Mar 05, 2014 - 6:24 am
My husband is one of the blessed ones with prostrate cancer. He is a retired Medical Doctor, 73 years old now, diagnosed with prostrate cancer in 1999. He opted for the removal of his prostrate, then had radiation. He was doing fine, he was doing everday things like mowing, fixing things around the house and etc. I am 63 now, but at that time I had a very demanding job as a Postmaster of a large post office, and I admit I was not much help during this period. All things were good until 2005 when his psa started going back up. He went through 36 radiation treatments, and he found a new onocologist (thank God) who is very knowledgable on all the new medicines and protocols, so he started him on a series of drugs. I don't remember what they were at that time, but as time went on my husband was still mobile, and did not display any ailments. In 2008 my husband was diagnosed with COPD, and he has had diabetes since 1988, so he was put on a cpap along with oxegen and inhalers at that time, but the prostrate readings were still in the single digits.
Then about 2009 his psa started back up. The onocologist put him on degeralex shots, (estrogen therapy) along with Xgeva for bone. In 2010 he had him on Provenge, along with degeralex, but at no time did he have any chemotherapy. On Thanksgiving day, we were at my husbands mothers house in Arkansas and he collapsed. I took him to the only hospital there and they did a CT and found a tumor logged in his spine, so we flew him back up to St. Louis to Missouri Baptist Hospital, where all his specialist were. They did radiation, and the tumor shrunk, then after 6 months flat on his back, he was released from rehab. Then the onocologist put my husband on a brand new approved drug called Xtandi, still having the shots of Degaralex and Xgeva. His psa's were running about 2-4 at this time. In November 2013 the onocologist told my husband about a new drug, just approved called Xofigo. Said the studies looked promising, and at that time my husband thought he heard the word cure. I did all the reading I could on Xofigo, and all the spouses discussions about this drug, the deaths, and I tried to talk my husband out of taking this. It did not make sense to me to inject radiom, (the stuff they arm nuclear war heads with) into your veins, but my husband kept saying, "you don't know, you aren't a Doctor, it will give me a lot more time---etc. Well when he went up for his first injection, I asked the Doctor why he did not mention the drug study, about the ones that died, about the success rate now. He nodded to my husband, and in a smarmy voice told me that not to worry my pretty little head, They had this covered. Anytime you have to have a physisist in the room with a geiger counter to make sure the help does not get radiation poisoning, ask yourself, does this make any sense?
Now, mind you, all this time, all these drugs were paid for by our insurance. We are blessed with the best, Blue Cross/Blue Shield Federal, and Medicare, so the drugs alone would have destroyed our financial future. These injections alone cost $11,000.00 per injection, and the Doctor that administers it, (takes about 5 minutes) gets to bill $595.00, so it is all a money thing. Anyway, since his first injection in December my husband has gone from walking and doing some stuff, to being racked in pain, barely able to walk 20 feet, throwing up and diarea, and no interest in anything but laying in bed so he doesn't hurt. Please consider this if your Doctor recommends this drug, after you ring the bell, you can not unring it. He has had 3 treatments, now he is gray colored, I have called his daughter to come see him while he is alive, I don't think he is going to make it to the 4th injection, and the last 3 months have been a living hell. Read-Read-Read, and do not believe all the hype. Look at what the Drug Companys are making off this drug, and look at what the quality vs. quantity of life is worth.
I hope I can help another spouse in this matter, if I can, it will help me to heal.