It has been a while since I’ve written, many reasons, but principally life and a forgotten password of which I was less than motivated to retrieve.  I thought I might catch up those interested, on things since the last post.  If so motivated, I may offer another post, a bit more current and more central to the theme of my writings.

The months of March and April brought on much to consider.  In a prior post I mentioned that with the rise in my PSA it was becoming more urgent to decide upon my next course of treatment.  Contributing to this urgency was, with the bone and CT scans, the discovery of additional nodes in the pelvic lymph glands, a small bone metastases in my spine and some suspicious areas in the plural sacks of my left lung.  With a bit of investigation, some thought and reflection on my resolve to contribute to the science, I concluded chemotherapy, without hormone ablation, was the best path.  I began that course with an initial response exceeding expectations.  My PSA had risen to 130, doubling every 2-3 months, but in response to the first treatment dropped to 116.  More remarkable was the test done at Hopkins where it was discovered the ratio of dead to live cells was much higher than would be presumed with a PSA as high as mine.  All were encouraged.

Enter the blood work showing a rising creatinine level, a sure sign of kidney issues.  As always I passed the lab results to Ron, my doctor at Hopkins.  His immediate response, you need a renogram to explore the reason for the rise.  On up to Hopkins I went and the results of the renogram suggested the cancer had infiltrated my ureters, causing them to constrict, which in turn reduced the flow from my kidneys.  Ron’s response was immediate and decisive, I needed stents placed in my ureters ASAP.  No argument here, given I could see the issues when looking at the test results with the technician who performed the test.  This was in May and one thing I learned very quickly is that stents are not fun and with them, Percacet is a person’s best friend.  Unfortunately, coinciding with stent insertion, I became allergic to the chemotherapy.

The next dilemma now presented itself.  The cancer was now growing rapidly, more so than the previous norm.  We attempted loading me up with antihistamines and steroids, but those failed as well.  So, with a PSA now having risen to 271, my only choice was to move to Lupron, the last arrow in the quiver, to try and arrest the spread.  It was clear that without it my days were, literally speaking, numbered.  This was in August and to everyone’s surprise, with the checkup 3 months following the first injection, my PSA had fallen to 0.6, yes, you are reading correctly, for all intensive purposes my PSA had fallen 270 points in 3 months.

INterestingly, other things have changed with the drop in PSA, the stents, which initially had to be changed in 2 months, were still functioning reasonably well in 3 months later.  When I did go in to get them changed it was nearly 4 months between changes.  Concurrently, prior to Lupron, Ron was unable to get his laser into the ureters to ‘clean them up a bit’, but now could and did so.  I must also concede that while the discomfort remains, it is not as intense as it had been, that is after the 2 weeks post insertion and prior to the 2 weeks pre-change.

So then, here we are, all caught up, more or less, on my health.  I will say there is a bit more, but it was really uneventful and so I did leave it out.  I will also say the whole of this summer’s experience, and recent news, provokes new thoughts, thoughts I will share in my next post, which I assure you I will post within the week.

Happy reading, happy thoughts and happy trails.

As always, feel free to comment or you may email me at lifeabstractions@gmail.com

ciao

Lifesabstractions

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