relieved to be done with radiation on friday....

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 3986
   Posted 8/29/2010 12:06 PM (GMT -6)   
the blare of 70s music and buzz of the radiation machine was replaced by pomp and circumstance and my wife and some of the girls came into the radiation chamber and congratulated me as i lay of the carbon fiber table clutching a large rubber chew ring at my chest, my shorts at half mast.

i removed my legs from the casting for the last time, pulled up my shorts and swung off the table.  one of the technicians placed a mortar board on my head, handed me a "diploma" and then another gal took my picture.  i was hugged and congratulated. 
now i am a cynical b*stard but i was truly touched by the graduation ceremony -- even tho i figured my IGRT treatment cost someone about $200 a minute.  most of all i was relieved that i would no longer be irradiated.  by that night a supposed jock itch below my pubic tattoo would bubble up into a second degree burn ... something i was told would not happen.  toward the end the IGRT machine was freaking me out.  at times i imagined that it was straying too long at one of 10 designated targets or that it hit some targets twice.  i felt like screaming out a few times but i didn't.  near the end of IGRT, my fear of the radiation machine outweighed my fear of the future. 
i saw my doctor again after i relieved myself and he pumped my hand and gave me a pep talk. he wrote me a prescription for twenty 100mg viagra tablets at my request. the pills aren't covered by my insurance and cost $450 plus tax....say what? the pills will be for rehab that the doc says isn't really necessary in my case -- only rehab because i will get my last 3-month shot of lupron in 2.5 weeks; i have had no desire or erection for months.  i will see this doctor again in a month and hopefully my urinary issues (mostly night time frequency) will be relieved to the point where we can consider discontinuing or cutting back on flomax.
i plan to stay on ambien and celexa until after our trip to maui in december.  i'll need to taper off both drugs but i am in no hurry.
my dx was in february and i took my first shot of lupron in march.  i had 40 cesium seeds implanted in my smallish  prostate in may and my second shot of lupron a couple of days later.  i was hit with the double whammy.   the following month or so i had the worst side effects of my combination-treatment journey, and as soon as i started feeling a bit better i began the 28-dose IGRT treatment.
i've gained 20 lbs and my body does not regulate heat well. i get exhausted very easily.  i've lost my passion for my hobbies but i still do weight training and aerobics.  i now have two parakeets in my home office and they make me happy.  i'm fearful yet optimistic at the same time.  it's been a tough year for me and my wife but i think we handled it well. i know what to expect from the next shot of lupron and my goal is to just keep moving and not gain anymore weight. 
age: 55
PSA on 10/09: 6.8
no symptoms, no prostate enlargement
12/12 cores positive....gleason 3+4 = 7
ADT, brachy and IGRT

Post Edited (F8) : 8/29/2010 1:54:11 PM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 2243
   Posted 8/29/2010 12:30 PM (GMT -6)   
Glad that you have completed IMRT and given us a good update as well. Sounds like you might be tired but your attitude is positive. Wish you the best and keep us posted. Enjoy your vacation.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 1211
   Posted 8/29/2010 12:58 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi F8 and congratulations on the completion of your RT. Hoping for great results for you down the road.
All the best to you.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 7080
   Posted 8/29/2010 1:10 PM (GMT -6)   

I'm now two months out from the end of IGRT (39 sessions post-DaVinci), and I think I can say that although the rad side effects are not going away yet, they leveled out and stopped getting worse. So I'm hoping I hit bottom and am looking forward to improvement now.

You may see the same - symptoms continuing for 6-8 weeks, then fading.

I never had any serious skin issues, although if I go out in the sun I burn immediately, instead of waiting a few minutes. My GP says that is a side effect. Interesting that the Rad. oncologist wrote off a lot of my complaints as not related, but the GP says he sees them a lot in post-radiation patients.

Welcome to yet another step along the path, yet another certificate! But then we are all certifiable in this crew!!
My IGRT journey -

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 697
   Posted 8/29/2010 1:19 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm now nearly 3 1/2 years out from the end of SRT, and doing fine in terms of both PSA and side effects. Hope the same for you!

Elite Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25393
   Posted 8/29/2010 1:21 PM (GMT -6)   
F8 - congrats on getting through with your radiation. i understood perfectly about some of your feelings toward the end. 142, is quite correct, don't expect to end your side effects immediately, not going to happen, if you are fortunate, they will peak out and then fade over the weeks ahead. having gone through radiation twice in my life, the rad clinics do indeed gloss over side effects, the same way that some surgeon play down what can happen. my only positive consultation as i went through SRT, was knowing that every day i was getting zapped, my aflac cancer policy was paying me $300 per day tax free, multiplied over 39 treatments, made out well on that part. However, the pain and after effects for me, weren't worth the money made. hope you feel up to snuff soon.

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.

Ed C. (Old67)
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 2460
   Posted 8/29/2010 2:41 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm glad you are done with RT and can look forward to a LOW PSA and a return to normalcy. I wish you the best moving forward.
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

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 245
   Posted 8/29/2010 4:06 PM (GMT -6)   
F 8: Happy to hear parakeets are making you happy. If I'd been through what you've been through, I'd need ostriches, and herds (flocks?) of them. But you should be writing a journal or blog in addition to watching your birdies. You really know how to tell your story...Great writing style for something so painful and difficult to live through (key word "live"). Wishing you pounds of pretty parrots, poultry, puffins and prayers. Maybe Maui will be more a Muse than Me?

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1010
   Posted 8/29/2010 4:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi F8,
Congratulations on completing your treatment.
Sorry, but I had to laugh at your reaction to the last radiation sessions. I used to count the number of seconds at each station and the number of stations as the machine rotated around me. I wanted to be sure they were not overdoing it. Always seemed to be about the same amount of time. You will get over the minor skin irritation and things should improve quickly. Like you, I kept up my workout and aerobics during the treatment and I believe that is why I recovered from that as well as I did.
Best of luck to you and here's to a speedy and uneventful recovery.
Diagnosed 04/10/08 Age 58
Gleason 4 + 3
DRE palpable tumor on left side
100% of 12 cores positive for PCa range 35% to 85%
Bone scan and chest x ray clear
CT scan shows potential lymph node involvement in pelvic region
IGRT/IMRT with adjuvant HT (lupron) 2yrs
02/08 21.5
07/08 0.82
10/08 .642
09/09 0.32
03/10 0.32
06/10 0.32
07/10 0.10

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 3986
   Posted 8/30/2010 12:42 AM (GMT -6)   
thank you all for the kind comments and well wishes.  you know i get another shot of lupron in a couple of weeks so i figure if im lucky i may start feeling well around thanksgiving and then in december we are off to the ritz carlton in kapalua smilewinkgrin .
one day i noticed mt cat floyd flipping around a green bird in the backyard and my wife grabbed floyd and his tagteaming sister in time to save the parakeet.  i named the budgie hero and moved him into my office.  a couple weeks later i bought a young, blue parakeet and named him rocketman.  the birds bonded immediately and they are a riot to watch and interact with cool .
i wish the very best to all of you!
age: 55
PSA on 10/09: 6.8
no symptoms, no prostate enlargement
12/12 cores positive....gleason 3+4 = 7
ADT, brachy and IGRT

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 420
   Posted 8/30/2010 12:46 PM (GMT -6)   
Congrats on having the IGRT behind you. If my sessions are any indication, your fatigue factor will be much improved over the next 6-8 weeks. There must be a rule that the technicians follow about that music. I remember lying on the table for my first session waiting for the machine to start "grinding". The first song I remember hearing was the one with the line "Hit me with your best shot"....and they did.
Actually, I didn't mind the 25 trips I made before I graduated....the techs kept a warmer full of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies right outside the treatment room. They were a great bunch of kids....on my last day I took them a big bag of assorted chocolate candy as a thank you for their efficiency in getting me in and out of there so quickly.
Best wishes on a speedy return to "normal"....and keep an eye on those cats.
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