JustJulie's Brachytherapy Journey

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JustJulie
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 355
   Posted 1/25/2007 12:33 PM (GMT -7)   

At the request of Bluebird and for all of you on the prostate cancer journey I have taken this opportunity to record our journey down the Brachytherapy trail.

So the story begins. My husband was 44, in great health, the prime of his life and things were swell for us. He goes for his routine checkup and our doctor advised that he's a firm believer in preventative care so he's sending him for a PSA screening test – totally precautionary – everything looks good – you're young and in great shape – exercising regularly, etc. etc.

The first blood test comes back a little high – the doctor says – could be anything, stress, infection – take another test next week and we'll revisit it. Second test comes back with the same results. Hmmmm ….. doctor sends him to the urologist for a biopsy – better get this checked out – again precautionary …

He meets with the Urologist – lovely little exam – he says maybe we should just rule things out once and for all – let's arrange for a biopsy – again precautionary (I'm beginning to dislike this word by this time, it was lulling us into a false sense of security)… He goes for the biopsy, not exactly pleasant, but what needs to be done is done and we take some Tylenol and go home for some rest and await the biopsy results.

I make arrangements to attend the biopsy results with my husband. They call his name – he stands up and walks down the hall – I follow. He tells me to go back to the waiting room and the stand-off begins. I'm very stubborn when it comes to certain things – he told me to go back and I stood my ground telling him "I'm only going to tell you this once, regardless of the outcome, we are in this together and I'm not above making a scene if you don't let me in". Knowing I was serious he relented.

We waited for the doctor as the anxiety set it. In walks the young doctor and out comes the chart. There's good news and bad news … my heart was in my throat … "you have cancer" he tells my husband, "but it's early" … at that point I think we shut down – there it was on the table the big "C" word – it had been uttered and confirmed – where do we go now?

Keeping our emotions in check the doctor turned to us and said "I'm not going any further with this discussion right now. I'll give you some reading material, go home and I'll see you in a month because you are likely not hearing anything I've said to you as of a minute ago". While it might seem cold, he was right on the money – we were in shock and couldn't process anything – we wanted to run – we didn't know what to do or how to feel. Admittedly, I made it out of the office to the car and then I cried – how could this be happening?

I am inquisitive by nature so I threw myself into investigating options, definitions, outcomes whatever I could get my hands on. The month came upon us and we discussed all the options – every one of them terrified us. I had an idea of what I wanted to do but the decision was not mine, it had to be my husband's and I had to be supportive. We opted to talk to every doctor about every option and the journey began (again) …

The Urologist recommended treatments in this order – surgery if possible, then Brachytherapy and then external beam therapy so off we went to the Radiologists. The external beam radiologist was first – he was encouraging – "whatever option you choose will yield good results" he confirms. However, I would recommend Brachytherapy over external beam if you're a candidate. Candidate? What candidate? What was this a contest, you qualify or you don't? Little did we know that there were certain parameters to Brachytherapy. Slowly we were becoming overwhelmed – what if we didn't "qualify" .. He assured us that if Brachytherapy, for some reason, was not an option, we had him to fall back on.

Meeting number two was with the Brachytherapist. Lovely woman, very upbeat – not so lovely in my husband's eyes after yet another examination … We went through the usual questions, health – good; children – yes; planning on having any more – no; any signs or symptoms – NO – and that was the kicker – not a sign or symptom other than the precautionary blood test.

She sends my husband for some preliminary testing – MRI, x-ray ,etc. to see if he qualifies. His Gleason score says he does, now we had to see if his body would agree – you can't push a needle through a pelvic bone so everything had to be in alignment. Once again I found myself all alone in a waiting room –trying to make use of the unbearable loneliness – smiling at who walked by, thumbing through a magazine I didn't even have any interest in – reading the same sentence over and over and over again …

We return to the conference room and the doctor looks at him and says "you're young, we don't get very many men you're age"… My mind is screaming – I've heard that so many times now that I don't need to hear it again – it's like confirming that this shouldn't be happening. The tests come back, he's a favourable candidate. By this time we've talked the Urologist and the external beam radiologist and we know this: (a) the tumour is in a "bad" spot, bordering on another organ. If they don't cut enough, they could cut the tumour in half and leave some in, if they are generous in their removal they could nick the other organ and leave him incontinent at the age of 44 – whoa Nelly that's a big consideration … (b) external beam radiation is an option but the doctor would suggest Brachytherapy first … the meeting with the Brachytherapist is the final meeting …

We move from the conference room to the viewing room. We watch the video all about Brachytherapy – the preparations, the expectation, etc. My heart's in my throat again and my husband's turning white … breathe, just breathe, we can do this I tell myself still not quite so sure I'm convincing either one of us …

With respect to timeline, this meeting is in February of 2006. My husband was first screened in September and October of 2005 which is when the PSA appeared "spiked".

The Brachytherapy doctor comes back in to see if we have any questions – of course we have a few – she asks some more, we ask some more and she says "I'll give you my card, let me know what you decide". By that point my husband had already decided. He tells her "no offence but you're my last stop, you were the final doctor we were to meet with, we've made our decision". She looks up from her pad and he tells her "we're in – set the surgery date".

Oddly, at that point some sense of relief came over me – some sense of terror too, but more of a sense of relief. We had talked and talked and talked and weighed options and met with doctors and researched – all to the point of exhaustion. Although every doctor told us we had '"time", "time" was the one thing we didn't feel we had enough of – we had lost a lot of "time" in the investigative part of this journey and we wanted some back. "We've waited long enough" he told her, "we want to move on".

Surgery was booked for two months later – more waiting, and wondering, but at least we had a date. April came and we prepared for surgery – I arranged a ride to and from the hospital because I didn't want to drive and we picked up the necessary pre-surgery supplies. In retrospect, my husband says the prep before surgery was worse than the surgery. When they say "cleanout" they mean it – not the most pleasant experience for either party. Surgery day came and we played the "hurry up and wait" game as we waited anxiously for the surgery theatre. We spoke little as words were kind of hard to come by, crossword puzzles, a fortune spent in magazines did little to pass the time. Finally the call came and off we went – I went as far as I could and then retreated to the waiting room where I tried to work on knitting a sweater – I undid it more times than I care to admit – I could have had the whole thing knit if I could have followed a pattern that day.

After what seemed like an eternity the doctor came out with the "everything went well" speech – see you around discharge at 4:00". I had nowhere to go but back up to his room – I didn't want him to be alone when they wheeled him back up. The guy in the next bed was still downstairs in surgery so his wife and I chatted the best we could – funny how nothing is off limits when your husband has prostate cancer – seems anatomical parts become a part of "normal" conversation and no one thinks anything of it … I guess it's just a form of acceptance at that point.

We got the briefing before we were released – the number of seeds implanted – 91 in all - (my husband's were "stranded" seeds meaning they were strung together like pearls) as part of an experimental study he opted for. There is less chance of migrating seeds and they apparently line the prostate better – we thought what the heck – if we can help the hospital with the study and we're not at any risk – let's do our part. We were given the list of do's and don't and what to eat and drink and general guidelines for recovery – by this time everyone just wanted to go home.

We left the hospital with a fist full of medications for different things – urinary flow and antibiotics among other things – thank goodness for pill containers or we never would have figured out what was what and when it was taken. Add a rubber ring for comfort on the ride home and we were on our way. The next few days were uncomfortable with bruising and a fear of urinating after the catheter came out (yow) but things started to settle down and fatigue settled in. For a man who's not used to stopping for anything, this sure knocked him out – I guess his body decided if he wasn't willing to listen to his body, his body would take charge and it did, and he opted on several occasions for an afternoon nap. There were days when I would have loved to have crawled in beside him and slept for a week but with two boys in the house I had to carry on.

Speaking of boys (or girls for that matter), for those of you with young children it can be trying on them. My boys were 15 and 10 at the time and they reacted very differently to their father's diagnosis. My youngest, the naïve one, simply said "well, we’ll just get it fixed Daddy" and carried on. My oldest, however, was angry, very angry that this could be happening to his Dad and in a roundabout way, to him. He was volatile and angry and it troubled me so see him going though that. We worked through it but I think he was scared – he was old enough to know the "C" word and he knew the possible outcomes. I think reality hit him too when his younger brother announced in the car and unprovoked "you know we'll have to get tested – I know you don't like needles but we're going to have to start getting tested" – he was all of 10 years old – I cried.

We saw the doctor for a follow-up one month later – May 2006. There was another MRI and more x-rays and the PSA screening test. She did another exam – scary how you somehow get used to those exams – is that normal? Results were good – prostate was "flat" and PSA was coming down.

Because my husband's job is labour intensive, he was off work for the next three months. Some people can go back after a few days, some a few weeks – his job was all or nothing so it wasn't until July when he went back. Fatigue was still somewhat of an issue but not like at the beginning.

We were back to see the doctor in August – another PSA test – with good results PSA is down to 0.95! Whoo hooo – we finally let ourselves semi-celebrate. Things are looking "good" she says – see you in November.

We attempt to take our lives back into some sort of normalcy again – busier schedules, etc. November arrives before we know it and we're back at the blood lab. Even better results this time – at six months post-surgery the PSA is 0.61 and we can go back to the Urologist in February and don't have to see the Brachytherapy doctor until June – sounds promising and we allow ourselves to relax (just a little).

Knowing you are never really out of the woods is a scary thought – results are good but the journey is never really over. There will be more tests and more monitoring and before you know it, another dreaded biopsy. Is it worth it – absolutely –but it is draining. We've attempted to use our experience as an education – I've harped on friends and family about the importance of a yearly physical. From a woman's point of view, men have it easy compared to what we go through – get a physical – trust me, it's worth it. Because of my husband's diagnosis, my family doctor now routinely screens mean at the age of 40 for prostate cancer and women for ovarian cancer – while I would prefer not to be the reason for that testing, if he can save one more family with early diagnosis, it will have been worth it.

This experience has taught me a lot – I tried to instill in my children who, by no fault of their own, are now at a 50% higher risk of contracting prostate cancer, the importance of a balanced diet and exercise, the gift of life and the love of family.

If you've made it this far in our journey, bless you, there must be a reason you're here and it's most likely because you or someone you know is on the same journey – be not afraid – you are not alone and medicine is advancing faster than you know – take comfort in that.

Our next appointment is in February, 2007, I'll keep you updated as we continue this journey. For those of you who have helped me through with encouragement, information and advise – thank you from the bottom of my heart.


jetguy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 741
   Posted 1/25/2007 4:48 PM (GMT -7)   

Julie, that was just beautiful. Thank you.  We all experience the same emotions to one degree, or another.  I'm sorry this happened to you all at such a young age. 

Keep Your Mach Up,

Bill


Gleason 3+3=6, T1c, one core in twelve, another pre-cancerous.
62 years old and good health.  Married 37 years.  To same woman!


biker90
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1464
   Posted 1/25/2007 6:11 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you Julie.

Your story will give information and hope to others. That is the greatest gift that one cancer family member can give another. The big "C" can terrify anybody but the love and understanding of one patient or family member for another eases the emotional pain. We are all in this together and are determined to see each other through.

Love ya....

Jim
Age 72. Diagnosed 11/03/06. PSA 7.05. Stage T2B Gleason 3+3.
RRP 12/7/06. Nerves and nodes okay.
Pathological stage: T2B. Gleason 3+4. Cancer confined to prostate.
PSA on 1/3/07 - 0.04.  Next PSA on 4/4/07.
 
            "Cancer feeds on fear, starve it to death!"


bluebird
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 2542
   Posted 1/25/2007 6:35 PM (GMT -7)   

Dear Julie & Family,

 

WOW!!!  (Wonderful, Open, & HeartWarming)

 

Thank you ~ for sharing your personal journey with all of us!!! 

Truly ~ a journey that needed telling.  I read it and I re-read it… and I can honestly say… I was standing right beside you…knowing exactly what you were feeling and what was in your heart.

 

I even felt/feel your tears ~ run down my cheek… as they start again now.  And I’m sure as you gently re-visited this journey from Day 1…. There were a few more for you!!  I hope you feel my HUGS coming to you as I write this…

 

My ~ personal heartfelt thank you ~ for this posting! 

I’m sending a very “SPECIAL HUG” to your boys!!!!   :-)  

 

Take care dear friend ~ and know that you are always in our hearts.  Keeping you close in thoughts and prayers as each day we take a new step “forward”…

 

In Friendship ~ Lee & her Buddy


mama bluebird - Lee & Buddy… from North Carolina

Link to our personal journey…>>>     Our Journey ~ Sharing is Caring 

April 3, 2006  53 on surgery day

RRP / Radical Retropubic Prostatectomy with "wide excision"

PSA 4.6   Gleason  3+3=6    T2a   Confined to Prostate

June 29th ~ PSA Less than 0.1 Non-detectable

Post Edited (bluebird) : 1/25/2007 9:54:06 PM (GMT-7)


BenEcho10
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 133
   Posted 1/25/2007 7:25 PM (GMT -7)   
This is a great posting. I am 49, my wife is 46, and my daughters are 13 and 15 so I know exactly what you are talking about. Obviously no one is happy about PC regardless of their age, but in our 40s we aren't even supposed to be getting tested yet. It just makes the PC such a tremendous surprise.

Ben
DIAGNOSIS: 09/25/06. Age 49. PSA 4.6. PSA free 2%. Clinical pathology: Gleason 10. Stage T2a.           
 
SURGERY: 11/08/06. RP at Johns Hopkins. Surgical pathology Gleason 10. Stage T3a (positive margins.) Negative seminal vesicles, lymph nodes, and bone scan.
 
POST OP: 12/15/06: First post op PSA was 0.00.


naimnut
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 93
   Posted 2/2/2007 10:47 AM (GMT -7)   

Thanks Julie.  You write well and have done a great job painting the picture with respect to the emotional elements.  Whew.

I look forward to an update after your visit to the urologist.  I hope you can share more details about the nitty-gritty stuff.

Markus


Age, 53
PSA 3.76, Gleason 6, T1c, scans negative
psa doubling time 35 months
Still researching and deciding treatment options.  Leaning towards da vinci robotic.


JustJulie
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 355
   Posted 2/2/2007 12:12 PM (GMT -7)   
Markus et al.
 
If you want to know particulars, just ask.  The one thing you'll learn about this forum is that no question is embarassing - at one time it might have been but no longer - nothing is off limits -if it helps someone then I've done my job.
 
Feel free to ask away ...
 

bluebird
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 2542
   Posted 2/4/2007 10:30 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi ~ Julie & Loved One....

 

Keeping you extra close this week!!!!  Wanted you to feel the LOVE!!!!!  yeah  

 

 

 This is “YOUR” rainbow

/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

 

Warm wishes are just like the rainbows

that help make our clouds disappear,

They help us feel precious and cared for,

and fill us with comfort and cheer (optimism).

 

In Friendship ~ Lee & Buddy


mama bluebird - Lee & Buddy… from North Carolina

Link to our personal journey…>>>     Our Journey ~ Sharing is Caring 

April 3, 2006  53 on surgery day

RRP / Radical Retropubic Prostatectomy with "wide excision"

PSA 4.6   Gleason  3+3=6    T2a   Confined to Prostate

June 29th ~ PSA Less than 0.1 Non-detectable


M. Kat
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 715
   Posted 2/5/2007 7:23 AM (GMT -7)   
Julie, we are praying that your doctor visit this week will show continuing improvement. Our two sons (24 and 19) know that their chances of having PCa is very high - both their grandfathers and now their father had it. I'm encouraging them to take extra Vit D and selenium and drink pomogrante juice. they only do it if I give it to them, but at least they know about it. take care, kat
Husband Jeff 56 years old diagnosed July 27, 2006
PSA 6.5, 2 positive areas in biopsy, Gleason 3+3=6
Radical Retropubic Prostatectomy August 30, 2006
pathology report - all clear - cancer gone
1st post-surgery PSA test 0.1, 2nd post-surgery PSA test 0.1
no more pads Oct 12, 2006
first "real" erection with use of pump 12/16/06


JustJulie
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 355
   Posted 2/9/2007 7:18 AM (GMT -7)   

Just a small update folks:

I didn't make it to my husband's follow up appointment with the Urologist this week but he reviewed his file, concurred with the Brachytherapist and rescheduled for another follow-up in August - so everything looks good.

The one thing that bothered me (and maybe it's because I'm the worry wart) is that he did not do an examination - I would have thought he would have done one at that visit.

We're scheduled back with the Brachytherapist in June and I KNOW she does the exam and the PSA at every visit.

 


stevef999
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 2/9/2007 8:20 AM (GMT -7)   
Julie,  thanks for writing me.  Great post.  I will get the kids involved when the procedure is close. I have a question.  What side effects, etc. did your husband have post-procedure?  Burning, obstruction or anything else? They no sex for 6 weeks to let the radioactivity subside. Any issues there?  Thanks in advance.  Glad you got the good report.  Steve 
 
Diagnosed 1-9-07 at Age 58
Gleason 6 (3 + 3)
Both lobes  - 2 of 23 cores (<5% each)
PSA 5.1
T1c - Negative DRE
Considering Brachytherapy vs daVinci
 


JustJulie
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 355
   Posted 2/9/2007 8:32 AM (GMT -7)   

stevef999:

With respect to post-seeding side effects, almost none with the exception of fatigue.  My husband does not know the meaning of "relax" and "take it easy" so his body taught him how to do that with some fatigue.  He would have a "normal" morning but soon found himself taking an afternoon nap because he had pushed it too much, too soon.  Listen to your body - it knows how and when to heal.

You will get some antibiotics and other meds when you leave the hospital.  FloMax is your friend, it really helps with flow and keeps everything "smooth" so you can urinate without any pain or blockage - he used it with great success.  He experienced no obstruction but I credit that to the Flomax.

You will have to test your diet - there are some things that will irritate you and some things that won't.  We were given a "no no" list but if he really wanted something on it, we tried it in moderation and went from there - a total trial and error thing.

With respect to sex, we tried when he was ready - I don't think it was even six weeks out - with no problem.  Most doctors recommend Viagara or Levitra and will likely send you home with a sample.  They recommend you take it to keep the blood flowing so there is no blockage - we use it as needed - and we dont' always need it :)
 
Let me know if you have any other questions - nothing is off limits as far as I'm concerned so ask away.
 
 
 
 

stevef999
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 2/9/2007 8:47 AM (GMT -7)   
Julie, you are awesome.  I feel so positive and hopeful.  I am going to check a couple of references for my doc and book the procedure.  I want to get this cloud out from over my head and get on with life!  Thanks again.  Steve

 
Diagnosed 1-9-07 at Age 58
Gleason 6 (3 + 3)
Both lobes  - 2 of 23 cores (<5% each)
PSA 5.1
T1c - Negative DRE
Considering Brachytherapy vs daVinci
 


JustJulie
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 355
   Posted 2/9/2007 9:00 AM (GMT -7)   
stevef999:
 
I just wanted to add a couple of things ...
 
with respect to exercise - if you are an exercise guy - our doctor said that you could return to "soft" exercise about a month post-surgery.  By "soft" she meant gentle use of the treadmill - only until you began to break a sweat (do not follow the steps of one of her patients that felt so great post-surgery he went out and ran a half marathon - BIG mistake - he paid for it with severe swelling after).  The fact he felt that good is great but the fact he ignored his doctor's advice is bad ...
 
If you happen to suffer with hemmoroids, they may be affected.  Get yourself a supply of Tucks pads and some Nupricanal - it works better than Prep H and is a step below prescription grade - apparently the newest stuff on the market.
 
Your doctor should warn you about discoloration - it didn't happen to us but it did happen to another patient - do not be alarmed if your penis turns the colour of an eggplant - it's just discoloration and will subside - the other patient that shared our hospital room had this happen - we did not - it just depends on how your body accepts the procedure - in case your doctor fails to mention it (he/she may not have encounted a patient with it) you may want to ask to you don't pass out in panic ...
 
If you have any other questions let me know.
 
 

jetguy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 741
   Posted 3/23/2007 3:40 PM (GMT -7)   
There are some new guys here in the throes of decision making, so this is going to the top. Thanks, Julie.

Bill
Gleason 3+3=6, T1c, one core in twelve, another pre-cancerous.
62 years old and good health.  Married 37 years.  To same woman!
Began IGRT January 23, 2007. 


JustJulie
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 355
   Posted 3/26/2007 5:42 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Bill.  Things have been crazy around here (but in a good way) - I've been lurking just not posting.  For those of you with any Brachytherapy questions, ask away - I'll answer anything - at this point, nothing is "personal" so modesty is no issue when it comes to answering your questions.
 
 
 

peeweeaz
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 27
   Posted 4/3/2007 5:28 PM (GMT -7)   

Julie,

   Words can't express how grateful I am after reading your and your husband's journey with Brachytherapy. If you are not a writer, you should be. I'm 63 years old and my stats are posted elsewhere in this forum. My wish is that my experience with Brachytherapy is as smooth as your husband's has been up to this point. I'm going next week to talk to the "seed man", so we'll see where we go after that. I also hope your husband appreciates you and loves you to death.

Bob

  


JustJulie
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 355
   Posted 4/4/2007 11:49 AM (GMT -7)   
Bob:
 
I am so glad my Brachytherapy Journey thread helped you.  This forum has helped me more than anyone could ever know and I am thankful, on my occasions, for all those who post here.  I found it very comforting to be able to discuss anything and everything - with no holds barred - on this forum and receive honest and real responses.
 
I hope I was of some help to you with my posting.  If you have any questions that were unanswered or you just want to talk about your treatment, feel free to post here - the more information and choices available to people the better.  I'm happy to discuss any of the procedure, the recovery or the emotions you might experience.
 
Bless you and best wishes as you begin your treatment - please keep me posted.
 
Warmest regards,
 
 
JustJulie

peeweeaz
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 27
   Posted 4/4/2007 3:23 PM (GMT -7)   

JustJulie:

Thank you for your kind and supportive words. I'll keep everyone posted as I go down the same journey as you and your husband. My appointment with the radiation oncologist is Tues., 10 Apr. I'm sure I'll have more news after that.

Bob


bgold
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 4/12/2007 3:30 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello Julie,
I was just diagnosed less than a month ago and was given the three options (surgery, EBRT, and BRACHYTHERAPY) to decide on. I'm totally confused as to what i should do. It seems like the more i read the more confused i am. I have been leaning towards Brachy because i'm scared to go under the knife so to speak. Frankly i also hope to preserve my sex life is another important reason. I read your thread and you mentioned that you and your husband decided immediately after you met with the brachytherapist that this was going to be it. Was it because at that point he just wanted to get it over with and move on ?
Did you ask the therapist or oncologist what the plan B options are if the cancer came back later ?
Did this play into your decision making too ? Did you by any chance ask the urologist how many procedures he has done ? I'm reading all this stuff that i need to do hoping that it would make the decision easier but like i said, it gets more confusing. I've talked to people that have had the surgery and of course they swear by it even if it means having no libido for the one guy. I know it depends on my mindset and ultimately it is mine alone to make.
I'm trying to find out what made you choose this treatment over the others ?
Are there any members on this site that have lived with brachy for more than 4 years ? I'd really want to know what the long term effects are.

I am 50 years old . Gleason of 3+3 = 6
Stage T1C

Talk to you soon,
bgold

JustJulie
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 355
   Posted 4/13/2007 5:40 AM (GMT -7)   
bgold:
 
We've been where you are and it is indeed very confusing.  My husband was only 44 when diagnosed (you can read the entire journey under the thread JustJulie's Brachytherapy Journey if you've not already found it) and his Gleason was 3+3=6 but Stage 2.
 
We asked a lot of questions and we met with everyone - the urologist, the external beam therapist and the brachytherapist.  Because of the location of my husband's tumour surgery was more risky.  After speaking with everyone he decided on brachytherapy for several reasons (a) the surgery and brachytherapy results were relatively the same at about 15 years out - this information we got from our brachytherapist; (b) he was comfortable with his brachytherapist and (c) it was somewhat less invasive than full out surgery.  Were we tired and confused by the deluge of information and opinions facing us - yes - but we didn't make a decision based on the fact that we simply wanted to move on - we wanted to move on confidently with the best treatment for us.  Treatments are advancing every day and there seems to be more and more hope for those who opt not to have surgery so do not dispair.
 
Keep this in mind, every medical provider believes their treatment is best - the urologist will recommend surgery, the brachytherapist will recommend seeding and the external beam will recommend radiation.  You must make the decision that is right for you.  Surgery was a complicated choice for us as my husband's tumour was touching other organs which could lead to problems if they cut too deep or not deep enough so brachytherapy seemed the best choice for us and he's done very well.
 
Everything's relatively back to normal (in all areas) and things are good inside and outside the bedroom - we've not had any issues if that's one of your concerns. 
 
Good luck on your quest - let me know if I can be of any further help.  FYI we used the Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto and had an exceptional experience there.  You know when you walk through the door why you're there but they never and I mean NEVER made you feel alienated or pitied - their job was to get you well and they're excellent at it.  Every single person we can into contact with was fabulous.
 
 

peeweeaz
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 27
   Posted 4/13/2007 8:13 AM (GMT -7)   

bGold:

Welcome to the club. I, too, am a recent member and am headed down the path taken by Julie and her husband. I would strongly recommend you read her journey. It's an inspiration for all of us facing the diagnosis and the difficult decision about treatments. My numbers (Gleason and grade) are the same as yours which is a good thing - more treatment options available. I chose Brachytherapy for  reasons similar to Julie's husband - surgery risky for me because of a history of blood clots. I think if I were in a better financial position, I would take a more serious look at Proton therapy (expensive) and, if I were you, I would look at the Proton.bob web site just to become informed about that therapy option. I've finished my prostate mapping (ultrasound) and waiting for a call from my "seed man" to schedule my Brachytherapy sometime in May.

I'm hoping my side effects are as minimum as Julie's husband's. However, I am 20 years older than he, so we'll see. Whichever way you go bGold, good luck. And remember, you're not alone.


JustJulie
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 355
   Posted 4/13/2007 8:22 AM (GMT -7)   

peeweeaz:

Glad to see you posting - with your ultrasound mapping completed, your well on your way.  Hope the time until seeding surgery goes quickly for you and remember, you too are among friends here.  Good luck to both of you - you know I'm here for you.

Warmest regards,

JustJulie


Dutch
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 400
   Posted 4/13/2007 1:13 PM (GMT -7)   

Julie:

You are a great source of info on seeds - my BIL has Pca and is considering seeds.  How long was your husband laid up not being able to do any work?   You mentioned that your husband's job was labor intensive so he was off work for 3 months - my BIL drives heavy equipment for a cement company - would this have been a job your husband could have done feeling like he did - I question the mixing of fatique and heavy equipment?  Did your husband have any period of incontinence after the catheter was removed?  I have copied your journey and sent it to him - it is very well done and full of info.

Thanks much,

Dutch 


Diagnosed Feb 2001  (Age 65)  Currently 71
PSA 4.8
Gleason 3 + 3 = 6
T2b
Completed Proton therapy @ Loma Linda - Aug 2001
5yr PSA   0.17
Have had no side effects.


biker90
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1464
   Posted 4/13/2007 1:20 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey Julie,

Thank you so much for your great posts and updates on Brachy therapy. Many people are going to be in debted to you for your care and the information you provide. This is truly what cancer recovery is about...

Jim
Age 72. Diagnosed 11/03/06. PSA 7.05. Stage T2B Gleason 3+3.
RRP 12/7/06. Nerves and nodes okay.
Pathological stage: T2B. Gleason 3+4. Cancer confined to prostate.
PSA on 1/3/07 - 0.04. 
PSA on 4/4/07 - 0.00  T level - 48  Restarted T therapy.
Next PSA on 7/11/07.
 
 "Cancer feeds on fear - starve it to death."

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