Radiation - a journey

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jetguy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 697
   Posted 1/4/2007 3:39 PM (GMT -6)   
Day One
 
I had the markers implanted in my prostate today.  These markers are not theraputic; they are only there to help locate the prostate during my radiation treatments.  Two were implanted.  Each was a bit less than an inch long.  They look like a tightly coiled spring.  Imagine the spring in a retractable ball point pen, only much smaller and tightly compressed.  The idea is that the tissue engages the coils and they do not move - they stay put. 
 
The procedure was kind of like a biopsy in reverse.  After I removed the appropriate clothing I got on the table with my knees up toward my chest and my butt hanging over the edge.  The same ultrasound probe was inserted and the seeds were implanted slowly and somewhat painfully.  This isn't a spring loaded instant deal like the biopsy needles.  I had lidocaine shots for the biopsy, but not for this.  I have since learned that some urologists do give lidocaine for this procedure.  I wish that mine had done so.  It was manageable, but real uncomfortable.  I found the experience a little more unpleasant than the biopsy.
 
On the fifteenth I'm having my simulation.  The instructions follow:
 
 
During this visit, you will have a chance to ask any questions you might have, sign a consent form to begin the treatment process and then proceed to a Ct Scan which will be done in our office.
 
At the time of the Ct Scan we will be inserting some dye into your urethra.  We will be using the urethral dye on just this occasion.  We will also be inserting a small lubricated tube into the rectum to stabilize the prostate.  This tube will be inserted on a daily basis during your treatment.
 
You may be more comfortable at the simulation if you perform a fleets enema the night prior to your Ct Scan appointment.  Fleets enema kits are available in most drug stores and many grocery stores.  The instructions are on the package.
 
You will NOT have to have enema once the actual treatment begins.
 
 
I typed the above instructions exactly as they were given to me.
 
Well, I'll see you all on the fifteenth.
 
Regards,
 
Bill

I am editing this post to answer some questions and present some more info that I forgot yesterday. 

My treatment begins on the 22nd -  one week after my simulation.  Five days a week for 8 1/2 weeks.  Total time each day is 30 to 40 minutes.  Actual time being radiated just a few minutes.  I don't have the exact number. I am to have 43 treatments.

I called the radiation clinic a couple of weeks ago and asked to schedule my treatment time.  The nurse said thy scheduled treatment times after the simulation.  I pointed out that by then all the good times were likely to be gone and I will have a 75 mile round trip and the reality is that I will delay treatment, but I will not drive in Dallas traffic during rush hour for 8 1/2 weeks.  She forwarded me to the chief therapist who said he understood and I got my 2:00 appointment.  I am a happy camper. 

Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) is Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) with an additional step.  The prostate is located each day just before treatment.  In both of these treatments a simulation is done.  Mine was a CT scan, but an MRI may be used instead.  I have no idea which is better.  As for the daily scan, there are three ways to do it that I am aware of.  Some use an ultrasound and some use a CT scan.  My clinic uses x-rays which is why I had the markers implanted.  I would rather not have had the implants, but I wanted to stay with this particular clinic and doctors, so I had it done.   

 

Day Two  -  Simulation

I got to the clinic a little early and signed my life away as we do for these things.  I was then led to a changing room next to the CT scan room and told to remove my pants, underwear and shoes.  I then put of one of those hospital gowns, opening in the back, do not tie it.

After I lay down on the table they shaved the pubic hair just above my penis because that's where one of the tattoo's will be placed.  The other two go on each hip at the top of my femur.  Then they washed down my penis with an antispetic that was kind of purple in color.  They then numbed the head of it and using a big plastic syringe filled my urethra with the contrasting agent.  It was a bit cold, but no big deal and no pain.  None.  To keep the fluid from coming back out they put a clamp on my penis about half way up, or down, depending on your point of view.  The clamp looks kind of like one you put on the end of bar bells to secure the weights.  It's just a 'little bit' smaller.  Once again, no pain and little, or no discomfort.  This will not be repeated - it's a one time deal used to clearly define the bladder and prostate boundary.

I then got on my left side and the balloon was inserted.  It's about as big around as my little finger and is inflated after insertion.  Nothing at all like the ultrasound probe and not too noticeable even after inflation.  Just enough to fix the prostate in position.  This will be done each time I have a treatment.

Next, it was time to make the mold.  It extends from just below my butt down to the bottom of my feet.  It feels kind of like a bean bag chair till they pump the air out of it and then it's firm and holds you in place.  It's light blue in color and is re-useable.

I was next lined up with the lasers and temporary marks were made on my abdomen and hips.  The table then slid me into the scanner and I was scanned for a bit.  They came back in and further refined my temporary marks.  I was scanned some more - the table moves in and out and there is some noise associated with the process.  They came back in and tattooed me.  One on each hip at the top of the femur and one front and center about a half an inch above the base of my penis.  The actual tattooing pinched because the ink is placed under the surface of the skin.  These are permanent marks and are about the diameter of the lead in a no. 2 pencil.  The ones on my hips showed a trace of blood.

It's almost over.  The balloon was deflated and removed and the clamp was removed and it was time to sit up, adjust my gown and to get dressed.  Total time in the CT room was about 30 minutes, or maybe a bit less.

Some personal observations are in order.  The table is kind of narrow and doesn't allow much room for rolling around, so be careful.  I certainly didn't enjoy the experience, but it was easier than either the biopsy, or the marker implant.  If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

Regards,

Bill

My oncologist advised me that a full bladder will help keep the bladder out of the radiation field.  To that end, I have been practicing 'holding it'.  I have found that urination, followed by a couple of glasses of water a couple of hours ahead of time works for me.

 

 

Treatment Begins

My treatment began today which is a day late due to a day lost last week due to weather.  Today is Tuesday, January 23.

When I went to the clinic today, I signed in and was led down to the treatment area.  They took a picture for an ID card that I will present each day so that everyone involved will know for certain who is being treated.  It wouldn't do to get a plan other than yours.  In addition, there is a computer screen in the x-ray vault with the name of the patient whose plan is about to happen.

I went to a dressing room and took of my pants, underwear, and shoes and put on another of those lovely hospital gowns opening in the back, do not tie it.  From there it's off to the vault where I was greeted by two therapists and the machine.  It's (the machine) about 9 feet tall and 15 feet long with the treatment table in front and a big long arm to the left side as you face away from the machine. 

I got on the table on my left side and had the balloon inserted and inflated.  Then got on my back and was lined up with the lasers and tattoo's and the mold that holds my legs in place.  One is in the ceiling and the others are to either side. The therapists left the vault. Then two x-rays slid out from the machine.  One above me and the other to my right side.  These are to locate my prostate.  I kind of expected R2D2 to stop by. From outside the vault, the therapist moved the table fore and aft, side to side, and up and down to accurately locate my prostate.  This is done each day due to normal movement of internal organs. 

Then the computer thought about it for a couple a minutes and the big arm ( the gantry) rotated to a position above me.  It then it adjusted itsself with very small, slow movements that I didn't even notice at first.  It then hummed for a bit and moved to another position.  I think it moved to 6, or 7 positions total, but I'm not certain.  I'll have more accurate information as I experience this. It's 7 positions, and is "on" about 15 seconds in each position.

My total time in the vault was about 12 minutes and my total time in the clinic was half an hour.  Now that I know what to do, it will be even less.  It's my understanding that I will meet with my oncologist each Monday after treatment. 

That's it for today.  I'll give you more information as I learn it. 

Regards,

Bill

Varian linear accelerators is where to Google for pictures and brief descriptions of the equipment.

 

Day Two

 

Today I was a little more focused and able to observe more.  The big gantry (arm) starts out directly above me and zaps me for about 10 to 15 seconds. It then rotates around to my right.  Think of above me as top dead center and the machine rotates to about 135 degree from there.  I get zapped for a similar period of time.  It then moves to 90 degrees from above and does the same.  It then goes to about 45 degrees from top dead center (TDC) and once again does the same.  The same process is repeated on my left side. If you have trouble understanding this I can explain it in a different way.

The time the machine is 'on' is not relevant.  What's important is how much radiation is administered over what period of time.  Nowadays we use Grays instead of Rads as the measurement.  My therapists use centigrays - cGy.  I am to receive 7740 cGy over an eight week period.  This is fairly agressive, I think.  (In fact, this is not particularly aggressive.  Since I wrote that my oncologist showed me some statistics displaying the relationsip between cure and side effects. At my Gleason stage, more radiation increases the cure rate very little, but adds to the side effect rate.)   

To date no side effects.  Still too early, I think.  I was in and out of there is less than half an hour.

 

Beginning of Week Two and Meeting With Oncologist

I had my normal treatment yesterday.  The same as every other day, except that the computer seemed to think about things a bit longer before zapping me.  I'll see if it does the same today and ask the therapists and report back. 

I should note that this is an assembly line process.  I show up 15 minutes before I'm scheduled for treatment and change into the gown.  If they are on schedule, I spend a little time in a waiting room. So far they have been ahead of schedule on four out of five days. Then, just before the previous guy comes out, they call me to what I call the 'staging chair' near the vault door.  When the other guy walks out, I get up and walk in.  The therapists have just finished changing the covering on the table and I lie down on my left side and begin the process again.  A few minutes later, I walk out and say hi to the guy replacing me.  It's very efficient, if somewhat impersonal. 

To date I have experienced no side effects.  None

After I was finished, I went to see the nurse who weighed me (some lose weight during this and they prefer that you don't) and asked a bunch of questions about my urinary and bowel habits and whether they had changed.  Then the oncologist came in and asked some of the same questions, prodded my belly (as the nurse had done) and listened to my breathing.  He then had my drop my pants and checked (looked at) my anus (the radiation can burn your anus).  All of this is done to determine whether I'm having side offects from the radiation.

The doc then answered any questions I had and I left. He showed me the CT scans done during my simulation and I must say they are interesting.  It's like I was cut in two at hip level and I'm on my feet and you are looking down at me.  In living color, no less.  Total time in the clinic was about 45 minutes. 

I'll be back when anything changes, or I learn more.

 

Yesterday, a patient at my clinic told me that to fill his bladder he drinks some water just before he goes in for treatment.  Gents, unless your mouth is connected directly to your bladder, that will not do it.  Each of us will be different, but here is what works for me.  Two hours before treatment I urinate and then drink 16 to 20 ounces of water and then 'hold it'.  Two hours before I drink the water, I drink little, or nothing.  I don't want to hold it any longer than necessary.  I practiced this before I began treatment.  The stakes are high.

 

In the middle of Week Three - today is February 7, 2007.

I am gradually gettig used to things and have developed a routine that is efficient and comfortable.   I have experienced no side effects to date.  Energy level is still good and I am still exercising daily.  I had my weekly meeting with my oncologist Monday and couldn't even think of any questions to ask.  Just what I wanted - no surprises.

 

End of Week Four

Yesterday ended my fourth week and still no surprises.  My energy level remains good and my urinary and bowel habits have not changed.  My ejaculate is almost, but not quite, dry.  I expected it - just didns't know when it would happen. 

Some of the guys show up just on time, but some of us live some distance away and get there early (don't want to be late).  A couple of the guys bring their wives and they wait in the waiting room and talk.  I have found a Starbucks about five minutes away and I go there and read.  This removes my anxiety about being late, but I'm not in the clinic any extra time.

I have found that they run a bit late on Monday and Wednesday, due, I think, to extra x-rays that are taken on those days and due to new guys starting Monday.  Fridays and Thursdays are early, because some have finished their treatment and the new ones don't start till Monday.

I am finding that drinking the water any more than two hours ahead of time is just misery.  I'm now doing it about an hour and 45 minutes ahead of when I expect treatment.  I'm getting good at lining myself up on the table.  Twice last week, they didn't have to move me at all to get me lined up with the lasers.  What a talent.

 

End of Week Five

23 down and 20 to go.  I lost a day this week since the machine was broken.  They occasionally have problem with Lenore.  Bluebird suggested a name I picked this one from the Poe poem The Raven.

To date I have no side effects.  None.  I'd like to give you a more interesting post, but it's routine.  See you next week, or when something interesting happens.

Bill

 

End of Week Six

28 down and 15 to go.  I am finally beginning to have some side effects.  I have developed a loose stool and my energy level is down.  When I feel the need for a bowel movement, I don't put it off for too long.  I've had no embarrassing incidents and I intend to keep it that way.  I have been exercising each day after treatment with decreasing enthusiasm and energy.  I have fallen asleep sitting up in my chair a few times and that is not like me.  I think I will try doing my cardio in the mornings and my resistance (weight lifting) after my treatment in the afternoons. 

I expected to loose weight during this process, but have instead gained a pound or two.  I usually spend 100 to 120 nights a year in hotels, which means many restaurant meals, which means a lot more calories than eating at home.  I attribute the weight gain to eating more protein and too much snacking.  Too much of a good thing is still too much.  I am eating additional protein because it is my understanding that protein helps to heal damaged tissue.  I may be all wet, but I'm doing anything I can to help myself and those who are helping me. 

I feel fine and am sufferring no discomfort, or pain.  I am, however, anxious for it to end.  It's tedious and I am bored. 

I have added to and re-written some of my previous posts to make them more accurate, or more clear. 

Big Note:  If you choose radiaion, please research carefully and note the difference between IGRT and IMRT.  I have noted that some on the forum do not realize the difference. 

Regards,

Bill

 

End of Week Seven.  33 treatments down and 10 to go.

Last week I experienced some fatigue.  None this week.  I recovered over the week end and have had good energy all week.  I'm exercising differently.  I now do my cardio in the morning and my lifting in the afternoon after my therapy.  Still kind of a loose bowel, but no worse than last week and maybe a bit better.

When I met with my oncologist on Monday, I told him that if I didn't know I was having therapy, I wouldn't know I was having therapy. He said that some experience more side effects than others and he doesn't know why.  He thinks drinking the water helps avoid urinary problems.  I have none of those. 

I'm still eating more protein than normal to promote tissue healing, but have no idea if it does any good at all.  I have not gained, nor lost any weight.  Nothing more to add.

Regards,

Bill

 

End of week Eight.  38 treatments down and 5 to go.

Not much to report this week.  I was tired Sunday and Monday, but not the rest of the week.  Maybe a bit today.  No change in side effects except that my bowel habits have gotten better.  Everything functions as it did prior to treatment.  I gained one pound from last week.  Amazing.

I was thinkiing that I should tell you how the table moves after the markers are x-rayed.  It feels like the table sometimes moves a bunch, but it actually doesn't.  Less than a quarter of an inch at the most.  I thought that it never moved vertically, but it does most every day.  I just can't feel it. 

Regards,

Bill

 

That's All Folks!  Friday, March 23, 2007.  It's over. 

Had my normal treatment today.  Afterward, I thanked the girls for being so good to me, they gave me a big hug and a completion certificate signed by all the staff and I was out of there.

A note about my fatigue.  I was tired during week six and thought that except for a couple of days I have completely recovered.  Not says my wife - not to normal energy levels.  She is correct.  I was very tired Tuesday and today.  I took a nap both mornings.  I don't think I've taken a nap in 20 years, but I needed to this week. 

When I met with my oncologist Monday, he said that he expected my loose bowel and fatigue to be back to normal within three weeks, or a month.  He also said that 60% of the guys are like me - almost insignificant, or no side effects.  about 30% have more noticeable, but manageable side effects and about 10% are miserable, usually during week two and three due to swelling of the prostate.

I have an appointment with my urologist on April 2 and will report the results here.

Glad It's Finished,

Bill

 

Just got the results of my first post treatment PSA.  My uro wanted it to be 2.5, or less which is half of my highest PSA.  I wanted it to be 2.1, which is half my lowest PSA.  It turned out to be a 1.9 which is a very good result.  I am happy with it.  I'll get it checked again in October.  My uro said that it will go to some minimum level and stabilize there.  He doesn't much care what that level is, just so it doesn't go up.  I'll check in again in October.

Bill

 

 

 


Gleason 3+3=6, T1c, one core in twelve, another pre-cancerous.
62 years old and good health.  Married 37 years.  To same woman!
Began IGRT January 23, 2007. 

Post Edited (jetguy) : 8/8/2007 7:54:32 PM (GMT-6)


Izzyblizzy
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 402
   Posted 1/4/2007 3:53 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey Bill,

Thanks for the detailed report. It will be interesting to follow your treatment. I think you had this on your original thread but can't recall, when will they start the actual radiation treatments after the simulation?

And how long is your course of treatment? I think our radiation guy told us standard was 8 1/2 weeks M-F, for 20 minutes each. Is this similar to what you are facing?

Best wishes and thoughts, and please keep us all updated!
Signficant Other diagnosed: 10/30/06 (age 63)
PSA: 3.7 (up from 3.4 prior year)
Gleason: 3+3
Biopsy: 1/10 positive, 5% cancerous, right apex.
Treatment:  Undecided


bluebird
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 2542
   Posted 1/5/2007 3:34 PM (GMT -6)   

Jetguy *Bill,

This is perfect!!!!!!  Knowledge is POWER…  and Power takes away the fear!!!  Thank you yeah

 

Bill ~ you are the best!  This is going to be a powerful thread… for so many… oldies & newbies.

 

I googled IMRT like you said and it says treatment will be scheduled for five days a week for six to ten weeks.  Treatment sessions usually take between 15 and 30 minutes.  Hey… you’re tattoos will have colored ink!!! So ~ you’ll have our rainbow right there with you!!!  All of us said we wanted to share this journey and here we are on your hips & belly … 

 

What will your treatment schedule be like?

How does this effect your work schedule?

 

Thinking of you each and every~day….and sending lots of “Special Hugs”…

 

In Friendship ~ Lee & Buddy

 

****************************************************************************

How did Jetguy get to ..... DAY 1 ~  Radiation.... a journey  ??? 

 

Click on links below....and once the Thread comes up     

Click on the REFRESH button (this is important)

 

Jetguy's Page... Welcome Friend :)

Jetguy Continued

Radiation - a journey 

Why I chose radiation


mama bluebird - Lee & Buddy… from North Carolina

Link to our personal journey…>>>     Our Journey ~ Sharing is Caring 

April 3, 2006  53 on surgery day

RRP / Radical Retropubic Prostatectomy with "wide excision"

PSA 4.6   Gleason  3+3=6    T2a   Confined to Prostate

2nd PSA 02-06-2007 Less than 0.1 Non-Detectable :)

Post Edited (bluebird) : 4/3/2007 12:11:47 PM (GMT-6)


Rufus
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 31
   Posted 1/5/2007 4:20 PM (GMT -6)   
Good luck to you jetguy on your treatments! I will follow your write-ups with interest so please describe the procedure once you start. It would be interesting to compare this to mine as 3D conformal photon EBRT and for others who might be taking/contemplating different types of radiation.

Knowledge is empowerment. Here's to you for great results!!

Rufus (Russ)

whispers
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 44
   Posted 1/5/2007 9:29 PM (GMT -6)   
Bill-
I too will be watching for your posts to see how you are doing. I hope you respond quickly and things go very well for you. A very dear friend of mine is doing the radiation treatments for PC. He is a little over half way done and is doing very well with it. He said he has no side effects-just gets a little sleepy every afternoon.

You are in my thoughts and prayers...your daughter too, as I know how she feels through all of this. Take care-

Lisa

bluebird
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 2542
   Posted 1/14/2007 6:00 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi~ Bill *our Jetguy :-)

 

                                  Thinking of you and wanted to let you know!!!

 

You are in our thoughts and prayers for tomorrow’s appointment.

Feel the breeze gently surround you and know we are there with you…

 

In Friendship ~ Lee & Buddy


mama bluebird - Lee & Buddy… from North Carolina

Link to our personal journey…>>>     Our Journey ~ Sharing is Caring 

April 3, 2006  53 on surgery day

RRP / Radical Retropubic Prostatectomy with "wide excision"

PSA 4.6   Gleason  3+3=6    T2a   Confined to Prostate

June 29th ~ PSA Less than 0.1 Non-detectable


jetguy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 697
   Posted 1/15/2007 6:11 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you, Bluebird! As I write this I have completed and survived my simulation. I edited my original post so that those who seek information only can read it all in one place. Now this will go to the top so it will be read by those interested. By the way, I re-read your Journey last night and found it to be a excellent as it was the first time. Thanks for writing it.

Regards,

Bill
Gleason 3+3=6, T1c, one core in twelve, another pre-cancerous.
62 years old and good health.  Married 37 years.  To same woman!


biker90
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1455
   Posted 1/15/2007 7:08 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey Bill,

Thank you so much for giving us the detailed account of you radiation experience. So many of here on this forum have had surgery and getting the radiation viewpoint is useful to all who read it. Please keep going with it. (We couldn't write down the details of surgery because we all snoozed through it!)

Thanks again...

Jim
Age 72. Diagnosed 11/03/06. PSA 7.05. Stage T2B Gleason 3+3.
RRP 12/7/06. Nerves and nodes okay.
Pathological stage: T2B. Gleason 3+4. Cancer confined to prostate.
PSA on 1/3/07 - 0.04.  Next PSA on 4/4/07.
 
            "Squeeze before you sneeze!"


bluebird
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 2542
   Posted 1/21/2007 1:21 PM (GMT -6)   

Bill ~

 

Just letting you know we are there with you and hope the past few days have been a little smoother for you.  You don’t need any unknown questions not answered… so I hope everything is a go for Monday.

 

The first step on any new stone….can be a little slippery ~ and that’s where we all come in…. 

Continuing to send our hugs and our extra strength to you!

 

“Our Hands are Reaching Out to You!”….  daveed

"Our Hands Will Be on Your Shoulders”…..hamala


mama bluebird - Lee & Buddy… from North Carolina

Link to our personal journey…>>>     Our Journey ~ Sharing is Caring 

April 3, 2006  53 on surgery day

RRP / Radical Retropubic Prostatectomy with "wide excision"

PSA 4.6   Gleason  3+3=6    T2a   Confined to Prostate

June 29th ~ PSA Less than 0.1 Non-detectable


jetguy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 697
   Posted 1/23/2007 5:04 PM (GMT -6)   

I had my first treatment today and have edited my original post to reflect that. 

Bill


Gleason 3+3=6, T1c, one core in twelve, another pre-cancerous.
62 years old and good health.  Married 37 years.  To same woman!


spinbiscuit
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 818
   Posted 1/23/2007 6:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Bill,

Thanks for the update. We are all hoping that everything goes smoothly for you, and that you get well soon.

Glen
Diagnosed at age 60
PSA went from 2.2 to 3.8 in 14 months
2 of 14 cores positive at 10%
Gleason 6(3+3), negative DRE, neg. boundaries
DaVinci surgery on 02/23/06
 


bluebird
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 2542
   Posted 1/23/2007 9:05 PM (GMT -6)   

Bill ~

 

Knowledge is POWER ~ thank you for sharing your knowledge with us!!!

 

I like the way you’re keeping everything at the top!!  Smart  :-)

 

I pulled the pictures up and it gave me a much better feel for what you're having done!!!

Thank you!!!

 

Always in our thoughts and prayers!!  Lee & Buddy

 

 

Jetguy's Page... Welcome Friend :) 

(direct link ~ just click on the title and remember to click on the Refresh icon when you get there)


mama bluebird - Lee & Buddy… from North Carolina

Link to our personal journey…>>>     Our Journey ~ Sharing is Caring 

April 3, 2006  53 on surgery day

RRP / Radical Retropubic Prostatectomy with "wide excision"

PSA 4.6   Gleason  3+3=6    T2a   Confined to Prostate

June 29th ~ PSA Less than 0.1 Non-detectable


BenEcho10
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 133
   Posted 1/24/2007 9:14 AM (GMT -6)   
One down, 39 to go. Hang in there and good luck.

Ben
DIAGNOSIS: 09/25/06. Age 49. PSA 4.6. PSA free 2%. Clinical pathology: Gleason 10. Stage T2a.           
 
SURGERY: 11/08/06. RP at Johns Hopkins. Surgical pathology Gleason 10. Stage T3a (positive margins.) Negative seminal vesicles, lymph nodes, and bone scan.
 
POST OP: 12/15/06: First post op PSA was 0.00.


jetguy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 697
   Posted 1/24/2007 7:56 PM (GMT -6)   
I edited my post today with some more info. I was better able to observe and focus today.

I have not given this thread the correct title. It's not a journey. It's simply what happens. I'm trying to be as objective as possible. I realize that things like pain are highly individual, so I comment as little as possible on those kinds of things. I try to leave other emotions elsewhere.

I don't like surprises and am doing this so other guys who are doing radiation will know what to expect. I spent many hours searching and found only one site that gave a decent explanation of what would be done and that was incomplete.

Bill
Gleason 3+3=6, T1c, one core in twelve, another pre-cancerous.
62 years old and good health.  Married 37 years.  To same woman!


Pete trips again!
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1899
   Posted 1/25/2007 6:59 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey Bill, sorry I didn't understand that you were editing at the top. DAAAA, I ain't that bright! Anyway thats a great idea to keep it all toegether without us interupting the story. I'm glad you are getting settled into a routine now. Sounds like something that happens to those poor souls who get abducted by UFOs and inspected by machines! You said you have no side affects, do you feel any thing while they are blasting you? Just seems like you would as they are microwaving your prostate, and we all know that that organ is sensitive! Used to be in my case! Please don't be offended by my sillyness, it's just me being me.
Your brother,
Pete
53 years old, Surgury, Radical Prostatectomy 8/20/03, PSA 6.6, Gleason 3 + 3 = 6, Adenocarcinoma extent (moderate) Stage & Margin:T2NOMX, No Metastases, Organ Confined, bone scan: Neg.  


pcdave
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 444
   Posted 1/25/2007 11:21 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Bill

I read with great interest your very detailed account of the preparations for your radiation therapy which I assume is IMRT. I believe that your very detailed account will be most helpful to others undergoing radiation treatments. I will soon undergo proton radiation therapy for 8 weeks for a total dose of 79gy. My preparation was much less extensive than yours. I did not have anything implanted in my prostate (thank God). I did have a CT Scan at which time four permanent dots were placed (above the base of my penis and below my belly button; then the left and right outer side of my upper legs). They inserted a dye into my bladder through my penis (they were supposed to insert a catheter, but apparently my urethra was too narrow to readily do so). They did not insert anything into my rectum--I was told that they don't follow this procedure. They do, however, make sure that the bladder is full prior to the radiation treatment. They use a standard mold for the legs and then tie the two feet together pointing inward.. I am curious as to why your preparation was more extensive than mine, but I have no reason to believe that my radiation treatments will not be delivered as safely as yours. I believe it all relates to the computer and scanning technology used to align the four dot markers on your body with the prostate and the radiation beams, so that the radiation will be delivered precisely to the correct location (an over simplification I am sure). I am sure that I will get more details of the technology when my radiation treatments start. My doctor is one of the top radiation oncologists. Good luck to you!

Dave

68, Stage T1c, PSA 7.1, Gleason 6 [less than 5% in two areas], Gleason 7 (3+4) [less than 20% in one area], negative DRE, bone scan and MRI.

jetguy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 697
   Posted 1/26/2007 8:27 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi Dave and congratulations on your choice of treatment.  I think the proton beam is just a bit better than my IGRT.  Are you doing it in Houston?  It's my understanding that Loma Linda does use the balloon. 

IGRT is IMRT with an additional step.  Each day before treatment I get an x-ray to determine the location of the prostate on that day.  That's done by lining me up with the tattoo's and locating the prostate via the markers that were implanted.  The idea of the balloon is that it fixes the prostate in place and 'may' help spare the rectum from some collateral damage.  I know one thing for sure - nothing is for sure when you have prostate cancer. 

I too, am supposed to have a full bladder for my treatments.  I drink a couple of big glasses of water two hours ahead of time and 'hold it'.  I'm getting pretty good at it.

Most of the guys here have had, or are having surgery, but JustJulie posted an outstanding description of her husband's brachytherapy (seeds) treatment.  I think you will find that this is the most supportive group of people you will find.

Good Luck to You,

Bill


Gleason 3+3=6, T1c, one core in twelve, another pre-cancerous.
62 years old and good health.  Married 37 years.  To same woman!


pcdave
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 444
   Posted 1/26/2007 2:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Bill

Nice to get your response to my message. I am getting my proton therapy at Mass General in Boston. I did not want to go way out to Loma Linda because I live on the east coast. Mass General opened their new proton center in early 2002. However, the old proton center, in affiliation with Harvard, was one of the first (before Loma Linda) and had been operating since the 1950's. Now that new proton centers are opening up in the U.S. , I think we will see prostate cancer patients going to proton centers nearest their homes and not necessarily to Loma Linda.

Where are you having your IGRT radiation therapy? What does the "G" stand for? You indicated that IGRT is IMRT with an additional step--what is the additional step? You are getting the more sophisticated form of x-ray therapy today which has had very good results. In fact, my internist doctor recommended that I explore that with Sloan-Kettering. However, I decided, after much research, that I would prefer to do the proton radiation.

I know that Loma Linda still does the balloon. When I asked my doctor why they don't use the balloon any more, I believe that he said it pushes the inner rectal wall (nearest the prostate) inward and doesn't afford that much protection from the radiation (i.e., it protects the outer portion of the rectal wall at the expense of the inner wall). They are the experts and I assume that they know what they are doing! I do want to find out how the radiologists will get a fix on the location of my prostate each day inasmuch as the prostate is a moveable part of the male anatomy!

I agree that this is a great message board for prostate cancer patients. I realize that the majority of the patients are having or plan to have surgery. If I were younger, I may have considered surgery more seriously.
However, many of the messages from guys of all ages indicate the impotence and incontinence problems that seem to surface after surgery. I didn't want to play the game of chance with surgery. I also firmly believe that my proton radiation treatments (and hopefully your IMGT radiation treatments) will offer the same potential for a cure with little or no serious negative side effects. The longer-term results at Loma Linda have been very promising. Sloan-Kettering has also produced some statistics on their patients being treated with IMRT which are also promising.

My goal is to spend some time in this message board to help others based on my treatment experiences and exhaustive research with prostate cancer. Yes, prostate cancer sucks as it can rob a man of his manhood in many ways--I really have great empathy for younger men who have to battle this disease and then get saddled with unpleasant side effects.

All the best of luck as your continue your treatments.

Dave
68, Biopsy 9/27/06, Stage T1c, PSA 7.1, Gleason 6 [less than 5% in two areas], Gleason 7 (3+4) [less than 20% in one area], negative DRE, bone scan and MRI. Starting proton radiation therapy 2/07.

Post Edited (pcdave) : 1/26/2007 12:03:53 PM (GMT-7)


bluebird
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 2542
   Posted 1/29/2007 7:53 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi..Bill,

 

If you’re not happy with the title…  change it!  :-)

 

You are doing this Thread justice by editing the 1st Post each time in this thread!!!!!!!

Keeping everything at the top!!!!!  Thank you for each posting you place here…

 

Keeping emotions out of this thread is fine!!! Like you said… It is a Thread that tells it like it is!!!  That’s why I’m glad you still use Jetguy’s Page!!!!   tongue  

 

I’ll see you over there…

In Friendship ~ Lee & Buddy


mama bluebird - Lee & Buddy… from North Carolina

Link to our personal journey…>>>     Our Journey ~ Sharing is Caring 

April 3, 2006  53 on surgery day

RRP / Radical Retropubic Prostatectomy with "wide excision"

PSA 4.6   Gleason  3+3=6    T2a   Confined to Prostate

June 29th ~ PSA Less than 0.1 Non-detectable


jetguy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 697
   Posted 1/30/2007 8:57 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi Lee and the top of the morning to you.  I just finished editing the beginning of week two. I think I will change the title when I have the time.  My grandson is here and Jan and I have doctors appointments today, so we have to get going.  She is having some problems with her blood pressure and I'm having some shoulder problems.  What I wrote today was done in haste and I may have to smooth it out a bit, but that can come later.

Regards,

Bill


Gleason 3+3=6, T1c, one core in twelve, another pre-cancerous.
62 years old and good health.  Married 37 years.  To same woman!


lawink
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 621
   Posted 1/30/2007 10:34 AM (GMT -6)   
Such an informative and interesting post! Thanks Bill for sharing this with all of us.
;o)
Bob (60) had laproscopic prostate surgery on Sept 27, 2006 - 2/12 malignant biopsy samples - gleason 3 + 3 = 6.  Follow up PSA results and pathology results received Nov 14th are NO MORE CANCER!  Gleason changed to a 3 + 4; cancer completely confined to prostate; (even a second more agressive, previously undetected cancer)      PSA UNDETECTABLE.   Next PSA check Feb 27, 2007.
 
Bob also takes Hydroxyurea to control Polycythemia (elevated red & white cells & platelets) has secondary condition . . Myelofibrosis) -- If anyone has experience or knowledge of these, please post us.


BenEcho10
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 133
   Posted 1/30/2007 2:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Bill,

I am so glad to hear that your treatments are progressing and that so far you are free of side effects.

I just wanted you to know that I am thinking about you.

Ben
DIAGNOSIS: 09/25/06. Age 49. PSA 4.6. PSA free 2%. Clinical pathology: Gleason 10. Stage T2a.           
 
SURGERY: 11/08/06. RP at Johns Hopkins. Surgical pathology Gleason 10. Stage T3a (positive margins.) Negative seminal vesicles, lymph nodes, and bone scan.
 
POST OP: 12/15/06: First post op PSA was 0.00.


bluebird
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 2542
   Posted 2/9/2007 12:39 AM (GMT -6)   

Updated by Bill  See 1st Posting….

In the middle of Week Three - today is February 7, 2007.

 

Bill *Our Jetguy…

 

Nice updates…. Thank you for continuing to do them.  I really like the way you’re editing your 1st post to keep it all together… Wise Man!!!!  yeah  

 

You’ve put a lot of forethought into your treatment.  Very wise to practice the water intake ahead of time to get a good read on what you and your body needs.  You’re decision was made with much care and I’m not surprised that you had no questions on Monday.  This confirms that Knowledge is Power and you now have the Power to Understand and move forward as you are!!!  This had to feel good knowing that you comprehend what’s taking place.  Continuing your workouts is so important.

 

Take care dear friend and know we are right there with you.  :-)    In Friendship ~ Lee & Buddy

 


mama bluebird - Lee & Buddy… from North Carolina

Link to our personal journey…>>>     Our Journey ~ Sharing is Caring 

April 3, 2006  53 on surgery day

RRP / Radical Retropubic Prostatectomy with "wide excision"

PSA 4.6   Gleason  3+3=6    T2a   Confined to Prostate

June 29th ~ PSA Less than 0.1 Non-detectable


jetguy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 697
   Posted 2/17/2007 9:28 AM (GMT -6)   
I have edited my post to reflect week number four. I'm sending this to the top for Trey.

Bill
Gleason 3+3=6, T1c, one core in twelve, another pre-cancerous.
62 years old and good health.  Married 37 years.  To same woman!


pcdave
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 444
   Posted 2/17/2007 11:11 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Bill

thanks for keeping us up to date on your adventures in "radiation land". i start my proton radiation treatments next week (2/22/07) for eight weeks. i am glad to hear that you have not experienced any side effects as yet. i too will have to drink a lot of water to fill up my bladder before my prostate is beamed with radiaiton each day. i am glad that you have given some helpful hints about the timing for drinking water. i was wondering how soon after drinking all of that water i would get the urge to urinate. i should do a trial run before i start my treatments to see how to see how my bladder reacts. continued good luck to you in your treatments.

Dave
68, Biopsy 9/27/06, Stage T1c, PSA 7.1, Gleason 6 [less than 5% in two areas], Gleason 7 (3+4) [less than 20% in third area], negative DRE, bone scan and MRI. Starting proton radiation therapy 2/22/07.

Post Edited (pcdave) : 2/17/2007 11:50:44 AM (GMT-7)

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