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Porstate Cancer

shell1972
Posts: 2
Joined: Nov 2011

My husband will be 50 next month and just last year they told him that he has stage 4 Prostate Cancer and I nearly lost my mind.It's now been 2 years and the doctor won't tell me the truth,he tried chemo for awhile and that didn't seem to work,so now he's on a pill called Zytiga.They say it suspose to do better and I'm still worried he is real mean and I don't know how to handle that is there anyone who can help me understand this condition,and teach me more about it Thank You

Swingshiftworker
Posts: 655
Joined: Mar 2010

Sorry he hear that your husband has such an advanced stage of PCa at such a young age.

I'd say consult as many other physicians in each relevant specialty -- urology, oncology, radiation and chemotherapy -- as you can in order to properly assess the scope of the cancer and the best way(s) to treat it.

It sounds like you really don't trust your husband's physician and the contact w/the other physicians will give you an opportunity to interview them and choose another doctor or doctors whom you and your husband can actually trust to provide him with best care possible.

There are others here who can help you understand your husband's current condition but they'll need specifics as to his clinical history, including but not limitef to his Gleason score(s), PSA level(s) and the results from other diagnostic tests (MRI, CAT, bone scan, etc.) and the prior prescriptions used, etc. in order to offer any advice.

Good luck!!!

mrspjd
Posts: 693
Joined: Apr 2010

Shell,

Welcome to the PCa forum. Sorry for the stressful, frustrating and challenging situation that you and your husband find yourselves in. From the limited info you have provided, it appears that your husband’s PCa is stage T4, metastatic, castrate resistant/hormone refractory (CRPC/HRPC). Zytiga (aka Abiraterone) is one of the best new ADT (androgen deprivation therapy) meds for HRPC and if his PSA and mets are responding and under control, that is excellent news.

As for your husband’s “meanness” or moodiness, don’t know if he’s always been that way but, it’s more than likely that this trait might this be a function of the stress, frustration, anxiety & ADT side effects of living with a dx (diagnosis) of advanced metastatic PCa on a daily basis. Very possibly, your husband may be depressed, fearful and scared. Often those feelings can be disguised as “meanness,” anger and moodiness. Mood fluctuations may also be a side effect of ADT (Zytiga). It’s always easiest to take feelings out on the ones that we are closest to, often a spouse, but there is no excuse to be hurtful, intentionally or unintentionally.

Perhaps a frank discussion with husband’s oncologist and a referral to a mental health professional, and maybe an Rx for an antidepressant might be in order. I know that some doctors are reluctant to speak to the wife, since you are not their "patient," and that can be very frustrating, especially if husband is not sharing info with you and you are unable to share your concerns with the doctor. You may wish to look into attending a face to face PCa support group (with or without husband) lead by a trained facilitator where you can speak with other men and women traveling on a similar PCa journey and learn how they have found successful ways of coping with the same issues. A well established PCa support or networking group may also be a good educational tool for you to learn more about your husband’s PCa. Some larger groups even offer a lending library where you can borrow books, videos, etc on PCa.

In addition, as for a PCa education, the world is at your fingertips through your computer and the World Wide Web. Use your search engine (Google or other) with key words such as Zytiga; advanced metastatic prostate cancer; hormone refractory prostate cancer, etc. to learn more. One reputable PCa website you may wish to peruse is http://www.prostate-cancer.org/pcricms/ . PCRI has an 800 phone # helpline. Also there are many excellent books to read on the subject of PCa. Just scan through some of the back pages on this forum to locate PCa book titles & authors.

For me, my ongoing PCa education is critical to understanding my husband’s PCa (as a survivor) and my evolving role on our PCa journey together. I strongly believe that knowledge and communication are empowering and essential in coping with the emotions, such as fear and uncertainty, that a dx or recurrence of PCa can bring. And, IMHO, knowledge is the key to remaining hopeful about the future.

Good luck to you both.

mrs pjd (wife of a PCa survivor, T3 stage)

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