The Dream And Other Things.

Prostate Progress - II

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Prostate Progress IV
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This page carries straight on from Prostate Progress - I and should start with my meeting with the urologist on 28th October 2003, unless something happens before that.

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! 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.
There 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.:lol

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.
The 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.


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