Having survived stage III colon cancer in 1996, and a recurrence to the lung in 2000 (stage IV) I was always told by oncologists my Colon Ca was in "remission." To me....that is like saying there are cancer cells hiding somewhere in my body just waiting to ambush my physical and mental health at some point in the future. I always wanted to think my colon cancer ceased to exist when the upper left lobe of my left lung was surgically removed at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philly, and I only took one of the prescribed twenty four chemo treatments beginning in August 2000. Glad I skipped the other 23, for chemo can predispose a person to cancer later in life, and I did go through 18 chemo treatments in 1996. If these treatments had worked at all, they didn't prevent a recurrence of my Colon ca to my lung four years later. Anyway, they look for a recurrence of colon cancer by checking a person's blood for CEA, and yes, mine did start climbing when that tumor was growing in my lung. Post lung surgery, it returned to the 1.1 range, and has stayed there ever since. With a diagnosis of Prostate Ca, I've just traded my CEA worries to PSA worries. But what the heck! I'm three weeks out from
open prostatectomy today, have 98% urine control, and 80% erectile function. I've taken matters "to hand" daily since the catheter was removed one week ago, and I'm happy I can reach orgasm. I'd say the sensation is only about
20% pre-surgery levels, but I'm hoping for improvemement. The swelling in my testicles has subsided, but I continue to experience some groin pain and urethra irritation. I'm sure that will subside in time too. When my original biopsy showed gleason six with 3 of 10 cores positive, I did find one protocol that would have accepted me into "active surveillance." The thought of going that route lasted about
ten minutes, and I have absolutely no regrets of going through an
open prostatectomy. I knew there was a chance of my pathology being upgraded when the pathologist was done slicing and dicing my prostate as it lay on the table before him, and that's exactly what happened. Pre-op=Gleason Six, Post-op=Gleason Seven. Now it's just a matter of waiting for the Nadir PSA on May 8th.........Beautiful day here in JAX.......Rick
1996, Age 48, Stage III Colon Ca, Colon Resection followed by 18 chemo treatments.
2000, Colon Ca Metastasis to upper left lung lobe. Lung lobe surgically removed. 24 chemo treatments scheduled. Took 1, declined the rest.
9/08 PSA is 2.8, 12/08 PSA is 4.56?? Chalk it up to prostatitis due to urinary retention after Nissen Fundo Surgery. VA docs prescribe 30 days of Septra. Prostate feels normal. PSA hovers around 4.1. VA docs want prostate biopsy but can't seem to get me into the schedule. Continue through Spring and Fall of 2009 thinking I have prostatitis. Bacteria cultures are always neg. PSA drops to 3.1 10/09.
12/09 Prostate Biopsy performed
3 of 10 cores positive, 5%, 25%, & 35%, 3 + 3= Gleason Six with perineural invasion.
Doc wants CT Scan due to prior Colon Ca. Findings: "The seminal vesicles are irregular & there is nodularity in the periprostatic fat such that local extension cannot be excluded. Shotty lymph nodes in both groin measuring 2.3 cm."
Doc wants Endo-rectal MRI (OUCH!) Findings: Mild central zone BPH, no discrete focus of carcinoma is identified, no evidience of invasion into the periprostatic fat or seminal vesicles. Normal size iliac chain lymph nodes.
2/08/10 Open RP surgery. Findings: Gleason Six upgraded to Seven. 3 + 4, Stage pT2c, Bilateral w/perineural invasion, No pos lymph nodes, margins uninvolved, no extraprostatic extension, no seminal vesicle extension, 39 grams, blood loss 1200 ml (didn't want a transfusion & didn't get one) nerve bundles spared bilaterally. current age-61