When my PSA doubles again (it doubles every 2 months) I will begin ADT soon after. Until I read Doug F's story I was not giving myself much of a chance and was a bit negative. His detailed account was encouraging and I will be exploring his details closely and discussing them with my oncologist. I will also be looking in the Yana forum for other stories that ring a bell for me. Although I have said yes to being a Mentor I won't be much use until a few more things have happened.
Late in 2014 my PSA reached 10.0. It was clear the radical prostatectomy had not caught the cancer.
So right then I began ADT with monthly injections. No side effects to speak of, so after three monthly shots I had one that lasted a quarter. But I had become concerned that all I was stopping was the production of testosterone in the testes but that my adrenals were still pumping it out. I began taking a daily 50mg pill of bicalutamide to inhibit the uptake of this remaining testosterone and have continued with it. Most recently (24th April 2015) I had my second quarterly injection. Still no side effects but now zero libido. But, in Sept this year I turn 80, so have taken that on the chin as well.
My PSA count has dropped one hundred fold since I began ADT, that is, from 10.0 to 0.10. I have been keeping a graph since the PSA reached 0.80 and is clear the decline is geometric. The PSA count is declining monthly and, by looking at it, I can predict the next month's result by not quite halving the current one. Multiplying it by .56 or thereabouts, it seems. The declining curve should go below 0.00 by my birthday this September and become 'undetectable'. If that really happens I understand I have only a 3% chance of a relapse. Wish I could believe that. Both my grandparents lived till their mid-nineties and kept their marbles. I enjoy writing, the company of my dear Sue and my good Baha'i friends. I like to be useful, so although life is quite different it is still happy and rewarding.
I should mention that, in accord with my beliefs, I have neither smoked nor consumed alcohol or drugs for over 50 years. Do I get a 'health' reward for that? Don't know, sorry. Will do a YANANOW update in September and post progress. Cheers
In September 2016 (this year) I shall be 81 years of age. Around 8 months ago I completed a year of testosterone suppression (regular quarterly injections). I began that year with a PSA of 10.0 and ended it with 0.01 which is a thousand fold drop. I chose to regard 0.01 as my 'nadir' because any further drop would not be measurable. As well, I was completely fed up with the effects of the suppression. I had low energy, low interest in matters physical and could not get anything done.
Over the past 8 months, since I stopped suppression, my PSA has rebounded to 0.05 and my testosterone level has climbed back from near zero to approx 15. My state of mind is understandably improved. When my PSA climbs back to 10.0 I will have to resume suppression but will not try to force it back to the arbitrary nadir of 0.01. I will stop suppression when the PSA hopefully gets back down to 0.10. If it doesn't there will have to be a big rethink.
Looking at the curve, I guess it will be two years before suppression has to begin again.
All the best to YANA which keeps us in touch.
Had a Pet scan in Perth a week ago and it showed where the prostate cancer is located in my body. Great news is that it is only in one place (a lymph gland in my groin) and that my oncologist thinks it can be hit with external radiation with a prospect of knocking it out altogether. So, later this month (in November) I begin some weeks of radiation in the town of Bunbury, Western Australia, where Sue and I live. The machine here is relatively low-powered so there have to be quite a few radiation sessions. But then, I'm only a 10 minute drive from the hospital.
Eight months ago I decided to pay for a PET scan to see where my cancer was. The scan was accurate, that is, better then a previous muddy one using older technology, and the cancer was lit up like a candle. The good news was that, although it was in a lymph node in the groin, it had stayed there and not spread further.
I was therefore given 36 goes of very well targeted external beam radiation to hammer the groin. My PSA when this began was 13. All this time I have not had any hormone suppression. So the drop to 0.39 is only because of this latest radiation. In the beginning my PSA dropped by half each week, but now it is flattening out and it takes three months for the PSA to drop by half. But it is still dropping. Hooray!
I am due back to my oncologist in another three months to see how things are going.
OddPod's e-mail address is: podger.david AT gmail.com (replace "AT" with "@")