr. still thinks that at My age (54) I should be able to have sexual functioning even with 1 nerve. Of course I'm hoping for both nerves to be spared and the Dr. isn't making promises but he is very optimistic. That's one reason why I chose to go to the specialist at Vanderbilt rather then just a Dr. that has done a couple hundred robotic surgeries. I understand that Dr. Smith at Vanderbilt has performed around 3,000 robotically. I think experience counts on this one.

Larry (lewvino)

gkoper's picture
gkoper
Posts: 174
Joined: Apr 2009

You express doubts about your chosen therapy. You don't say how your quality of life has been affected since your procedure. I am 3 weeks past Davinci & wet & erectionless. But my main objective was getting the beast out of me. I am about your age (65) and will be looking for a PSA in a couple of weeks of 0.2 or less. Get your PSA checks and get on with living life to the hilt.
Cheers,
George

Kentr
Posts: 111
Joined: May 2009

I guess my doubts came as a result of reading how many guys chose Davinci - makes a guy wonder if he made the right decision regardless of how well things are going at the current time (worries about a recurrence). Not to worry, I will definitely get my PSA checks done on scedule. Next one (18 months out) is scheduled for July 10th. Hang in there George, fingers are crossed for you and you're in my prayers as are all of the guys going through this.

Kent

hopeful and opt...
Posts: 1293
Joined: Apr 2009

As I understand, you made your decision in January, 2008. This decision has been sucessful. Now, you are second guessing, even though you have been successful. You are feeing that the grass is greener on the other side of the road.

My opinion is to not look so close to the the other side of the road, and focus on positives in your life. Move on.

Ira

Kentr
Posts: 111
Joined: May 2009

Not so much greener just second guessing myself a bit based on the choice so many others made vis-a-vis treatment. You are right - looking forward is a heck of a lot more productive than looking back. Thanks for the reality check and reminder!

Kent

hopeful and opt...
Posts: 1293
Joined: Apr 2009

As I understand, the decisions that one makes are individualistic based on one's life condition. The bottom iine, in my opinion is that one has to be lucky with whatever decision is made. Kent, as you probably know Mayor Juliano had the same treatment as you; got married and ran for President.

I understand about the pear pressure that you might be feeling. The option that I chose is "active surveillance" I get a lot input from others, not recognizing that this is a treatment option. For example, a few weeks ago I sent a letter to my relatives, telling them about what is going on, that I am doing active surveillance,and that there may be an increased risk of them getting the disease, etc, etc. and they need to be tested(basically I sent a gift to them). Well, one of my cousins who is an MD responded to me, telling me that there are lots of treatment options. I had mentioned that I am on active surveillance. He didn't get it.

Kent, enjoy the moment. Enjoy life. That's what its all about.

Ira

lion1
Posts: 239
Joined: May 2007

Ira,
I like your analogy and the fact that you brought up individualistic. It's something we all have to remember. There are a lot of treatments out there but it's the individual that will have to deal with the results based on their life.

Your posts really hits on REALITY! Let me explain further:If 300 men had the Da Vinci method and 100 of those men replied on this website that, it was the best thing they ever did. No ED---Incontinence all but a memory------no cancer---Fantastic!! But. wait a minute the other 200 men never shared their story, never shared their struggles, so what were their results??
Maybe, they weren't that rosey and maybe they can't share it, because of their take on their own life's condition.

The best thing this website does bottom line is gives men hope--let's face it, each man who reads these posts are looking for what they can relate to, something that will keep them positive and get them through--there lies the indiviual aspect of this.

As each man replies to these posts they aren't responding as a group, they are responding as individuals and everyone needs to remember that. Maybe this is too deep for some, but what we read on these posts are many times what we want to uncover for ourselves---but that's not reality----each outcome will be different based on the individual.

A positive post picks us all up, a negative posts concerns us, no posts at all leaves questions unanswered, and concerns me even more------

Just wanted to raise the thought level------always positive on my end--that's my individualistic side talking.

Lion1

lewvino's picture
lewvino
Posts: 1004
Joined: May 2009

I agree with you Lion1. When I was diagnosed in March I started reading everything I could on the web and on another web support group. However I quickly became caught up in what you could call all of the negatives about the side effects of this cancer. It seems like everyone was sharing the negatives. My wife pointed out to me that many are more quick to share the bad news then the good news. Then I discovered this forum. It seems to me that on here we see men that are recovering and others that are still struggling with their cancer. At least in my opinion this site is more balanced and does give me more hope. As you have suggested I'm Trying to stay more positive on my side.

Larry

hopeful and opt...
Posts: 1293
Joined: Apr 2009

I think that there are a lot of reasons why one comes to this site, gain information, share, help others , share feelings, etc. We all have different reasons, and our reasons change at different times. For me it helps me be positive, gain information, and gives me an opportunity to share knowledge that I may have with others. Also, I like the community experience here, many others who do not have this condition don't get it.

Ira

RRMCJIM's picture
RRMCJIM
Posts: 149
Joined: Mar 2009

Well said everyone, Others can't understand what we go thru, on a personal level, not unless you have had to deal with cancer first hand. For me this has been an invaluable forum. Hopefully I can be as much help to others going thru this.
Jim

shipjim's picture
shipjim
Posts: 130
Joined: Apr 2006

Ok,
By now hopefully you've had the test so what was the score? We all dread the next test. My family practioner who is young and smart doesn't understand my insistence on the topic each quarter.
My Dad had this in the early 1960's and by the time the could find it all he got was lots of stitches parts removed. It's all I can think about before the DaVinci and before each test. Part of our new life experience. One we all would rather not have to learn from but here we are.
The future is all we get, go for it. jj

tonybear
Posts: 92
Joined: Mar 2009

i am 54 and i had brachy therapy and tomo radiation 9 months ago. i've had no problems with e.d. , incontenance or desire. i've had the usual energy drain from radiation, but that is getting better. a lot of our (wife and doctors) decison was that it had just started within a few months and my health at the time. i was dealing with high blood sugar issues then. there are so many variables when you deal with prostate cancer. how long has it been there, doctor and hospital options, insurance, the wife and what you feel you can live with. as one doctor told me, there is no silver bullet. i am happy with my choice as is the wife. it all comes to choice. tony

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