Posted 11/5/2016 7:46 AM (GMT -7)
We're here to support you, encourage you, and to share insight and first-hand treatment experiences along the way.
We've got supportive members from every corner of the United States, and loyal members from across the globe, as well. It's a tremendous network of support that you've discovered right here.
I was diagnosed in my 40s with an advanced case of prostate cancer that had already infiltrated both of my lungs at the time of my diagnosis. I started on the ADT hormone shots immediately, and began to see a tremendous drop in P.S.A. That was VERY encouraging!
When the new "early chemo" recommendation came through, I was in the first wave of fellows who pursued a series of chemotherapy treatments, as an additional way to attack the cancer. These recommendations came about after clinical studies, such as the STAMPED trial and CHAARTED trial, which both showed a survival advantage.
I kept working full-time during chemo treatments and stayed active with exercise, volunteer work, and social events. There are a great number of us here on this website who have undergone chemo treatments, and we're here to support you ever decide to pursue those treatments. It's important to know that in recent years, they've added components to the chemo regime to lessen side effects.
There are also relatively new BREAKTHROUGH medications such as XTANDI, ZYTIGA, and XOFIGO that can help you down the road. It's important to stay in close consultation with your doctor, and there are many treatment options available to you. Each case is unique, and each case has its own complexities and considerations ... that's why it's important to stay in close consultation with your doctors.
I'm a school teacher and my diagnosis came along, just as I was starting a new school year with my students. I'm starting my fourth full year of teaching since being diagnosed, and I'm thankful for the treatments that have carried me this far. A couple of years ago, I celebrated my 25th year of teaching --- truly, a milestone I thought might be "out of reach" on the day I received the news of my diagnosis.
After I got the news of my diagnosis in the doctor's office, I went right back to my classroom and just kept forging ahead. It's tough news to deal with --- and we've all experienced every emotion on the spectrum --- and faced those really "tough days" and sleepless nights that a cancer diagnosis can bring --- but I found that keeping busy and staying on track with my usual activities and hobbies and interests helped a GREAT deal. Somehow, we all find our path that leads us FORWARD ...
There's no substitute for staying in close touch with your family, friends, and faith --- in whatever form that takes for you. Given time, each fellow finds his path --- but this website is a GREAT PLACE to find support. We understand the worries, fears, and anxieties that go along with a diagnosis of prostate cancer --- and collectively, we are united as friends and brothers who help each other face forward TOGETHER.
I think you will see a tremendous drop in your P.S.A. when you have your lab work on the first of December. I remember that first P.S.A. test after I started the hormone shots --- and my P.S.A. dropped from over 100 down to single digits, the very first month!
My urologist got me started on treatments, and then I added an oncologist, and they formed a "team concept" and began working TOGETHER on my case. Adding an oncologist to my medical team opened many new doors for treatments, in my particular situation. Since then, I've also traveled to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota --- which offered some high-resolution scans and imaging technology, to stay on top of my case.
At Mayo Clinic, I consulted with Dr. Eugene KWON, a urology oncologist, who specializes in advanced prostate cancer cases. Dr. Kwon agreed to oversee my case, in close consultation with my local doctors. I wanted to know that I was doing everything in my power to fight back against my cancer. My treatments, to date, are shown below in my signature at the very bottom of this message. They are continuous and ongoing --- while there have been setbacks along the way, I am thankful each day, for the meaningful successes that I have had in my treatments. My doctors are caring and compassionate --- and have adopted a proactive approach to my treatments.
I'd like to recommend a special topic thread for you today, located here on this same website. Several of us have banded together and created a thread for those facing a new diagnosis of prostate cancer. Up in the top right-hand corner of your screen, you will see a SEARCH BOX. Simply type in this thread title: LETTERS TO THE NEWLY DIAGNOSED.
There you will find insight, hope, inspiration, and encouragement. I highly recommend it to you, and I think you will find it very meaningful as you get started on your medical treatments. I can tell you already have a FIGHTING SPIRIT, from your postings.
I want to wish you well --- continue posting --- continue to keep in touch --- let us know how you are faring --- and I invite you to check out the LETTERS TO THE NEWLY DIAGNOSED.
Handshake of support, from across the miles,
"Cyclone Team Fan" ~ From Iowa State University