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

Jeff Franzen and Barbara lived in California, USA. He was 61 when he was diagnosed in April, 2007. His initial PSA was 16.20 ng/ml, his Gleason Score was 7, and he was staged T2b. His choice of treatment was Surgery (Retropubic Prostatectomy). Here is his story.

After the biopsy confirmed the cancer it was recommended and I opted for a radical prostatectomy on July 10, 2007. The procedure went well and although the cancer had poked into the fat at one point, the final pathology tests for the edges and 11 lymph nodes were all negative. I was so relieved until I got the word on Oct. 17, 2007 that my PSA was 2.8 - some cancer cells had escaped.

A CT, Bone and PET scan were all clean but a new non-specific lymph node was found in the pelvic bed. My urologist immediately recommended hormone therapy and I deferred after reading about the side effects and its limited period of effectiveness. My subsequent PSA's were 5.2, 4.8 and 5.9 in Feb., 2008. Since it has doubled in less than six months it looks like I will go on hormone therapy despite my fears.

I have decided not to do salvage radiation due to the side effects and likely fact that the cells have escaped the prostate bed. I have switched to an organic diet, am drinking pomegranate juice daily and aquajog in the pool every day for 30-45 minutes.

I would love to hear from people in my situation who opted for hormone therapy and hear how you are doing a few years out from making the decision.

UPDATED

January 2009

I haven't done anything as of yet with my PSA hovering around 7 a year and a half out of surgery but am thinking of going to see Dr. Robert Bard in New York. If you have not read his books you should. Prostate Cancer Demystified and Prostate Cancer Decoded.

UPDATED

June 2010

I had a radical prostatectomy in July, 2007 and had a positive and rising PSA thereafter. The surgeon indicated that the cancer had poked thru the wall although he only told me that after the first positive PSA reading.

Kaiser recommended hormone therapy and I refused after reading studies on the high percentage of severe side effects, the fact that it was not a cure and the body usually become immune to it after a while and the cancer accelerates. Instead I decided on an Eastern approach after reading Larry Clapp and Dr. Robert Bard's books on prostate cancer with acupuncture, yoga, body cleansing, daily exercise, herbs and organic eating. There is no sign of metasis as of yet, I feel great and I stopped checking my PSA because it is irrelevant. I finally got my doctor to agree that hormone therapy should only start after metasis. In fact, should it metasize I would try some other therapy than hormones.

Fortunately, I am eligible for Medicare in a few months and can explore other treatments once I get away from Kaiser should they become necessary.

UPDATED

August 2010

Another unchanged CT scan but PSA jumped up from 7 to 14! Finally will be on Medicare as of Sept. 1 and away from Kaiser Permante so that I can get some real help. Am transferring over to University of San Francisco Cancer Center. Debating about whether to fly to New York to see Dr. Bard for his tests but UCSF may have same tests.

Still not convinced any treatment is needed and certainly don't want to do hormone therapy until I absolutely have to due to side effects. Still following an Eastern regiment of acupuncture, massage, yoga, herbs and supplements and so far no sign of the cancer other than the PSA score.

Am looking into HIFU and other alternative therapies just in case.

UPDATED

November 2011

Reluctantly after putting it off for almost four years did a 6 month dose of ADT (Casodex & Lupron). In a matter of weeks PSA plunged to zero and stayed there. What convinced me was that my PSA had shot up to 28 and UCSF finally found a cancerous node on the outside of my esphogus.

Side effects were rough - heavy sweating (4 Gabapentin per day helped), weight gain-15lbs-yikes-swelling in hands and feet. Oncologist agreed that doing it a year would be torture. So terminated 1 1/2 months ago and symptoms are gradually fading. Hope I don't have to do it again for a long time.

UPDATED

May 2012

My PSA was 28.3 on 1/25/11. Started Casodex on 3/7/11 and PSA was 11.5 on 3/16/11. Had 1st 3 month Lupron shot on 3/21/11 and PSA was zero on 6/16/11. Had the 2nd Lupron shot on 6/21/11. Side effects were severe sweating that was somewhat helped by 4 Gabapentin daily and 20lb weight gain in a matter of weeks. When UCSF wanted to do two more Lupron shots I refused due to side effects and rapid PSA drop from previous treatment. Last PSA test on 4/19/12 was zero.

My acupuncturist advised that to lose weight I had to follow a Paleo diet to get my metabolism back in sync after the hormone therapy. Started 3 weeks ago and have lost 9 lbs and 1/2 of my pot belly! Basically, it just eliminates all carbs and sugar.

I exercise daily in the pool aquajogging for 30-45 minutes and also take a whirlpool afterwards and sometimes before to stretch. Find that if I stay in the whirlpool longer than 5 minutes sweating is a problem and in hot weather it continues to be a problem even though I had my last Lupron shot almost a year ago.

I do take 4 droppers of Mistletoe daily since it has had some positive results in Europe for prostate cancer. It may be helping. No way to tell.

UPDATED

April 2013

Just had another undetectable PSA test!! It has been two years since my last Lupron shot and only had two back in 2011. Am taking mistletoe liquid and just add some mushroom herbs, eating organic and exercising daily-swimming 30-45 minutes daily, yoga twice a week and massage and acupuncture once a week. Don't know if this is the reason for the nonexistent PSA but plan to keep it up since I have presumed metastatic diagnosis. [The evidence for metastasis seems very slim from what Jeff has posted. But long may his PSA be udetectable.] Had an RP July, 2007.

[June 2014: Sadley, we were informed that Jeff passed away.]


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