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In December(2015) after my doctor said it was time to see a urologist to do an increase in my PSA. The increase was about .31 per year over the last few years to a 4.3. The urologist said "We don't usually do a biopsy or catch this until it's at least a 7.5". So I did the biopsy and he advised me I had an aggressive form of cancer with a Gleason of 7 bilateral but he believed it was T1C. He wanted to remove the prostrate immediately. When I told him I wanted to get an opinion from radiation oncologist. Frankly he got upset with me and didn't know why I would do that. After talking to many survivors, I think many of you have had the same reaction from your urologist. So, from here I started doing my research and talking to people.
I had called Cancer Treatment Centers and wanted to start treatment in December for my deductible. I was ready to go after hearing about the program and Calypso from other patients. They had me even scheduled for an appointment and I found out what my first error was... trying to rush to treatment. I kept my scheduled appointment with a doctor and hospital in my insurance network. Both were nationally recognized and rated very high. I'm the kind of person who wants the best bang for the buck, you might say. The doctor talked to me at great length... three hours! I found out that the MRI wouldn't be clear enough for six weeks after the biopsy. He also did a digital exam. He warned me that he would probably be more thorough than the urologist... frankly, I had to look down to see if his finger wasn't coming out my belly button. Afterwards he had to agree with the urologist he thought it was T1C.
The day after the MRI I met with the doctor and he had bad news and showed me the MRI. The cancer wasn't encapsulated and was T3A. He showed me the lymph nodes looked clear but said they would also receive radiation to be safe. I had the beacons placed for the Calypso radiation treatment the following day. The doctor explained that the prostrate would have to heal again... another six weeks. In the meantime he prescribed 50mg of Casodex and an injection of hormones ever three months for two years.
I'll start radiation this coming Monday. I just got the results of my blood work and I think it's good news. My PSA is .12! I'm sure radiation treatment will continue as scheduled. I'll keep you posted to see how things go but I'm optimistic and I have a strong faith in God and I trust in Him.
I've also just started my journey and am getting my markers today. My Gleason score was 9 but confined to the prosate. Started hormone ( firmagon) last week. Blood work not scheduled until next shot in 3 weeks. Drop in PSA sounds great. Tentative start of radiation is 8/1. Daily Monday-Friday 9 weeks. Any side effects?