Reading the post below that Zufus posted about a brother of the PC that perished last year, actually brougth to the surface one of my deep fears about the HT path. And of course, any regular reader here knows that I do not have any first hand knowledge, as in using HT, to base my opinions upon.
The emotional roller coaster scares me more than any of the rest of it. Hot flashes would be no fun, I hate the heat, but I have watched my lovely bride deal with them for years as she has been and still going through menopause. And the fatigue part, I know this part first hand from my past radiation treatments, as well as my current ones. As far as physical pain goes, what can I say, being on my 21st catheter, and approaching the 11 month mark with an SP tube continously rubbing up against the inside of a heavily radiation damaged bladder and bladder neck.
I would never want to be on something that would make me "not good" to live around or with. I wouldn't want to be on something that would make me lash out at my wife or other family members, I could never handle that or forgive myself, even if it were the direct result of the HT drugs.
I love my family too much to want to hurt them in any way, I would rather be dead then to do that. Yes, that's a drastic remark, but I mean it from the heart. I don't like being on any drugs or meds that take away any of my natural control of my thoughts or senses, one reason why I am so picky about meds, and have dropped many meds over the years that made me feel that way.
I also have a not rational fear of being poisoned, one reason why I have always had a hard time with RT and SRT, because in fact you are subjecting your body to radiation poisoning. Many of the HT drugs, from what I have heard here, and researched on my own, can be harsh, and most men are subject to the expected side effects.
It's not a sexual thing in my mind related to the use of HT. I was on Lexapro for several years, five years back, and it didnt take away the ability to have sex, it just basically took away any natural interest in sex. Since I have had PC, and with the surgery, radiation, and a total of 6 corrective surgeries and still more to come, I physically can have sex anytime I want, at least from a mechanical point of view, but rarely do because of all the collateral pain I have due to complications and the constant catheters. So, while it's not ED in a medical sense, the practical side of it has the same effect.
I just turned 58, and if its proven in a few months and a couple of more PSA readings that the SRT failed, just don't know if I could handle the next course of action: HT. It bothers me that it just buys time, and is masking cancer that is still in the body. Definitely a hang up of mine, though not limited to just me here at HW. If HT turned me into some kind of insensitive, uncaring emotional monster, then I would want no part of it. Just kind of hard to get this out in a way that might make vague sense to anyone else on this path or at this potential juncture.
I do realize that quantity of live and quality of life, need to be balanced, and would be very personal from one man to the next.
I am not saying this is a fact, but if ultimately, all my operations and SRT do fail to stop the cancer, then I will feel like I might have better off had I never known about it, and could have used whatever time I had left in the world doing all I could to enjoy what we call life.
Even my upcoming operation, has me concerned, because I am exchanging one set of problems for another, but hopefully at least a choice that might take me out of the every day in pain zone. And how do I know, that I won't have severe scarring issues after this operation? I asked my surgeon that, and he said of course, there wouldn't be any guaranty.
I end by saying, I know HT has extended many a PC guy's life, and for thats that are on it, or about to be on it, there's is nothing wrong with their decision or choice. I have tried hard for months to get my mind in a mode that could make me acceept HT if its proven that i need it.
David in SC
Age: 58, 56 dx, PSA: 7/07 5.8, 10/08 16.3
3rd Biopsy: 9/08 7 of 7 Positive, 40-90%, Gleason 4+3
open RP: 11/08, on catheters for 101 days
Path Rpt: Gleason 3+4, pT2c, 42g, 20% cancer, 1 pos marg
Incont & ED: None
Post Surgery PSA: 2/09 .05,5/09 .1, 6/09 .11. 8/09 .16
Post SRT PSA: 1/10 .12, 4/8 .04, 8/6 .06 11/10 ?
Latest: 6 Corr Surgeries to Bladder Neck, SP Catheter since 10/1/9, SRT 39 Sess/72 gy ended 11/09, on Catheter #21, will be having Ileal Conduit Surgery in Sept.