Sunday, July 6, 2014

PART XXIII: follow-up PSA test

No, the news was not good this spring. We've had time to digest it, agonize over it, and come to terms with it. Post-surgery the PSA test result was 0.32, a month later a retest: 0.24. Last month, it had risen to 0.46. Once the prostate is removed, it should be zero. What we were told was that the surgery had a 50-50 chance of getting rid of all of the aggressive prostate cancer cells. Despite not finding cancer in the CT Scan, Bone Scan, or MRI, there were cancer cells that have spread somewhere. The surgeon got out all of the nearby nerves, and he was fairly certain it wasn't in any of the tissue nearby.

What our neurologist has said is that once the PSA level gets to be 4 or 5, we must begin to get any testosterone out of the system. Doing this will provide another 5 - 10 years of protection to prevent the prostate cells from multiplying.
The answer is: Androgen deprivation therapy injections to suppress the PSA cells.

We went for another cystoscopy, June 26th, to check and see if there were any more sutures in the bladder, irritating it. We also had to and discuss our treatment plan.
Bladder looks fine.
Nothing further until Sept., when there will be another PSA test.

Well, procedure went well. Things look good on the plumbing part of things. I made a video of the cystocopic procedure! It's good to focus on this type of thing, for me. I also make copious notes.vim

Bladder from the inside from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.
Cystoscopy: to quote our nurse, Leonard, "Make your bladder gladder!"

The PSA of 0.46 doesn't worry our Dr. now. The next step is intermittent androgen therapy. Next appointment is Sept. 15th. I am so tired. Damn awful drivers out there, passing on curves, 4 x 4 trucks screaming around us; incident with fully deployed air bags, crap on the road, two cops, ambulances, on the way in on the highway. Deep breath!
That said, another man in the waiting room had been driven down by the Cancer Society volunteer, a 3-hour drive.

Here is the update hubby sent his buddies, who are fretting needlessly. We remain focused in the present moment.

We have been off to the big city again.
Another cystoscopic treatment, to determine if there are issues, all looks good.

However my PSA  is up from 0.24 to 0.46
0 would be the expected, and anything over 0.2 is likely to be a spread of my cancer.

We will test again in Sept., At the 4 to 5 point , I would go on hormone treatment.

So really no change in the diagnosis nor prognosis.
I was in a store in Arnprior yesterday, where the owner has a box with blue bands for donations to help their neighbours with expenses in their trips to Ottawa to get treatment for Wayne. 

Wayne is 4 years old with brain cancer.

If I hadn't perspective on my situation, and I think that I had, this certainly reinforced it for me, and it should for you.

Everything else is great, all my post operative symptoms are gone.

Grandkids and Caitlin are coming Sunday and Monday. 

Yes, we focus. Read as much as we can, but trust the doctor, who is fabulous, as all said in his waiting room. Men sitting around in hospital gowns waiting for Dr. C to shove an endoscope up their urethra. I helped a man, 88 yrs. old, who couldn't figure out the gowns. First one on with opening in back, next reversed. His butt cheeks open to the folks in the room!

 Hubby's next plan: to get as physically well as possible. He's gone back to the physiotherapist for the back exercises to improve that. Once he does, he can go back to the treadmill and walking that helps him keep more fit. He is watching his diet, off dairy, lost weight. It's all good, but stressful nonetheless. The 90 minute drive into the city, past accidents, ambulances, being passed by speeding drivers, hell bent on going faster, all make me upset. I'm trying to centre, too.
loud noises startle me, this is part of my depressive symptoms, which I duly monitor. Canoeing, working in the garden all help, as well as daycations out and about. I have doubled my anti-depressants until things calm down.

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