Sep 27, 2012 - 5:18 pm
I posted earlier this month about my friend. He is 81 years old and has stage 4 prostate cancer, gleason score 8 and many, many bone mets. We actually found the cancer due to his collapse from renal failure - the prostate has blocked his urethea tubes and he had to have bilateral nephrostomy tubes inserted. He was in the hospital for 10 days as they got him stable and has spent the last 20 days in a care facility getting physical therapy. He is getting released to go home tomorrow with home health care coming in to help him. Yay!!!!
Yesterday we had appointments with an oncologist, a urologist and his nephrologist. His kidney function has improved but it will never be "normal". Due to this, he can't take zometa or these kind of drugs to help with his bone mets. They said it would just be too hard on his kidneys at this point in time. They also said that they feel his bladder/uretha are too damaged to recover and he will have to have the nephrostomy tubes in for the rest of his life. They don't seem to bother him too much but he does have a lot of pain in his lower back.
So here is my questions - Doyle HATES and I do mean hate, doctors! He had not seen one in over 20 years and he collapsed before getting help with his current situation even though I had been urging him to go for months. Yesterday, he physically got sick in between each appointment, he was that nervous. I am trying to limit this anxiety for him by limiting at least one appointment and during our interviews yesterday, it sounded like both the oncologist and the urologist would be doing/recommending the same treatment path of lupron depot shots with a casodex daily pill. Both doctors were equally good with him but he said maybe two words (let me do all the talking - didn't hardly answer their questions). If you were going to choose just one doctor to go see, which one would it be?
Also - both urologist and oncologist thought depending on how Doyle responds to the shot (his only side effect so far is hot flashes and we re-check his PSA next week), they thought anywhere from 6-24 months before he became hormone resistant to the treatment. He has said he will only do this treatment, he wants no chemotherapy, surgery, or radiation. I have never heard these kind of numbers - if anything I have heard the opposite - years and years of success. It could be that his is just that far advanced that they do not expect long term success or that the complications from his renal failure/prolonged damage since he didn't seek treatment earlier. Are there others on this board who have seen this kind of advanced cancer?
The good thing is that he is coming home! He is in much better spirits and he says that his leg (where he had a very large tumor) is feeling much better. I take this as an excellent sign of his responding to the hormone therapy in a good way. I couldn't be more pleased and just hope it continues. I am worried about him living alone and with me two hours away but I have lined up a life alert and have arranged from home health nurse to come in daily and help him.
I certainly appreciate all your help and advice through this last month. You guys probably don't even know what I help you have been! I realize as a woman, I have absolutely no concept of what he is going through and reading many of your comments and posts have helped me have a greater understanding of this disease. For that, I thank you and wish you all nothing but the best on your own journeys . . .