Posted 2/14/2021 4:40 PM (GMT -6)
Hello, Jeff & Stephanie ---
I am thankful you have posted here. You will find caring comrades here.
Jeff - if we had grown up in the same hometown, we would have been in school together during the same era. We have some common threads in our stories.
I was diagnosed in my 40s, with a PSA over 100. With each PSA test, during diagnosis and scans, my PSA was skyrocketing.
By the time I was officially diagnosed, the prostate cancer had infiltrated both of my lungs. Treatments began at once!
My doctor said, "Yes, you are my youngest prostate cancer patient. But we have treatments for you, rest assured, and we are going to get them started right away."
I started on ADT injections --- and my PSA began tumbling down. You are also seeing a decline. I am thankful to see that.
Your treatments are starting to work, and it's time to grab your mighty silver sword & shield, and get ready to "battle back" against the cancer.
I am a teacher, and have continued working full-time.
Treatment brings HOPE, but you need to keep your mind open to proactive and aggressive treatments your medical team may suggest. Keep all options open ...
I have an excellent medical team here. I also travel about twice a year to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, to do follow-up scans and to consult with Dr. Eugene KWON at the Gonda Building on the Mayo Medical Campus.
Dr. Kwon overlooks my case, and it is "co-managed" with my local medical team - which has included a urologist, a radiologist, and my true & trusted local oncologist. Dr. Kwon at Mayo Clinic is a noted urology oncologist.
I am thankful you are already connected with Mayo Clinic. My experiences with Mayo Clinic have been top-notch.
As the ADT shots began to decrease my PSA, by depriving certain cancer cells of their "fuel supply" --- testosterone, in this case -- my doctor told me to imagine those cancer cells slowly "starving and strangling" themselves to death, when deprived of testosterone.
Keep that visual image in your mind --- many cancer cells are already "starving and strangling" themselves to death, as we speak. This is why your PSA has dropped markedly already.
From there, my team recommended the "early chemo plan" and I was in the first wave of fellows in America who pursued the 18 week course of chemotherapy infusions.
The series of chemotherapy treatments consisted of 6 powerful, cancer-combatting infusions, given 3 weeks apart.
My PSA tumbled even lower after each of the 6 infusions.
In my case, chemotherapy provided another angle of attack that was needed in my case. IF chemotherapy is suggested, keep your mind open to its benefits. It's a topic that needs to be covered with your medical team.
I will also promise you that I can stay in touch with you, as a "comrade & chemotherapy coach" --- if needed.
I have done this for several friends of mine, and will offer that to you, if that is something that would help you during treatments, if suggested by your medical team.
I will also state that my chemotherapy infusions were over 6 years ago now. I share my hope with you today.
It wasn't always easy, but the weeks went by - and HERE I AM today.
I feel the treatments packed a powerful assault against my cancer, and allowed subsequent medications and treatments to work better.
From there, I started on one of the newer breakthrough medications called ABIRATERONE ACETATE (commonly known as "ZYTIGA" - now available in generic form). There are other breakthrough medications that your doctor may recommend.
I have been on this medication for over 5 years. It has helped me immensely.
As time went by, I also pursued a series of radiation treatments, suggested by Dr. Kwon, and mapped out by the radiology team at Mayo - but my treatments were done locally, following Mayo's treatment plan for me.
Every treatment I have gone through has HELPED ME.
We are in the same age range, Jeff. You are not alone in this. We're rallied around you.
Like me, you will need to form a strong & trusted bond with your medical team. They will likely recommend a proactive and aggressive treatment plan.
I have followed every treatment plan they have recommended, and followed a multi-tiered treatment plan.
I knew from the day I was diagnosed that I needed to face FORWARD, and that I needed to get ready to walk onto the battlefield.
You will find that you will steel yourself, mentally and physically. Remember that starting treatments brings HOPE. Your initial shots have already started to have an impact.
Courage will emerge from within, in unexpected and unforeseen ways ...
I asked my doctors, from the beginning, to get me started on the most proactive treatments that were possible.
This is the reason why I was my local oncologist's first patient to jump aboard the "early chemotherapy plan" when it first became approved. We met on a Monday, and I got started on those treatments that Wednesday.
I was also his first patient to start on ZYTIGA ---- I now have over 5 years' worth of empty bottles lined up on a shelf, to mark my progress on this breakthrough medication.
We are all here to encourage and support you both, Jeff and Stephanie.
My treatment history is revealed beneath my signature, at the bottom of this post.
We are rallied around you --- and once you get a treatment plan mapped out, we can share first-hand experiences with you, that can help you navigate through treatments.
We all stand alongside each other here --- comrades in the trench & brothers on the battlefield.
Handshake, from across the miles, from "one comrade to another" ~~~
CYCLONE ~~~ # Iowa State University