Changed primary care physicians in June of 2016. With the change all new labs. My PSA had jumped from 2.8 a year ago to 5.1. He wanted me to see a Urologist. The first visit was family history which included both my father and uncle having prostate cancer. Second visit was the biopsy. It came back with 7/12 cores as cancerous and a Gleason of 6.
The Urologist gave me two choices, either surgery or radiation at the center he was a partner in.
I started my research; ruled out surgery after watching a YouTube video. I researched my father's treatment. He had IMRT which led to him getting bladder cancer; I ruled out IMRT.
The BOB website led me to Proton Therapy which I ultimately chose.
Nine weeks in Loma Linda. The first 7 weeks were a walk in the park; exercise and site seeing. My wife and I were really enjoying our time in Loma Linda. Then on the weekend of the seventh week, my urethra collapsed and I had to be catheterized. Then two weeks after the catheter, I got an infection in my bladder from the catheter. I had to be admitted to LLUMC for two days to fight the infection.
I completed treatment and got the catheter out on the 45th day.
We were happy to go home; however, my immune system had been compromised by both the Proton Therapy and the infection that when I got home I was back in the hospital two weeks latter with Valley Fever (a fungal infection native to the Southwest). I have started anti-fungal treatment which I will likely be on for most of the coming year.
My first post treatment PSA is scheduled for March 2017. However, because of the Affordable Care Act I could not get insurance that would allow me to see any of my doctors so I have moved back to California so that I could get insurance that would allow for my follow-up care.
We were told that 1 in 1000 patients getting Proton at Loma Linda has to be catheterized. Up until that problem treatment was easy with no side effects.
I am now four months post treatment, first PSA is 2.2, no side effects to report. I am slowly getting better from the Valley Fever I contracted post treatment.
10 month PSA check shows an increase in my PSA. Talked with LLUMC, they indicated that this was not uncommon. I had not thought about my treatment until I got my PSA results. The fear that I had before my treatment has returned.
Niven's e-mail address is: niven AT niven.cnc.net (replace "AT" with "@")