The Roller Coaster Ride of Prostate Cancer

September 2018..Update…The most recent occurrence in this journey is the appearance of one of the damaging side effects of hormone therapy which has suppressed the cancer. I have developed heart problems. The blood flow to the heart is restricted and my stamina levels have plummeted. I am now about to enter the tenth year of my personal fight against prostate cancer. Modern medicine continues to work its miracles, my PSA remains low.

Aggressive treatment for aggressive cancer

Let me describe the treatment for this super aggressive form of prostate cancer that I find myself battling. Most forms of this cancer progress very slowly, ten, fifteen even twenty years before threatening life. Mine is different and was not discovered until it had spread into the lymph system. Prostate cancer feeds on the male hormone, testosterone. There is no known cure for me. The way to temporarily stop this particular cancer in my case is to eliminate the testosterone.

Now you men who don’t know about this….listen up. What happens when you eliminate testosterone? On the plus side…you don’t have to shave as often. On the other hand, you gain weight…ok. You get hot flashes….yeah, just like the women do. I sit in the back of my church fanning my hot face along with all the ladies in menopause. But that too is … ok. Your breasts enlarge…ok. You have less energy…ok. I can live with all that, literally. You lose nearly all of your sex drive….uh oh! You lose a lot of control over your bladder…uh oh! You might even develop heart problems. Isn’t this fun? But you are still alive, a definite plus.

Treatment changes and challenges

As I enter the tenth year of treatment, the latest drug I just started using, turned out I was allergic to it. The PSA blood marker for the cancer over the last several months had been creeping up slowly. The new drug dropped those levels, but the allergic reaction prompted my doctor to stop that treatment, at least temporarily. I am continuing on the once every 3-4 month shot of a Lupron generic. I go in later this month for another check on the PSA. It continues to be scary now, as originally the doctors said I had 3-5 years of life to expect from the time of diagnosis, then after I passed the five year mark he said I should make it at least another five years. All the patients with my form of the cancer have, at some point, had the hormone therapy fail, but for me so far, so good. And I might add, it is my intent to exceed the those averages. Attitude means everything!

Hope and advocacy

I continue to feel pretty good overall for a man approaching 80 years of age. Research into altering genes has the potential of stopping many forms of cancer. Period. Stopping it, not slowing it. But this research is expensive. So events like the Cancer Society Relay for Life are important to raise money and show community support for the survivors of cancers of all types. I am hopeful that all the research going on these days is going to find a way to extend my time. So please help with your donations, not just for me, but for all those who are struggling with this deadly disease.

Every day, the American Cancer Society is helping us stay well by donating to cancer research, to finding it at its earliest, most treatable stages. They assist families in finding the best resources to help their friend or loved one deal with a diagnosis and their journey to get well. The American Cancer Society is also rallying communities (like mine!) through events like Relay For Life, to fight back and find cures for this disease.

NamastĂ©…..Pete Kersey

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The ProstateCancer.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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