I haven't been around here much lately, and as today is the sixth anniversary of my PCa surgery, here is an update.History
Just over six years ago, I went to my doctor about
a lump on a testicle and he said something to the effect that everything is connected to everything down there, so best to have a PSA test. I think it was a couple of years since my previous, and at that time since I was fighting colon cancer, now "cured", even if that PSA was high, I wouldn't, couldn't have done anything about
it right then. Hindsight is a wonderful thing and if I had been a bit more proactive, I could have had that important PSA a lot sooner.
PSA was 5.7, and that was enough for a biopsy. I still remember that as the most painful part of the whole experience. Basic anesthesia, and the extra consisted of a nurse making small talk to my top end while the doctor did big things to the bottom.
Gleason was 4+5 and that lead to an uneventful RRP and recovery. Post op Gleason was downgraded to 4+4 and two initial followup PSAs returned 0. However PSA then started creeping up. Radiation was never an option -- both my uro and radiation oncologist thought that given my statistics, the horse had bolted, and radiation would have been pointless, and not without the risk of side-effects. Diet and Supplements
I tried a vegetarian and vegan diet over much of this period together with supplements that have been discussed here. Such as Fish Oil, Pomegranate, OPC, Essiac all the while monitoring PSA via 3-monthly tests. In the end none of this made much difference -- PSA just continued on its steady upwards march, a doubling time of about
6 months. My uro advised to wait until my PSA hit 20 before starting HT, his exact words were that it "would turn me into an old man" -- as if I wasn't old already!
My current diet continues to be mostly vegetarian with little of the "bad things" -- little red meat, dairy, eggs and added sugar. I still take a daily aspirin 100mg to slow down metastasis -- by no means a sure thing, I see it as a cheap and safe way of stacking the odds a little more in my favor. But no other supplements.Exercise
Luckily, I don't suffer from arthritis or similar so I now do a solid walk every day, about
50 minutes including a serious hill, and usually throw in a little jogging as well, when it is safe to do so and no-one is looking! Also starting ten press-ups each day -- not as you younger guys know them! Plus the usual yard-work. Like turning over compost heaps and shoveling all that global warming Recent
the middle of last year (2013) my PSA was 6.8, and in early November it was 22. Ouch! I had been expecting something like 14. about
this time I was experiencing an ache in my left leg, around the top of my femur. Particularly at night if I lay on my left side, but barely noticeable most of the time during the day.
My doc sent me for an X-Ray (nothing found) and a subsequent PET/CT bone scan also showed nothing in my leg, but three hot spots (mets) in my spine and another in my pelvis on the opposite side to the leg. So it seems that the ache is due to something going on in my spine, most likely pressure on nerves.HT experience so far
Mid January (2104) with PSA now 33, I started with a month of flutamide, and two weeks into that, a three-month shot of Lupron, what I call my handbag and shoes shot. So far, other than a little nipple tenderness, no side-effects. Loss of libido of course but still no interest in handbags and shoes! It is possible to have sex still, and for that I can thank my experience with my trusty VED, and of course, a willing wife.
Since starting HT, the ache in my leg is a little less -- if not the placebo effect, I thank the Lupron for that. Future
I return to the radiation oncologist in a week, with a new PSA to mark the occasion. They are willing to radiate, and did ask last time if anyone had suggested chemo (they hadn't), so it will be interesting to hear what they come up with.
According to (old) statistics I have seen, I have only a 30% chance of still being alive in five years. However I still hold out hope that by keeping fit and watching diet I will be able to stack the odds more in my favor, and maybe some of the new drugs that are coming out will do something good for me. I plan to live forever and so far so good!