Posted 3/29/2007 8:31 PM (GMT -7)
Hello everyone! I haven't posted in a while,but wanted to give everyone an update on my dad. I see more of you have posted about advanced/recurring PC here recently, so I hope this can help someone. To update-at 60 years old, in the early part of the year, my dad was sent by his regular doctor to a urologist..his PSA was 6.1. The doctor had written on the paper-"non-emergency"...if only he really knew. The urologist discussed with my dad his options and my dad chose to have his prostate removed. I was not involved in his treatment too much at this time. He said he liked his doctor, and I knew very little about PC, so I justed trusted his judgement. He ended up having to wait for the surgery till late Nov 05. When the doctor went into to remove his prostate, his lymph nodes were bulging with cancer. The doctor took the lymph nodes out and left his prostate intact. I later found out his PSA was 64 at that time. I now know there were many mistakes. In Dec 05, that same doctor did an orchiectomy (testical removal) on my dad. We-the family-were told that this would kill off the testerone..and the cancer would die out. Again-if only I knew then what I know now. Fast forward to April 06-my dad's PSA was down to .04. We truly thought the cancer was dying out and almost gone.
At the next 6 month check up, it was back up to 8.1. This time I went with my dad to the doctor's office. The doctor referred us to an oncologist..this is about the time that I met you guys. My dad had multi scans run..his PSA was now 15.88...and the cancer showed as three cancer tumors in the lymph nodes between the kidneys. We decided to participate in a Clinical Study...Taxotere Chemo with high does of DN101-which is a form of calcium. My dad is now 62. He just finished his 5th month of chemo. The chemo is very gentle--he has not goten sick at all. It has killed his taste buds but he forces himself to eat and does a low fat, very little meat diet, and drinks pomegranate juice daily. He has maintained his weight. He had thin hair to begin with-he has not lost it but it has thinned some more. Overall, we feel very fortunate with the side effects. At the last scans 4 weeks ago-at the 4 month interval-my dad's PSA had dropped down to .6 and his scan showed that the cancer in the lymph nodes between the kidneys has so far decreased 55-70% since we started. We just had a new PSA taken Wed-get that result next Fri. In four weeks, we get new scans. After that, there are only 6 weeks left in the clinical study...so we will have to see where he is at at that point. He looks great and overall feels pretty good..a little fatigued but he still works 12 hour days and carrys on with life as normal. I go to every single doctor meeting and chemo appointment with him. I told him we will fight this together. He is my everything.
While I am extremely thankful and happy about the cancer dying out-I am nervous about "what happens next". I try to live in the now and for today-knowing that we have been truly blessed so far, but I still worry. I am a little confused on when someone is Hormone Refractory-like he is...what happens next if the PSA starts creeping back up after chemo. I know the reoccurance rate is high for him, but I hope and pray we can keep him in remission for some time(forever would be fantastic :)) Can they use hormone therapy on him after chemo if the PSA starts rising?
Also-on the news today-I heard about a drug called Provenge. It is a Prostate Cancer Vaccine-but not for prevention-for those that already have PC from what I understand. It was either just FDA approved or is in the process of being approved-not real sure...but I googled Provenge and there is some info on it if someone wants to read it. I am excited to learn more about it.