Misc thoughts upon completing SRT

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Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 308
   Posted 6/28/2010 11:39 AM (GMT -6)   

I, too, like a few other members, have just completed my SRT series: number 36 was Friday, which should have totaled 64.8 Gy.  Some misc thoughts:

I hate the term “salvage” as associated with this procedure….sounds like you’re trying to get a little more life or value out of the old rusted wreck…oh well, the Truth sometimes hurts, huh?

I guess I was another of the fairly lucky ones with respect to side effects: mainly some minor digestion issues, and quite a bit of fatigue that last week, when our outside temps went up into the high 90’s. (i think some dehydration was giving me some low BP)

That routine of leaving work at 3:20, driving down to the hospital, getting treatment, then the whole afternoon, from 4:00 on, is MINE: I could really get used to a routine like that….unfortunately, it’s over and I’m back to the ol’ 8:00 – 5:00

I also hate the waiting game…next PSA test is in 6 weeks, but I know measuring it now wouldn’t prove a THING, and even 6 weeks is pretty early, so God is still teaching me patience.  This is something I’m living with, to some extent or another, the rest of my life, so I don’t expect quick answers or “closure”

Don’t forget that today is special, which is why it’s call the “present”, so Seize the Day!

Thanks to all you talkers and encouragers out there


Age@dx: 55

5/05             PSA test 1.8  --12/19/07  PSA test 3.7  --7/25/08    PSA test: 4.7

8/26/08        1st Prostate Biopsy: 3 samples out of 6 have irregular cells

11/25/08      PSA test: 6.5

12/11/08      2nd Prostate Biopsy :  of 12 samples, 3 are cancer, and all other 9 are irregular.  original NJ lab sent samples to Johns Hopkins for special reading.  Gleason 3+3=6.  now:read book, and think about options: radiation, surgery, etc

1/22/09        Radical Retropubic Prostatectomy.  main issue was use of BOTH pre-donated units of blood during surgery, and then required 2 additional units in recovery, before going to room

1/25/09        Released from hospital. No drive, no lift >5 lb

1/28/09        Pathology results from removed tissue:  Cancer was seen on 10% of gland, lymph nodes & SV were benign, nothing seen outside of the prostate.  One area of cancer extended right up to edge, but not beyond.  Gleason was re-typed as 3+4=7, staged T2c

2/13/09        PSA=0.1

3/6/09          6week appt, start back to work Monday, 3/9.  script for Cialis

6/8/09          PSA=0.1

10/9/09        PSA=0.1

2/10/10        PSA=0.3 discussed possibility of radiotherapy and/or hormone.

4/7/10          PSA= 0.4  Recurrence of the cancer is probable. Referred me to RO

5/4/10                   First RT.  RO is recommending 37 treatments x 1.8Gy=66.6 Gy

6/25/10       Final RT. ended up w/ 36 treatments, 64.8 Gy

Elite Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25380
   Posted 6/28/2010 11:55 AM (GMT -6)   

I am glad you finsihed your SRT. Been a bunch of us the past few months. Yeah, the term "salvage" sounds like a junk yard word. Perhaps it should simply be called Post Surgery Radiation , PSR.

Don't be surprised if you feel the same way right now since it ended over the next few weeks. The radiation is still working inside your body, even though you are through the zapping phase. The fatigue part, for most men, fades quickly, but for a few unfortunates, can become chronic. Different reactions come from radiation posioning. Hard to predict ahead of time.

Hope it did the trick for you, and will let you be PC free for the rest of your life. You were just in a heck of an endurance contest, and you certainly crossed the finish line. Good luck to you.

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
Incontinence:  1 Month     ED:  Non issue at any point post surgery, no problem post SRT
Post Surgery  PSA: 2/09 .05,5/09 .1, 6/09 .11. 8/09 .16
Post SRT PSA: 1/10 .12, 4/8 .04, next one:  July
Latest: 7/9 met 2 rad. oncl, 7/9 cath #6 - blockage, 8/9 2nd corr surgery, 8/9 cath #7 out 38 days, 9/9 - met 3rd rad. oncl., mapped  9/9, 10/1 - 3rd corr. surgery - SP cath/hard dialation, 10/5 - 11/27 IMRT SRT 39 sess/72 gys ,cath #8 33 days, Cath #9 35 days, 12/7 - Cath #10 43 days, 1/19 - Corr Surgery #4,  Caths #11 and #12  same time, 2/8-Cath #11 out - 21 days, 3/2- Cath #12 out - 41 days, 3/2- Corr Surgery #5, 3/6 Cath #13 out - 4 days, Cath #14- 27 days, Cath #15 - 26 days, Cath #16 - 31 days, 5/24 put in Cath #17

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 2229
   Posted 6/28/2010 12:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Congrats Bob and I enjoyed your observations regarding SRT. For me I am not sure of what lingering effects it's having versus other medical problems co-occuring. Hopefully they will all fade with time but 9:30 still looks like a good bedtime for me. Take care and keep us posted on your PSA.
Dx with PCA 12/08 2 out of 12 cores positive 4.5 psa
59 yo when diagnosed, 61 yo 2010
Robotic surgery 5/09 Atlanta, Ga
Catheter out after 10 days
Gleason upgraded to 3+5, volume less than 10%
2 pads per day, 1 depends but getting better,
 started ED tx 7/17, slow go
Post op dx of neuropathy
T2C left lateral and left posterior margins involved
3 months psa.01, 6 month psa.4, 6 1/2 month psa.5 on 11/28/10
Starting IMRT on 1/18/10, Completed 39 tx at 70 gys on 3/12/10
6 week Post IMRT PSA .44 a drop from .5 but maybe more
Great family and friends

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 1210
   Posted 6/28/2010 12:43 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Bob,

Congratulations on the completion of your SRT. Glad to read that your side effects were minimal. It usually seems to take 4-6 weeks post SRT for those effects to diminish. Hopefully all remaining bad cells have been terminated so that you can look forward to many years of zero PSA.
All the best to you.

Born Sept 1936
PSA 7.9
-ve DRE
Gleason's Score 3+4=7, 2 of 8 positive
Open RP 28 Nov 06 (nerve sparing), Post op staging T3a
Gleasons still 3+4=7
Seminal vesicles and lymph nodes clear
Catheter out 15 Dec 06, Dry since 11 Feb 07
All PSA tests in 2007 (4) <.04
PSA tests in 2008: Mar.=.04; Jun.=.05; Sept.=.08; 3 days before Rad Start=0.1
Salvage RT completed (33 sessions - 66 Grays) on the 19th Dec., 08.
PSA in Jan., 09=0.05; July 09=<0.04; JAN 10=<0.04

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 3149
   Posted 6/28/2010 1:15 PM (GMT -6)   
Good zapping we all hope, I had unique radiations as primary treatment, in this scenario it took about 9 months afterwards to reach nadir psa level (lowest psa level) and I measured usually monthly (walkin psa testing $15, locally). It should be alot sooner with a salvage situation as people have mentioned, but does take time to mess up the DNA cells on PCa so they stop replication, it is not an immediate kill with a ray gun-LOL. I would not panic at 6 weeks on your findings, so chill awhile if at all possible.

Youth is wasted on the Young-(W.C. Fields)

Ed C. (Old67)
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 2458
   Posted 6/28/2010 5:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Congratulations on finishing SRT without a lot of side effects. Hopefully, it did the job and you will be back in the zero club.
Age: 67 at Dx on 12/30/08
PSA 9/05 1.15; 8/06 1.45; 12/07 2.41; 8/08 3.9; 11/08 3.5 free PSA 11%
2 cores out of 12 were positive Gleason (4+4) and (4+5)
Negative CT scan and bone scan done on 1/16
Robotic surgery performed 2/9/09 Dr Fagin, Austin TX
Prostate weighed 57 grams size:5.2 x 5.0 x 4.9 cm
Posterior lateral lesions measuring 1.5 x 1.4 x 1.0 cm showing focal capsular penetration over a distance of 3mm in circumference.
Prostatic adenocarciroma accounts for approx. 10-20% of the hemisphere.
Gleason 4+4
both nerve bundles removed,
pT3a Nx Mx, Negative margins
seminal vesicles clean, lymph nodes: not dissected
continent after 5 months
2 months PSA test 4/7/09 result <0.1
5 months PSA test 7/9/09 result <0.1
8 months PSA test 10/9/09 result <0.1
11 months PSA test 1/21/10 result 0.004
14 months PSA test 4/19/10 result 0.005

English Alf
Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 2216
   Posted 6/29/2010 1:05 AM (GMT -6)   
Congratulations Bob on finishing RT

Our bodies all react differently to the things that get done to then but I finished just over two weeks ago and am already feeling much less tired. (though very hot weather at present is now messing up muy sleep at night) I'm not exactly incontinent, but all types of WC visits are still a bit erratic and unpredictable.

They don't want to do my next PSA until at least 3 months after RT finished. Yes a longer time to worry what it will be, but also more time to let the RT accomplish its job.

Yeah "Salvage" doesn't sound very positive. It's Reccurence RT really isn't it. The way I see it radiation therapy comes in four basic sizes:

Up front: guys who have it instead of surgery or whatever as the main treatment.
Post-op: where the post-surgery pathology makes it clear that the surgery has not removed everything.
For a PSA rise: RT to treat a BCR "Biochemical recurence"
Palliative: where radiation can help relieve pain caused by mets

And none of us want amny of them.

To conclude: not poetry, but worth telling yourself: "The SRT has zapped the DNA of the PCa to make my PSA go away!"

Age at Dx 48 No Family history of Prostate Cancer
Married 25 years, and I cannot thank my wife enough for her support.
April 2009: PSA 8.6 DRE: negative. Tumour in 2 out of 12 cores. Gleason 3+3.
RALP (nerve-sparing) at AVL-NKI Hospital Amsterdam on 29th July 2009. Stay 1 night.
Partial erections on while catheter still in. Catheter out on 6th Aug 2009.
Dry at night after catheter came out
Post-op Gleason 3+4. Tumour mainly in left near neck of bladder.
Left Seminal Vesicle invaded, (=T3b!)
no perineraul invasion, no vascular invasion. clear margins,
Erection 100% on 15th Aug 2009, but lots of leaking of urine
Stopped wearing pads on 21st Sept 2009
Pre-op style intercourse on 24th Oct 2009 !! No use of tablets, jabs, VED etc. but...
Nov 17th 2009 PSA = 0.1
Can still get erections okay, and almost no leaking of urine, but since December 2009 I don't have orgasms, instead I just have intense pain in place where prostate used to be.
Mar 17th 2010 PSA = 0.4!!! referred to radiation therapist
April 13th 2010 CT scan.
April 28th 2010 Started Radiation Therapy (66Gy - 33 sessions)
June 11th 2010 finished RT - main side effect tiredness, but also the occasional small leak

Post Edited (English Alf) : 6/29/2010 12:37:59 AM (GMT-6)

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