I experienced swelling and pain in my groin area - particularly when activity was high (extensive walking, heavy yard work, etc). The GP called for an ultrasound to check for a hernia. Nothing was found and the symptoms subsided. When they flared up again several months later, and my urination stream was very weak (felt like I wasn't emptying my bladder), I referred myself to a urologist. The urologist performed a DRE, but did not find anything concerning. He ran a PSA test and with the score of 34, scheduled me for a biopsy. Assumption was still made that it was likely BPH.
The biopsy returned positive for cancer in 12 of 12 samples - Gleason score of 8. This resulted in a bone scan, which revealed cancer in numerous areas (spine, ribs, skull, pelvis). A CT scan was never performed as 'treatment would be the same, regardless'. All bloodwork looked normal with only slight variations in Liver function. I was put on Casodex for a few weeks prior to my first Lupron (monthly) shot and headed for a 2nd opinion. The 2nd opinion was a huge relief - a doctor with a much better bedside manner and a more "we'll get this under control" attitude. Although the first doctor said he has patients in my situation who have been on the protocol for 10 years and going fine. That, too, was a relief. If someone can make 10 years, that gives me 20 as a goal.
The 2nd doctor referred me to an oncologist who began monthly Xgeva shots. At this point, I am told it would be rare for them to consider attacking my prostate in anyway (surgical or radiation), although the doctor admitted that this is based on very old data which suggested that the recovery from surgery was too hard on patients in later stages. I've since had a 2nd bone scan and am down to only a very small spot on one rib and waiting on Xray results from a spot on my pelvis. PSA went from 34 to .93 to .35 and is at .5 now. All other recent bloodwork is nearly perfect (including Liver function). My cholesterol was previously ridiculously high - in the upper 300s. At 250, it's currently the lowest my cholesterol has ever been.
I won't get a 'recheck' on PSA for another 6 months. I took a 1 month hormone shot, followed by a 3 month shot, and now I'm on the 6 month shot. I have GROSSLY changed my diet. No red meat whatsoever, lots of fresh (preferrably raw) vegetables, organic anything I can find, no dairy, chicken about 2 times per month, lots of salmon and other fish. I started on the daily CCFO (Budwig) mixture (2/3 cup with 6 tblspoons Flaxseed oil) almost immediately upon diagnosis. After about 5 months, that has decreased to a few times per week. Also, at first I stuck to red wine only, but have since strayed to beer and scotch. I'm reigning back on that again. I hope to update this after future checkups.
Started having pain in the groin/prostate area. Doctor examination and discussion helped to determine prostatitis as the culprit (for both the pain and the PSA increase). On week 3 of 4 of antibiotic, but pain is getting worse. Doctor has said that sometimes the muscles surrounding the prostate get sort of 'pulled' following the infection. Been taking ibuprofen and acetaminophen for pain, but Doctor is prescribing naproxen hoping to get it more manageable. Still working, but everything other than soaking in a bathtub includes a constant dull pain.
Continue on 6 month Eligard hormone shots and monthly Xgeva. All other bloodwork is excellent.
Have discontinued all other vitamin/mineral supplments and CCFO until the infection is cleared. There were some vitamin interaction warnings with the antibiotic, so we want it to have a chance to do its job. Have tried to stick to the diet regime, however. Still no sugar, flour, or red meat. Have an occasional beer, rice with sushi, or chicken sandwich, though!
Mike's prostatitis turned out to be a mis-diagnosis. The PA was basing it on Mike describing his symptoms and a DRE. We just lost a month (or more) to that. After rectal bleeding, Mike was admitted to the hospital and stayed there for 3 days. He has a mass in his rectum which led to his first CT scan. Why his first? Good question. Because the urologist didn't see the point as it wouldn't change his treatment. We now plan to ask for a full body scan as they discovered a large mass on his liver and several on the surrounding lymph nodes. They believe it to be a totally separate Stage IV cancer (what are the chances, right?), but we are waiting on confirmation. Once they know which type of cancer it is, they will prescribe chemotherapy directed at that particular type. He was in no pain when he entered the hospital, but during one of the procedures, the technician continuously attempted to ram a tube, but couldn't get it in far enough. That coupled with the trapped gas from the colonoscopy led to excruciating pain. Mike is functioning again, but with the assistance of strong pain medications and sleeping pills. Irony: the doctors are happy to see how aggressive the disease apparently is, since chemotherapy is more likely to work. They are perplexed at his low PSA (even with the doubling rate) as his bone mets have increased and this second cancer 'could' be prostate cancer. It's hard to know which spots are from which disease or if it is one (until further tests are completed). The oncologist said that she would have suspected a PSA in the hundreds with the widespread disease. Anyone reading, please pray for Mike's health and peace. We can use all the prayers we can get.
Mike fought an incredible fight, but sadly the cancer won this battle, not the war. He passed away on May 15th. The last 3 months of his life were a very obvious decline and in particular the last week the cancer took a complete toll on his body. His type of prostate cancer was very rare as it was a form of small cell carcinoma. It had spread to his liver pretty severely. Chemo worked to slow it down but only for a very finite timeframe. Due to the agressiveness of his cancer, a hindsight view was certainly one that the affects of the chemo on his body were certainly not worth the small benefits. Radiation, on the other hand, was able to greatly reduce uncomfortable tumors in other parts of his body. He may have lived a month shorter without the chemo, but as his wife, I can tell you it would have been a better quality of life. My suggestion to all is to listen to the statistics as far as the chances of benefit. The numbers were there for us, but like so many, we hoped for a miracle. It wasn't in the cards for us; I hope it is for you.