Come Out Come Out Wherever You Are
Fourteen years ago at age 55, I was diagnosed with stage T3c prostate cancer. My PSA was ninety-nine, and the cancer had left the building and made its way down the seminal vesicles. So straight to robotic surgery for me.
After prostate removal, my PSA was not the expected zero level, and my PSA levels continued to climb. They called me an unfortunate young man. Then the oncologist said to get ready for several years of hell. He did not lie. Hit me with everything they had in 2008. Heavy chemo, Lupron and Casodex, (androgen blockade) intermittently.
Radiation or additional surgery was not an option for me. No one knew where the cancer was putting up residence. It had hidden well. In the years that followed, I have had several bio-chemical relapses. My last treatment was in 2015.
Currently, as of my writing this, my PSA is at .262. It has been slowly rising since 2018. I have always wanted to know where the cancer was living in me. It is still hiding. My Doc said it would cost me $10K of my own money to find out and did not matter, as my treatment would be the same. So, for many years I have just walked around stating, “Oh well, guess I will never know where it is until it kills me!"
Using PSMA to find the cancer
Then I read this article by Richard Faust on our site: PSMA: New Gold Standard in Detecting Recurrent Prostate Cancer? Guess you can see the actual cells now.
Just what I have been waiting for all these years. I got ya now! PSMA is very well explained in Richard’s article. It looks like I will finally be able to get some idea of where the cancer has been hiding.
My oncologist was less than enthusiastic about requesting the PSMA. He said at my stage (plus being fourteen years later), chances of the cancer being contained near the prostate cavity were slim. Might be able to tell if radiation or even additional surgery might be in order, and provide a cure versus disease management tact.
After I was relentless about my desire to know where my cancer was hiding, he has set me up a PSMA in three months, as of my writing this; even admitting it might still not be too late for me to do something different in my fight. Keep your fingers crossed; let’s see what the results will bring.
I hope they are conclusive for me. I feel a little bit that maybe I might be better not knowing. But all these years without knowing is not fun either. I wish this scan had been around in 2008 – things might have been different. Good thing for those just beginning their journey.
Do you have ways of managing your mindset for big decisions?