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  R.I.P.    BRONZE 
This is his Country or State Flag

Richard Skey lived in California, USA. He was 63 when he was diagnosed in December, 2008. His initial PSA was 2000.00 ng/ml, his Gleason Score was 10, and he was staged T4. His choice of treatment was ADT-Androgen Deprivation (Hormone). Here is his story.

I had some back pain issues; I was working on a car with a friend and heard a crack, this took me off my feet for a few weeks. My daughter first took me to the urgent care in March 2007 with back pain. They pumped me full of morphine and advised it was probably a slipped disc, and if it was not better in a few weeks to come back for some tests. I do not like tests so I dealt with the pain.

Months passed by and some days better than others. Finally in Oct 2008 I could barely walk anymore, I was using crutches to get around the house and had very little energy, so the night of November 3 2008 I called my daughter to come take me to the hospital. Same ol' drill - pain meds, muscle relaxers and advise to see my doctor. I decided that I really didn't want back surgery for a slipped disc, so my daughter and I decided that we would try a chiropractor first and surgery as a last resort.

I stayed with my daughter so I would not be alone anymore. I went to the chiropractor they felt my spine and said we can fix this! Decompression machine three times a week and $7,000.00 and it would be fixed! Sounds good to me, pricey but worth skipping surgery and being pain free again! It seemed to work for a few weeks, I felt a little bit stronger and more upbeat! Then my bowels stopped working so again daughter took me to urgent care.

This time it was different. They sent me in an ambulance to the local hospital for MRI and to consult a Neurologist.... hmm... why a surgeon? Get to the hospital and they gave some good pain meds that knocked me out. Thankfully my daughter was there, because as usual, they tried to send us home with another prescription. Apparently while I was sleeping my daughter had to put up a fight with the doctors to give me the tests I was told I was getting from the urgent care doctor. So after my daughter won, they gave me some x-rays and changed their tune. As I woke up to a surgeon advising me of MRI in 15 minutes and surgery in 5 hours. I did not understand what was going on.

MRI came back with knowledge of tumors on my spine causing cord compression. Ah! - that explains the weakness, tingling and pain! If some one had done their job in March 2007 maybe it wouldn't have gotten so far. After surgery surgeon tells the family that it is in fact Prostate cancer that has spread to the bones.

Next was the bone scan, results. spread to spine, shoulders, neck, ribs, pelvis, hips, legs, and lymph nodes. This explains a lot of pain. After three weeks in the hospital, I was transferred to a rehab center for four weeks and received ten rounds of radiation on the spine. I was sent home to live with my daughter Jan 16th 2009.

I have battled infections at the surgical site ever since! It has never healed to this day now July 2010. I have already been back into surgery to irrigate the surgical wound but we still battle a constant infection. Not to mention when I first came home, I could not move! Really I had to be lifted in and out of the car, to my wheel chair, to my bed, I could not roll over by myself, obviously I had no control over bodily functions.

I have come quite a way since then, I can now get in and out of the car, and purchased a quad to roam around our small rural town. I have a little more independence and now at 65 I have to work up the energy to do the smallest tasks even standing is hard. I have a walker that I can use on a good day to get out my door to the couch but can't get much farther than that. Right now I am on Lupron & Casodex, but PSA currently on the rise. My original PSA was over 2000 in Dec 08. By Sept 09 it dropped to 4.4 (lowest point) and has been on the rise. Mar 10, 2010 32.05; Apr 9,2010 50.99 and currently awaiting new score in Aug 2010.

Last appointment with oncologist was that we would probably have to start chemo in Aug. We'll see how my body handles it. With ADT I don't have it easy. The hot flashes and chills are debilitating, thankfully my son in-law has kept me surrounded by fans, and heaters to pull me through one extreme to the next. I have depression spells fairly often because the pain is so bad. I am on Fentanyl 100mcg, 10/325 Percocet, Valium, Zoloft, Ambien, and sometimes antibiotics for the infection at the surgical site.

At this point I have made it way longer than most expected, but I will tell you sometimes I am hoping for an end to come my way, the pain is constant and only gets worse it never goes away completely and they say I am on the strongest meds possible. The doc told my daughter if its that bad she needs to take me to the hospital... That is not what I want!

I will update after the next apt. I am thankful for this site! We searched the internet for months before finding this site in hopes for knowledge and to hear someone's story that was like mine, for some insight! Thank you for giving us YANA.


August 2010

Just a quick update. PSA on the rise up to 285.0 August from 50.99 in April. I am going to start Chemo (Taxotere) but first I have to get the infection under control (surgical site) will see the Neuro Surgeon this week.


November 2010

Just a quick update. My PSA was at 285.0 ng/ml so we started the Taxotere in September, 2010. I decided on the treatment of once a week for three weeks then off for one week between, the doctor said the side effects would not be as intense.

It has seemed to go ok so far, not really any side effects from the chemo. I have had some increased pain, and fatigue but not too much nausea, and no hair loss yet!


January 2011

Richard's daughter, Bonnie mailed me to say:

My dad, Richard Skey lost his battle on January 4, 2011. He was on hospice for about 2 weeks. Yana was a great help to our family and we appreciate your site very much.