Newly Diagnosed and Alone/Widowed.

billray Member Posts: 3 Member
edited September 26 in Prostate Cancer #1

I am 65, otherwise incredibly healthy and active for an older guy. I am widowed, live alone, so sharing my thoughts with someone is awkward b/c no one is here. My Sons and their wives (even though in their 40s, seem removed and uninterested... so that's not an option. (I will share that their mother died at age 44 from brain cancer- so I know they are removed b/c of fear). I was incredibly exhausted and finally after months was sent to a Urologist. My PSA had jumped to 5+ and returned to a normal 4.08. Sent for MRI, which indicated a couple" very aggressive cancer likely", with tumors on both sides of my prostate. Biopsies revealed a G score of 7, with mostly majority 4+3s, a couple PNIs- but NO 5s... for which I am thankful. The oncologist said observation was not recommended b/c all indicated over time a poor outcome. I had 5 fiducial markers placed a week ago, a final MRI and CAT coming next week, and then shortly thereafter Cyber Knife radiation. I am hoping the biopsy and the fiducial marker placements are the worst of this journey. It wasn't pleasant, to put it mildly. I have had no bone scan, etc. I am worried about the nerve invasion, of course. Should I be worried about the effects of the radiation? The lack of a bone scan? Will the CK radiate the entire gland or will it focus only on the lesions? Any words of wisdom will help. ...I might also add that my younger brother passed from PCa in his later mid-50s. Sort of scared, but not really. I guess this is normal too.


  • eonore
    eonore Member Posts: 159 Member

    Hi Billray,

    Cyberknife is a gold standard treatment and is usually tolerated very well with little side effect. Typically, the oncologist will irradiate the entire gland, since current imaging and biopsy can not definitively locate every possible lesion. Also, radiation allows for a widening of the field to deal with the perineal invasion. Based on your PSA, you have caught this early, and have a great chance to beat this for good. Hang in there.


  • Clevelandguy
    Clevelandguy Member Posts: 866 Member


    Just make sure they put the gel between your Prostate and Rectum becore they hit you with the radiation. The gel will protect your Rectum from the effects of the radiation hitting your Rectum.

    Dave 3+4

  • Old Salt
    Old Salt Member Posts: 1,115 Member

    Some additional info:

    Cyberknife is just an instrument. The therapy is called Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT). It can be done with various instruments although the Cyberknife system is the best known.

    Now that the fiducial markers have been placed in your prostate, sometime later (the fiducials need to 'settle in') the radiation sessions can begin. You will be (or should be) told how to prepare with respect to food and liquids. Prior to each SBRT session you will be told to undress and wear a gown.

    Each session typically lasts less than an hour. You will lie on your back, listen to music (if you so desire) and won't feel a thing. Afterwards you can go home again. Five sessions are common, but there are other variations.

    It is of course important that the radiation oncology team has a great deal of experience. The team that helped me had a great record in that aspect (more than 1000 procedures a few years ago).

    There are many studies that show that SBRT has excellent outcomes for low grade prostate cancer like yours (Gleason 7 and presumably contained within the prostate).

    When I was treated the SpaceOAR hydrogel (system) didn't exist, but the radiation oncologist that treated me now uses it (he told me).

    It is not uncommon to have some side effects from the radiation, but they usually disappear by themselves. They did for me.

    Here is a link to MRI guided SBRT (not available when I was 'under the knife').

    MRI-Guided SBRT Could Represent Safer, More Precise Radiotherapy Option for Prostate Cancer (

  • billray
    billray Member Posts: 3 Member

    I did not know the acronym for the method. Thanks for the info. It will help me to become more informed as I read and experience.

  • billray
    billray Member Posts: 3 Member

    Thanks, Eric, for taking the time to respond. I appreciate it.

  • MCole
    MCole Member Posts: 1 *

    It's the fact that you are alone and widowed that resonates with me. I'm 68, healthy and independent I even work a full-time job from home. It hasn't been officially announced to me but with my very high PSA just discovered in a routine physical, cancer is a certainty. I'm just beginning the journey with my first follow up to the PSA test tomorrow. I'm resigned it will be grim news.

    I'm not so such worried about the unpleasant medical side of things. I worry about dealing with it alone. Even if one can call on friends, they don't want the duty of caring for you. They don't want the discomfort of not knowing what to say.

  • Old Salt
    Old Salt Member Posts: 1,115 Member

    With respect to support, there are patient groups specifically for prostate cancer. I hope you can find one that is convenient for you.

    In addition, there's this forum, as well as several others, where one can find support and information.