I was enjoying my retirement and I was planning an extended trip to the Western States of the U.S.A in May of 2011. I decided to have a physical at the V.A. before I left. Soon afterwards an envelope came in the mail and it stated my PSA was high at 4.15 and to contact my doctor. This was the beginning of my journey with prostate cancer and my life will never be the same.
My doctor prescribed Cipro to see if I had an infection and I had an allergic reaction to the Cipro and had to discontinue it. At the time I did not know how this was going to influence my decisions later in this journey. I was retested and my PSA was 4.34. I went to the urologist and it was up more to 4.64.The urologist did a PCA3 test that was normal. So I decided not to have a biopsy. I think at this point I was confused about the different opinions on the PSA test.
I had a follow up with the urologist in December and my PSA was 5.25 and my PCA3 was 52 which is positive. I scheduled a biopsy with my urologist for January 11 ,2012. Because of my reaction to cipro and other antibiotics my urologist scheduled me to be in the hospital so I could have an antibiotic thru an IV doing the procedure. I left the hospital without any issues. Unfortunately the next morning I had a fever of 101 and was very sick. The doctor put me in the hospital and started IV'S and ran tests to see what type of infection I had contacted. It was determined that I had contacted a grand negative rod bacteria present in my colon and now it was in my blood because of the biopsy. The medicine they were giving me caused an allergic reaction and I got sicker. The doctor then tried several antibiotics until he found one that worked and after discharge from the hospital I went to his office for several days for a IV until the bacteria was no longer in my blood. I also got the news in the hospital that I did have prostate cancer with a Gleason score of 3+4 in one core out of 12. I was staged at T1c with a PSA of 5.6.
After gaining my strength back, I met with the doctor to determine my treatment options. Still dazed by all that had happened I was confused by the different treatment options or modalities as the doctor called them. I then began to read everything I could on Prostate cancer treatments. I am not the type to know I have cancer in my body and do nothing to treat it.
I started with going to two Proton Treatment centers. I thought this would be the least invasive and best way to treat the cancer. One center was ready to start treatment and the other was actual recommending I have surgery because of the possibility when the fiducials were inserted I might get another infection and I was allergic to the antibiotics they commonly used. After discussing this with several patients and doctors that did surgery and radiation I made my decision. I did not want to risk getting another infection so I decided on RapidArc Cone-Beam CT guided IRMT radiation therapy.
I started on the 5th of April and have had 3 treatments. It is very early in my treatment and I do not have any side effects at this point. I will have 44 treatments for a total 79.2 Gy. I have 41 to go. I will update when I am 1/2 thru the treatment. I am thankful for this website and all the men who have posted before me and for the great work Terry has done providing this forum.
I have now completed 22 of my 44 treatments at Winship Cancer Institute at Emory University in Atlanta Georgia. The treatment is going well and I feel good. The only side effect I have is going to the bathroom to urinate more than normal. I have been given medicine for this but it has not gotten to the point where I need it. I am staying in the American Cancer Society Hope House in Atlanta and this has been an eye opening experience. I will never take my blessings for granted again. I am 1/2 the way through and will update when I have completed treatment.
Best Wishes to all !
I completed 44 IRMT treatments on June 7. I did have frequency when I completed treatment and was taking Terazosin because I was allergic to Flomax. It did work. Today , July 11 , I had my PSA checked and it was 3.38. It is on the way down ! I will check it again in 90 days and hope that it continues to decline. I do not take the Terazosin now and after 5 weeks I have no side effects ! I feel very blessed that I do not have any issues. God Bless you all as you fight this battle. Thanks Terry for providing this forum.
I had my second PSA test on 10/14/2012 and the results were 2.59. This is higher than I hoped but my PSA is still going down after completing IMRT External Beam Radiation on 6/7/2012. I feel great and have gone back to work and moved to Utah. I do not have any side effects at this time.
God Bless and Best Wishes !
I had my check up with my Doctor and my PSA continues down. It is 2.12 now. It has now been 7 months since I completed treatment. I feel great and no side effects. One day at a time. God bless all who are fighting this disease. Thanks Terry for this website.
I have just had my one year checkup since completing 44 IMRT treatments. It went by fast. No side effects at this time and my PSA is still going down. It is 1.75 now. I feel good and am blessed to have no side effects. God Bless all who are fighting this disease. Thanks again Terry for providing this site.
My PSA has bounced around the last 4 months and got high enough to where my doctor did a bone scan but it did not show any issues. June 7 marked 2 years since I completed my IRMT treatment and my PSA was 1.34. I had fallen and had some back pain from it so I retired. I am feeling a little tire as of late but my PSA is still going down. I wish everyone the best and I will update if there are any changes. Still no signs of relapse after two years.
Tomorrow will be 3 years since I completed IMRT external beam radiation treatment. My PSA; yesterday was at 1.3 which is up from my low of 1.12. I will see my doctor next month and see if this is an issue. I feel good and am very active. I have started having a few side effects of low sex drive and frequent urine trips. I will be 68 on June 11. I will check back in after I visit my doctor. God bless.
I am now 4 years post treatment as of June 7th. My PSA; is lower then it has been at 1. I feel good but have gained some weight but that is from me eating too much. I have some erectile issues but I am positive and happy my PSA is staying stable.
I am 5 years post treatment now and my PSA remains 1. I do have erectile dyfunction but Viagra does help. I have a 3mm nodule in my upper left lung but it is too small to biopsy at this time. The doctors are monitoring it. I feel good and recently remarried. I am very active and work part time.
James's e-mail address is: earlcanipe AT gmail.com (replace "AT" with "@")