Just got back from the radiation clinic. One treatment done, thirty-eight to go! (Don't worry to my distracters here: I won't give a day by day blow of radiation treatments, but for the sake of our new people, and introduction first hand to the process I believe is educational. And please use the "block user" feature if my posts annoy you, that is what it is there for)
With the suprapubic catheter in place, there was no drinking or trying to hold in vast quanities of water ahead of time, that is a blessing in itself. They were able to work around my new catheter without any problems, and were quite careful not to hurt me where it exits my body, as it is still very sore 4 days after surgery.
I was placed and positioned into my body mould on the table under the machine. They re-marked me as some of the previous marks were faded out after 2 weeks. Then they give you a rubber do-nut thing to hold onto and to give your hands something to do. The machine made two conventional x-ray passes. They said they would do that each day, and its for a final alignment with all the tattooed dots on me. Then it was show time.
You don't move. Literally, you are on a fixed table. The IMRT machine moves around you. It positioned itself at weird angles around me and then would zap, you hear the actual zap, but couldn't feel anything. The machine moved altogether 7 times, so that could radiate me in different doses in different areas of the prostate bed.
It took about 20 minutes from start to finish. For now, they have changed my regular zap time from 1130 to 230 PM, subject to change.
I talked to my radiation oncologist when finished. She said she did increase the length of the treatments and the total greys higher, about to the point of a primary treatment. She determined that the PC in me was very agressive right from the start, both pre-surgery and post surgery, and that anything less than this dosage might prove to be entirely ineffective. I have to trust her judgement on that point. You only get once chance with this salvage treatment, so I guess the more the merrier.
The staff was great and caring, the equipment state of the art. I asked if they ever did Proton, and they said no, and that they never would. Something about the insurance companies don't feel inclinded to pay the difference in price over IMRT treatments, and that it would really limit their customer (patient) field to justify the hardware and training.
Back home resting, the new cath is working well ,but after 4 days, still pretty sore. Hoping that will improve soon.
David in SC
Age: 57, 56 dx, PSA: 7/07 5.8, 7/08 12.3, 9/08 14.5, 10/08 16.3
3rd Biopsy: 9/08 - 7/7 Positive, 40-90% Cancer, Gleason 4+3
Open RP: 11/08, Rht nerves saved, 4 days in hospt, on catheters for 63 days, 5th one out 1/09
Path Rpt: Gleason 3+4, pT2c, 42g, 20% cancer, 1 pos margin
Post Surgery PSA: 2/09 .05,5/09 .1, 6/09 .11. 8/09 .16
Latest: 7/09 met 2 rad. oncl, 7/09 cath #6 - blockage, 8/9 2nd corr surgery, 8/9 cath #7 - out 38 days, 9/14/9 - met 3rd rad. oncl.agree to start radiation, mapping on 9/21/9, 9/24 - mtg with uro/surg, 9/29- pre-op, 10/1 - 3rd corr. surgery - suprapubic cath/hard dialation, 10/5 - first treatment IMRT.