n2jhawks' Journey with Prostate Cancer

Patient: Prostate Cancer

Patient Info: Currently in active treatment (initial surgery, receiving chemo rounds/radiation), Diagnosed: over 5 years ago, Male, Age: 59, Stage IIA, Progressing despite hormone therapy: No

  1. 1
    • n2jhawks
    • Experience with Prostate Cancer
    over 5 years ago
    n2jhawks' Avatar

    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    PSA Levels were detected in July annual physical (13.1)..After 3 weeks of antibiotics, my scores had risen to 15. My biopsy showed cancer in every quadrant and it was aggressive. If my doctor had not asked for PSAs to be run and I waited another year, my cancer would have spread to the lymphs and bones and I would be in a much more serious situation. I am the reason they push PSA tests...54...active....healthy....came out of the blue....I tell all my friends and family to get a yearly physical and ASK for PSA test. ( I just visited my primary doctor to thank him for being thorough and let him know my journey so far...he said I made his day...)

    1 Comment
  2. 2
    • n2jhawks
    • Experience with Prostate Cancer
    over 5 years ago
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    Laparoscopic radical prostatectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    Surgery was Nov 2, 2011 and it was determined that the cancer was worse than expected. The doctor had to take more of a circumference than he expected. Recovery was initially a bit slower as I stayed in the hospital 3 days...(I recommend earplugs!! so much noise in a hospital....just used the plugs and slept like a baby) Initial tests did not show any cancer outside the prostate but he believes there may be. I am waiting on PSA test later this month to see where we stand. I may need radiation but we will see. I also am concerned about impotence, since he had to take a wider circle than he expected. I had to keep the catheter 3 weeks because tests showed a slight leak and he wanted to be sure....the most uncomfortable 3 weeks of my life...each week I thought I was getting "cathy" removed became a disappointment, but I knew it was better to be cautious....when I finally got to "break up with cathy", I was on cloud 9...

    Went as Expected: Not Specified
    Minimal Recovery: Not Specified
    Minimal Side Effects: Not Specified
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Not Specified
    1 Comment
  3. 3
    • n2jhawks
    • Experience with Prostate Cancer
    over 5 years ago
    n2jhawks' Avatar

    Incontinence (cannot control urine)

    Side Effects

    I have to be careful of surges, especially when I exert (lifting, sports etc) I do dribble a bit all day and a pad seems to do the trick so far. ED is definite at this point, but I know this can be a slow recovery (hopefully)

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  4. 4
    • n2jhawks
    • Experience with Prostate Cancer
    about 5 years ago
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    Cancer has spread/Metastasized

    Oh No

    My 3 month blood test confirmed that cancer had spread outside of the prostate and I need to have radiation. My PSA is only a .12, and my dr feels that if we start before it gets to a .5, we will be able to knock it out. I have positive margins, which he stated is good - means that the cancer is still there where my prostate was. The CT scan will allow us to get precise with the radiation and keep side effects to a minimum.

    1 Comment
  5. 5
    • n2jhawks
    • Experience with Prostate Cancer
    about 5 years ago
    n2jhawks' Avatar

    Hormone therapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    11/12/12 Update - I realize I never updated how I handled things with the Lupron shot. My shot was a 4 month dose, and I saw effects in a couple of weeks and they lasted a few weeks after my 4 months. I became much more emotional, I had hot flashes, and I suffered some low level depression. I started my radiation at the same time, and I think that was a good thing because the daily interaction with the great staff that cared for me was uplifting. I was surprised how the shot affected me, and I guess it was like having a window into a woman's world for awhile. Emotion vs Logical. April 2012 - I just had a lupron 4 month shot, which is supposed to buy me some time before I start radiation on the cancer that escaped my prostate. My PSA was initially .12 and has risen to .35 after a month. My doctor believes the lupron will keep it in check, and allow me to heal more before the radiation. The goal is to start radiation in another month or so while the PSA is still below .5

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
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  6. 6
    • n2jhawks
    • Experience with Prostate Cancer
    over 4 years ago
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    External radiation

    Radiation

    I completed 38 days of radiation in early August and it was fairly uneventful for me. I tried to get in good shape prior to the treatments, and continued to push myself to walk, lift weights, etc after I started. There were days I was bushed and I didnt push it, but I tried to stay consistent. I think it made a big difference in my lack of symptoms. I never encountered any skin irritation from the radiation, but I did encounter some loose stools and gas. It tended to be cumulative and by Thursday of each week, it was a bit worse. It calmed down over the weekend and slowly ramped up again the next week. I opted for morning appointments, and I felt like I started each day with a positive "attack"...I envisioned the cancer sizzling like bacon during the treatments and had the attitude I was killing it slowly each day. The staff at my cancer center were so caring, the fellow patients and I started to bond, and they all lifted my spirits each and every day, so I tried to do the same for them. Always positive.....had a joke a day, or a positive thought to share every day. Dont be afraid of the treatments....attack them with energy, hope and humor and you will be fine!

    Painless Experience: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
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  7. 7
    • n2jhawks
    • Experience with Prostate Cancer
    over 4 years ago
    n2jhawks' Avatar

    1st PSA Test is undetected

    Celebration

    I had my first PSA test after completing radiation in August and my number was "neglible", which is a good start. My radiation oncologist was always very confident that we were going to knock it out, and this first test is encouraging. He stated that cause for concern would be if I had 2 successive tests that showed a climbing PSA, so we will see how the next test scores in a few months.....I believe it will remain low and I will be fine...if not, I will deal with it then...

    2 Comments
  8. 8
    • n2jhawks
    • Experience with Prostate Cancer
    about 4 years ago
    n2jhawks' Avatar

    2nd PSA Test is undetected

    Celebration

    I had my second PSA test after finishing radiation in August and it was also "negligible" so my doctor has suggested we move to every 6 months on the tests. I am going to consider myself without cancer, until I hear differently. I have expereinced what I have read out here, in that the first couple of tests, we await with great fear of "the number", so I am choosing to no longer fear the test. I am not naive, and I know its not absolute, but TODAY, I am cancer free and I am not going to let it rule my thoughts.

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  9. 9
    • n2jhawks
    • Experience with Prostate Cancer
    over 3 years ago
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    3rd PSA Level was undetectable

    Celebration

    My third straight PSA test since my surgery and followup radiation that ended Aug 2012 has been undectable.

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