As of this writing I am in my 46th day after initial treatment for Prostate cancer.
In March of 2004, I had a biopsy done on my Prostate which indicated a high grade PIN on the left side but no cancer. In December of 2005 another biopsy was taken which indicated I had Cancer of various grades, 6, 7 and 8. It was determined that my cancer was very aggressive but the Urologist I was seeing would not discuss any treatments with me. He basically told me I was on my own. My Wife and I were devastated with the bad news. After doing much research on the Internet I located a very good doctor with Arizona Oncology Services at Scottsdale Radiation Oncology in Scottsdale AZ. I chose to have Brachytherapy with palladium-103 implants or otherwise known as "seeding". Due to the high grade of my cancer it was recommended to use external beam radiation along with Bracytherapy. Also I was put on a schedule of Lupron injections every three months for two years starting in Dec of 2005. The Brachytherapy was done in Scottsdale on Jan 31, 2005 with the external beam radiation starting on March 13, 2005 to run five days per week for five weeks in Flagstaff AZ. I live in Kingman AZ so all this treatment requires me to do a fair amount of travelling.
The side effects I have from Brachytherapy seed implanting are mostly urinary problems which can be helped with medication. The first night after the "seed" implant it was quite painful and burning when trying to urinate and it seemed I had to urinate every few minutes. The drive back home again to Kingman the next day , about 200 miles, was horrid, having to try to urinate so often, and where, along the way. The burning sensation subsided to tolerable levels in a few days. It got to the point that I only needed to get up to urinate about four times a night. For a few weeks the need to urinate at night was about every hour or so. Since starting the external radiation, it seems I tire very easily, needing to take a short break "nap" every afternoon. I am now experiencing some mild bowel problems, though nothing I can't live with even with the travel to Flagstaff for my daily radiation sessions. By the way, I am staying in Flagstaff during the week, only going home on weekends.
Lupron injection also have a few side effects, so far "hot flashes" are the worst and most noticeable in the evenings and at night.
I found a lot of support from family and friends, some of whom have gone through treatment for prostate cancer, though none have had the type treatment I chose.
Six months post Brachytherapy and two months post Radiation. I am still dealing with mild urinary problems, mostly at night which requires me to get up an average of three times a night with very mild discomfort, mostly needing to take time, like three to four minutes every time. I'm taking Terazosin at a strength of 2.5 mg per capsule and taking three capsules a day to help with the urinary problem. My Dr wanted me to up that to four a day but warned me I might experience dizziness. Sure enough, I had bouts of dizziness so I went back to three a day with no problem. During and after Radiation I experienced some mild bowel problems, which is now pretty much back to normal. The Lupron (hormone treatment) was terminated after only six months so now I am on the way to recovery from the terrible hot flashes. Also I seem to be regaining my strength and I don't seem to tire as easily. I'm glad to be off the Lupron because Lupron causes the PSA reading to be very low, making it impossible to know what the results of Brachy and Radiation really are. I am scheduled to have another PSA test in late October this year and I hope the report is the PSA will be right where it should be.
My Dr in Scottsdale is Dr David Beyer, a specialist in Brachytherapy (the best in AZ.) and my radiation Dr in Flagstaff is Dr.Andrew David, again one of the very best. I couldn't be any happier with the way I was treated in both places. I was treated with the utmost dignity and respect.
I will post a followup in Nov 2006 after my next visit with Dr Beyer and the PSA report.
On November 17/06 I visited my Dr in Scottsdale for my checkup after nine months post Brachytherapy and about seven months post IMRT (External Radiation Therapy). My current PSA is 0.4 ng/ml and my testosterone has returned to normal. I am having trouble with ED and am on 5mg of Terazosin to help with urination at night. With Terazosin there is no difficulty or discomfort at all and I only get up once a night. I tried not using Terazosin for a few nights and I had to get up at least three times a night and there was difficulty and slight pain.
My Dr told me I am "clinically doing well at this intermediate followup and am probably cured of my cancer". He wants to see me once a year for the long term to keep an eye on my PSA and my progress.
Doctors do their thing and doctors get paid but it is God who does the healing.
On Nov 15th 2007 I met with my Oncologist, Dr. David Beyer for my yearly checkup. Not as good as we would have liked, my PSA is up to 2.7 ng/ml, still in the normal range though which is good. Dr Beyer now wants to monitor me every six months. He says it is normal for PSA to fluctuate so we will see in May 2008 if that is what is going on.
In my last update I reported that my PSA had risen to 2.7 and I was a little concerned about that. I heard about something called "PSA Bump" so I did some research on it and found out quite a bit about it. Its normal for PSA to rise after a year or two then drop back down.
I went in today for another followup with my Dr. and found my PSA is back down again. It now rests at 0.7 which is great news. My Dr. believes me to be cancer free, though he wants to continue the PSA tests every six months until some time in the future. That's fine with me because I don't want this cancer to slip up on me without me knowing it.
Urinating is good as long as I continue taking my Terazosin every evening. I only have to get about twice a night for trips to relieve myself. Bowel functions are satisfactory now also. All in all, I would say I'm doing great.
After about two and a half years following completion of Brachytherapy and IMRT my PSA is looking good at 0.1 I am feeling good, my trips to the little room at night are usually only once per night. As long as I stay on 10mg of Terazosin every day I have no problem. I have tried to get away from taking it but then urinating at night becomes more difficult with some discomfort.
The only problem I have is ED and I guess I shouldn't let that bother me but it does. It would be great to get back to some sort of normal in that department.
It has now been another six months since my last PSA test. I am happy to report that my PSA is less than 0.1, unreadable. I'm still having to get up at least once a night to use "that little room" and I'm continuing to have trouble with ED.
Such is life.
I'll be back in another six months with another followup.
Just this week I met with my Urologist for a six month follow-up.
My PSA is unchanged from my last posting six months ago, 0.1 (undetectable), right where it should be. At this time it has been just less than four years post treatment. I'm feeling good, though seem to need to take a short nap every afternoon. That could be simply age starting to show.
ED is still a continuing problem but I've decided its really not that important to me anymore. I guess I have just decided to live with the situation as it is.
My urologist wants a PSA test every six months though I only need to visit with her once a year unless something shows up that could be a concern. So, I guess I will report next year.
On January 31, 2011 I will celebrate my fifth year post treatment. I am feeling great, nothing has changed from the last update. So, I guess I can call myself a cancer survivor now. My doctor wants to continue with the PSA tests though just to monitor things, we don't want any surprises.
In November 2011 I had my six month checkup with my Urologist and for the third checkup in a row there was a trace of blood in my Urine. In June 2011 my Urologist looked inside my bladder to see if anything was wrong in there. All was well, a healthy Bladder. In Nov 2011 she wanted to do it again but I objected so I was sent to have a CT Scan of my Bladder and Kidneys, again the report came back that all was well. In Jan 2012 I had a checkup with Dr Beyer, the Oncologist who did the Brachytherapy in 2006. I told him about the trace of blood in my urine and asked if it could be coming from the Prostate. He said it very common to have a trace of blood due to the seeds still being in the Prostate.
Every checkup for the last several years have been good. Nothing new to report, I feel good and life goes on with no health complaints.
My last checkup was in Jan. 2013, seven years post treatment. My PSA is still undetectable and all is well other than a persistent ED problem that will always be there. Urinating is never what it was like before treatment and especially at night. I am currently using Alfuzosin 10mg Tablets to help with night time urination and I think it helps some.
January 14, 2014 I visited Dr. Beyer in Scottsdale AZ for my yearly checkup. PSA has been holding steady for quite a while now. All is well. This marks eight years post treatment.
Just a short refresher from the beginning of my story. I was 66 when diagnosed in December, 2005. My initial PSA was 8.70 ng/ml, with a Gleason Score of 8, and I was staged T1c. My choice of treatment was Brachytherapy (Seed Implant) with palladium-103. After much research I chose Brachytherapy because it was much less invasive with a much shorter recovery/healing time. Brachytherapy was followed with 5 weeks of IMRT, external radiation.
I am now 75 and have just celebrated my 9th year post treatment. I met with Dr. Beyer in mid January 2015 with a good report. My health is good, no indication of anything going wrong. I'm looking forward many more good years. Of course I'm still dealing with a week urinary flow and major ED, but even that's better than the alternative. I'm learning to accept what I can't change and try to change what I can.
Following up with my most recent Dr. visit in Jan 2016. I just celebrated my 10th year post treatment and all is well. In fact there is a slight improvement in night time urination. I only get up once a night, for the most part anyway. The stream is always weak, but that is better than having urgency or leakage. My PSA is and has been for some time now at 0.1. Exactly where my Dr. wants it to be. ED is still a big problem, but that's better than having live or even worse, die with big "C". I'm happy with the way things are going at this time in my life.
I had another followup with Dr. Beyer in mid January and the report is just great. This completes 11 years post treatment. My PSA is still 0.1, couldn't be any better. I'm feeling great. I do like to take a short nap in the afternoons but that is because I usually don't get more than about 5 hours sleep at night. I still have major ED struggles from the radiation 11 years ago, along with weak urination, mostly at night. All in all, I would say I'm doing very good. I'll see how things are in another year.