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sRT Almost Finished

Posts: 78
Joined: Feb 2016

Haven't been here for a while.

Six more sessions of savage radiation left. Original plan was 70 Gy in 35 fractions plus 52 Gy to lymph Nodes with 62 Gy to nodes identified by the 68 Gallium PSMA PET/CT.

So far, diarrhea two times, a lot of gas and some problems with constipation at other times - constipation lessens up with stool softeners.

Meet with the RO on Thursday and may ask to add one more fraction to bring the total to 72 Gy's to the bed.





VascodaGama's picture
Posts: 3368
Joined: Nov 2010


Thanks for the update. It is nice of you to return and share your experiences. I wonder about the procedure done to prepare you for the RT administration. Was there any tattoos? How about air balloons or other means to minimize damages?

My sRT protocol was only 68 Gy done in 37 fractions (a mix of 2 Gy plus 1.8 Gy), which was chosen in an intent of covering all suspicious areas but trying to diminish any collateral damage (in the end the therapy did not free me of the cancer). Yours of 70 Gy is typical nowadays for salvage therapies. I wonder if the additional 2 Gy you want for the bed adds any benefit. When talking with the radiologist discuss about the benefits against the risk of collateral damage to the bladder.

For those interested in your story here is your previous link regarding 68 Gallium PSMA PET/CT;


Best wishes for continuing smooth therapy and a Christmas free of the bandit.




Posts: 78
Joined: Feb 2016


Thank you for the well wishes!

They used tattoos and a CT before each treatment to make sure everything is lined up to equal the planning scan.

FYI - The F18-DCFPyL PET/CT, developed at Johns Hopkins, seems to be better than the 68 Ga PSMA in detecting prostate cancer.


Will Doran
Posts: 207
Joined: Sep 2015


I don't know all the numbers that You and Vasco are speaking of, but I had 38 Radiation treatments over 8 weeks.  They did what they called "Boost Treatments" at the end.  I had 28 "regular treatments" and then 10 with stronger radiation, what they called "Boost".     I was worried about that name of the treatments and they explained that it was normal and that the "beams" were more focused in the "bed" where the prostate had been.  I think that is what they said.  Some of this has all become a blur. 

I also had / have tattoos, and as I went in each days my CT scans were on the computer screens when I had to identify myself with my name, birthday, location of treatment and code words.   

On the lighter side of all this.  When I was to my dermatologist, a one point, there was a student doctor with my dermatologist and she ask if I minded if the student came in and helped with my exam.  The student saw my tattoos and told the doctor that she thought they needed to be removed.  At which my doctor and I laughed.  We explained to her (the student) that they were radiation tattoos.  When the young lady graduated, she was in to see me the day before graduation and I got to say goodbye to her.  I was having stitches removed from follow up surgery for melanoma.    Of Course My Dermatologist and I had to give her a hard time about her wanting to remove my tattoos.   The young lady is now a doctor in California.

Best wishes, Peace and God Bless

Have a Merry Christmas.  Enjoy


Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 3659
Joined: May 2012

Such a cool story, Will.  While I admire all doctors, many initially are arrogant, insufferable. A wise, experienced doctor is one who realizes how much they do not know, how much they cannot do.

The day in 2009 that I got back my horrible CT showing whole-body lymphoma, a new doctor, just out of med school , was filling in for my GP.  It was literally one of her first times alone with a patient, except for residency work.  She was visibly shaken about the results she was giving me.  I asked her if chemo would cause my facial hair to go away like my scalp, and she said "she didn't know."  She got a bit flustered, and soon was sobbing -- crying, there in front of me.

I wnet over and hugged her, and told her that I knew nothing about cancer, but that it would be ok, that it was likely treatable, that I was fine with the results.  I comforted her, not the other way around.  She went on to become a highly regarded Emergency Care physician. Years later I communicated to her via another doctor, and he said she was delighted to hear from me, and remembered me very, very well.

There is an old saying in medicine directed at doctors, Listen to the patient long enough, and they will tell you what is wrong with them.  In the mean time, we must train them.


"Boost", the term Will encountered, is most likely a vernacular term for upping dose to increase the liklihood of killing all of the cells.  It may have a relatively precise definiton, but I suspect that it is mostly employed in this common-sense manner.  It is probably named after the term was employeed in some clinical trial somewhere.  Dosing, standardized treatments, drugs, number of Gray given in radation,  are an inexact science, based on conventions and statistical reviews of outcomes.  Nonetheless, all doctors can fudge, change-up treatments, based on their own judgements. This happens every day, with millions of patients.  I received a standardized, five drug chemo combination for Hodgkins Disease.  Each drug has dosing guidelines, and in general chemo is supposed to be adjusted for each 10% change in a patient's body weight, but my medical oncologist chose to not do this as I lost weight, saying it was ill-advised.  I got 140% of recommended lifetime for several of these drugs, but the doctor felt this was necessary to save me. I am thankful that he was of that opinion.

I had an uncle dying of a brain tumor decades ago, and the oncologist told the family he had a type known as "Widlfire."  Undoubtedly, there is no strain of brain cancer officially known as "Wildfire"; it was shop talk, referring to an aggressive, incurable strain. There are currently 120 identified types of brain malignancies; none has a clinical name of "Wildfire."


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