It's been some time since I last posted, and I hope I will again soon be posting regularly. I have been doing well, but I find time is in very short supply these days.
December 7, yesterday, was the anniversary of my first ever and fateful PSA test in 1999: 113.6. My DRE followed the next morning with a urologist, who said my prostate was somewhat enlarged and "rock hard." Within days he had performed a biopsy that was determined to be Gleason 4+3=7 cancer with perineural invasion, and all cores positive, most 100%. Within weeks two highly respected doctors had responded to my request for a prognosis that I probably could expect three good years and two declining years. I'm thankful their crystal balls were cloudy.
I am now doing very well except for fairly minor side effects of my fourth round of triple ADT (androgen deprivation therapy, aka hormonal therapy or hormonal blockade). The regimen is somewhat different this time, but my PSA dropped about 75% during the first month, dropping at about the same rate as the previous three times. (Instead of Casodex/bicalutamide as the second element, I'm now taking flutamide; instead of a bisphosphonate to protect against loss of bone density, I'm now on Vivelle Dot transdermal estradiol patches.)
If all continues to go as expected, after three months I will have about 78 to 80 Gy of radiation delivered by Tomotherapy. I have selected that therapy for a combination of technical and personal reasons, but have good confidence in my shot at a cure based on the sophisticated imaging and workups I had last year.
One of the time consumers that has kept me from the Board was working to reduce weight, especially around my abdomen. I have been quite successful, and have been pleased and a little surprised that I've been able to maintain a fairly low weight despite resuming ADT.
I hope to post more details.
The following user gives a hug of support to IADT3since2000: Hacamila (02-03-2013)
Congratulations on the anniversary and welcome back. Your story continues to inspire. Good luck with the Tomotherapy -- I hope it will provide that thus far elusive cure or slow it down at the very least. That's too funny that you put on weight from being a "board potato." Seriously, it must take a lot of discipline to stay in shape while on ADT, yet it has so many benefits. I know that that exercise regimen will work synergistically with the radiation.
We sat together at the conference where I has the opportunity to thank you personally for all your helpful posts. I, too, look forward to your future posts about this new journey. My very best wishes for you.
Congratulations Jim ....we are very happy for you ...transdermal patches you mentioned for bone density ...do they work the same way or any major sideeffects...
i just had my psa ultra and has now changed after 5 years from less then .001 to .015 ... iam getting next one done in march ....little worried ..testasterone still almost not existent after rp in 2006
Congrats, Jim, on your continued success in fighting this disease. I, too, haven't been on this board for quite some time. Irv is coasting along and it seemed to be a good time to take a little break. Up to this point, we had been dealing with his disease quite intensively and it can become quite daunting after awhile.
Nevertheless, we both feel so fortunate for those we've met along the way who've been and continue to be nothing less than a total inspiration for us.
Irv just got back another PSA and testosterone result and we're waiting on the DHT result as well. His PSA remains undetectable at <.02 and his testosterone is still showing an increase and is currently in the normal range. I never feel complacent and I encourage Irv to do the same so he doesn't slip back into old bad habits and continues to stay away from certain foods. Irv has a really positive outlook and figures he has another good year or two to be free from the injections. I hope he's right. He's been off Zoladex and Bicalutamide since February of this year. That's 10 months! His urologic oncologist told him that he'd likely have to go back on the injections after 6 months...I'm glad his crystal ball was also foggy. That being the case, hopefully his prognosis of "15 years with a little luck" (before seeing the post op pathology report which revealed before undetected seminal vesicle invasion, positive margins and extracapsular extension) could also be a little pessimistic. The psychologist, who deals with patients like Irv, told him, in so many words, that he shouldn't expect to live through his 60s. I hope we can prove him wrong too! He's only 53 now and we've got a lot of life to live yet.