I went to see my family doctor about my numb toes due to bicycling. She did a routine battery of tests for a man who just turned 50. My PSA came in at 29. I hoped it was a mistake and did another a month later that came back lower but still 25. I was referred to a Urologist and had a biopsy which found 7 of 8 cores positive, my Gleason score was 7 but later revised to 8 and my third PSA was 34. I was in shock.
I did a tremendous amount of research and visited several specialists who all recommended their specialty (except one surgeon). As a lifelong salesman, I was fond of saying that, IF YOU SELL HAMMERS FOR A LIVING - EVERYTHING BEGINS TO LOOK LIKE A NAIL.
My reading of the Partin Tables indicated that there was a very low chance that the cancer would be confined to my prostate. I made some sense to "get the cancer out" or at least most of it and then fight the rest but I felt that since I was in for a long fight, why not avoid the side effect of surgery. I knew that I would deal with ED either way but the idea of incontinence seemed much worse.
I went to see six surgeons including the top Open and Robotic guys in Ohio and Pennsylvania. I also went to see a couple of Urologists, Oncologists and even an Ayurvedic doctor. I have a couple of doctors in the family and while they are not cancer or prostate specialists, they were a godsend. They both spent many hours discussing the options with me and I really don't know how I would have made it without their love and support.
All of the surgeons I met were very impressive fellows and each time I walked out I felt "this is the guy" but later had doubts. Then I found the Theraseed website. I spoke at great length to an extremely helpful nurse there also reviewed the information on the website which was very helpful and I watched the DVD they sent out. It turned out that one of the top specialists they recommended was in Wheeling, West Virgina.
Wheeling WV??? What is a top guy in anything doing in Wheeling WV?
I called him and spoke for over an hour. Within 10 minutes, I was sure this was the Doctor for me so I made an appointment with him. He told me what challenges my "high risk" cancer posed but at the same time gave me great hope. We decided on a very aggressive course of treatments. I had read many accounts of patients who second-guessed their decisions but to this day I never have.
I went on a 3 year ADT (Androgen Deprivation Therapy) treatment, 3 months before 25 External Beam Radiation Treatments and 3 months later, Brachytherapy.
Eight months after the Brachytherapy I am very happy to have made the choices I made. I am still on Flomax and have 2 more years of ADT ahead of me. I have all of the typical side effects of the ADT treatment and I still urinate quite frequently and it often burns but I am alive and loving life. My PSA was been undetectable for the last 7 months.
There is hope!
My PSA is still undetectable. In June 2008, after 18 months of ADT (3 x six month shots of Eligard), I decided to discontinue the ADT treatment due to the side effects. I am monitoring my PSA every two months and so far so good.
As of November 2009 my PSA is 0.3 and everything works ... mostly... ;-)
August 2010 PSA was 0.3.
As of December 2011 my PSA is 0.1. Life is good!
As of March 2012 my PSA is 0.1
PSA is still 0.1
Life is good!
Last PSA was 0.1 and the next one is due end of August 14. Always feels like I'm waiting for the jury to come back in ever 6 months but I'm not complaining
I'm coming up to 10 years since diagnosis and my last PSA was still 0.1. I'm very happy with my treatment choices and have no complaints other than moderate ED. Life is good!
Ten years after diagnosis my PSA is 0.05
Over the last 6-8 months ED has become a bigger problem. I recently started with the the injections of Trimix (compounded version of Edex or Caverject) and it works great. I never thought I could do it but after a few times it gets pretty easy and doesn't hurt and the results are fantastic!
It's great to be alive!
Michael's e-mail address is: realestatecolumbus AT gmail.com (replace "AT" with "@")