13 Years and Counting
Last updated: June 2023
In 2004 and '05 I complained to doctors about always feeling like I have to pee and poop. Most of the time I couldn't do anything. After many, many test they just said my prostate was enlarged but that was normal for my age (54). They sent me on my way and said I had IBS. I didn't know anything at the time about prostate cancer.
I got a new doctor and he did a physical on me. Everything looked ok. In the summer of 2005 he did a blood test on me and my PSA has gone from 1.98 to 3.48 in one year. It never made 4, but because of the 1.5 rise in one year he sent me to a Urologist. They did a biopsy and found cancer. They said 6 out 8 needles had cancer.
Still rising after treatment
9/30/05 I had my prostate removed and was told I had stage II prostate cancer and it hadn't gone outside the prostate. My PSA dropped to .04 and stayed there for 8 months. Then it jumped up to .19. The Urologist I had at that time said. " well it's going to get you now if you don't die from a heart attack or car wreck first".
Getting involved in treatment
Not believing what he said I said I think I am going to get a second opinion. That's when I went to see an Oncologist at the VA. I then started with 35 sessions salvage radiation to the prostate area. During that time my PSA rose to .56. We also started Zoladex Hormone Therapy. I started giving money and raising money for the VA's research on prostate cancer. I was also speaking to groups of men about prostate cancer. At the VA, at a church breakfast, to VA researchers and others.
I had 6 sessions of chemotherapy in 2007. In 2009 my PSA was 3.3. In 6/2009 I started Casodex, 12/2009 my PSA WAS 30.8. Then Flutamide. They found cancer in the lymph nodes between my kidneys and at the base of my neck. I had 25 sessions of radiation to both areas. PSA dropped two .01 and stayed there for 5 months. 10/13 PSA was 36.74. Casodex and Zoladex brought it down to 1.51 on 8/14. Next was three sessions Provenge, ketoconazole, and eligard.
Low PSA, with side effects
They found cancer in the right base of my skull. 2016 I started 10 sessions of radiation and Xtandi. 2017 I had 1 session of radiation with true beam to my skull. When I started Xtandi they put me on palliative care even though I haven't used it yet. 6 years after my radiation between my kidneys I lost my right kidney due to radiation scaring. I still have pain in my skull and muscle spasms muscles in my neck. At this time my PSA has dropped to 0 for the last 9 months. My testosterone is only 16. I have very little energy. My PSA never has been real high.
Finding reasons to be happy
I have learned to love life and thank God for every day He gives me. My mission up to this time has been to encourage others that has cancer and let them know I love them. I used to sell some of my photos of the outdoors at a Starbucks in September for raising money for PC research. I used to hunt and fish but I just don't have energy for that anymore. I made a decision that if I come to the place were I can only lay in bed and watch TV I would still be happy to be alive. I believe that we should live in the now and find things to be happy for now. If you always worry about what might happen tomorrow you will miss a lot. I was asked if I would ever consider suicide when it gets bad. I said that suicide just transfers the pain to your family and friends. Some of the best times in my life have been during this journey. If you look for the good you'll find it. I pray that God will give everyone peace in their journeys. God bless.
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