Message from Maria Teresa

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mariateresa
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 2/7/2008 9:15 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello Everyone,

I hope the group will remember me and my husband Rodney. I've been away the past few months because I became anxious and didn't want to believe people from the forum who advised that Rod see a radiation oncologist right away. I just couldn't deal with it and just wanted to be in denial and besides we were told by the hospital last October to just give it some time and wait until the next PSA. So I hope the group will still welcome me and help me to help Rod. We couldn't have made it without all of you and I feel bad for "running" away.

Rod's first post-op PSA last October was .4 and we were told the goal is .02. The second PSA done in January was .7. We got the news this evening that Rod needs to make an appointment to start hormone therapy and to see a radiation oncologist. So you guys were correct in what you told me last October. I don't want to go this alone and I need you guys so much. I keep remembering what you told me about keeping my chin up and being positive for Rod so that is what I'm doing even though it is hard.

Rod is concerned that hormone therapy and radiation is going to cause him to miss work and that we won't have any income. He is also concerned about side effects. He showed me an article in the February 2008 John Hopkins Medical Letter about blocking hormones to treat prostate cancer. The article states that this suppression causes significant side effects, including bone loss, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, hot flashes, periodontal disease, anemia, fatigue and cognitive changes.

Could you please comment on the side effects of hormone therapy and radiation therapy?

Thank you to everyone!

Maria Teresa
Husband Age 55 at time of dx; Maria Teresa age 44
Total PSA 8 on 05/21/07
DRE: prostate bumpy
Biopsy on 07/16/07: 5 out of 8 cores positive, Gleason Score 8 (3+4+5)**
CT of the abd/pelvis; Bone Scan; Xrays done on 08/13/07: Normal
Robotic Surgery Scheduled for September 11, 2007 - Cancelled due to anesthesia complications
Robotic Surgery September 25, 2007
Post Op Gleason 4+5; Positive margin right base of prostate; tumor into seminal vesicle; lymph nodes negative
Next step is the post surgical PSA to determine need for additional treatment
10/24/07 PSA .4 (Goal is .02)
01/28/08 PSA .7 - Told to make appt to start hormone tx and to see a radiation oncologist

**"Report to the Nation on Prostate Cancer" published by the Prostate Cancer Foundation, page 11: "In some cases, the pathologist might identify a third pattern, which is less common but that has a higher grade than either of the first two patterns that comprised the Gleason score. The presence of this third pattern might indicate that the tumor is more aggressive than the Gleason score would otherwise imply. For example, if a Gleason 4+3 tumor also has some grade 5 cells, the cancer would be considered as being of higher grade disease overall."

Post Edited (mariateresa) : 2/7/2008 9:24:45 PM (GMT-7)


myman
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 1219
   Posted 2/7/2008 9:39 PM (GMT -6)   
Maria Teresa,

Of course, you & Rod are always welcome here. Listen...we've all, at one time or another, wanted to run away...some further than others! cancer is a life changing disease and this road is not an easy one but you have friends here who will be so glad to see your posting again and will want to offer whatever help they can.

On the medical side, I'm no genius but I can tell you a couple of things:
My husband is on Hormone Therapy - 3 month Lupron shots - he has some side effects. They ARE manageable and I believe the exercise, eating well and strong attitude that my husband has benefits him greatly. He is not a candidate for radiation as the pc had metastasized to distant lymph nodes, so I guess the fact that Rod is able to have radiation is favorable for him. There are many men here who have had the same treatment who will address this with you.

Now, as far as you're concerned, take a deep breath. Don't let cancer rob either one of you of the most precious thing you have - don't give over your peace and your love for each other to this disease. Yes, it's fearful and there will be moments where you'll feel like running away again but...you will grow stronger. There are so many people here who understand what you're both going through so let us help.

God Bless,
Susan
Husband Diagnosed 11/17/05 Age: 63 PSA: 7.96 No Symptoms
2/09/06: LRP - Post Pathology - Gleason 4+3 Stage T2b NO MX
3 mo. PSA: 11.8 Stage T3a
6 mo. PSA: 18.8 Stage IV Systemic w/ distant lymph node involvement
Start HT - Lupron 3 mo. shots
12/06/06: PSA 0.8
03/07/07: PSA 0.3
06/06/07: PSA 0.1
09/05/07: PSA 0.1
11/27/07: PSA 0.1


mariateresa
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 2/7/2008 10:19 PM (GMT -6)   
Oh, Susan, thank you so much! Rod and I read your reply together and we already feel better. I can't believe how fortunate we are to know such generously kind and caring people, such as yourself, on this forum. Truly I don't know what I would do without all the help and support and understanding that I receive here! Thank you Susan! God bless everyone here!

Love,

Maria Teresa
Husband Age 55 at time of dx; Maria Teresa age 44
Total PSA 8 on 05/21/07
DRE: prostate bumpy
Biopsy on 07/16/07: 5 out of 8 cores positive, Gleason Score 8 (3+4+5)**
CT of the abd/pelvis; Bone Scan; Xrays done on 08/13/07: Normal
Robotic Surgery Scheduled for September 11, 2007 - Cancelled due to anesthesia complications
Robotic Surgery September 25, 2007
Post Op Gleason 4+5; Positive margin right base of prostate; tumor into seminal vesicle; lymph nodes negative
Next step is the post surgical PSA to determine need for additional treatment
10/24/07 PSA .4 (Goal is .02)
01/28/08 PSA .7 - Told to make appt to start hormone tx and to see a radiation oncologist

**"Report to the Nation on Prostate Cancer" published by the Prostate Cancer Foundation, page 11: "In some cases, the pathologist might identify a third pattern, which is less common but that has a higher grade than either of the first two patterns that comprised the Gleason score. The presence of this third pattern might indicate that the tumor is more aggressive than the Gleason score would otherwise imply. For example, if a Gleason 4+3 tumor also has some grade 5 cells, the cancer would be considered as being of higher grade disease overall."


Tony Crispino
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 8128
   Posted 2/7/2008 10:57 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi! Welcome back, we missed you.

I went through those treatments, and still am on the hormone therapy. I haven't missed more than a couple hours a day for the radiation. My company was flexible and would have changed my schedule around and I was able to get the full day in without any inconvenience. But the treatments themselves did not result in me missing any days at work. Hopefully his employer will have a program that will work for Rod. Hormone therapy has not had more than some emotional changes and occasional hot flashes. I could do without them but I still am doing quite well. The Radiation did add a very slight amount of fatigue, but I didn't notice it until after the treatments were complete and I was feeling more energy. All in all, this combination of treatment has not been strenuous on me. Those things you read on the hormone treatment can happen. but there are lots of things that the doctors can do to offset any side effects. For example I take Fosamax and large amounts of Vitamin D. This was recommended so that osteoperosis is kept in check. As far as cognitive changes, I can shop better for bargins, and talk longer on the phone. :-).

I think Rod will do well on these treatments.

Tony
Age 45 (44 when Dx)
Pre-op PSA was 19.8
Surgery on Feb 16, 2007
Post-Op Pathology: Gleason 4+3=7, positive margins, Stage pT3b (Stage III)
HT began in May, '07 with Lupron and Casodex 50mg
IMRT radiation for 38 Treatments ending August 3, '07
Current PSA (1/08): <0.1
I will continue HT until May '09. 
 
Visit my Journey at:
 
STAY POSITIVE!


mariateresa
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 2/7/2008 11:07 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Tony! I couldn't wait to hear from you! It's so nice to see you! I'm sending you a hug! Please pray for Rod....

Maria Teresa
Husband Age 55 at time of dx; Maria Teresa age 44
Total PSA 8 on 05/21/07
DRE: prostate bumpy
Biopsy on 07/16/07: 5 out of 8 cores positive, Gleason Score 8 (3+4+5)**
CT of the abd/pelvis; Bone Scan; Xrays done on 08/13/07: Normal
Robotic Surgery Scheduled for September 11, 2007 - Cancelled due to anesthesia complications
Robotic Surgery September 25, 2007
Post Op Gleason 4+5; Positive margin right base of prostate; tumor into seminal vesicle; lymph nodes negative
Next step is the post surgical PSA to determine need for additional treatment
10/24/07 PSA .4 (Goal is .02)
01/28/08 PSA .7 - Told to make appt to start hormone tx and to see a radiation oncologist

**"Report to the Nation on Prostate Cancer" published by the Prostate Cancer Foundation, page 11: "In some cases, the pathologist might identify a third pattern, which is less common but that has a higher grade than either of the first two patterns that comprised the Gleason score. The presence of this third pattern might indicate that the tumor is more aggressive than the Gleason score would otherwise imply. For example, if a Gleason 4+3 tumor also has some grade 5 cells, the cancer would be considered as being of higher grade disease overall."

Post Edited (mariateresa) : 2/7/2008 10:10:51 PM (GMT-7)


Tony Crispino
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 8128
   Posted 2/8/2008 12:30 AM (GMT -6)   
Teresa, That is is something I like to do. I am nearing my six minutes a day, as it's called. And last night at the Ash Wednesday Mass I did pray for him. All of us here in fact. In my six minutes I have the sounds off, and that's all I do. It's just six minutes, but Rod will be in them. And you too. May God Bless you.

Tony
Age 45 (44 when Dx)
Pre-op PSA was 19.8
Surgery on Feb 16, 2007
Post-Op Pathology: Gleason 4+3=7, positive margins, Stage pT3b (Stage III)
HT began in May, '07 with Lupron and Casodex 50mg
IMRT radiation for 38 Treatments ending August 3, '07
Current PSA (1/08): <0.1
I will continue HT until May '09. 
 
Visit my Journey at:
 
STAY POSITIVE!


GreenAcres
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 474
   Posted 2/8/2008 9:04 AM (GMT -6)   
MariaTeresa - you're in such good hands here (and with the docs). Everyone has solid advice and we're all in your corner. Take Tony's words to heart. For a few minutes each day, clear your head and look upward. Listen for that still small voice - it may be in the gentlest breeze or simply the calling of a bird. Know that He has your back - not that He "caused" anything or "gave" you a burden to bear, but now that you have that burden, you'll never be alone. Keep that close to your heart.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled human support. Start your recommended treatments and take each side effect as it comes - IF it comes, for it may not. You can do it.
Husband: Age 67
PSA had doubled in 14 mos to 4.3/Gleason 6
da Vinci 8/06 in Austin with Dr. Randy Fagin
Post surgical path shows encapsular penetration; possible bladder neck involvement.
PSAs remain undetectable; no further treatment at this time.
Next PSA: April 08


norskie
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 376
   Posted 2/8/2008 10:10 AM (GMT -6)   
Maria Teresa

We will travel the road together, this is a great good of people who I know are glad you came back to be with all of us. I too look as though I will be moving on to next steps as my readings have came back even though I had good post surgery pathology reports. We will learn and travel the steps together. I am in the waiting mode for a little while to validate my last test but I estimate sometime in April I will be heading down the path of at least follow up radiation treatment, but you know I am lucky because I know and have other options and the support of family, friends and this wonderful site with wonderful people. You will be in my prayers as you move on in your journey of defeating Pc.

Norskie
norskie
Age 49, PSA 6.22 on 9-26-06
Biopsy 11-01-06, 2 of 13 cores 10% cancer, 2 other cores abnormal Up-dated 20% prostate cancerous
Gleason score 3+3=6 After Pathology report 4+3=7 a couple agressive Grade 5 cells found
Da Vinci surgery 01-09-07 UW Madison
Pathology Report- cancer 100 % capsual contained 1-18-07
Catheter removed 1-18-07 suffered bladder spasms Catheter reattached 1-18-07 Catheter removed 2nd time 1-24-07
1st & 2nd Post PSA Blood Test .1 and less - Undetectable
3nd Post PSA Blood Test 01-17-07 .3-Next action awaits me.
Next PSA Scheduled and meeting with Radiologist set for 3-27-08
Incontenence-Pad free since end of May 07 4 1/2 months post surgery 
ED back to 95% prior to surgery - no medication required.


Swimom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1732
   Posted 2/8/2008 3:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Maria Teresa,

Tony is our resident pro. His treatment and side effects, while not absent, have been managed quite well.
A good support system, dedication to staying well, FAITH and a positive sense of self, all play a strong role in outcomes as amazing as Tony's. We have several positive outcomes in here but his is a shining example :>)

hang in there,

Swim
 


Cedar Chopper
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 432
   Posted 2/8/2008 6:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Maria Teresa!

I've been off a couple of days and just read your notes here!
I'm  so very happy to hear from both you and Rod!

We your friends here are passionately immersed in the sincerity of our fight. 
I know advice here seems a little pushy sometimes, and we are all so vulnerable at one point or another in our fight.  
I personally would just keep looking here for that bright and loving message that you need (that very likely some one of us here will try to provide)
     - and forgive those of us that mean well and miss the mark.  

I compare our work here to a serve-yourself-buffet at my Great Aunt's house. 
These were the ultimate covered dish suppers as no one would want to disappoint this lady!
(Humorous aside: Once visiting my loving Aunt as an early teen, I thought I was eating the best creamed corn in the world and thanked my Aunt.  I was informed - to my dismay as I didn't believe I liked yellow squash - that there was no cream corn on the table!) 

Concerning the intricacies of your treatments at this point, as Swim says, I'd ask Tony and his cohorts about the details of your chosen treatment path.  Check out the new link in Tony's signature!  He is doing some terrific work there!
Technology is improving daily and side effects are diminishing!

I'd stick with Swim and Myman-Susan for relationship management & decision-process cues from your perspective.

And look to the rest of us (Norskie, GreenAcres, Ms. Blue, myself and ALL of "our gang" here at Healingwell) for true-blue fidelity in friendship.

Some things don't change no matter what our choices - 
   - and no matter where we find ourselves.
We love you both.  Period.

CCedar
ICTHUS!

2 Years of PSA between 4 and 5.5  + Biopsy 23DEC06 
Only 5 percent cancer in one of 8 samples.  +  Gleeson 3+3=6
OPEN R P 16FEB07 at age 54. 1+" tumor - touching inside edge of gland.  + Confined:)
Pad Free @ 14 weeks.  Six Month PSA <.003  :)   Nine month PSA <.008
:)
At 9 months, ED treated with Pump Exercises & 100mg Viagra Daily

mariateresa
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 2/8/2008 7:16 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you so much my friends!!!! Thank you so much for your unconditional love and support!!! God bless you all!!!

~Maria Teresa
Husband Age 55 at time of dx; Maria Teresa age 44
Total PSA 8 on 05/21/07
DRE: prostate bumpy
Biopsy on 07/16/07: 5 out of 8 cores positive, Gleason Score 8 (3+4+5)**
CT of the abd/pelvis; Bone Scan; Xrays done on 08/13/07: Normal
Robotic Surgery Scheduled for September 11, 2007 - Cancelled due to anesthesia complications
Robotic Surgery September 25, 2007
Post Op Gleason 4+5; Positive margin right base of prostate; tumor into seminal vesicle; lymph nodes negative
Next step is the post surgical PSA to determine need for additional treatment
10/24/07 PSA .4 (Goal is .02)
01/28/08 PSA .7 - Told to make appt to start hormone tx and to see a radiation oncologist

**"Report to the Nation on Prostate Cancer" published by the Prostate Cancer Foundation, page 11: "In some cases, the pathologist might identify a third pattern, which is less common but that has a higher grade than either of the first two patterns that comprised the Gleason score. The presence of this third pattern might indicate that the tumor is more aggressive than the Gleason score would otherwise imply. For example, if a Gleason 4+3 tumor also has some grade 5 cells, the cancer would be considered as being of higher grade disease overall."


Tony Crispino
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 8128
   Posted 2/8/2008 8:12 PM (GMT -6)   
You are very welcome. And thank you too. (and Swim, Cedar, GreenAcres, Norskie...etc.)

Tony
Age 45 (44 when Dx)
Pre-op PSA was 19.8
Surgery on Feb 16, 2007
Post-Op Pathology: Gleason 4+3=7, positive margins, Stage pT3b (Stage III)
HT began in May, '07 with Lupron and Casodex 50mg
IMRT radiation for 38 Treatments ending August 3, '07
Current PSA (1/08): <0.1
I will continue HT until May '09. 
 
Visit my Journey at:
 
STAY POSITIVE!


IdahoSurvivor
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1015
   Posted 2/8/2008 8:28 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi Maria Teresa,

I'm so glad to hear you and to see that you are reaching out again.  The "time off" was important for you and Rod.  I hope you feel that you haven't lost any ground at all in the kind of friendship and support offered in the forum.

Please tell Rod there are many out here pulling for both of you! yeah

Kind regards,

Barry


"Idaho" ~ Barry

 

Da Vinci Surgery July 31, 2007… 54 on surgery day
PSA 4.3  Gleason 3+3=6  T2a  Confined to Prostate

1st PSA  9/11/2007   <0.04 (undetectable)

2nd PSA 12/10/2007  <0.04

My web site: http://pca-info.blogspot.com


bluebird
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 2542
   Posted 2/10/2008 8:03 PM (GMT -6)   

  tongue Dear Maria Teresa and Rodney,

 

You’ve been closer than you think!!!  Taking time to heal mentally and physically is so important.  You took this time and now you’re back and we are right where you left us! 

Keeping you close in thoughts and prayers ~ Always…

Stay Close.....

In Friendship ~ Lee & Buddy

 

“God Bless You”

 

     It's a little prayer  ~  "God Bless You" ...but it means so much each day,

            It means may angels guard you and guide you on your way.

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