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It's A Long Story. - Mainly For Men - Prostate Cancer. - Off Topic. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Tue Oct 16th, 2007 07:37 pm
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Robert
Deceased Member


Joined: Sat Oct 13th, 2007
Location: Benidorm, Alicante, Spain
Posts: 12454
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From diagnosis to, well, whatever the outcome is. I have recorded everything as it happened, tests, results, effects, everything. I may have got some of the terminology wrong when things weren't too good at the time and I apologise for that. Whatever happens along the way I fully intend to maintain these pages, as this is a subject too often ignored by most men.


3rd February 2003......I have been allocated a National Health Service doctor as part of my taking up residencia here in Spain. Saw him today for the first time and he is a great chap, speaks good English too. Because he doesn't know anything about me, health wise, he sent me off for blood tests and an ECG. Will see him later about the results.

10th February 2003......ECG today and that went off OK. Just a simple matter of getting wired up to the machine.

11th February 2003......Blood and urine tests this morning. Biggest problem was getting the urine in the bottle.

17th February 2003......Urine, sugar, cholesterol levels all OK but doctor a little concerned about the PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) at 8.8, and has referred me to a urologist. We are off to the UK first for a holiday, and then flying to Florida to pick up a boat for a two week cruise. A 50th Wedding Celebration. I'll think about the urologist when we come back.

28th April 2003......Saw urologist today and he gave me an internal exam via rectum. Sounds worse than it is but when you think what the ladies have to go through, then it's nothing. He didn't find anything to concern him particularly and asked me if I would like to continue with tests or wait until next year as the PSA figure was marginal and could mean something or nothing. I elected to contine being tested, might as well find out sooner rather than later. More tests to come then.

26th May 2003......More blood tests and a scan of the prostate. This is like one of those that women have to check on their babies where they put a lubricant on your stomach and pass a camera type thing over it. No discomfort at all and quite interesting. They can also get the size of the prostate with this machine.

4th June 2003......Urologist again and he isn't too keen on the size of my prostate so he is sending me for a biopsy at the University teaching hospital near Alicante.

23rd July 2003......Nurse came to the apartment late this evening to give me an enema ready for the biopsy tomorrow morning.

24th July 2003......A Nil By Mouth morning and off to the hospital with an empty stomach. Had a blood test on arrival to test for blood coagulation properties. Next into the biopsy room. The staff there, all female as it happened, talk you through the operation, because you don't have an anesthetic and they like you to know what is going on. The biopsy is done through the anus and six samples are cut from the prostate by a long probe for later examination. There is also a camera on the end of the probe and they can see what they are doing on a TV monitor. I won't pretend that this is a comfortable operation because it isn't, but neither is it particularly painful. You are lying in the foetal position while things go on behind your back and the most surprising thing was the amount of noise produced each time the cutter does it's job, a really loud crack which would have made me jump off the bed if I hadn't known what was going to happen. Started on a stiff course of antibiotics straight away to combat any possible infection from the biopsy. There was some blood in urine and stools for a few days after the biopsy but this is quite normal.

20th August 2003......Visit to the urologist for results of biopsy. Of the six samples taken, two of them contained malignant cancer cells, not so good. The specialist said that in his opinion the cancer hadn't spread beyond the prostate but that a body scan would be needed to confirm that. In the mean time I was to go on a program of pills and injections to hopefully contain the cancer. The pills are to stop the production of the male hormone testosterone as this hormone feeds the cancer. In effect this is a chemical castration. While I was waiting for the scan and the prostate to reduce in size I was to give some thought, a lot of thought really, as to which course of treatment I wished to follow. The specialist said there were only two choices when the time came, major surgery to remove the prostate completely or radiation therapy upon the prostate. The choice was mine and he wouldn't advise me either way. Each choice carried it's own risks so it was up to me as to what I thought I could live with if things didn't turn out 100% right.

22nd August 2003......Started on a course of three a day tablets and also flying off to the UK today for ten days. Give me a bit of a change from doctors and nurses.

3rd September......Nurse came to the aprtment to give me the first of a series of three monthly hormone injections.

15th September......Another Nil By Mouth day and off to the hospital for a body scan. Turned up at 10:30 and was given a litre of water and told to drink it, foul tasting it was too as it contains some chemical that gives a good contrast when they do the scan, then come back in 90 minutes for the scan itself. Retired to the bar with the water while my wife had her usual espresso, lucky gal. Back to the scan room 90 minutes later and I was fitted up with a cannula in my arm, this is a plastic injection point where some kind of fluid is pumped in while the scan is in progress. Whole thing took about half an hour, no problem.

18th September 2003......Had a phone call for me to go back to the hospital tomorrow as they want to do another scan. Don't like the sound of that.

19th September 2003......No Nil By Mouth today so had breakfast as normal. Hospital once more and I asked the technician why the second scan. I was told that technically the first one was fine and the results would go to my specialist who would then tell me the medical result. This second scan was because they had seen something that shouldn't be there lower down the body and it needed closer inspection. Gawd, I am beginning to wish I hadn't bothered. Have to wait now until I see the specialist again and that's not till the 28th October. Ah well, never mind.



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 Posted: Tue Oct 16th, 2007 07:37 pm
link to this 2nd post
Robert
Deceased Member


Joined: Sat Oct 13th, 2007
Location: Benidorm, Alicante, Spain
Posts: 12454
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25th September 2003...Been on the pills about a month now and apart from a little discomfort and added tiredness I have been OK. A definite plus has been the ease with which I am now able able to urinate without the pain I had been suffering before. Rightly or wrongly I am putting this down to shrinkage of the prostate, and therefor less pressure on the bladder.

9th October 2003...Congratulated myself too soon last month. Have had severe diarrhea for the last 10 days and lost 3 kilos in weight. Have put this down to the medication but it is now getting beyond a joke as I still have 18 days of the treatment left. I don't want to fade away to nothing so I'm off to see the doctor.

14th October 2003...Couldn't put it off any longer as I have now lost 3 kilos in the last two weeks. Doctor supplied even more pills that should help fix the problem, or at least lessen it. Also got a good telling off for leaving it so long before going to see him. Serves me right I suppose but I had guessed it would be more pills and I hate that. Now have to go back to GP next Wednesday for him to check on my condition. Never mind, two more weeks to the urologist and then things should be much clearer, and hopefully I can start making decisions. Hah, decisions, that's a laugh, I still haven't made up my mind, surgery or radiation therapy?

22nd October 2003...Anti dierrhea pills didn't work and the doctor wasn't pleased at all. He has taken me off all medication till I see the urologist next week. Doc says if I keep up with these pills for another week then I won't be in any condition for an operation or the radio therapy and the urologist wouldn't be exactly thrilled with that. So, I have 6 days pill free, and who knows, I may even get to go out of the house at the weekend before 12 noon without a toilet roll sticking out of every pocket. Yipeee! Yipeee!

28th October 2003...Saw my urologist today and he had the results of the scans I had a few weeks back. The scan I was called back to the hospital for showed that I had a tumour on one of my kidneys but that it was benign and I could forget about it. What a relief that was. The first scan was also good news, the cancer hasn't spread to any other organs, or the bones. So, good news all round really. One question remained, what was I going to go for, surgery or radio therapy. I have been mulling this over for weeks, and with all the information I have gathered from the internet and people I have spoken to, I decided to go for the radio therapy. So that's it for the time being. I am to continue with my hormone treatment until called to the University Cancer Hospital in Alicante. We now play the waiting game once more, but I am confident that once the final treatment is over then I will be clear of cancer.
There could be one other problem and that is the effect of the hormone treatment on me. I have started the treatment again today and if the diarrhea returns tomorrow I'm not sure what is going to happen because the urologist has said that the hormone treatment is essential to our success and my GP says the body can't withstand the continuing loss of fluids.
Ah well that's something they will have to sort out. I am free of decisions now and in other people's hands.

29th October 2003.......Well, unfortunately after just a few hours of restarting the hormone treatment the diarrhea has returned with a vengeance. The weight loss has also returned and it is becoming difficult to remain undehydrated. I am seeing my GP on Monday. There has to be an alternative to this.

4th November 2003.......Saw the doctor yesterday and I'm afraid we aren't much further forward. He is going to consult another specialist and see if there is an alternative hormone treatment that I can try while I wait for the radio therapy to begin. If things don't improve by next Monday, the 10th, then I will take a unilateral decision and stop taking the treatment. I have now almost lost control of my bowels and I am beginning to look like one of those poor African children with skinny bodies and a pot belly. The severity of what is happening is very unusual I am told, there is just something in my body that is alergic to the chemical in the treatment and it is doing it's best to get rid of it. As long as it doesn't get rid of me in the process.

7th November 2003......That was quick. Had a telephone call from the University Hospital today and my first appointment is at 11:30 on 11th November, next Tuesday. I know I have to be measured up and tatooed for the radio therapy so it might get done then, and, with a bit of luck, I might get my first dose that day. It might also mean the the hormone treatment, which is causing so much trouble, may finish. Fingers crossed.

11th November 2003......Had my first meeting this morning with the radio therapy team that will be dealing with me. First off the prostate hasn't shrunk enough for them to start treatment. I have to continue with pills and injections until mid December then I have another blood test and CAT scan. At this time the prostate should be small enough for a reasonable strength of radio therapy to be used without damaging other organs too much. Then, once Christmas is over and the New Year holiday, it should be full steam ahead with the treatment. In the mean time I have had the pills changed so I hope to start on those tomorrow. There it is then folks, not quite as good as I had hoped but good never the less.

23rd November 2003......Have been taking the new pills for more than 10 days now and I am almost back to normal with my bowels. Still going more than my normal early morning once a day, but I can easily live with this. What a relief, we are almost back to our usual routines.

11th December 2003......Off to the San Juan University Hospital this morning for what I thought was to be a normal CAT scan, or TAC scan, as they call it here. Anyway that's not what happened. There I was lying on this huge machine while it mumbled and grumbled to itself when all of a sudden there seemed to be laser beams everywhere and I was slowly slid into the jaws of this monster. When I came to a stop there was a sign stuck on the inside of the machine saying "Do not look into the laser beam", it was in English only, strange. To cut a long story short the machine had it's wicked way with me and finally I slid back out again and this very nice chap came up and asked if I was OK. "Si", I said, "Todo bien". "Yes, all is OK" (showing off here). No sooner had I said that than he disappeared from view and the next thing was this short, sharp pain in my side, then another on my belly and yet another on the other side. Finished, said the by now not so nice young man. Sitting up I could see I now had red, black and green crosses on my torso and three tattoo marks, one on each side and one in the middle. These are the 'aiming points' for the radio therapy. That was it for the day, a quick coffee and slice of tortilla in the bar and then back home.
The next step is to see my GP on the 17th of this month for the results of a recent blood test. This will show whether the cancer is being held at bay while we wait for the prostate to shrink, hopefully. The next day, the 18th, I see the radio therapy specialist and hopefully learn when the treatment will start. Everything is moving along fine and apart from a little unusual tiredness I am great.

December 17th 2003......Saw my GP this morning for the result of the blood test I took last week, and it is very good news. The PSA number has reduced to .25, which is normal at this stage of the proceedings, showing that the pills, despite the problems I had with them, have done their stuff and stopped the cancer from increasing.
I see the radiologist tomorrow morning, first thing, and he will have the result of the scan that also took place last week. If the injections have done their job as well as the pills then the prostate should be reduced enough in size to have a go at. Fingers crossed again.



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 Posted: Tue Oct 16th, 2007 07:38 pm
link to this 3rd post
Robert
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Joined: Sat Oct 13th, 2007
Location: Benidorm, Alicante, Spain
Posts: 12454
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December 18th 2003......Results of my last scan are great. The prostate has shrunk to manageable proportions and so all systems are go. Today I had a dummy run on the big machine that is going to do the business. This was just to prepare me for the actual event so that I can relax when the time comes. I now have to wait for the phone call that sets me off on the road to, hopefully, full recovery. I know nothing is going to happen before the 6th January because of the holiday period, but then it is a clear run, so it is fingers crossed once more for an early slot. Found out today that prostate cancer, as it is in the UK also, is the biggest cancer killer of men in Spain so the machines are kept busy trying to prevent as many of these deaths as possible.
I'll be back again when I get the phone call. In the meantime people, take care, and look after yourselves.

January 2nd 2004......After a horrid Christmas and New Year being laid low by some virus or other I am now able to stagger back to the keyboard and report the latest. I have had a call from the University Hospital and my first dose of radio therapy is on the 7th January 2004. That's really great news, as I was dreading being stuck on some waiting list or other. As soon as I get back home I will report on what it was like and any other information I can pick up.

January 7th 2004......Well folks that's it, first dose over and done with. In all honesty I have to say it was all a bit of an anti climax. If you recall I had said earlier that I had already done a dummy run on the same machine but this time it was for real. No bells and whistles, flashing lights or weird noises, no mystic vibrations or heat rays, in fact nothing, nada. I'm not complaining you understand, but must admit to a certain disappointment, as I was at least looking forward to describing the event in breathless prose.
Ah well, never mind. That's the first dose over, just 29 more to go. I will be seeing the specialist each Monday after treatment to discuss my general health and the effects of the radiation, if any. So, it's me for a spot of surfing now and then tomorrow back to the machine for another dose. I'll report again after the next consultation unless something happens before that.

January 12th 2004......Well, day four of treatment and the first of the Monday consultations after undergoing treatment. Not quite what I expected, as the consultant told me that the team had decided to extend my radiation by a further 5 days, from 30 to 35, or in other words, from 6 to 7 weeks. Now to me that seems a hell of a lot of radiation, but as to why, all I got was the big Spanish smile and the encouraging pat on the shoulder. I have had the same smile from tradesmen when they tell me that there's no problem, all is ok, and that's usually just before the TV blows up or the ceiling comes down.
Ah well, one either has faith or one hasn't, and I am the eternal optimist so I look forward to a more positive meeting next Monday, after another 5 blasts from the mighty machine.
Talk to you later folks.

January 19th 2004......Nine days into the treatment now and my second consultation. The worst effect on me so far is that now I am passing water every couple of hours or less, day and night. As you can imagine I get tired very easily so have taken to having an hours sleep in the afternoon when we get back from the hospital. This helps to a degree and the specialist has given me powders to take which he says will make me feel better. I also get the occasional stomach cramps but so far no diarrhea. So, it's still a matter of so far so good.
The specialist is on holiday next week, a touch of the DIY's at home, so it will be the 2nd February when I see him next.

January 30th 2004......Well folks that's another session over and number 18 too, so I am well and truly at the half way mark in the radiation stakes. Once more it is so far so good. Nothing happening that wasn't expected. The most serious side effect now is that my bladder needs attention almost every half hour during the day and about every hour during the night. I have medication that more or less stops the discomfort of passing water so I no longer dread going to the loo.
Monday I see my specialist but I don't think there will be much to report. Till then, take care folks.

February 2nd 2004......Monday again and more information. Seems I have misunderstood the radiation a little. When it finishes after 35 sessions the effect of it continues for another 3 or 4 months. So, I must continue with the pills and injections till June and then everything stops. Three months after that I have a blood test and if the PSA figure is still down to zero, or just slightly higher, then it's a question of Bingo, full house, and everyone's a winner. It's all going to take a little longer than I wanted it to but hey, I'm not going anywhere.
I'm also very pleased to report that no more adverse side effects have appeared so everything is cool at the moment.

February 9th 2004......Nothing to report to the specialist today and he seemed well pleased. I had a session of extreme tiredness last Saturday evening but he says that is quite normal at this stage of the treatment. I was also informed that the radiation would change but not exactly how. I thought possibly they might ease back a little but when I got under the machine I had three 'shots' from above, instead of my normal one, one from underneath, two from the left hand side instead of one and just the usual one from the right hand side. I don't know if this represents an increase in quantity a redistribution, or even something else entirely. I will make a point of asking next Monday, don't like mysteries.

February 16th 2004......Nothing much to report here folks. The most noticeable thing now is that the tiredness comes on quicker and lasts for longer periods. This is a natural consequence of the radiation treatment I am told. So far the bowel has been more or less behaving itself as I was dreading a repeat of the performance I had with that previous medication. Passing water is still painful and happening with shocking frequency but I am taking powders for that, I think the powders are an analgesic more than anything else, whatever, they do seem to help, especially in the īweeī small hours.
Last few days now, only six more sessions.



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 Posted: Tue Oct 16th, 2007 07:39 pm
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Robert
Deceased Member


Joined: Sat Oct 13th, 2007
Location: Benidorm, Alicante, Spain
Posts: 12454
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My photos:
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Hopefully this is going to be the final page of this saga. Reports will be more spaced out, because that is the nature of the treatment now, but by September of this year we will have the final verdict. Good, bad or indifferent.


February 20th 2004......Just getting ready for the drive to the hospital this morning when we had a telephone call from the Radiation department. The machine has broken down and all appointments for today are cancelled.
Great, three from the end, just what I needed. I donīt know if they will add one on next week or just forget that I havenīt had todayīs dose of radiation. I will be seeing the Radiotherapy Specialist on Monday, so should find out then. It started raining today as well, first time in 2004, so I might have known something was going to happen.

February 23rd 2004......Last interview with my oncologisy during the course of the treatment today. He is well pleased with the way things have gone so far but I am to continue with the pills and injections for the time being. We are on holiday in the UK for a couple of weeks in April and then Switzerland for a week in May because the specialist has told me to get away for awhile and forget all about doctors and cancer. I have to have a blood test when we come back and then see him with the results at the end of May.
Things areīnt too bad at the moment, although I have almost lost control of my bowel movements during this last week and have to wear pads now. This effect should wear off quite quickly once the radiation stops. The powders I take for the pain from urination are quite effective and again this effect should start wearing off when the radiation stops. So, all in all I am still in one piece and things look good.

February 25th 2004......Well folks, itīs all over. Iīve had my last tryst with the dreaded machine. Thirty five sessions, with four blasts a session, one from the top, one from below and one more from each side. Thats one hundred and forty blasts over eight weeks. Driven three thousand kilometres for the pleasure and used umpteen gallons of fuel. Donīt you just love statistics?
I must say Iīm not sorry to see the end of it as for eight weeks it has ruled my life, now we can think about getting back into a normal routine. Sorry, I donīt want to write anymore at the moment, Iīve had it.

March 19th 2004......I didnīt intend posting anything further until I had seen my oncologist but I feel that the after effects of the radiation, as they affect me, need to be mentioned. I was warned about what I could expect, bowel and bladder problems, which continue to appear but I am dealing with them OK, and tiredness. It is the tiredness which has taken me by surprise. The word just does not adequately describe the total loss of energy that comes over me. The collywobbles just aint in it. When it occurs I lose interest in everything and seem to withdraw into myself and sit for hours staring into space. Perhaps this is the bodyīs way of repairing the damage and forcing me to rest. Whatever, I donīt like it, it's just not me. Hopefully this state of affairs is going to be short lived.

March 31st. 2004......Had a meeting today with the oncologist that started me off on all this treatment. He is well pleased with progress so far and particularly so with the problems I have been having since the end of the radiation as he feels I have got off quite lightly compared to some people. Anyway I am to continue with pills and injections and see him again on July 8th with blood test results in hand. I wasnīt particularly bothered with what problems I have been having but I know my wife was mightily relieved to hear him say it was all quite normal after such heavy radiation. Apparently the radiation has been quite aggresive as there is every chance of stopping this thing in itīs tracks. So, all in all a good day, and Iīm also feeling in fine fettle too.

May 30th 2004......Saw my cancer specialist last week and apart from a last injection next week I have now been taken off all chemical treatment. I now have to wait for 4 months to give the body time to readjust itself and for the affected organs to resume their normal function. At the end of this time, September, there will be a final blood test, and then we will know if it has all been worth while. I feel quite confident of the outcome myself and I'm really looking forward to a more or less normal future.

July 8th 2004......I am only recording this because it keeps the record straight. Saw my oncologist this morning with the latest blood test results and it was the same tale as last time. Inconclusive because not enough time has passed since ending the chemicals for us to get a true picture of the success or failure of the treatment. All the side effects of the radiation have worn off but I have been told that the HRT effects will take a couple of years or more to right themselves, assuming I don't have to go back on the treatment of course.
Anyway, next bloodtest in early October and a final interview with the radiation man for the results that count and then back to the urologist on the 2nd December for his final decision. The waiting game once more.


:



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 Posted: Tue Oct 16th, 2007 07:40 pm
link to this 5th post
Robert
Deceased Member


Joined: Sat Oct 13th, 2007
Location: Benidorm, Alicante, Spain
Posts: 12454
Status: 
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My photos:
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Hopefully this is going to be the last page in the saga of my prostate. Win or lose I have had enough support to keep a battleship afloat. I cannot praise highly enough the Spanish health care system which discovered my problem, and then proceeded to do something about it. At all levels of the national health system, from floor sweepers and bar staff, to nurses and surgeons, I have been treated with courtesy, heart warming compassion, and care which cannot be faulted. I will remain forever grateful and deeply within their debt.


September 30th......2004 Final blood test today. I stopped taking all cancer related medication in May so by now all the chemical effects should be gone from the body and we should get a true picture of what is happening. It has been a long summer waiting for this day and I still have a little more time to wait for the results to get back to my doctor. Everyone is optimistic, including myself, that we will have a resounding ALL CLEAR.

October 7th 2004......Saw my GP today and he had the blood test results and I have a PSA number of 0.1, this is excellent he said but I have to see my oncologist next week and he is the expert. So far, so good. My GP was really pleased so I am really pleased too. Roll on next week and let's see The Man.

October 15th 2004......At the oncologist's this morning and a mixed bag of news. Not the all clear that I was expecting so in that sense it was a disappointing visit. It seems that I have vastly underestimated the time scale of everything. This PSA reading of 0.1 was in itself very encouraging but not definitive. I have to have another blood test in November, see my urologist in December and then a further blood test in February before returning to the oncologist. If the PSA figure stays below 1.5 then we are getting somewhere, but if it rises above that then I have to go back on the injections straight away and if it is really high then it's injections plus more chemo. So there we have it. A bit disappointing, as I said before, but at least everything is on the positive side at the moment. That's it then until November.

November 30th 2004......Had another blood test last week and the results were in this morning. The PSA figure has remained at 0.1 so that means the tide is racing even faster in my favour. I'm feeling pretty good on the whole and the few things I do have to complain about are probably due to advancing years more than anything else. I see my urologist on Friday of this week but that is just to report progress and to show the results of the last two blood tests. The next significant thing is another blood test in February and a meeting with the oncologist. It is at that meeting that I hope to get a much better idea of long term prospects. If anything important should come up at the meeting with the urologist this Friday then I will of course get the details down here.

December 2nd 2004......Felt I had to come back with the result of the meeting with the urologist this morning. He was very pleased with the blood results and doesn't want to see me again until I have finished with the oncologist and I don't see him again until late February or March of next year. Good news all round and I can see life getting back to almost normal in the not too distant future.

February 27th 2005......Blood test last Thursday and the results will be available this coming Thursday, the 3rd March. This test is the most important one so far as it is over nine months now since all treatment for cancer stopped and the effects of the previous chemicals should have worked their way out of my system. It feels as if they have because the side effects have stopped and I feel good. The point is my body is on it's own now, as far as the cancer is concerned, so if there has been a backward step then this blood test will show it.

March 3rd 2005......Blood test results great, just as good as it gets. Everything pointing to a perfectly normal healthy person, or at least as healthy as can be at my age. I see my oncologist at the University Cancer Hospital on the 11th of this month, next Friday, and I hope he will be as pleased as I am. Nice as the man is I would like not to see him again for at least another 6 months.

March 13th 2005......Bit of a let down on Friday at the hospital. Specialist was as pleased as I was with the blood test results but he was far from complacent. I have to have further blood tests every four months for the next year and then possibly every six months. It seems that if this thing comes back it may return on the gallop, so we have to keep a careful eye out.. I've had a couple of days to think about things since my visit and my initial disappointment has gone, as I once more realise how lucky I have been, and continue to be, with the level of care and attention I am receiving.

October 5th......2005 I bet you were wondering what had happened to me and my little saga, well, not too much to be honest. Blood tests through the summer with all being well. Saw my oncologist yesterday with the latest figures, PSA 0.16, every body happy all round. Next test in December and then back to see him again in January. Most of the bad effects have gone, although I still daren't be too far away from a loo for the first hour of every morning. Apart from that, as far as I can remember, I am more or less as I was nearly two years ago when all this started. Of course I am two years further down the line and at my age, 71 now, the years take their own toll more noticeably than they did when I was much younger. It's only a little toll though, so I'm not particularly bothered.

January 14th..........2006 Well that's another blood test out of the way and the results came today. The PSA has gone up from 0-16 to 0.55. Whether this is to be expected or not I don't know but I will be seeing the oncologist next Tuesday to see what he has to say. I will be reporting on what he has to say on Tuesday evening, all being well. I have seen the man and he doesn't seem too worried. In percentage terms 0.55 is a very big jump from 0.16 but the figure itself is good. To be wary though I have to have another blood test in three months instead of the usual four so that we can see what the rate of increase is then. If it continues along the same lines then I think I could be in trouble. Will have to wait and see.

April 13th ......2006 Latest blood test results came through today and the figure was quite good at 0.79. I could have wished that it was much nearer last time so showing a steadying off instead of this climb. Never mind. I see the oncologist next week so let's see what he has to say.

April 25th......2006 Saw my oncologist today with the blood test results and he isn't a happy bunny. Most disappointing he thought, the rise in PSA reading is far too regular for comfort. So, yet another blood test in July and if the trend continues then it's straight back on the injections and hope for the best. What can I say, it's not what I wanted to hear but I feel ok and am enjoying life, plus the years are ticking by, so it's fingers crossed time again and hope for the best.

October 28th ......2006 I have left off entering more details until I was sure of where I was going with all the testing and because I have been having great difficulty in walking. Scans have been carried out to see if the cancer had spread but that was ok. Blood circulation tests followed and that was also ok. Last week there was a densiometer scan to check on bone density, waiting for the results of that. Anyway I had the results of another blood test on the 11th July and that came in as .94, still climbing. The 14th of this month saw yet another test and I should have the results on Monday 30th. It's to be hoped that the result will still be less than 1.0 but I think not. All in all a fairly difficult last few months.
Saw my GP this evening and he had the results we have been waiting for. Not so good I'm afraid at 1.29. I'm seeing the oncologist on the 21st of November so I will have to wait and see what he has to say. I'll report back as soon as I can.

November 25th......2006 Saw the oncologist earlier this week and he wasn't too happy with my blood test results and would have started me straight back on HT (Hormone Treatment) except that as he told me the latest thinking is that it is best to let the PSA figure go up to 2.0 before taking action as the possibility exists that the increasing figure may level off before 2.0 is reached, thus avoiding further treatment. That's how I understand it anyway. Problem is that the figure is now doubling every eight months and that's not good. So, it's blood test time again in January then back to him in February. I feel like a mouse caught in one of those treadwheel things.

January 26th......2007 The news is not good I'm afraid.The PSA figure has gone over the 2.0 mark in one big jump so when I see the oncologist next month I'm sure he is going to tell me that the cancer has returned and that the free cancer cells are multiplying quite freely. Ah well, I've had a couple of years free of the chemicals, injections, radiation and the rest of it. Perhaps I am being overly pessimistic but at times I do get down with it all.



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 Posted: Tue Oct 16th, 2007 07:41 pm
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Robert
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Joined: Sat Oct 13th, 2007
Location: Benidorm, Alicante, Spain
Posts: 12454
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Yet another page that I didn't expect to have to write but things have not gone as I would have wished so it's no good dodging the issue. I started this whole thing off by saying I would record as we went along, good or bad and that's what I will keep to.


July 1st.....2007 Well it's been about five months since I recorded anything here so this is the latest information and it's not good. I had a big injection in February and another at the end of May to bring the PSA figure back down again but unfortunately this hasn't happened. Instead the figure has continued to rise. After a meeting with my oncologist last week I now have a complete range of tests to undergo.

July 4th 2007...... Well they haven't wasted much time. I was at the University hospital at 08:30 this morning giving blood for a full range of tests on the sample. At 10:15 I was standing in front of an x-ray machine for front and side pictures of my chest. 11:30 and a nurse was fitting a cannula in my arm and then I was given a specially treated bottle of water which I had to drink over the next hour and a half in measured doses. This is the foulest stuff to get down and a couple of times it nearly all came back. There's something in it that makes for good contrast when pictures are taken of the bones. Good job I hadn't had any breakfast. Ten minutes after finishing the water I was called into the big scan room and a chap explained what was going to happen once I got on the machine. I had to lie down with my arms pressed back over my head, and this is where the cannula came in, while the nurse injected some weird substance before the scan began. I say weird because the effects were most strange. As the liquid went into the vein so my whole body went first cold, from toes to tip and then hot, internally, not on my skin like it is when you get cold or hot in the weather, most strange. Anyway the scan was over in a few minutes and that was that. Straight round to the hospital bar for us and never did a cup of coffee taste so good. My word, what a day.
Next week, on the 10th, it's back to the oncologist for the results. I know they aren't going to be good, it's more a case of how bad. We will see.


.



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 Posted: Tue Oct 16th, 2007 07:42 pm
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Robert
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Joined: Sat Oct 13th, 2007
Location: Benidorm, Alicante, Spain
Posts: 12454
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10th July...... 2007

After a few sleepless nights we turned up at the hospital on time this morning and sat waiting to see the oncologist while all the time the tension was getting worse and worse. Finally got through his door and sat down and saw straight away the pile of test results on his desk, blood, chest x-rays, pelvic scan, bone scan, all there. One after the other he put them in front of me.

Blood results...Normal
Chest X-ray...Normal
Pelvic scan...Normal
Bone scan...Normal
PSA...Dropping like a stone. Normal.
 
Verdict:


............................Totally Clear.

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: 


It was the last thing I had expected and knocked me for six for a couple of minutes. I think the oncologist was more pleased than I was, until the news sank in.
So there it is. Now I can get back to something like a normal life where Barchester and railway modelling will take it's rightful place in the world. :wink:

Thank you to all the wonderful people that gave me such unstinting support in my time of need, it's something I wont forget.

PS. Forgot to mention in all the excitement that I had to finish the course of chemo injections and then another blood test. My oncologist is ultra cautious :roll: Anyway the last injection is at the beginning of September with the blood test and it's back to the hospital on the 23 October.



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 Posted: Tue Oct 23rd, 2007 09:55 pm
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Robert
Deceased Member


Joined: Sat Oct 13th, 2007
Location: Benidorm, Alicante, Spain
Posts: 12454
Status: 
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My photos:
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23rd October......2007

Saw the oncologist this morning and my PSA is down to 0.34, which is excellent, and the injections are finished with. It should take about another 3 months to clear the body of all the rubbish I have taken on board.
I asked the oncologist if we could consider me cured and I could then forget all about it. Unfortunately not he told me. We can't talk about cures because cancer can return at any time and nobody knows how or why but at least I am starting with a clean slate again.
I also thought I might have finished with his services as well but he just laughed at me and said there was no way he was going to let me go. We hadn't come all this way together to throw it all away now. So, I will still have to go for periodic blood tests but that's just like the MOT on your old car, maintaining the status quo.
The side effects of the last lot of stuff I had injected are wearing off now and I feel better and better as each week goes by. The future looks good and there wont be any more messages here unless things go pear shaped.
So, all you fellas out there, get yourself blood tested and if you do turn out to be unlucky and you choose to take the same medical path as I did you can see that it hasn't been too bad, and a damned site better than the alternative. :lol: :wink:


31st December 2008......Well it's another year gone by, five years since it all started, and I'm still here. Apart from the normal aches and pains, and legs that don't always work, it has been a good year, health wise. My last blood test earlier this month was a bit iffy, with the PSA climbing quite rapidly, so I am down to two month testing now instead of every three months that have been the norm for the last year. Next test is February and I have been warned that there is a good chance we will be starting on the chemical regime again. Not looking forward to that if it happens but as I have said before, it will be better than the alternative.



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