Everything is ready to roll. I start my therapy on 01/10/2012. I am enrolled in a 6 week study to help determine if 6 weeks of therapy is as effective for low and intermediate risk patients as the 8 week course. The daily dose is slightly more radiation but the total radiation is somewhat less. Hypofractionization I think it's called. I am excited about getting the treatment behind me. I have a roommate to help defer the cost of being away from home for 6 weeks. The accommodations are very nice and about 1 mile from the clinic. The clinic staff is outstanding. The patients are for the most part very knowledgeable about their disease process and most will share their experiences with very little prodding. The three day orientation is as follows:
First you meet with you program advisor. The results of any additional studies that have been done are reviewed. I had a colonoscopy. Then there are additional CT and MRI studies. This varies somewhat depending on your history. The second day was implanting the 4 gold markers in the prostate (very tiny springs that will remain there for the rest of your life). Three are used to help focus the radiation. The fourth is just in case one of the others is out of line or lost. This procedure is much like a biopsy and was not a big deal. The doctor who did the procedure was very experienced and it was over very quickly. He also told me the volume of my prostate was considerably less then what I was told during my initial biopsy (35 vs. 26). Somehow this is reassuring. Although it probably is not a major factor in my treatment. Just stands to reason the smaller the target the less likely the side effects. At least that's what I am telling myself. Day three requires about 2 to 3 hours. They build the pod that will help line you up for the actual radiation. This will be your introduction to the balloon. There is another CT and a MRI. I am told they lay one study over the other to determine the best course of action. I also now have an X on both hips again to help align the proton beam.
Any questions please feel free to send me a message. Hope his helps some out there who are wondering what the experience is all about. Happy New Year to all.
Age: 62, 62 dx, PSA: 7/27/11 5.6, 09/15 PSA 5.5 free 7%
10/3 Biopsy: 7 of 12 Positive, 05 - 70 %, Gleason 3+4
T2c, 39g, C/T neg. Bone Scan neg.
Preparing for treatment at the University of Florida Proton Therapy Institute in Jacksonville, Fl.