The Dream And Other Things.

Prostate Progress - III

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First entry on this page should be the meeting with my Radio Therapy specialist. 

December 18th 2003......Results of my last scan are great. The prostate has shrunk to manageable proportions and so all systems are go. Today I had a dummy run on the big machine that is going to do the business. This was just to prepare me for the actual event so that I can relax when the time comes. I now have to wait for the phone call that sets me off on the road to, hopefully, full recovery. I know nothing is going to happen before the 6th January because of the holiday period, but then it is a clear run, so it is fingers crossed once more for an early slot. Found out today that prostate cancer is the second biggest killer of men in Spain so the machines are kept busy trying to prevent as many of these deaths as possible.
I'll be back again when I get the phone call. In the meantime people, take care, and look after yourselves.

January 2nd 2004......After a horrid Christmas and New Year being laid low by some virus or other I am now able to stagger back to the keyboard and report the latest. I have had a call from the University Hospital and my first dose of radio therapy is on the 7th January 2004. That's really great news, as I was dreading being stuck on some waiting list or other. As soon as I get back home I will report on what it was like and any other information I can pick up.

January 7th 2004......Well folks that's it, first dose over and done with. In all honesty I have to say it was all a bit of an anti climax. If you recall I had said earlier that I had already done a dummy run on the same machine but this time it was for real. No bells and whistles, flashing lights or weird noises, no mystic vibrations or heat rays, in fact nothing, nada. I'm not complaining you understand, but must admit to a certain disappointment, as I was at least looking forward to describing the event in breathless prose.
Ah well, never mind. That's the first dose over, just 29 more to go. I will be seeing the specialist each Monday after treatment to discuss my general health and the effects of the radiation, if any. So, it's me for a spot of surfing now and then tomorrow back to the machine for another dose. I'll report again after the next consultation unless something happens before that.

January 12th 2004......Well, day four of treatment and the first of the Monday consultations after undergoing treatment. Not quite what I expected, as the consultant told me that the team had decided to extend my radiation by a further 5 days, from 30 to 35, or in other words, from 6 to 7 weeks. Now to me that seems a hell of a lot of radiation,, but as to why, all I got was the big Spanish smile and the encouraging pat on the shoulder. I have had the same smile from tradesmen when they tell me that there's no problem, all is ok, and that's usually just before the TV blows up or the ceiling comes down.
Ah well, one either has faith or one hasn't, and I am the eternal optimist so I look forward to a more positive meeting next Monday, after another 5 blasts from the mighty machine.
Talk to you later folks.

January 19th 2004......Nine days into the treatment now and my second consultation. The worst effect on me so far is that now I am passing water every couple of hours or less, day and night. As you can imagine I get tired very easily so have taken to having an hours sleep in the afternoon when we get back from the hospital. This helps to a degree and the specialist has given me powders to take which he says will make me feel better. I also get the occasional stomach cramps but so far no diarrhea. So, it's still a matter of so far so good.
The specialist is on holiday next week, a touch of the DIY's at home, so it will be the 2nd February when I see him next.

January 30th 2004......Well folks that's another session over and number 18 too, so I am well and truly at the half way mark in the radiation stakes. Once more it is so far so good. Nothing happening that wasn't expected. The most serious side effect now is that my bladder needs attention almost every half hour during the day and about every hour during the night. I have medication that more or less stops the discomfort of passing water so I no longer dread going to the loo.
Monday I see my specialist but I don't think there will be much to report. Till then, take care folks.

February 2nd 2004......Monday again and more information. Seems I have misunderstood the radiation a little. When it finishes after 35 sessions the effect of it continues for another 3 or 4 months. So, I must continue with the pills and injections till June and then everything stops. Three months after that I have a blood test and if the PSA figure is still down to zero, or just slightly higher, then it's a question of Bingo, full house, and everyone's a winner. It's all going to take a little longer than I wanted it to but hey, I'm not going anywhere.
I'm also very pleased to report that no more adverse side effects have appeared so everything is cool at the moment.

February 9th 2004......Nothing to report to the specialist today and he seemed well pleased. I had a session of extreme tiredness last Saturday evening but he says that is quite normal at this stage of the treatment. I was also informed that the radiation would change but not exactly how. I thought possibly they might ease back a little but when I got under the machine I had three 'shots' from above, instead of my normal one, one from underneath, two from the left hand side instead of one and just the usual one from the right hand side. I don't know if this represents an increase in quantity a redistribution, or even something else entirely. I will make a point of asking next Monday, don't like mysteries.

February 16th 2004......Nothing much to report here folks. The most noticeable thing now is that the tiredness comes on quicker and lasts for longer periods. This is a natural consequence of the radiation treatment I am told. So far the bowel has been more or less behaving itself as I was dreading a repeat of the performance I had with that previous medication. Passing water is still painful and happening with shocking frequency but I am taking powders for that, I think the powders are an analgesic more than anything else, whatever, they do seem to help, especially in the ´wee´ small hours.
Last few days now, only six more sessions.


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