I am happy to report that I am almost two weeks post radiation treatments and the side effects are almost all cleared up. My energy level has returned I am I feeling really well. Now it is just the long wait for the first PSA test in June.
I have two older brothers and our middle brother had RP in 2011 and is now doing just fine - zero club member. My oldest brother (age 62) had his first PSA result last month. It came in at 7 and I went with him to the Uro on Monday. We've decided to wait for his next six month blood tests and check it again. Given that this is a PC forum and I've just been treated for PC you might find this statement a bit odd, but I am a little upset that his PCP even did a PSA on him.
Let me explain and I'd like to hear your thoughts. Older brother, Wild Bill as I call him, was born with cerebral palsy that affects his right side and speech. In addition to that he has dyslexia and can't read much (plus other learning disabilities that make it hard for him to learn new information - he gets there in the end just takes longer). He has had many surgeries to correct problems in leg and 6 years ago had his hip replaced. Wait, there is more. He is currently confined to a wheelchair, has high blood pressure, bowel problems, urinary symptoms include frequency and urgency issues and he has arthritis in most of his body. He takes enough meds to support a small pharmacy and keeps a 8.5 x 11 typewritten sheet in his wallet that lists all the meds (normally takes me about
10 minutes to list everything at the doctor's office).
So, Bill is a good guy and tries his best to care for himself and makes sure he gets to all his medical appointments and does everything the doctors tell him to do. I am his primary family care giver and while I don't go to every appointment with him I do get all the reports and do my best to make sure nothing is overlooked so he gets the best care. Well I didn't go to his last appointment with his PCP and Bill started to tell the doc about
me and next thing I hear they've given him a PSA test. And then the urology department called and made an appointment.
My problem? I am not sure that we could even treat Bill for PC even if we knew he PC. He can't do surgery again. HT would finish him off and while radiation might be possible there are a number of issues with that - his lack of mobility, his spastic nerves (he jumps at the slightest touch or noise) would make it hard for him to lie still for any beam radiation protocol.
The URO did a DRE and found nothing. He did agree with me that it was a tough case and we've opted to just monitor the PSA for now to see if it is stable or climbing. Bill doesn't like that but after a long conversation he understood that with just one test it is hard to know for sure if we should do a biopsy (no I didn't explain to Bill what happens there) . Part of me is wishing that the PCP didn't do the PSA and get brother worrying about
this since I have great doubts this is a treatable case without seriously harming his quality of life - that is destroying what little quality he still enjoys, his own apartment, electric wheelchair, being able to go to the store and be with friends on his own. I am concerned that any treatment would confine him to a hospital for his remaining life.
and I will mention that 40 years ago the doctors told us the Bill would be lucky to live to 30 so any days beyond that are a blessing to us and we just want those to be the best days for him.
So while I am trying to recover from my own PC adventure as a patient I get to start one as a PC caregiver.
Then just for fun we find out that my wife is having a bladder problem and might need surgery soon. We should get an appointment to see a surgeon in the next day or two.
Then work is being a pain in the backside but you know that.
So far this week I've been getting nostalgic for getting to go to the cancer clinic everyday and just having to worry about
I'll be in the shop.
PSA 4.2 10/2011
2 out of 14 cores positive
Treatment IGRT - 2/2012My PC blog