It must be 18 mths since I last read through the group to compare my experiences with other men.
I had Gleason 9, PSA at about 8.0 before beginning testoserone suppressing pills for 6 weeks, then I began 3 month shots of Eligard under belly skin.
The Eligard website has graphs showing the measured levels of Eligard after injection and its effect on testostereone levels which drop to a plateau below what is a reference level for castration.
I have now completed the 2 year time on Eligard as the doctor ordered, and its 3 months since my last Eligard inject. I can still feel the lumps of the inject stuff, so probably the effects may keep going another month or more, but just when effects of Eligard cease is completely unknown, and Eligard website does not have graphs for the fading rate of Eligard plotted against the returning levels of testosterone.
My PSA went from 8 before treatment to 0.1 with Eligard. Docs think PSA will rise a bit if testosterone returns to "wake up cancer cells" still remaining, but the cells can't multiply because their DNA has been damaged, and after the wake up they die. That's the theory. The down side is that the cells might change to an even worse form of cancer which is harder to treat later.
Since diagnosis in late 2009, I have maintained an exercise + diet habit, and weight increase has been from 84Kg to 85.5Kg, about 3 lbs. I'm a keen cyclist and have ridden 34,000km since Xmas 2009. I'm due to turn 65 in July, and qualify for old age pension so I won't have to struggle to make ends meet financially by working long hours.
Side effects of assumed temporary chemical castration Eligard, but while riding 220km a week average at 22.5 kph average speed are :-
1. Reduction of average speed is estimated 5kph from 27kph at age 62.5 to now, age 64.5 yo.
Effect means I cannot keep up with cycling group I used to be able to outpace 3 years ago and drop in my athletic output power is down maybe 30% and so there is nobody I can ride with so social links with people I have cycled with in past have ceased. But I now keep riding and enjoy the solitude of long rides.
2. Hot flushes occur 3 times a day but not too severe. Sleep pattern is disturbed, and I sometimes need a sleep in an afternoon, then have yet another late night. I sleep when tired, but its more irregular, and sleep isn't as deep as it should be. Need to pee 3 times a night.
I also had a kidney ureter become blocked and finally had a memocath installend last Feb, but irritation to kidneys is probably still happening, so hence frequent pees. Not a problem though.
3. If I do physical work, like last thursday when replacing an exhaust fan to bathroom in my house, which meant repair to cieling, making new duct, fitting duct to roof tiles and many trips up/down ladder over 8 full hours, then I suffer terrible fatigue after, and much backache and knee ache, especially after glass of red and coffee. But I got the job done better than I would have done at 30, and although I suffered a really bad night of agony, next day I felt OK by noon, and did 50km on the bike. The bike is a key form of therapy for me, but real work strains many muscles and joints not used much while on the bike. But the bike keeps my heart & lungs very fit, RHR is < 50 at night, and weight gain is controlled.
4. I don't have any loss of hard-on fuction, and can climax just as easy as I did at 25. I'm "dry balls" now, and couldn't father kids, but don't want to. But because I have no female to please, there is no place to "post the letter". The absense of testosterone has zapped my desire for sex, so no need to "prove a point" with a jerk-off more than when I feel like it which is once a month, just to make sure the hard-on plumbing isn't damaged.
Before PC treatment I'd feel like proving a point daily, and that'd been going on for at least 40 years. The desire to have a relationship with someone female and attractive is greater now than before PC treatment, but social opportunities to meet anyone remain abysmal, because when women age, they pause from men, and I work alone, and have all male customers, and don't have many friends who know someone female I might like. Most women cannot manage to not become grumpy old hags who'd be no joy to any man. I did try online dating for 5 years and I met nobody; they all wanted far more than any man could offer, while seeing to have so little to offer themselves. I have my eye set on a nice lady of 45 at the local supermarket checkout counter. She'd do just fine for a friend I could approach for some friendly interaction without building castles in the air and getting hurt. But I don't know her partner status, and unless they are as single as I am, I cannot remain intersted. But achieving anything with any woman looks almost 99% unlikely most days.
5. Ability to do just enough work to survive without going broke has been reduced, so some help from social security has beena blessing. After being self employed since 1981, I have no work record so I'd find it hard getting a "real job" working for the "man".
I've become very good at being frugal and independant, and am the opposite of those who have big incomes while they complain how difficult it is to live, and how much everything costs.
6. Bone density went down 10% during first year without testo. I had 10% above average BD before treatments. I've been on vitamin D + calcium supplements. BD will now maybe remain stable after testo returns, if it does. I've used sun-blocking creams, SPF 30+ when out cycling in summer, and am well covered up in winter in long lycra so hence actual exposure to UV is low, even though I spend 12 hours a week out doors in nature on the bike. So hence the Vit D supplement is good policy anyway. The sunscreens stop UV, so you block chance of melanoma ( but not of sarcoma ) and hence UV does not cause natural Vit D productions.
7. Mood swings might occur more, but I'm not aware I have changed much. I could have some form of undiagnosed condition like depression, but who hasn't? Everyone gets sad after youth vanishes down life's plug. I feel a strong need to remain fit by cycling, and feel just fabulous when I have done a nice big long ride. The effect lasts a day or two, then I need another fix to take my mind off thie rotten bloody world. Most blokes do get depressed after never getting a root for 8 years but hey, why such dependance on something so airy-fairy as getting laid? Besides, getting a root isn't getting anything, its just getting to opportunty to do feel-good work, nice work if you can get it, but you have to PAY for for it, even if she's the nicest old gal in town and isn't a commercial rooter.
I'm proud to have never ever wanted to visit a commercial sex provider.
8. I'm not on any medications apart from taking 8 fish oil capsules a day. I do take a multivitamin after a long ride. Helps recovery.
9. Diet changes attempted now is increase in cooked tomatoes. Lycopene tends to counter PC cells. I am trying to reduce meat in diet, because the reduction WILL do me well, and give the animals a rest. As I get older I am getting more concerned about the environment. The way animals are farmed in feed-lots and in "farm-factories" is all utterly hideous and unforgivable to me. Mankind's carnivourous habits and general trend towards wrecking a good Planet is all a frightful experiment, and I'm glad to never have had children. Readers who have had kids should not be appalled by this, because their kids won't have to compete with mine in future.
I have written my full PC story at http://www.turneraudio.com.au/Patrick-other-concerns.html
Regards to all, Patrick Turner.