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

Richard Johnsen and Judy lived in California, USA. He was 68 when he was diagnosed in April, 2007. His initial PSA was 4.00 ng/ml, his Gleason Score was 9, and he was staged T4. His choice of treatment was ADT-Androgen Deprivation (Hormone). Here is his story.

My husband is not computer savvy so here I am.

Last year (2006) in May I believe, during routine doc visit my husband told the doc that he as having problems. But, because of his lower PSA readings no concern was taken.
So off we left in July to our summer place (we get out of the desert's triple digits) but he became worse and finally in September he went to a Urologist where we still were. He did a DRE (Digital Rectal Examination) and exclaimed 'wow, you have a huge prostate'

Still his PSA was on the low side, he put him on Avodart and Flomax saying it can take three to six months for good results. He was to go back to this doc a month later, two days before we were to return to California. Well, the office called and said they had to cancel his appointment and wanted to reschedule it, but we were leaving. When we got back home we went for a pre-scheduled doc appointment and he told her what was happening. Finally at next routine doc appointment at the end of February with no improvement she sent him to urologist. He did a PSA and DRE, he said prostate was very large and hard. So, biopsy was next step. This was done April 18th. His next appointment to get the results was April 27th. Out of the 12 cuts the urologist did all were cancerous.

He then sent him for bone scan and imaging, which were done on the 30th of April and bone scan on May 2nd. Then we waited and waited until next appointment with Urologist on May 14th This was long agonizing wait! On May 14th doc said the cancer had spread to the bones, the right shoulder blade, 4 or 5 ribs and in lower spine. So, then it was off to oncologist who took us in the very next day and started treatments of Lupron and Casodex that same day. He then had another bone scan that was almost two hours long. It seems it had also spread to the surrounding muscle and tissue of the prostate with urologist did not mention. The oncologist told us that my husband was in the rare 3 to 5% of men where their PSA readings are unreliable, not to be believed, cannot count on the readings. And that bone scans would be the main way to tell if the hormone therapy is doing it's job. And that is where we are at. We see oncologist for second time this coming Friday the 20th, with hopes of him letting my husband get the 4 month shot.

We have been told nothing else, we do not know what to expect, what lies ahead, how much time, etc. for doctors have said there is no cure.

Thanks for listening to me.

Judy

UPDATED

October 2008

Richard's body stopped responding to treatment last May 08 when his PSA started rising again. It was down to 1.8 for a long time. In June his PSA was 3.47, in August it was 6.5 and this past September it was 8.7. And his bone pain was spreading and in he felt it in more areas. He had radiation done also back in Nov/Dec of 07.

He was taken off Casodex as it was no longer working and put on Ketaconzole. For the whole month of August that he was on Keto. he was terribly sick everyday and his PSA still rose. So he started Taxotere and Prednisone this month. Plus he was able to get into a study for the drug Atrasentan, the only thing is he will not know if he is getting the real pill or the placebo.

He had to have a complete bone skeleton scan and after those readings he had to have a MRI of the lumbar area. His cancer has progressed to where he now has spots on both shoulders, collar bone, shoulder blade (original, more spots on more ribs, both hips, pelvis and his spine is all but consumed with it). He had to have the lumbar area checked closer and there are spots getting very close to the core of the spine. The thing that surprises the Oncologist and the Radiation Oncologist and the Clinical Research person is that he is not in terrible pain for the amount of cancer in his body. He can still get by with one or two Vicodin a day. Though back in August he hurt his back bad just by bending over, so they gave him Oxycontin but he only took it for a few days.

He was told to quit golf and no heavy lifting a year ago this month, because if he gets a compression fracture he could be paralyzed. The Onocogist also said that his PSA readings should be off the charts. Because his PSA readings are so unreliable the only way of knowing what is happening is the bone scans. He will now have lab work every week and scans approx. every 9 weeks. He is getting his chemo treatments every three weeks. He is being closely watched because of the study he is on. This drug has been used on her cancers with promising results, but it is new for Advanced Prostate cancer.

I pray he will be getting the real deal and not the 'sugar' pill. I think I have Richard updated to this point, sorry it took so long to come back.

Judy

UPDATED

September 2010

Sadly, I was told that Judy passed away in April 2010 from Pancreatic cancer and Richard followed her in August 2010.


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