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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CLINICAL TRIAL

In my last post I discussed the possibility of participating in a clinical trial. Well, it happened today!

I will get the technical details out of the way: –

Trial Title – Biomarker Study to Determine Frequency of DNA-repair Defects in Men with Metastatic Prostate Cancer

Short Title – A study to determine how often DNA Repair Defects are found in Men with Advanced Prostate Cancer

Astute readers may wonder at the point of the “short” title!

Anyway, my layman’s translation is “We take your blood and tell you if the cancer is hereditary”. Maybe not 100% accurate, but it works for me.

So….what does it all mean?

  • Up to 10,000 people worldwide (600 from Australia) will participate
    • The trial sponsor is Janssen Research and Development (part of Johnson and Johnson)
    • Recent data suggests that tumours caused by hereditary gene defects may be more sensitive to certain drugs
    • If I have hereditary gene defects I may qualify for potential future clinical trials for a treatment targeting these tumours

Apparently there have been successes in this area with ovarian cancer. It is not a cure, but another potential treatment to delay progress of the disease.

It may lead nowhere, but it will be nice to know if my cancer was home grown or hereditary. And it is always good to do something constructive.

I gave blood today and that is all that is involved. I will get the results in my next onco appointment in July.

Good health and happiness to all. Cheers, Phil

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YOO HOO! PSA STILL TRENDING DOWN

Last week I was told that today’s appointment will be with a new oncologist. My old one resigned. The disappointment evaporated quickly when I met the new oncologist. She was impressive both with knowledge of my case and developments with cancer care.

The disappointment returned when she advised that she is only temporary and there will be another oncologist for the next review!

Anyway, the news was all good. PSA reduced from 8.5 in November to 7.3. A huge relief.

And….. she asked whether I have ever had genetic mutation tests to establish whether the cancer is hereditary. This could guide future treatment. I have not had this, so she will see if she can get me onto a clinical trial that is currently underway. I have asked about clinical trials before with no success, so this is exciting. It will be good to get another piece of the jigsaw puzzle in place.

She will also talk to my shrink to restart this part of my support.

I feel very fortunate indeed.

Good health and happiness to all. Cheers, Phil

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SCANXIETY UP, BUT PSA DOWN

Hello all,

Great news from the oncologist today. PSA down from 12 in July to 8.5. PSA is now lower than when this misadventure started ten years ago.

I tried a bit of hypnosis to avoid the usual scanxiety in the lead up to getting test results. I was OK until yesterday and by this morning I was a mess. I need to work on this as it is very frustrating.

I am exhausted, so it may be time for a sneaky grandpa nap.

Good health and happiness to all. Cheers, Phil

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GOOD GRIEF CHARLIE BROWN

I met with the oncologist this morning.

PSA is down from 17 to 12 in the last three months. Woohoo! What does this mean? Well, nothing is ever certain, but it appears that the cancer is dormant throughout my body except for the mass in my chest. Since the previous CT scan in December it has shrunk from 46 x 33mm to 40 x 27mm. This probably explains the reducing PSA.

Disappointingly, this does not mean we have almost defeated cancer. It will remain dormant until it has the opportunity to flare up. When? No one knows. Statistical data is not that helpful as I do not conform to the stats. However, the oncologist reckons I should be thinking about at least five years. There are plenty of treatment options to deal with any flare up so, hopefully, this is conservative. But you never know!

On the less happy side of things I had a go at dropping anti-depressants after six months. It has not gone well, so I am contemplating resumption of this medication.

It is always a happy thing to report good news.

Good health and happiness to all. Cheers, Phil

 

 

 

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