As many of you know, I have had much to report through the past months. And in much of that, the challenges grew harder. I have taken a month off here as I needed to come to terms with difficult decisions. As a stage III patient (pT3b, G4+3=7, PSA 19.7, four positive margins) I have no clear path for treatment. My results had City of Hope, NCI, and all that I read tell me that there is likely a 70-80% chance of return of this stupid disease after my surgery. So what could I do? Many of you who know me know I headed to the mountains, streams, and deserts in my RV with my wonderful wife.
Upon my return was reality. I needed to make decisions. Well I chose to let others do that for me. I was familiarized with the ongoing sanofi-Aventis pharmaceutical study. Treatment for late stage III PC patients. The choices for them were to treat me now with systemic treatments or to wait until my disease was returning to above 0.4. They ran a series of tests. CT scans, bloodwork, shipped my pre and post-op pathology and prostate to Johns-Hopkins (Dr. Epstein) and be randomized by this coming Monday. I had chosen to not decide this myself in hopes that I would dodge the bullets with faith.
When my oncologist, who happens to be the report writer on this study, instilled that this is what he would do, I was finally resolved that I had done well. That was until he called last Thursday. He first told me that Dr. Epstein did not qualify me for the study. As you can guess I expected worse news. But God gives us another option - Hope. in fact, it was on this call that I learned that keeping the faith would pay off. Dr. Vogelzang went on that after extensive study of my pathology, that CoH may have in fact removed the cancer. I did not qualify for the study since my PSA was now 0.0 AND the cancer was not behaving like the 4+3 but rather 3+4. All signs indicated that I was more likely less than a 40% of return. Dr. V reraised the possibility that radiation was prudent. That now we could hold off on Eligard and Taxotere.
I hope that one day we can look back on this as a sign of hope for all. I extend my wishes to all here that you keep believing in the positive side of the fight of this disease. I know I am not out of the woods, yet, but that rather I am moving on.
God Bless to all,
Tony & Ruth
44 years old (for another month)
With new hope.
Post Edited (TC-LasVegas) : 5/13/2007 9:30:57 PM (GMT-6)