Jan 04, 2011 - 11:01 am
I just posted this on the "blog side" of this network, but not knowing where the audience is, I decided to post here as well. It's long for a discussion/chat board, but I decided that more is better at this point.
In October, I had a routine blood test. PSA came back at 3.09, not alarming, but up from 2.90 just 4 years before. My Dr, on a hunch sent me to Urologist, who ordered a biopsy based on high BPH symptoms (which I had been suffering for years, and previous doctors just gave me Flomax). In November, the biopsy came back positive for PCa: Gleason 3+3=6, PSA 3.09, Stage T1c, bone densitomotry, xray and MRI reveal no spread.
I'm a newby here just going through the decision process. The Urologist, being a surgeon, of course recommends surgery, but surgery seems so medieval considering all the new options. My Oncologist, who works in the same medical group as the surgeon, suggests Brachyhterapy (seed implants). Brachytherapy seems like an option, but concerned about long term implications of permanent metal seeds in my groin, and the potential for their becoming dislodged free agents in the blood system at some point in the future.
Neither of these guys are talking about Proton Therapy, as they do not offer this capability, I imagine. University of Florida has one of only 9 Proton centers in the country in Jacksonville, which I am excited about. but the insurance company won't cover it (I have Wellmark/Bx/Bs)as it is categorized as "medically unnecessary".
Since then, my Oncologist has recommended I take Avodar to help shrink the prostate. Side effects include weakening libido, temp erection issues, and inflammation of breasts with some pain.
Before taking the medication, and as this promises to lower BOH symptoms and possibly lower PSA, I decided to have another PSA test done to get a baseline. Well, turns out now PSA is at 5.02 since last reading 3 mos ago. So now, I'm nervous!!
I started eating better and exercising about 7 months ago, long before I stumbled on the PCa: I work out 2-3x a week at the gym for 90 minutes, I do Yoga/meditation 2-3x week, I do social dancing 1-3x, I have greatly improved food habits, and I've lost 30 lbs and 3 inches on the waist. So you could so I'm coming together and falling apart all at the same time. :0(
Here re my questions to anyone out there listening:
1. Would you suggest a second opinion on the tissue/pathology readings, or is it moot at this point?
2. Anyone out there done Brachytherapy and want to share experience?
3. Anyone experience with Proton Therapy?
4. Any experience fighting insurance company on the validity of Proton Therapy for PCa?
I should mention - and I can only say this under the veil of an anonymous user name - that I am also going through a divorce, my client contract has expired and I am out of work, and I am living alone in a house that once contained a family. I say this not out of pity, but as a point of fact in terms of the psychological and emotional challenges that add fuel to the fire in terms of the PCa.
I could sure use some advice. If anyone knows of a support network on the Gulf Coast of FL, I would appreciate that tip as well.
Thanks in advance,