25th September 2003...Been on
the pills about a month now and apart from a little discomfort and added tiredness I have been OK. A definite plus has been
the ease with which I am now able able to urinate without the pain I had been suffering before. Rightly or wrongly
I am putting this down to shrinkage of the prostate, and therefor less pressure on the bladder.
9th October 2003...Congratulated
myself too soon last month. Have had severe diarrehea for the last 10 days and lost 3 kilos in weight. Have put this down
to the medication but it is now getting beyond a joke as I still have 18 days of the treatment left. I don't want to fade
away to nothing so I'm off to see the doctor.
14th October 2003...Couldn't put
it off any longer as I have now lost 3 kilos in the last two weeks. Doctor supplied even more pills that should help fix the
problem, or at least lessen it. Also got a good telling off for leaving it so long before going to see him. Serves me right
I suppose but I had guessed it would be more pills and I hate that. Now have to go back to GP next Wednesday for him to check
on my condition. Never mind, two more weeks to the urologist and then things should be much clearer, and hopefully I can start
making decisions. Hah, decisions, that's a laugh, I still haven't made up my mind, surgery or radio therapy?
22nd October 2003...Anti
dierrhea pills didn't work and the doctor wasn't pleased at all. He has taken me off all medication till I see the urologist
next week. Doc says if I keep up with these pills for another week then I won't be in any condition for an operation or the
radio therapy and the urologist wouldn't be exactly thrilled with that. So, I have 6 days pill free, and who knows, I may
even get to go out of the house at the weekend before 12 noon without a toilet roll sticking out of every pocket. Yipeee!
28th October 2003...Saw my urologist
today and he had the results of the scans I had a few weeks back. The scan I was called back to the hospital for showed that
I had a tumour on one of my kidneys but that it was benign and I could forget about it. What a relief that was. The first
scan was also good news, the cancer hasn't spread to any other organs, or the bones. So, good news all round really. One question
remained, what was I going to go for, surgery or radio therapy. I have been mulling this over for weeks, and with all the
information I have gathered and people I have spoken to, I decided to go for the radio therapy. So that's it for the time
being. I am to continue with my hormone treatment until called to the University Cancer Hospital in Alicante. We now play
the waiting game once more, but I am confident that once the final treatment is over then I will be clear of cancer.
could be one other problem and that is the effect of the hormone treatment on me. I have started the treatment again today
and if the diarrhea returns tomorrow I'm not sure what is going to happen because the urologist has said that the hormone
treatment is essential to our success and my GP says the body can't withstand the continuing loss of fluids.
Ah well that's something they will have to sort out. I am
free of decisions now and in other people's hands.
29th October 2003.......Well,
unfortunately after just a few hours of restarting the hormone treatment the diarrhea has returned with a vengeance. The weight
loss has also returned and it is becoming difficult to remain undehydrated. I am seeing my GP on Monday. There has to be an
alternative to this.
4th November 2003.......Saw
the doctor yesterday and I'm afraid we aren't much further forward. He is going to consult another specialist and see if there
is an alternative hormone treatment that I can try while I wait for the radio therapy to begin. If things don't improve by
next Monday, the 10th, then I will take a unilateral decision and stop taking the treatment. I have now almost lost control
of my bowels and I am beginning to look like one of those poor African children with skinny bodies and a pot belly. The severity
of what is happening is very unusual I am told, there is just something in my body that is alergic to the chemical in the
treatment and it is doing it's best to get rid of it. As long as it doesn't get rid of me in the process.
7th November 2003......That
was quick. Had a telephone call from the University Hospital today and my first appointment is at 11:30 on 11th November,
next Tuesday. I know I have to be measured up and tatooed for the radio therapy so it might get done then, and, with a bit
of luck, I might get my first dose that day. It might also mean the the hormone treatment, which is causing so much trouble,
may finish. Fingers crossed.
11th November 2003......Had my first meeting this morning with the radio therapy team that will be dealing with me. First off the prostate
hasn't shrunk enough for them to start treatment. I have to continue with pills and injections until mid December then I have
another blood test and CAT scan. At this time the prostate should be small enough for a reasonable strength of radio therapy
to be used without damaging other organs too much. Then, once Christmas is over and the New Year holiday, it should be full
steam ahead with the treatment. In the mean time I have had the pills changed so I hope to start on those tomorrow. There
it is then folks, not quite as good as I had hoped but good never the less.
23rd November 2003......Have been
taking the new pills for more than 10 days now and I am almost back to normal with my bowels. Still going more than my normal
early morning once a day, but I can easily live with this. What a relief, we are almost back to our usual routines.
11th December 2003......Off to
the San Juan University Hospital this morning for what I thought was to be a normal CAT scan, or TAC scan, as they call it
here. Anyway that's not what happened. There I was lying on this huge machine while it mumbled and grumbled to itself when
all of a sudden there seemed to be laser beams everywhere and I was slowly slid into the jaws of this monster. When I came
to a stop there was a sign stuck on the inside of the machine saying "Do not look into the laser beam", it was in English
only, strange. To cut a long story short the machine had it's wicked way with me and finally I slid back out again and this
very nice chap came up and asked if I was OK. "Si", I said, "Todo bien". "Yes, all is OK" (showing off here). No sooner had
I said that than he disappeared from view and the next thing was this short, sharp pain in my side, then another on my belly
and yet another on the other side. Finished, said the by now not so nice young man. Sitting up I could see I now had red,
black and green crosses on my torso and three tattoo marks, one on each side and one in the middle. These are the 'aiming
points' for the radio therapy. That was it for the day, a quick coffee and slice of tortilla in the bar and then back home.
next step is to see my GP on the 17th of this month for the results of a recent blood test. This will show whether the cancer
is being held at bay while we wait for the prostate to shrink, hopefully. The next day, the 18th, I see the radio therapy
specialist and hopefully learn when the treatment will start. Everything is moving along fine and apart from a little unusual
tiredness I am great.
December 17th 2003......Saw my
GP this morning for the result of the blood test I took last week, and it is very good news. The PSA number has reduced to
.25, which is normal, showing that the pills, despite the problems I had with them, have done their stuff and stopped the
cancer from increasing.
I see the radiologist tomorrow morning, first thing, and he will have the result of the scan that
also took place last week. If the injections have done their job as well as the pills then the prostate should be reduced
enough in size to have a go at. Fingers crossed again.