Thank you everyone for your thoughts and ideas. It certainly helps to get another perspective! My husband had a "good day" yesterday and I took the opportunity to discuss his cancer with him - quietly and in a non-confrontational way. He has actually agreed to allow me to come with him to his next oncologist appointment and will contact his GP to get his biopsy results. In reading through the Forum I've realized just how much I/we don’t know! We don’t know what his Gleason score is (or even what it means!); we don’t know what other treatments are out there and what is the best option for him and his particular diagnosis. In looking back over the last 3 months, I feel that we've both been in this big washing machine - spinning around without any clear idea of what needs to be done. What is even scarier is the way that he doesn’t really understand what is happening. There is just way too much information to take it all in properly!
In answer to Tony: My husband was diagnosed on 7 December last year as a result of check-ups for suspected gall stones. His GP sent him to a couple of specialists that resulted in a barrage of different tests. When first diagnosed, his PC immediately put him onto Cosudex 50mg and he had a hormone implant (cannot recall the name or dose). He had a biopsy to ascertain if the cancer had spread to his bones which thankfully was all clear!. His oncologist has offered him external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) or a combination of EBRT and high-dose rate temporary brachyherapy. He doesn’t much like the idea of having needles poked into his prostate gland and the accompanying 3 days in hospital! I think it is far better if I accompany him to the oncologist so that I can have a list of questions to ask in a fairly undetached (?) manner. He had a bone density test on Wednesday, another blood test in a couple of weeks and will see his oncologist again on 5 April. I expect the agreed radiotherapy (EBRT or combination EBRT/Brachytherapy) will start mid April. The gall stone problem has taken a back seat but will need to be dealt with sooner or later!
He has been told that surgery isn’t an option due to the way the PC has spread (T3). In reviewing the material from the Australian Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia, chemotherapy doesn’t seem to be a generally accepted treatment option. This doesn’t seem to be the case in America – I wonder why?
To Susan, Tony, Dave and Tim – thank you so very much for your words of wisdom and support. It has really helped me to get my own act together and work hard at giving him the support that he needs. It will certainly help with the two of us fighting this together. Thanks for the heads up on the Depression forum Dave – I’ve had a quick look and will certainly add it to my list! My prayers and thoughts to each of you as you continue on your own journey (but obviously not alone!)
I’ll keep you posted on the outcome of our appointment in April.
Thank you again