what to expect

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mmllr
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 28
   Posted 8/26/2008 4:44 AM (GMT -6)   
My father will start out with hormone shot and the low dose radiation for 6-8 weeks. The doctor said his energy will be effected but didn't really know how. You guys have went through this so you're the one that can tell us your experience. Can you give me a hint of what we can expect. I know everyone is different. He said my father can go to these appointments alone I'm thinking he meant just the shot but someone will still be with him.

don826
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1010
   Posted 8/26/2008 10:24 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi mmlr,

Here is a summary of my experience so far with radiation and hormone treatments. I am on #34 of 45 IMRT treatments and Lupron. My first 25 are "full pelvic" and the remaining are focused on the prostate only. I developed a mild case of diarrhea about the 21st treatment. It was controlled with imodium. I also got fatigued a bit by the 20th treatment. I feel like this was compounded by the diarrhea but it is a common side effect. Within 48 hours of completing the "full pelvic" at #25 I was back to feeling strong and no, repeat, no diarrhea. My signature has the data on the dosage so I will not repeat here. I believe that had it not been for the full pelvic this treatment would be relatively benign. Keep in mind that this is an individual response and I believe it is highly dependent on one's general state of health and fitness. I am not quite a gym rat but do vigorous weight and aerobic excercise three to five time per week.

Another side effect of the radiation was urinary frequency. I would have to get up about three or four times per night and never felt like it was complete. Flomax has helped this and I am down to one per night. There is also some burning sensation during urination not much. Flomax helped that too.

The site of the hormone shot is uncomfortable for about three days. Just a dull ache and keeps you sitting to one side. I began getting hot flashes in about two to three weeks. The libido (I know, this is your dad we are talking about but he might be interested) just sort of drained away after about six or seven weeks. Hot flashes continue mostly early morning and evenings. I have found that if I get up and move around a little they go away quickly. Of course... they are called "flashes"! But I think it helps and does no harm. I have also gained about ten pounds. I attribute this to missing two weeks in the gym due to diarrhea and fatigue.

I hope that your father's experience is a good one. Remember, do not hesitate to ask the doctor for the Flomax and the imodium is available over the counter if either is needed.

Take care,
Don
Diagnosed 04/10/08
Age 58
PSA 21.5 (first and only test resulted from follow up visit to emergency room for kidney stone. first time for kidney stone too)
Gleason 4 + 3
DRE palpable tumor on left side
100% of 12 cores positive for PCa range 35% to 85%
Bone scan clear
Chest x ray clear
CT scan shows potential lymph node involvement in pelvic region
Started Casodex on May 2 and stopped on June 1, 2008
Lupron injection on May 15 and every four months for next two years
Started IMRT/IGRT on July 10, 2008. 45 treatments scheduled
First 25 to be full pelvic for a total dose of 45 Gray to lymph nodes.
Last 20 to prostate only. Total dose to prostate 81 Gray.
 
 


Doting Daughter
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1064
   Posted 8/26/2008 10:41 AM (GMT -6)   
My father's experience was very similar to Don's. He experienced diarrhea, but it was controlled with Imodium and the diarrhea stopped once he was complete with the pelvic radiation. He also seemed to breeze through the last couple of weeks. He insisted on going to his actual radiation appointments alone, and in a way I think it was good. He developed a great relationship with the staff and actually took pictures with them on his last day.
He did experience some fatigue, but at the same time, he would tackle huge projects such as remodeling the bathroom with no problem. My mom did attend his meetings with the Radiation Oncologist with him.
The HT is a little different. He hates Lupron, but he hated it before he even started. So, keep that in mind. He does experience hot flashes, loss of libido and possibly a little depression, but you would never know. He looks amazing!!! He is in great shape, continues to be extremely active AND has an undetectable PSA! Woohoo!!
I hope your father does great and truly believe he will!! I find it really important to keep encouraging my father and remind him how great he looks! Best of luck to you and your dad!
Father's Age 62 (now 63)
Original Gleason 3+4=7, Post-Op Gleason- 4+3=7,
DaVinci Surgery Aug 31, 2007
Focally Positive Right Margin, One positive node. T3a N1 M0.
Bone Scan/CT Negative (Sept. 10, 2007)
Oct. 17 PSA 0.07
Nov. 13 PSA 0.05
Casodex adm. Nov 07, Lupron beg. Dec 03, 2007 2 yrs
Radiation March 03-April 22, 2008- 8 weeks 5x a week
July 2, 08 PSA <.02
Praying for a cured dad.

Co-Moderator Prostate Cancer Forum


mmllr
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 28
   Posted 8/26/2008 2:01 PM (GMT -6)   
I take it that Lupron is the hormone shot and it's given in the pelvic area? When they told him he would be doing 6-8 weeks of radiation how many times a week do you think they are talking about? I noticed you said you're on a certain # is that the radiation treatments? He does have a good attitude. He said it is what it is and his faith is very strong and someone else has it worse than him. Plus he has me as the 'smart aleck' to get him through.

don826
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1010
   Posted 8/26/2008 3:12 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi mmlr,

You are correct the Lupron is the hormone and it is an injection into the muscle. The larger the muscle the better. (No jokes about my big behind)

The radiation is daily five days a week. My course is for nine weeks (45 daily treatments). Yes the number (#) refers to the treatment number. I just came home from #34 today. I am in and out of the treatment center in about 15 minutes so they do not take a lot of time each day. Yes I am counting them down and looking forward to concluding the course.

The faith and good attitude will serve him well as will his empathy for others. Everyone needs a "smart aleck" it helps to keep you grounded.

Best of luck for a successful treatment.

Don


Diagnosed 04/10/08
Age 58
PSA 21.5 (first and only test resulted from follow up visit to emergency room for kidney stone. first time for kidney stone too)
Gleason 4 + 3
DRE palpable tumor on left side
100% of 12 cores positive for PCa range 35% to 85%
Bone scan clear
Chest x ray clear
CT scan shows potential lymph node involvement in pelvic region
Started Casodex on May 2 and stopped on June 1, 2008
Lupron injection on May 15 and every four months for next two years
Started IMRT/IGRT on July 10, 2008. 45 treatments scheduled
First 25 to be full pelvic for a total dose of 45 Gray to lymph nodes.
Last 20 to prostate only. Total dose to prostate 81 Gray.
 
 


mmllr
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 28
   Posted 8/26/2008 4:53 PM (GMT -6)   
ok, getting a shot in the pelvic area has to hurt! Did you drive yourself to the appointment?

Doting Daughter
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1064
   Posted 8/26/2008 5:05 PM (GMT -6)   
mmllr said...
ok, getting a shot in the pelvic area has to hurt! Did you drive yourself to the appointment?
I believe the shot is in the rear.  My father said the shot itself doesn't hurt, but the area will feel pretty sore for the days following the shot.  His radiation was five times a week.
Father's Age 62 (now 63)
Original Gleason 3+4=7, Post-Op Gleason- 4+3=7,
DaVinci Surgery Aug 31, 2007
Focally Positive Right Margin, One positive node. T3a N1 M0.
Bone Scan/CT Negative (Sept. 10, 2007)
Oct. 17 PSA 0.07
Nov. 13 PSA 0.05
Casodex adm. Nov 07, Lupron beg. Dec 03, 2007 2 yrs
Radiation March 03-April 22, 2008- 8 weeks 5x a week
July 2, 08 PSA <.02
Praying for a cured dad.

Co-Moderator Prostate Cancer Forum


HerbS
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 8/26/2008 5:09 PM (GMT -6)   
I am trying to decide what my next step should be. I just turned 80 on July 22nd and need to decide whether to try chemo (Taxotere?) or have more testing or just live well as long as I'm doing OK. I lost my first wife (married 35 years) to glioblastoma in January 1991. I remarried and lost her to breast cancer in October 2005. Now it seems to be my turn. I live in a great retirement community with on site doctors and I feel great. I walk fast, exercise in the fitness center, swim, etc. However, I have prostate cancer for the second time. In April 2003 my PSA was 4.1; I was 74 so was told not to worry. But by June 2004 my PSA was 17.0. A 12 needle biopsy turned up five adenocarcinomas, GS6 for three and one GS7 and one GS8. Got a second opinion about treatment options and a bone scan and a Luprolide Acetate implant. No evidence of osseous matastasis so I had 42 XBR treatments ... you know, "due to the size of the prostate and my age surgery is not indicated." PSA on 12/21/04 was .9. On 10/5/05 it was 1.9. By 11/17/06 it went to 6.0 but, "at my age..." When I moved to my new apartment the medical center did a complete physical. Would you believe, my PSA was 55.9! Saw a urologist (a new one for me; insurance problem), had a bone scan, CT scan and several XRays. CT scan "Prostate measures 46mm in diameter. Few tiny scattered pelvic lymph nodes, which do not meet size criteria for pathologic enlargement. Asymetric cortical thickening in the left iliac bone ... favors Paget's rather than metastatic disease." However the bone scan and XRays said "The T12 vertebral body is sclerotic, strongly suggesting metastatic prostate carcinoma." Started on a quarterly injection of Eligard (same as Lupron?) In May the PSA was 52.5 (down from 55.9) and I added Casodex 50mg daily. Next PSA, in August, went to 76.7 and the urologist discontinued the Casodex and suggested trying chemo. I have been researching that option and I just don't know whether I should risk my good health for a very "ify" result. I know that most of you are a good deal younger than I and I am thankful for the great life I've had ... two fantastic love affairs, a great career building a new company, eight stents and a bypass without any debilitating results ... I guess I'm ready. Nevertheless, any experiences or thoughts are welcome.

don826
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1010
   Posted 8/27/2008 10:26 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi Herb,

Sorry to hear about your current situation and regretably I have no advice to offer on your situation. I will, however, suggest that you repost this under a new thread. You may get more responses. I hope that things improve for you and that you are able to find an acceptable treatment.

A thought just occured to me. This does not happen often. :-)   There is a trial going on for a new drug Arberiterone (not sure on the spelling) and the company is Cougar Pharmaceuticals. I read the criterion for inclusion and you may be a good candidate. The drug showed a good deal of promise in the stage II testing. Even so, the articles I have read indicate 2011 as the earliest availability outside of trials. Do a web search on either. In the meantime I will see if I can find the info again and will post the link for you.

Take care,

Don


Diagnosed 04/10/08
Age 58
PSA 21.5 (first and only test resulted from follow up visit to emergency room for kidney stone. first time for kidney stone too)
Gleason 4 + 3
DRE palpable tumor on left side
100% of 12 cores positive for PCa range 35% to 85%
Bone scan clear
Chest x ray clear
CT scan shows potential lymph node involvement in pelvic region
Started Casodex on May 2 and stopped on June 1, 2008
Lupron injection on May 15 and every four months for next two years
Started IMRT/IGRT on July 10, 2008. 45 treatments scheduled
First 25 to be full pelvic for a total dose of 45 Gray to lymph nodes.
Last 20 to prostate only. Total dose to prostate 81 Gray.
 
 

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