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This member is a YANA Mentor This is his Country or State Flag

Jack Rathert and Carolyn live in Alaska, USA. He was 67 when he was diagnosed in July, 2007. His initial PSA was 3.70 ng/ml, his Gleason Score was 8, and he was staged T2a. His choice of treatment was Brachytherapy (Seed Implant with EB and ADT). Here is his story.

Started annual PSA and DREs in 1990. PSAs were 0.70 ng/ml for ten years and the DREs were negative. Pre 2001 were done by Dr. Wrigley at Alaska Urological Assoc. or AUA. Then Dr. Tomera at UA until 6/15/07 then Dr. Allen at AUA.

5/4/01 PSA 0.72
4/29/02 PSA 0.90
1/25/06 PSA 1.40
1/11/07 PSA 2.90
6/15/07 PSA 3.70

Jan.11, 2007 : Had PSA & DRE by Dr. Tomera at Alaska Urological Assoc. or AUA. He found it to be 2.9 ng/ml but he failed to relay the info to me and I had gone back to Arizona for the spring. I called in March to find out the results. They sent a list of PSAs but the last one was not on it. Said it was 1.4 ng/ml but that was from last year. Not too professional. (Since then have found that Dr. Tomera has personal problems and is being investigated by the Alaska Medical Board. No longer is practicing.)

May 2007: Went in to AUA in Anchorage and gave them hell about it. They found the correct one from 1/11/07 to be 2.9 ng/ml. Told them that Dr. Tomera was not my Dr. anymore. They recommended Dr. Allen.

June 15, 2007: Dr. Allen took me and did another PSA and DRE. PSA 3.7 ng/ml and he found a firmness on the right lobe of my prostate. Dr. Allen said he did not like the rapid rise in PSA although the number (under 4.0 ng/ml) was still below danger level and prescribed the biopsy. Ordered a biopsy.

July 13,2007: Had biopsy of prostate done in AUA office by Dr. Allen. It was not nearly as bad as I thought it would be after reading about it before the procedure. comfortable but it did not hurt at all.

Aug.8,2007: Results of biopsy - 1 of 7 samples cancerous. 15% of one sample cancerous. Gleason score of 4+4=8 Moderate to aggressive cancer. Sample from left side of prostate. DRE showed firmness in right lobe..???
Prescribed a CT scan which was done that day in AUA office. He said he was a surgeon and that was his recommendatio. Has done 25 - I need one that has done 2,500.!!!

Aug.15,2007 After several calls to AUA for CT results Dr. Allen called me in Ninilchik (I was fishing) to tell me that it looked like cancer contained in prostate in his opinion. Called my stage a T1c which turned out to be wrong. What the hell is going on with these doctors??

Aug.24, 2007: Appointment with Dr. Strawbridge as second opinion. He said he would recommend robotic surgery but that at my age maybe hormones, EBRT and seeds were the best way. He told me my stage no. was T2a and not T1c. I was hesitant to go for surgery. He recommended I see Dr. Chung the radiologist that does seeds.

After my session with Strawbridge I decided to use him as my main urologist. Dr. Strawbridge gave us both a good feeling in his competence so we elected him as my primary Dr. Dr. Allen was fine but we liked Dr. S better.

Sept. 4,2007: Appointment with Dr. Chung. Very thorough in his description of my situation. He went through the previous data from Allen/Strawbridge in detail. Both Carolyn & I liked him. Has a good reputation and has done 325 seed implants. Went thru all of the options. Said robotic surgery was a good choice but picked up that I was not real interested in surgery. He then went through the other options, hormones, EBRT, seeds, cyrogenics, etc.

Final suggestion - hormone therapy for two years to shrink the prostate ; start 25 EBRT sessions at 5th week for 5 weeks immediately and then seeds in December after our return from Arizona. He said that was the current procedure recommended by Drs from the NCCA board. He said that because of my size (300) and two metal hips it was difficult to exactly locate my prostate. CT scan is not good in hip area which is where the prostate is. That is why he recommended a lower dosage of EBRT (25 instead of 38) so as to not damage the colon, rectum, nerves, valves etc. He said this plan had 60% success rate. Surgery was the same but had many more negatives.

He also recommended. a bone scan to make sure the cancer had not spread to the bones. He was relatively sure it had not. If it has then all of the above is not relative. Then hormones and chemotherapy Not a good deal. Make your plans. Buy a shovel.

Sept.5, 2007: Bone scan done at Ak. Regional Hospital. Shot of RA fluid into my right hand at 9AM. Came back at 1PM for the scan. Results to be sent to Dr. Chung.

Sept. 7, 2007: 10AM appt. at Dr. Chung for pre-positioning for the EBRT. They laid me on a real hard table. Dr. Chung used needle to deaden the end of my penis and put a clamp on it to hold in the profile fluid. Then a short hose in my ass with profile fluid into the bung. They then proceeded to make marks on both sides and belly to locate my prostate with reference to those marks. Took many X-rays in the procedure. Made three permanent tattoos. Then to the hospital for a CT scan again using the marks for positioning. It went well.

Dr. Chung told me to go back to AUA to get hormone shot. I explained the lack of response from them. I went to their office and talked with the receptionist who got me worked in. I also had a session with their office manager Tina Presley, and explained my dissatisfaction with their lack of response, errors etc. including Dr. Tomera dropping the ball, wrong PSA info, etc. Also told them of Stephanie's and Carolyn's experience there. She apologized and explained the situation. I told her that any more and I was going to the competition. She gave me her e-mail address and told me to keep in touch.

I then received an injection of Zoladex, good for three months, in the belly. Next one due on December 7.

Dr. Strawbridge came in. He acknowledged and accepted that he is now my primary Dr. in this matter. We went over the procedure of the seeds. He needs to make a detailed 3D study of my prostate with ultrasound in the butt and X-rays to make a model of it. Then it goes to Dr. Chung who designs the plan of seeds. Then a date is set, seeds ordered and insertion, under anaesthetic by Dr. Strawbridge/Dr. Chung. He needs me to make sure my heart is up to the anaesthetic and to set a date for seeds with Dr. Chung. 3-4 weeks between 3d study and insertion of seeds.

My EBRT starts on 9/12/07 at 11:30AM for 30 min. Then every day for 24 more sessions at 15 min. each. Est. done with EBRT on 10/17/07.

Sept. 12, 2007 @ 11:30 @ DR. Chung's office-1 Begin EBRT; no. 1 of 25. They did more X-rays to get a good location of my prostate. 30 min. on the table. Hands/arms went numb holding the ring and laying perfectly still. 15 min of X-rays and then 15 min of treatment.

We had a good visit with Dr. Chung after. That will be a weekly thing on Wednesdays called Doctor Day. Best news from him - my bone scan results were negative. He said that Dr. Tomera was not practicing, had personal problems and was being investigated by the Ak. Med. Board. I suspect a nervous breakdown.

Chung said to get the volume study (Dr. Strawbridge does it ) done right after the 25th treatment and before leaving for Arizona. Also to have my heart checked 30 days prior to seeds at approx. Dec.2-5. Expect to do seeds in early Dec.

Sept. 13, 2007 @ 4:30 Had 2nd treatment; took 15 min- 2

Sept. 14, 2007 @ 2:00 3rd treatment. Timing late. All others to be @ 4:30 -.3

Sept. 17 & 18 & 19, 2007 @ 4:30 - 4,5&6 Daily treatments On the 19th was Doctor Day. Talked with replacement Dr. Shwartz I have no side effects from hormones or EBRT. She said not unusual. I asked about timing from last EBRT to vol. study by Dr. Strawbridge. She said at least 2 weeks. I questioned that. She will talk with Dr. S. and get it sorted out.

Sept. 20, 2007 @ 4:30 - 7

Sept. 21, 2007@4:30 - had treatment and also some extra x-rays to check on the aim of the EBRT - 8

Sept. 24, 2007 @ 4:30…EBRT & had more extra x-rays to check aim - 9

Sept. 25, 2007@4:30 EBRT - 10 Frequency of peeing increased today after the re-aiming.???

Sept.26, 2007 @4:30..EBRT - 11 Doctor Day today. Told Dr. Shwartz of increase in peeing. My wife said she had it too as well as our two house guests. So much for that idea. Dr. said that I could have the volume study anytime after Oct.14 according to Dr. Strawbridge. Will make appt. with Dr. Strawbridge.

Sept.27, 2007@4:30 EBRT - 12 Took old 1959 Lincoln to the appointment. and drew a crowd.

Sept. 28, 2007 @ 4:30 EBRT - 13 Made an appt. at Regional with Strawbridge for vol. study on Oct. 18, 5:30 pm. Arrive early @ 4:30 and pre-reg. at Regional.

Oct.1, 2007 @ 4:30 had location x-rays again then EBRT -.14 Starting to have difficulty peeing and feel the urge to do #2 quite often.

TO DO prior to leaving for Arizona:

1. Appt. with cardiologist to make sure heart ok for anaesthetic - in early Dec.

2. DONE - Set date for vol. study by Strawbridge. ----right after EBRT finish Oct.16. PRE-REGISTER WITH AK REG. Date set for 5:30 PM Oct. 18 @ Alaska Regional Hospital.

3. Set date for seeds---------approx 1st half of Dec- ??????

UPDATED

January 2008


Oct.2, 2007 @ 4:30 EBRT - 15

Oct.3, 2007 @ 4:30 EBRT - 16, then Dr. Day - Dr. Day 1st as RA machine busy. Dr. asked if I had made the appt. with Strawbridge to do vol. study. I did, set for 10/18 @5:30.. We talked about my lack of problems from hormone shot and EBRT. He said they will start pretty soon. Dr. asked about any time constraints for seeds. I told him I would be gone from Alaska. From 10/21 to 12/1. He noted that. I asked if a month after seeds was ok to fly. He said it was fine.

Oct.4 @ 4:30 EBRT -17

Oct.5 @ 9:45 AM EBRT-18 I went in early so I could leave town.

Oct.8 @4:30 EBRT & 2 x-rays for checking - 19 Found out today that the radiation machine broke last Fri. afternoon so going in early worked out good for me.

Oct.9 @4:30 EBRT - 20 Also made an appt. with Alaska Heart Inst. On Dec.4 @ 1PM . Nurse pract. As Dr. Binder is on call all month . Can see Binder Dec. 1 if necessary at hospital. Nurse said I did not have any heart disease on the record. She will renew my Toprol prescription when needed.

Oct.10 @4:30 EBRT… - 21 Dr. day - got dates of our travel (Dec.3 to Anchorage and Jan.31 back to Arizona) to Dr. Chung. He said all was normal and going well. Promised me he would cure my problem. He said his nurse Diane will set-up seed implant time and give me a packet of things to do to prepare. Probably grabbing my ankles and hold tight would be a good start.

Oct.11@ 4:30 EBRT - 22 Nurse said she would get me the packet in a day or two. Was pretty sure the seed date was going to be Dec.7. I told her that was perfect. I took a humongous bag of candy to the rad. office today.

Oct.12@4:30 EBRT - 23 Diane gave me the packet. Dec. 7 @ 2PM is the seed day with Dec. 6 @ 9:30AM pre-op appt.

Then Dec. 10 @ 9AM Dr. Chung post-op.

Then Dec. 10 @ 9:30AM Dr. Strawbridge post-op appt.

Still feeling fine, no side effects other than peeing more frequently with a slight burning feeling. Had diarrhoea at night from ????? A little more next morning.

Oct.15, @4:30 EBRT; diarrhoea subsided, only farting -.24

Oct.16, @1:15 EBRT; last one, got diploma and flowers - 25 Done with EBRTs, only vol. study to do on Thurs.

Oct.17, ARH nurse called me to talk about procedure tomorrow. All ok.

Oct.18, 2007; I had the volume study done this afternoon at Ak. Reg. by Dr. Strawbridge. He did it 3 times to make sure. Found the vol. to be 47, 41 and 44 cc. Will use the last two to do the seed study. What a procedure that was. For sure check your modesty at the door for your feet/legs are up high in stirrups and your bottom is exposed for all to see like an open two car garage door. It did not hurt but was just uncomfortable. I am glad it is over. Now I know what the women go through for their exam. Not pretty - wheeeewwuuu.

TO DO prior to leaving for Arizona.:
1. DONE - Appt. with cardiologist to make sure heart ok for anest.---in early Dec. Have them send letter to Chung/Strawbridge that heart ok.

Appt. made for Dec. 4 at 1 PM w/ nurse pract. Send ltr. That heart ok to Chung/Strawbridge. Dr. Binder (cardiologist)not avail. but on call @ hospital.
(561-3211)

This appt. was cancelled by phone on Oct.31.
New appt. @ 2PM on Dec.4 w/Dr. Moronel. Info will be sent to Chung/Strawbridge via computer.

2. Set date for vol. study by Strawbridge. (276-2803) ---- after EBRT finish Oct.16. - DONE and over with. PRE-REGISTER WITH AK REG -.DONE Date set for 5:30 PM (be there @4PM) Oct. 18 @ Alaska Regional Hospital. Procedure done.

3. Done - Set date for seeds---------approx 1st half of Dec - ?????? Talk with Dr. Chung.
Date for seed implant will be Dec. 7 per Dr. Chung' s nurse Diane. (276-2400)

Off to Arizona - leave my prostate rest.

NOV.1, 2007; Arrived in Arizona after our drive from Alaska. No problems other than frequent peeing along the way. Got difficult in populated country, ok along the Alaska Highway.

Nov.6, 2007; The freq. peeing seems to be tapering off but now I think that hot flashes have started. It is in the mid 90's here so it is hard to tell what it is. Received a message from the Alaska Heart Inst. saying my appt. is cancelled?? I made airline reservation and seed implant times based on that appt. What the hell????

12/3/07 Back from Arizona and ready to do the seeds.

12/5/07 Alaska Heart Inst - had my baseline heart stress x-ray.Tried a little sex last night, Cialis worked but gun did not go off. Damn. That will be it for awhile in that regard.

12/6/07 pre-op with Dr. Chung. He suggested another hormone shot. At AUA - visit w/ Dr. Strawbridge for pre-op. His PA gave me another injection of Zoladex , good for 3 months, in the left side of my belly. Next one due 3/7/08. Alaska Regional Hosp……..pre-register, had blood work done. Alaska Heart Inst……..had ekg-faxed to ARH. Had nuclear stress test, 2nd session done. That was a real trip…wow. Results to be faxed to ARH. Took 8 oz. bottle of rectum rocket in prep for tomorrow.

12/7/07 10AM…….got word from Dr. that my heart was ok and the seed implant is on for 4 PM. Arrived at ARH @ 2PM. Pre-op drill, cute outfit on etc. 4PM; 109 seeds(polonium 103) planted. No problems. 1st pee was cherry juice colored and then returned to normal. Had one real small blood clot on 2nd pee. 3rd one was clear. A slight burning sensation but real mild. I am happy to have this done. Dr. Chung said the heart stress test looked good. Need to get official report from Dr. Moronel at AHI.

12/8/07 Took no pain pills last night, feel great, clear pee, no clots, peeing a lot w/o any hesitation, life is good. On hand but not taking: HYDROC/APAP (10/325); no pain. I am taking a LEVAQUIN (500 mg) for infection protection. I am taking FLOMAX(0.4 mg) to facilitate peeing.

12/9/07 48 hrs post seeds; no problems, no pain clear peeing frequently; taking Flomax and Levaquin.

12/10/07 72 hrs post seeds; same as yesterday; no problems9AM post op. w/Dr. Chung and x-ray for location verification. 9:30AM post op. @ AUA; CT scan for loc. Verify. CT scan of dubious value due to my 2 metal hips. Dr. Strawbridge in SD hunting pheasants. NEXT DR.CHUNG APPT.; 4/22/08NEXT DR.STRAW APPT.; 1/8/08 Tues.@ 4:15 PM To discuss w/Strawbridge;
1. how long to take Flomax
2. how long to stay on Zoladex (hormones). Next one due 3/7/08 but I will be in Arizona…??? possible prescription for there.

12/11/07 96 hrs. post seeds.; no problems; Levaquin ran out today.

12/12/07 120 hrs. post seeds; no problems

12/15/07 8 days post seeds; no problems. Peeing frequency is slowing, volume still good, slight pain(discomfort) in the anal area. This has shown up since I got a cold and started to cough. That is not unexpected seeing it has had long needles "jabbed" into it multiple times. Occasional light headed feeling from.???; sometimes a slight pain in my penis but very slight. I have been exercising in the swimming pool.

I have a 12/18 10:30 appt. with cardiologist Dr. Binder to get the straight story on my nuclear heart stress test.

12/18/07 My Dr. said my stress test looks good. No problems. Also checked for PAD. None.

12/20/07 13 days post seeds……..no problems, no side effects 2008 I hope to see many more...

1/3/08 26 days post seeds………..no problems. A few changes though; my peeing has become more frequent and urgent; a burning sensation in my penis while peeing. There is no way to push while peeing. Everything slams shut and it takes a minute or 2 to relax and let gravity finish the job.

I have an appt. with urologist Dr. Strawbridge on 1/8/08 for a check-up and an after seed PSA/DRE. Makes me real anxious.

UPDATED

March 2008

1/8/08 31 days post seeds; Appt. w/ Dr. Strawbridge; PSA < 0.040 yeeehaaa. Dr. S. said it was probably too early to do the PSA though. Did not do a DRE. Too early. Said he did not want to put his finger near my radioactive gland - he was just joking. He wants me to continue on with Zoladex, next one due March 7. Will do it in Arizona. He gave me a prescription for one.

I asked him about a slight pain in the "bung" area and a feeling but not actually of losing control there. He said it was all normal and was surprised it was not more painful. It will go away.

He suggested continuing on with Flomax to help with peeing. He gave me a 90 day prescription. that I can send in to Caremark.

During a CT scan last Aug. they found an anomaly in my lung area. Dr. S wants to take another CT look at it tomorrow. Also an appt. January 11, '08 to discuss CT results.

1/9/08 CT scan of chest area at AUA.

1/11/08 Appt. with PA (Kent) at urologist office. He conferred with Dr. Strawbridge and found my 2nd chest CT scan showed that the scar tissue in the lung area had isappeared. Recheck in 6 mo. He also went thru the prostate journey with me. My PSA now is < 0.04. My cancer was a T1c. He gave me a real interesting book that explains prostate cancer better. One important discovery for me was that the seeds were implanted thru the rectum and not the perineum as I thought. That is why I had no sore spot in the perineum. But do have a little in the rectum. Makes sense now.

So... Appt. with Dr. Strawbridge April 30 for PSA/DRE at 9:30 AM Appt. with Dr. Chung for post seed check up. Not necessary per Dr. Chungs office.

1/12/08 36 days post seeds------Had a slight bright red blood stripe on stool today. Coincides with a slight pain in that area. Could be radiation burn or a haemorrhoid ????

1/13 & 1/14/08 No blood in stool either day. (>:}

1/20/08 44 days post seeds------Night urination--- difficulty increasing, frequency increasing, difficulty of getting the stream going, burning sensation, etc.
Daytime frequency also increasing but the stream has not changed too much.
Hearing liquid running (gassing the car, making coffee) seems to make me want to go---right now. Bowel incontinence has increased slightly but not a problem yet. Occasional "pain in the ass". From ??????

1/25/08 49 days post seeds. Tonight the old "gun" came upright and fired all w/o any drugs. There is good life after prostate cancer. Yeeehaa. The urination problems that stated increasing on 1/20/08 continue though not any worse. Got my 90 day supply of Flomax today in the mail.

Wed. we are headed back to Arizona for several months of fun in the sun and will report any unusual events while there. Thanks for putting up with my blathering so far. It helps my mental health about this whole thing.

1/31/08 55 days post seeds; arrived in Arizona w/o any problems.

2/12/08 67 days: my urination difficulty seems to be improving but only slightly. Only 2-3 times up at night with a slow stream. During the day the need comes up quickly but the stream is getting more powerful. I can not fill the coffee pot with water or the car with gas w/o having a pee 1st. The sound is like a water valve turning on.

Bowel incontinence is about the same. No mess but it feels like it could be. Have not had anymore blood in stool problems since last month.

I need another Zoladex hormone shot on March 7. It will be the 3rd one. I have located a urologist here in Arizona that will administer it for me and he accepts Medicare. Dr. Fieldstone here in Casa Grande, Az. @ 520-836-2565. My appt, is for 3/6/08 @ 12 noon.

March 6, 2008 - 89 days post seeds; Kept my 12 noon appt. Dr. Fieldstone quizzed me about my history and treatment of my prostate cancer to date. He re-confirmed to me that my treatment in Alaska was exactly what he would have done for me and that I should achieve good results with it. He then gave me my 3rd 3 month Zoladex 10.8 mg Goserelin Acetate implant in the right side of my belly. Next one due on June 6 which I can do back in Anchorage.

My urine stream is doing much better during the day but still "spurty" when getting up several times at night. The burning sensation has all but disappeared. Anal control seems to have stabilized and even improving. Never was really bad, never a mess.

Last week I suffered a serious reaction to sulfa based antibiotic drug but it is slowly going away. I had blood haemorrhaging from my tongue, legs and inside of mouth and nose. Scary stuff. Nasty drug.

UPDATED

May 2008

April 5, 2008: Still taking Flomax, one per day. Peeing getting much more normal and easy although the urgency is still there and difficult to keep contained when waiting too long. Never miss an opportunity to have a pee which will avoid the urgency thing. Anal control real good but and occasional "racing stripe" occurs in the shorts when urgency in that department happens. Zoladex is making my body hair become thin and light colored especially on my arms/legs. Also slight hot flashes but not often. I don't think I have any mood swings but my wife may disagree. What is an erection??? Only a faint memory but hopefully not gone forever. I need to make sure I have some forever first then will worry about terrorizing my wife again.

April 30, 2008 @ 9:30 AM (back from Arizona for the summer) Kept my appt. today with my urologist Dr. Strawbridge @ AUA. My PSA was less than 0.04 or non-detectable in his words. The DRE revealed nothing new. I could not be more happy about that. He told me to stay on Zoladex until June 2009. I can slow down on Flomax as my urinating is doing well. Maybe one "up at night" to pee and have a good stream 9 out of 10 times. The anal control still is a little loose but manageable for now. Having a few hot flashes and they are increasing in frequency. I asked about loss of body hair. He said it is caused by the hormones but that it will not come off of your face or head. It will come off of arms, legs, chest, "hair pie" etc. Skin will turn towards woman's skin. Whoopee. Also a loss of muscle and conversion to fat. It should all return to normal when hormones are stopped. He prescribed 5mg Cialis/day to help get the "old Johnson" going again. He also suggested a penis pump and to use it twice a day. As he & I are both boaters he said if it didn't work I could use it for a bilge pump. I am holding back on the pump for now.

Next: (4th)Zoladex due on June 10 and a 2nd check-up on July 31. Have appointments for both. Dr. said they need to be separate appointments. as Medicare will not pay for both in one visit..??????

I hope my ramblings provide you with some insight and info on what the procedures involve and effects from them. Hopefully there is not too much information. Good luck to all of you in your search for treatment and cure. We are all in the same predicament and need to support one another on our very serious journey.

PSA VALUES FROM THE BEGINNING:

I have no record but my PSAs were in the 0.70 range starting in 1996 and up through May 01.

5/4/01 PSA 0.72
4/29/02 PSA 0.90

I had checks in this period at a free clinic but received no record. All in the .70 to .90 range.

1/25/06 PSA 1.40
1/11/07 PSA 2.90
6/15/07 PSA 3.70; did Hormones, EBRT & Brachytherapy
1/08/08 PSA < 0.04 (31 days post seeds)
4/30/08 PSA < 0.04 (143 days post seeds); DRE found nothing.

UPDATED

October 2008

June 10, 2008 @ 8:30 AM. I kept my appt. today at AUA and had another Zoladex shot in the right side of my belly near the belly button. I have been experiencing hot flashes for the last month or two. Nothing serious but not pleasant either. My urination is doing well with Flomax, The anal control is still not back to normal but is getting pretty close. My radiology Dr, Dr. Chung, called last week and wants to see me for a 6 month check-up. We scheduled it the same day as my urologist check-up on July 31. Urol. at 9:30 AM and radiologist at 11:30 AM.

July 4, 2008 Had a great 4th of July with part of our family down here at our beach house and all went to our neighbors for their annual 4th celebration. My general condition seems to be great. The anal control thing is getting better. Hot flashes becoming more frequent, wife just laughs. Urination doing well and I am thinking about curtailing the Flomax again. I am feeling great and have hopes of a long life ahead.

July 31, 2008 Appt. with urologist Dr. Strawbridge -3rd check-up post seeds. He found my PSA to be < 0.04 and the DRE revealed no lumps/bumps/etc,,,wheeww.. He suggested another CT scan on my chest with a follow up with him. That is scheduled for mid-Sept. Dr. said my cancer was relatively aggressive so hormones will continue as will regular PSA checks. He said the way to keep tabs on my prostate was a regular PSA and if it started to go up again hormones were my option. I am still taking Zoladex and will continue until June 09. My "Johnson" will just have to keep staring at my toes for awhile longer. He said that length of life is approx. 10 times the PSA doubling time in months; double in 12 months=120 mo. of life left. My body hair continues to fall off from the hormones but will come back after stopping them. It does not bother my head, beard or head hair. Dr. said that a PSA bump will not show up while taking hormones and will not show up in my case as the bump is usually 18 mo. after seeds and it will be masked by the hormone effect.

Appt. with radiologist Dr. Schwartz; relief DR. for (Dr. Chung)!!!! 1st check up since seeds. She said I was doing well and wanted to see me again in 6 mo. She also gave me another DRE - whoopee, two in one morning. What a lucky guy I am. She confirmed that there were no lumps/bumps/etc. She also said that my PSA was low due to the hormones and may rise some after.

August 24, 08 All going well. My bodily functions are essentially back to normal. Hot flashes from the hormones continue and may be increasing a little.

September 9, 08 I just realized that I am due for another Zoladex shot in one month. Will need to have make an appt. at my upcoming appt. w/ Dr. Strawbridge on 9/17/08 to have it done approx. 10/7/08.----------appt. made

September 15, 08 Had a 3rd CTS to check on the spot on the right side of my chest found last Dec.

September 17, 08 CT Scan was negative. No spot there for the 2nd time. Recheck with another CTS early 2010. PSA was < 0.04 and DRE was negative. That is surely good to hear. All of my bladder/bowel functions almost back to normal. I again tried to stop taking Flomax but the plumbing did not want that yet. Dr. said there was no problem in continuing with Flomax. The hormones are still keeping "Johnson" inoperative and body hair continues to go down the shower drain. Two more hormone shots and that will be over.

UPDATED

January 2010

October 8, 2008; Had Zolodex shot on the right side. Had blood drawn for blood scan check; results in a few days.

December 8, 2008; Had bone scan for Dr. Strawbridge appt. on Thurs. Did my rt. forearm only.

December 09, 2008; Appt. with Dr. Binder-heart at 3 PM.-done; all ok; prescribed water pills.

December 11, 2008; Appt. with Dr. Strawbridge; PSA & DRE one year post seeds. PSA=0.04; DRE no lumps found.

December 18, 2008; Yearly appt. with Dr. Chung, radiation Dr. We discussed my present condition; Zolodex effects…lack of libido, solutions to getting "old Johnson" back in business. He was high on Cialis first, then other options, implants, inside pumps, pills stuffed up the penis(????), injection in the penis( ):>}) etc. He said absolutely do not use any testosterone enhancement as it will aggravate any cancer and cause more to develop. He did not do a DRE as I just had one last week from urologist. He directed me to a local support group: www.ustoo.ak.orp and asked if I would be a mentor……..I would. Dr. Chung is a 1st class guy in my opinion. Sched. An appt. in one year, Dec.2009.

2009

January 9, 2009; Had another 10.8 mg Zolodex hormone shot at AUA. Only one more to go and that will be in late April.

April 29, 2009 Had my last Zolodex shot today as well as another PSA. It was once again < 0.04. They took blood for a blood scan also.

May 4, 2009 Appt. w/ Dr. Strawbridge; 8:15AM. He did another DRE with negative results. He said that was my last Zolodex shot for now. Wants to see me at end of summer.

September 16, 2009 Dr. Strawbridge appt.; PSA= < 0.04; DRE negative; He is checking my testosterone level and will let me know. Wrote a presc. for 90 days of Flomax and e-mailed it to CVS/Caremark.

December 11, 2009 Dr. Chung- check-up; after DRE he said he could not feel anything; he told me that the effects of the hormones would dwindle in 9-10 months from last shot in April 09. I asked about leaking bung, recomm. exercising bung. Had PSA done (< 0.04)and forwarded it to Dr. Chung.

December 22, 2009: Dr. Strawbridge @ 1:15 PM; What was testosterone level in Sept.??? He said low. Wants to wait on bone scan, CT scan on chest and testost. check until April appt. He said all was well. Did not do a DRE??? Don't know why.

Later: An addendum to what I just sent after my check-up in Dec.09.

Long term effects:

My ED is still severe but Dr. said it will improve after hormone shots wear off and my testosterone level increases.

A very slight anal leakage continues but is not a big problem. Dr. suggested anal flexing to strengthen muscles. Wow....an exercise to do while watching TV.

Urination frequency seems to be increasing and is usually urgent. Very minor leakage if not taken care of immediately.

All of the above are acceptable if I keep waking up on the top of the grass, or in my case above the snow, every morning. I miss the sexual relations but I am hopeful it will return. If not............life goes on.

UPDATED

June 2010

April 29, 2010; Dr. Strawbridge; check-up & PSA. Had blood test and found testosterone level at (Dr.'s words) castration level. PSA 0.04 and neg. DRE I quit taking FLOMAX a month ago and all is well in the P-ing dept. I get up maybe once during the night and sometimes not at all. No problem going though. Had bone scan again; on my forearm only as I am too big for the machine.

Next appts.: Oct.8,2010; Dr. Strawbridge; check-up @ 2:45 PM. Dec. 2010; Dr. Chung; annual check-up Long Term: Need bone scan yearly @ AUA; next April 2011 Need blood scan @ AUA in April 2011 CT scan in April 2010 for the spot on my chest????

I hope my ramblings provide you with some insight and info on what the procedures involve and effects from them. Hopefully there is not too much info.. Good luck to all of you in your search for treatment and cure. We are all in the same predicament and need to support one another on our very serious journey.

Don't hesitate to contact me.

UPDATED

July 2011

August 2010; On August 14, 2010 the "old limp Johnson" suddenly stood erect all by itself without any chemical (Viagara or Cialis) help. That is the first time since late 2007 when the hormones kicked in. After taking care of business I noticed a RA seed had been discharged??? Now only 108 in place. I also noticed that my body hair has become thicker on my legs, chest and arms. Don't look like a cherub anymore. There is normal life after PC treatment. I had a bone scan done last month for a hip problem but the hospital protocol for PC folks is a full body scan. I sent the results to DR. Strawbridge and Dr. Chung.

October 8, 2010; appt. with Dr. Strawbridge. All appears to be ok. PSA = < 0.04. Dr. said it will be that way but my low testosterone level masks the real number [I do not recall ever seeing anything about this previously?] My testosterone is increasing as hair is growing back on my arms, legs, chest and on the Johnson. Next PSA will tell the story. Peeing doing great, Bung still not completely tight but manageable. This the 3rd anniversary of my Prostate cancer and overall I am doing well. Thank God for good medicine and excellent Doctors.

December 23, 2010; Dr. Chung; annual check-up. Found PSA =0.01. DRE could not feel prostate. Est. size at just over 10 gms. Down from 44 gms. He said to expect my PSA to slowly start to rise maybe up to 1 or 2. This is due to the total passing of the hormones. 0 to 1 get-ups at night to pee with a good stream. Bung getting tighter.

May 02, 2011; Dr. Strawbridge; check-up.; PSA=0; finger..negative; My peeing is almost back to normal, bung still slightly lose but improving also. No other problems. Johnson better. Found blood in my urine, possibly a kidney stone. Had a CAT SCAN from neck to below Johnson to check it and the spot in my right lung area. Results on Friday May 06, 2011; Dr. Strawbridge said nothing (no evidence of cancer) found on the CT scan except a 1 mm kidney stone in right kidney. He thinks the blood in urine is from that or it could be from radiation damage to the kidney. Suggested a bladder inspection just in case. Set to do it on May 18. Can hardly wait….ha. No spot on my right. lung any longer. Body hair still increasing and getting darker.???? Johnson "goes off" but it is dry. Better than nothing.

May 18, 2011; Dr. Strawbridge had a bladder inspection, took biopsy of suspicious spot and then burned the spot off. Nothing found otherwise. Biopsy was negative. Watch & wait is the plan.

Next appts.: Aug. 30, 2011; Dr. Strawbridge; check-up @ 10:45AM Dec. 2011 Dr. Chung; yearly PSA & check-up. Long Term: Need bone scan yearly @ AUA; next April Need blood scan yearly @ AUA in April CT scan in April for the spot on my chest????

I hope my ramblings provide you with some insight and information on what the procedures involve and effects from them. Hopefully there is not too much info.

Good luck to all of you in your search for treatment and cure. We are all in the same predicament and need to support one another on our very serious journey Don't hesitate to contact me.

Jack in Alaska

UPDATED

April 2012

Aug 22, 2011; Dr. Strb. Check-up, PSA = 0.04; DRE negative. Still have slight blood in urine. Will check again in Dec.

Dec. 22, 2011; Dr. Strawb. Check-up, PSA=0.04, no DRE done. No blood in urine. Kidn.stone in rt. kidn. Setting up to blast it Wed. Has EKG-good and blood test.

Dec.23, 2011; Dr. Chung; check-up, DRE good and very thorough. Dr. said that as my hormones were stopped over 2 yrs. ago the PSA is true from now on. Good news.

Dec. 28, 2011 Had Kidney Stone blasted. Went well. I believe it is broken up and mostly passed.

Next appts.: April 2012; Dr. Strawbridge; yearly PSA & check-up

Dec. 2012; Dr. Chung;

Long Term:

Need bone scan yearly @ AUA; next April

Need blood scan yearly @ AUA in April

CT scan in April for the spot on my chest…????

I hope my ramblings provide you with some insight and info on what the procedures involve and effects from them. Hopefully there is not too much info.

Good luck to all of you in your search for treatment and cure. We are all in the same predicament and need to support one another on our very serious journey.

Don't hesitate to contact me.

PSA RECORD From Beginning

(Jack shows the dates in the USA way Month: Day: Year, so 03/04/05 is March 4, 2005, not 3rd April 2005)

I have no record but my PSA's were in the 0.70 range starting in 1996 and up through May 01 from memory.

05/04/01 PSA 0.72

04/29/02 PSA 0.90

03/04/05 All were in the .70 to .90 range. I had checks in this period at a

free clinic but received no record.

1/25/06 PSA 1.40

1/11/07 PSA 2.90

6/15/07 PSA 3.70;

12/7/07 start Hormones, EBRT done & Brachytherapy done

1/08/08 PSA

4/30/08 PSA

7/31/08 PSA

9/17/08 PSA

12/11/08 PSA

nothing (flat)

04/27/09 PSA

04/29/09 last hormone shot

09/16/09 PSA =

12/09/09 PSA=

04/29/10 PSA=

10/08/10 PSA=

12/23/10 PSA =

05/02/11 PSA =

08/30/11 PSA =

12/21/11 PSA =

UPDATED

May 2013

2012

May 22, 2012; Dr. Strwbr.; PSA = <0.04, no DRE done this time.

Xray found kidney stone still there. Break-up not successful last winter. Watch and wait until Aug.

Aug.28, 2012: Dr. Strwb.; PSA = <0.04, no DRE done;

Dr. said a yearly PSA check is now sufficient.

He is more concerned about my rt. kidney stone. Going in through my side in Sept. to grab it and pull it out. Got most of it but it still has some small pieces which occasionally hurt slightly.

Dec. 13, 2012; Dr. Chung; PSA = <0.05, he said excellent. Did a DRE and found it to be negative, good shape. He was very pleased about my progress as am I.Wants to see me in 1 yr.

Next appts.: May 2013; Dr. Strawbridge; yearly PSA & check-up

Dec. 2013;Dr. Chung;............".....................

Long Term:

Need bone scan yearly @ AUA; next April

Need blood scan yearly @ AUA in April

CT scan in April for the spot on my chest…????

I hope my ramblings provide you with some insight and info on what the procedures involve and effects from them.Hopefully there is not too much info.

Good luck to all of you in your search for treatment and cure. We are all in the same predicament and need to support one another on our very serious journey.

Don't hesitate to contact me.

PSA RECORD

I have no record but my PSA's were in the 0.70 range starting in 1996 and up through May 01 from memory.

05/04/01PSA 0.72
04/29/02 PSA 0.90
03/04/05 All were in the .70 to .90 range. I had checks in this period at a free clinic but received no record.
01/25/06 PSA 1.40
01/11/07 PSA 2.90
06/15/07 PSA 3.70;
12/7/07 start Hormones, EBRT done & Brachytherapy done
01/08/08 PSA <0.04(31 days post seeds); no DRE done
04/30/08 PSA <0.04(143 days post seeds);DRE found nothing.
07/31/08 PSA <0.04 (233 days post seeds);both DRE's negative; 2 Dr's.
09/17/08 PSA <0.04 (278 days post seeds);DRE found nothing.
12/11/08 PSA <0.04 (369 days post seeds) 1 yr. post seeds;DRE found nothing (flat)
04/27/09 PSA <0.04(504 days post seeds); DRE on Mon. negative
04/29/09 last hormone shot
09/16/09 PSA = <0.04 (644 days post seeds); DRE negative
12/09/09 PSA = <0.04 (734 days or 2 years post seeds); DRE negative(Chung)
04/29/10 PSA = <0.04(824 days post seeds); DREnegative (Strawbridge)
10/08/10 PSA = <0.04(1004 days post seeds); DRE neg. (Dr. Strawbridge)
12/23/10 PSA = <0.01 (1070days): DRE could not feel prost. (Chung)
05/02/11 PSA = <.01 (1220 days); DRE negative(Strawbridge)
08/30/11 PSA = <0.04 (1360 days); DRE negative(Strawbridge)
12/21/11 PSA = <0.04(1475 days); (Strwb.) DRE negative (Chung)
05/22/12 PSA = <0.04 (1625 days); Strwb...no DRE
08/28/12 PSA = <0.04 (1715 days); Strwb...no DRE
12/02/12 PSA = <0.05 (1810 days); Chung...DRE negative

UPDATED

June 2014

Dec.2013.......Dr. Chung--radiation Dr.: PSA=<0.04, DRE nothing found. He said I am doing extremely well. Otherwise I have no residual effects from the cancer or treatment. I feel extremely fortunate and appreciate the good work done by my two Dr's. I definitely would do the same treatment method again. Dr. Chung wants to see me in Dec.2014 for a check-up.

I see my urologist Dr. at mid-year and radiation Dr. at New Year time.

UPDATED

July 2015

12/21/14 Dr. Chung (radiologist)...PSA = 0.04; DRE negative. found no lumps or bumps in the gland.

Sphincter not as tight as originally but tolerable and does not require diapers and never did. Urine control probably about 95% of what it was originally. Both caused by EBRT.

I feel extremely lucky to have the result that I have so far. Both Dr's did a wonderful job. I have an appt. with my proctologist in Aug. 2015.

UPDATED

August 2016

I go to my urologist once a year at mid-year. All was well last year. I need to go again but fishing is getting in the way.

I also go to my oncologist once a year at Christmas time. All was well there also. Both did the DRE and it was negative. Both do PSA and it was 0 since original treatment.

I feel blessed and lucky so far. My oncologist says that he thinks I got it whipped.

Jack's e-mail address is: rathert@alaska.net


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