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Recurrent cancer treatments

dwgifford
Posts: 4
Joined: Jun 2008

I am 56 years old and was diagnosed with prostate cancer in January 2001. I don't remember all the specific numbers but the biopsy showed 5 out of ten hits were positive. I did get a second opinion that included running the pathology again, and both concurred that I was a candidate for a radical prostatectomy. It went well, but the prostate was much more involved than the biopsy showed. Nerve sparing surgery was done to one side, and after a normal recovery I was cancer free with psa of 0 for the snext even years, which most would say I was very fortunate.

During a normal blood test for diabetes my psa was checked in July of 2008, and it was 2.4. It was re-run and there was no error. It was back. We watched it for a while and it was doubling about every thirty days, sometimes faster than that. I saw a specialist and he recommended hormone therapy immediately, and that day I had a 3 month Zolodex shot and went on a thirty day run with Casodex. Psa at that time was 6.5. I think I have most of these names right. That resulted in the psa going back to zero and we started exploring treatment possibilities. I had a CAT scan, 2 MRI's and a bone scan. There was no evidence of it spreading to the bones and my MRI showed two small areas of concern in the area of my lymph nodes in the prostate bed. I had my second hormone shot in October of 2008, and then began the radiation therepy in late October.

Time past and we settled on IMRT radiation therapy at the University of Miami Sylvester Cancer center. These people are some of the nicest, most caring people I have ever dealt with. Eight weeks later I was done on December 22nd of last year, and returned to my home in the Keys. My wife and I, both being cancer survivors, decided to move from Oregon in 2007 and try and enjoy life rather than just living it. It has not been easy because it is fairly expensive to live down here, but my employer of 26 years let me bring my job with me and now I work out of my home. All-in-all I have to say that I really feel pretty good. And yes I am thankful for that but still scared out of my mind.

However, my psa was .21 in March of this year, 1.2 in May and 2.21 last week. Obviously it is going up at an alarming rate, again. I am going to have a test for hormone levels this week and see if my psa is just chasing my levels returning to normal, but since I haven't had hormone threatment since last October I think that is a long shot.

So right now I do not know what my future will hold. It is most uncertain, scary and a real threat to my life I know.

I was told that I would not be a candidate for another round of radiation treatment, but other than that I do not know what my future will entail. But I guess we never really do.

I would enjoy hearing others results with conditions and treatment related to mine, and I will keep adding to this thread as I progress thru this new challenge. God bless you all as you are all special and I thank you for being here for all of these people. If I can share anything of value with any one of you I will certainly try. Thank you.

ld34
Posts: 24
Joined: Jun 2009

I read your comment with interest,alot of interest. I am 75 ...clear for 9 years..3 years later I am at 4,8... ( for more info... reference "Hormone therapy" on this site). My urologist tell me we will start Lupron for one month( at psa 6-8 written in pencil..ie: subject to change )to test my tolorence level for lupron then go on to 4 month shots.
Casodex was mention by my surgeon (the guy that discovered the psa test) but only for 10 days and only at the beginning of my introduction to lupron to prevent a tumor flare. Of course there is debate on the casodex regimen I just described.
I hate all of it .It is sort of funny ..but not so really ...My Dr. said ( and it is so interesting to me on how I hang on to every word and am able to regurgate(sp) on call).. He said " without the psa you would think you are doing fine" and that is really true.
Please write... I will respond..

2ndBase's picture
2ndBase
Posts: 220
Joined: Mar 2004

I am now 58 and got a dx in late 03 with psa 24 and gleason of 9. Told to expect a 50% chance of living 2 years and a 2% chance to live 10 years. I had one shot of Lupron in early 04 and then the maximun allowed radiation a month later. That is the sum total of actual treatments. My psa is now doubling about every six months and stood at 7.1 in March. I do not worry about it at all and believe that waiting another 6 months to get another Lupron shot will be plenty early enough. I will never take chemo treatments after watching my wife die from breast cancer and the misery she endured. Take all the stress out of your life and survival will be a whole lot easier. Nobody is going to promise you a cure and how you deal with cancer on a personal level is more important than what treatment options you choose. Trust your self to know what is right for you and live life fully.

ld34
Posts: 24
Joined: Jun 2009

You are "right on" as some would say.. In your situation ...Is there no lupron regiment?
The only plan that has been presented to me is 4 month lupron forever.

I try not to worry about it but I have not been very good at removing it from my mind... But what you say is very true ..no one has a cure .. worrying does nothing but create stress..
But,at the same time, I do want to do "the next right thing"
and "the next thing right"
Dana Jenning is a writer for the NY times and may be interesting reading ..He is 50 ish and has prostae ca in a advanced stage .. He write a column evey Tues. Goggle him and his columns will come up...
I wish you luck . I processed your info and would like to to hear more from you

gkoper's picture
gkoper
Posts: 174
Joined: Apr 2009

Hi dwgifford.....Sorry to hear of your PSA rise. I go for my 1 month after Davinci PSA in a week. Of course I'm hoping for the 0 number. With all the negatives about PSA tests....it still appears they are the best barometer in detecting the dragon.
I see that you are living in the Keys. I own a house in Marathon (Margaritsville)where I lived for 8 years. I relocated 4 years to the Ocala, Fl area. The Keys were great when we had a cruising sailboat. But after selling the boat the Hurricanes really... even when they didn't affect the Keys...became stressful. Anyway, hope things improve for you...let us know how your doing.
Cheers,
George

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