Douglass' Journey with Prostate Cancer

Patient: Prostate Cancer

Patient Info: Finished active treatment less than 5 years ago, Diagnosed: about 6 years ago, Male, Age: 59, Progressing despite hormone therapy: No

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

    Oh No

    I was told at my annual physical exam that my PSA was 4.1. My primary doctor thought it needed to be checked out further - but he was not worried. My urologist was incredible - thought that it was a bad test reading, also. Two more PSA blood tests in September and Novmeber and my PSA was at 7.1. Biopsy after Thanksgiving 2010 - 12 samples all cancerous, Gleason score 3+4=7, on December 7 - I got my diagnosis! I thought my world was ending. My urologist spent one and half hours with me that day going over my options.

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  2. 2
    • Douglass
    • Experience with Prostate Cancer
    over 5 years ago
    Douglass' Avatar

    Other

    Decision Point

    My urologist was "opting" for surgery. He suggested I get a second opinion on surgery and meet with two radiation doctors. Second "surgery" urologist was "pushing" a technique not yet allowed in the USA - I took him off my list. First radiation doctor spent an hour with me - encouraged another opinion, too. Second radiation doctor spent two hours with me - uninterrupted! The book "100 Questions and Answers about Prostate Cancer" was a great resource and fullly explained in "people" terms about the many options.

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  3. 3
    • Douglass
    • Experience with Prostate Cancer
    over 5 years ago
    Douglass' Avatar

    Hormone therapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    The surgery options scared me to death - I live alone and the thought of my mom helping was not an option. The Plan A was a hormone shot, six weeks later the seeds were to be implanted, then 44 radiation treatments. Hormone shot January 31, 2011, and on March 16 my PSA dropped from 7.1 to 1.8. I was NOT a candidate for the seeds implant. Plan B- hormone shot, 44 radiation treatments Side effects - lost chest and leg hair around St. Patrick's Day, mood swings became noticeable at the end of March, gained about 30 pounds, the hot flashes started April 1 - the gals in the office just loved this!!

    Easy to Do: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Agree
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  4. 4
    • Douglass
    • Experience with Prostate Cancer
    over 5 years ago
    Douglass' Avatar

    External radiation

    Radiation

    First and second week of April 2011 had the volume metric study and the gold mapping - two of the most God awful experiences of my life! My radiation doctor proceeded with extreme caution and made the experience almost comfortable. Radiation treatments started around Easter, and stopped just after Father's Day. The daily treatments were easy - never missed a day of work. It was easy to get treated, and then go to work. My appointment was at 6:45 a.m.

    Painless Experience: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Agree
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  5. 5
    • Douglass
    • Experience with Prostate Cancer
    over 5 years ago
    Douglass' Avatar

    Hot flashes

    Side Effects

    Hormone shot side effects - lost chest and leg hair around St. Patrick's Day, mood swings became noticeable at the end of March, gained about 30 pounds, the hot flashes started April 1 - the gals in the office just loved this!! I am worried about the shrinkage of my "package." I was leading a youth retreat this past weekend, and one would have thought I had exited from a very cold swimming pool. I am told that as the hormone shot wears off that the shrinkage would stop. I do not want to feel like a junior high kid any more. It's bad enough that the chest hair and leg hair have NOT started to grow back - yet! Radiation side efects - none really, that I noticed. My boss thought I would be tired, but I did not miss any days of work.

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  6. 6
    • Douglass
    • Experience with Prostate Cancer
    over 5 years ago
    Douglass' Avatar

    Finished treatment

    Celebration

    Last radiation treatment June 24, 2011. At annual physical July 11, PSA at .1. At my three month followup with my radiation doctor September 27, 2011 - PSA .01. OK - reality set in - erections are ocurring more frequently, becoming a father is still a possibility, able to go many hours without a bathroom run, jog, or walk. December and March appointments with urologist - PSA 0.5 at both - eagerly awaiting appointment with radiation doctor in June 2012!

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  7. 7
    • Douglass
    • Experience with Prostate Cancer
    over 3 years ago
    Douglass' Avatar

    Anniversary

    Celebration

    I just got back from my 24 month check-in with my radiologist! PSA= 0.4. I am now on a check-in EVERY six months instead of every three months. I will see him every March and my urologist every September for the next couple of years. What a pleasant surprise!

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  8. 8
    • Douglass
    • Experience with Prostate Cancer
    11 months ago
    Douglass' Avatar

    Anniversary

    Celebration

    I met with my oncologist yesterday, and I am discharged! He does NOT need to see me again! Five years cancer free - ready to "live" in retirement that starts in June, 2016.

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