Rick: I looked into proton for SRT and my insurance company gave me some grief about it, I admit I didn't follow up too much because I had a very good IMRT practice just around the corner form my house. For the proton stuff I would have had to travel and stay in the area during the week.
Know that there is a little different protocol for proton than most IMRt treatments, with all proton I believe you receive an endorectal balloon every treatment, most IMRT places don't do that. The IMRT practice that I went to happened to also do the balloon treatment. It was explained to me that the balloon protected the back wall of the rectum and also removed the bladder from the radiation field. It made sense to me and was uncomfortable but not unbearalbe. Also remeber that most radiation issues don't pop up for at least 3-4 years post radiation so anyone of us who tells you that everything is fine and we're out of the woods is probably a little premature in their opinion.
I go to a prostate cancer group meeting monthly and the proton guys speak very highly of the procedure and particulary the Loma Linda guys.
Biopsy- 12 cores, 4 positive highest 4+4=8
Bone scan, CT scan and Chest X-ray clear 4/16/08
Urologist suggested surgery 4/16/08
MRI on 4/24/08 clear no suggestion of lymph node involvement.
4/24/08 -Started on Lupron and Casodex preparing for HDRT and IMRT in late July. This treatment will not preclude me from surgery if I change my mind.
Decide to have DaVinci surgery after another consult with surgeon.
6/19/08- DaVinci surgery at University of Washington.
6/25/08- Path report, clear margins, no noted extension
9/12/08- PSA <0.02
12/05/08-PSA <0.02 Six months after surgery
3/02/09-PSA <0.02 Nine months after surgery
8/17/09-PSA .21 Begin HT and set up for SRT to begin in 2 months.