🤩 GREAT NEWS 🤩

Today’s oncology appointment was all great news. In the last two months PSA has reduced from 17 to 9, and the tumours in my chest and pelvis have reduced in size.

I am so tired as I have not been sleeping very well, but today’s news has given me a lift.

We will check in again in three months to see how the PSA is going.

Good health and happiness to all. Cheers, Phil

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HAPPY DAYS

Great news from the oncologist this morning. The new meds (an additional layer of hormone therapy) have kicked PSA down from 22 to 17 in one month. The doc says that it usually takes two months to impact PSA, and it can rise first before reducing. He was not expecting to see a reduction after one month. So I am pretty happy with the outcome.

However, there inevitably are side effects to deal with. Poor sleep. Extra fatigue. Being muddle headed. Cranky. The first three weeks were the worst, and it seems to have mellowed in the last week.

My voice is also croaky at times. It comers and goes. Not as bad as a few years ago when a tumour was affecting my left vocal chord, impacting my speech, eating and drinking.

Now we reset with blood tests and scans in two months time. If I lose my voice the scans will be done immediately.

That’s all for now. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, good health and happiness to all. Cheers, Phil

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HAMSTER WHEEL

I was going to call this post “Back on the hamster wheel”, but I have never really been off the wheel. After many ups and downs in twelve years the wheel has recently been spinning relatively slowly. Now it is picking up pace…..

PSA has increased by 50% from 15 to 22 in the last three months. Tumours in my pelvis and chest are growing again. It was bound to happen sooner or later, but it still took me by surprise.

I am not really unwell, so the discussions with the oncologist related to treatments unlikely to reduce quality of life (yeah, sure….). Hormone therapy came up the winner. This will be in addition to the existing hormone therapy, Lucrin. We discussed Enzalutamide. I have had this before and reacted weirdly, so we are going with Abiraterone. Apparently it is less likely to have many downsides. Sometimes people report feeling better (!!!!). And of course there is a side serve of the steroid Dexamethesone, to help minimise side effects. This steroid has its own side effects. I have had it before and went OK.

To keep track of how this is going we are doing bloods in six weeks and scans in three months. If this does not work we will have to start thinking about chemo again. Yuck.

Good health and happiness to all. Cheers, Phil

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STEADY AS SHE GOES

I met the oncologist this morning. My PSA has increased from 12.3 to 15 in the last three months. Not good. 😕

It was my second meeting with a new oncologist, so we are still working each other out. He is pretty impressive. Young, confident and empathetic. I like his approach. He asked me whether I had any new health issues since our last meeting. I had nothing material to report. He commented that the PSA result is just a number. It is not increasing at a sufficient rate to worry, and I have no symptoms from whatever activity is going on. Therefore, we agreed to kick the can down the road. I will do another PSA test and scans in three months.

I admit I was pretty stressed in the lead up to the meeting, expecting a push for some form of additional treatment. The outcome was a relief.

It seems inevitable that more treatment will be required at some stage, but I want to avoid any additional treatment that will reduce my quality of life until absolutely necessary.

Overall, a pretty good outcome. 😃

Good health and happiness to all. Cheers, Phil

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PSA UP, SCAN STABLE

My oncologist has a new role, so I met my new one today. Either I am getting older, or doctors are getting younger, or both. He was very young, very modest and seemed very capable.

The heading says it all. PSA up from 11 to 12.3. The CT scan shows some improvements and some progression, but overall OK.

It will soon be time to consider further treatments. The good news is that I am in relatively good nick. As further interventions will detract from quality of life rather than improve it, it is sensible to kick this can down the road for a bit.

We agreed to a further PSA test in three months. If PSA is 15 we will do scans. If not, we will do scans and PSA at six months.

Having to contemplate more treatment is annoying, but hopefully I can get through to the end of the year without having to cross this bridge.

Either way, I am very fortunate.

Good health and happiness to all. Cheers, Phil

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BRIEF UPDATE

Not a lot to report out of the oncology meeting today.

PSA up from 10 in October to 11 now. No cause for concern.

I will do another scan and PSA test in three months and we will see what they show.

Good health and happiness to all. Cheers, Phil

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ALL THAT STRESS FOR NOTHING!

Today I met my oncologist to discuss “Where to from here?”. This follows a 30% increase in PSA and subsequent bone and CT scans showing no deterioration.

He essentially said that no deterioration in the two years between scans is an excellent result, and the increased PSA is of no concern.

He finished with something like “So, keep doing what you are doing, exercise and do not stress. See you in four months”.

“Do not stress”. Yeah sure. I wish……

Good health and happiness to all. Cheers, Phil

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NOTHING TO SEE HERE

I am scheduled to see my oncologist next week to get the results of the CT and bone scans, following the recent 30% increase in PSA.

However, I met my GP this morning to get the regular hormone therapy injection, and managed to get the results from him.

The great news is……..no evidence of any deterioration. In fact the chest tumour is less prominent, whatever that means.

My blood pressure was also the lowest it has been for some time.

So, why has the PSA increased if there is no deterioration? Weird.

Why is my blood pressure so good, given the significant scanxiety in the last week? Weird.

These and other questions may be answered next week!

in the meantime, good health and happiness to all. Cheers, Phil

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MIXED NEWS

There is mixed news from the Oncology visit today.

First, the extra terrific news. Scanxiety was almost non existent in the lead up to the appointment. If this is the new normal it will save me a lot of unnecessary stress.

The not so good news is that PSA increased 30% from 7.7 to 10. Nothing to get too excited about yet, but not great news.

The next step is to get CT and bone scans done to find out where the activity is. I will not get the results until next month’s appointment.

I am a bit stressed now, but it will all look better in the morning. It always does. I love mornings!

Good health and happiness to all. Cheers, Phil

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THE END OF A TREND?

I had my four monthly oncology visit today and the PSA is up a bit, from 7.4 to 7.7.

It all started Sunday a week ago when I noticed the appointment in the diary. Instant scanxiety. Starting earlier and much worse than prior episodes. I had a headache and felt like my head was under pressure. I was shaky and had trouble concentrating. Major anxiety made it difficult to function normally.

Fortunately, I had an appointment with my shrink on Monday. It was only my third appointment with him, but he seems like the real deal. He helped me with techniques to manage the scanxiety. I left the consultation with no anxiety, which lasted until a couple of days ago. When it came back I could manage it better. Still a way to go to overcome it completely, but I hope I will be better prepared next time.

I was pleasantly surprised to see my old oncologist back in the chair. He left some time ago. He did not see the slight rise in PSA as an issue. It is disappointing. However it does not mean much unless a trend of higher increases happens.

So, back to a “normal” life for the next four months.

Oh, I also mentioned in my last post the possibility of a clinical trial. This is now a non-event as my blood tests determined that my cancer is not hereditary.

Until next time, good health and happiness to all. Cheers, Phil

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