Larry F and Teresa lived in Alabama, USA. He was 56 when he was diagnosed in April, 2016. His initial PSA was 0.00 ng/ml, his Gleason Score was Unknown, and he was staged Unknown. His choice of treatment was External Beam Radiation (Proton Beam). Here is his story.
Hello: This is Teresa Sewell, I am writing on behalf of my husband Larry who was 57 on May 13th of this year. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer after having undergone 2 total hip replacements, a total knee replacement and a rotator cuff surgery. He recently had to go on disability after is last hip replacement. The doctor refused to let him return to work at the Honda plant here in Alabama. He really loved going to work everyday and was really bored just staying around the house and doing outside work on our farm with our son. At a yearly physical with his primary doctor the doctor performed a PSA test which was elevated which concerned my husband, since my dad had previously had prostate surgery 2 years earlier with great results. My husband decided to make an appointment with the same prostate doctor that my dad had used. When he went for his initial appointment a manual exam was done and the doctor assured me that everything was probably going to be OK because my husband was really young to have prostate cancer. Well it turned out everything was not OK. When we went back to the prostate doctor he did a biopsy and he also did another manual exam which he felt a hard lump in the prostate. The biopsy came back and the prostate doctor wanted a more detailed biopsy so he sent us over to a hospital that had the correct machine to perform the tests he wanted performed. When we went back to the prostate doctor he told us that Larry did indeed have prostate cancer and that he had 2 lesions on his prostate. He told us about the different types of treatment we could have and the pros and cons of each type of treatment. He said we would talk with the oncology radiology doctor to go over the treatment that we decide on and that this doctor would map out my husband's treatment plan. We met with this doctor a week later and we decided on the external beam radiation therapy because my dad had the same treatment at age 80 and he had no side effects whatsoever.
My husband's treatment consisted of traveling 100 miles from our home to the doctor's office Monday thru Friday each week for 8 weeks. I drove him each and every day and he seemed to tolerate the treatments well up until week 5 of the 8 week treatment. Then he began to have extreme fatigue and extreme shortness of breath. He was still trying to do things outside with my son so the doctor advised him to slow down. When he complained of shortness of breath, he eventually decided it would be better if he stayed inside the house in air conditioning but the shortness of breath became worse just walking down the hallway to the bathroom and back to the couch. He would be breathing like he ran a 10 mile race and the fatigue was really bad. Each Thursday during the 8 week treatment Larry and I would talk with the head oncology radiologist and he would come in and talk with us to let us know how the treatments were proceeding and to ask us if Larry was having any problems. Larry informed the doctor around week 5 that he was experiencing extreme fatigue and shortness of breath and the doctor never even put a sethoscope on Larry to see if he even had a heart. The doctor blamed the shortness of breath on the extremely hot weather we were having he told me and Larry that he had several patients that were complaining of shortness of breath so he did not order any testing to be done or anything. So Larry just went back home with the severe breathing problems and fatigue and he continued the treatment program still having the shortness of breath and extreme fatigue. After he completed the 8 week treatment plan the patients are allowed to go home for 1 month and to return to the office have have blood work drawn and then to come back to the office a couple of days later to see what the blood work had shown. Well on July 25, 2016 I took Larry back to the office to have his blood work drawn and he was to return to the office on July 28, 2016 for the results of the blood work but he did not make it back for the appointment because he died when he collapsed in our bedroom after having taken a bath. My son and I performed CPR until the ambulance got here they pricked his finger to see if his diabetes was out of whack but it was normal. His blood pressure was 121/86, his EKG showed normal rhythm but the EMT said his heart was beating 6 times faster than it should have been. The 2 paramedics then put Larry on a sheet so they could lift him onto the gurney when they rolled him out of the bedroom he was shouting that he could not breath. When they got him into the ambulance, the ambulance was bouncing up and down because they were performing CPR on him and they intubated him but did not get any response. They would not let me nor my son ride in the ambulance with Larry to the hospital due to insurance policy so we followed in my car. When we got to the ER I told the lady that my husband had just been bought in and they took me and my son to the chapel where we were informed that Larry had died on the way to the hospital. The ER doctor and nurse asked me what had happened that morning and I told them he had collapsed and I also told them that he had been receiving treatment for prostate cancer and the doctor said prolonged radiation therapy could cause a blood clot to develop and that is what had caused Larry to die. Well the next day was Thursday July 28 the day Larry was supposed to have returned to get the results of his blood work. Well on Friday July 29th while I was trying to make funeral arrangements the doctor's nurse called me to ask why Larry had not shown up for his appointment I was upset as you can imagine. I told the nurse he had a really good reason for not showing up that he had died on Wednesday. Well usually when you call the office and ask to speak to the doctor they will tell you they are busy and will call you back later but when I told the nurse that Larry had died she put the doctor on the phone immediately and he was totally shocked he asked me what had happened and I totally lost it on the doctor. I told him that we would never have chosen external beam radiation therapy if we had known that it caused blood clots and that I guess it wasn't the extremely hot weather that had caused Larry's shortness of breath and fatigue, and the doctor tried to say that the EBRT had not caused the blood clot and I told him what the cause of death was which was cardiopulmonary respiratory arrest. Larry was perfectly healthy when he begin prostate cancer treatment he was going to this doctor to be cured not for him to cause his death, I am trying to see if I have enough to file a wrongful death suit against the doctor because I really do not understand why he did not do any type of testing when we told him repeatedly that Larry was having shortness of breath and extreme fatigue. I tried to get Larry to let me take him to the hospital during the month we were waiting to go back for the blood work but he insisted that the doctor was good and he said the breathing would get better once the hot weather cooled off some. Well evidently that was not the case so I would like to hear from some of you men do you think I am doing the right thing and have any of you had similar things happen to you. Thanks for listening as you can see I am still grieving and missing my husband very much.