The Dream And Other Things.

Prostate Progress V

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Spring 2005. Your's Truly, Still Going Strong.

Hopefully this is going to be the last page in the saga of my prostate. Win or lose I have had enough support to keep a battleship afloat. I cannot praise highly enough the Spanish health care system which discovered my problem, and then proceeded to do something about it. At all levels of the national health system, from floor sweepers and bar staff, to nurses and surgeons, I have been treated with courtesy, heart warming compassion, and care which cannot be faulted. I will remain forever grateful and deeply within their debt.

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September 30th......2004 Final blood test today. I stopped taking all cancer related medication in May so by now all the chemical effects should be gone from the body and we should get a true picture of what is happening. It has been a long summer waiting for this day and I still have a little more time to wait for the results to get back to my doctor. Everyone is optimistic, including myself, that we will have a resounding ALL CLEAR.

October 7th 2004......Saw my GP today and he had the blood test results and I have a PSA number of 0.1, this is excellent he said but I have to see my oncologist next week and he is the expert. So far, so good. My GP was really pleased so I am really pleased too. Roll on next week and let's see The Man.

October 15th 2004......At the oncologist's this morning and a mixed bag of news. Not the all clear that I was expecting so in that sense it was a disappointing visit. It seems that I have vastly underestimated the time scale of everything. This PSA reading of 0.1 was in itself very encouraging but not definitive. I have to have another blood test in November, see my urologist in December and then a further blood test in February before returning to the oncologist. If the PSA figure stays below 1.5 then we are getting somewhere, but if it rises above that then I have to go back on the injections straight away and if it is really high then it's injections plus more chemo. So there we have it. A bit disappointing, as I said before, but at least everything is on the positive side at the moment. That's it then until November.

November 30th 2004......Had another blood test last week and the results were in this morning. The PSA figure has remained at 0.1 so that means the tide is racing even faster in my favour. I'm feeling pretty good on the whole and the few things I do have to complain about are probably due to advancing years more than anything else. I see my urologist on Friday of this week but that is just to report progress and to show the results of the last two blood tests. The next significant thing is another blood test in February and a meeting with the oncologist. It is at that meeting that I hope to get a much better idea of long term prospects. If anything important should come up at the meeting with the urologist this Friday then I will of course get the details down here.

December 2nd 2004......Felt I had to come back with the result of the meeting with the urologist this morning. He was very pleased with the blood results and doesn't want to see me again until I have finished with the oncologist and I don't see him again until late February or March of next year. Good news all round and I can see life getting back to almost normal in the not too distant future.

February 27th 2005......Blood test last Thursday and the results will be available this coming Thursday, the 3rd March. This test is the most important one so far as it is over nine months now since all treatment for cancer stopped and the effects of the previous chemicals should have worked their way out of my system. It feels as if they have because the side effects have stopped and I feel good. The point is my body is on it's own now, as far as the cancer is concerned, so if there has been a backward step then this blood test will show it.

March 3rd 2005......Blood test results great, just as good as it gets. Everything pointing to a perfectly normal healthy person, or at least as healthy as can be at my age. I see my oncologist at the University Cancer Hospital on the 11th of this month, next Friday, and I hope he will be as pleased as I am. Nice as the man is I would like not to see him again for at least another 6 months.

March 13th 2005......Bit of a let down on Friday at the hospital. Specialist was as pleased as I was with the blood test results but he was far from complacent. I have to have further blood tests every four months for the next year and then possibly every six months. It seems that if this thing comes back it may return on the gallop, so we have to keep a careful eye out.. I've had a couple of days to think about things since my visit and my initial disappointment has gone, as I once more realise how lucky I have been, and continue to be, with the level of care and attention I am receiving.

October 5th......2005  I bet you were wondering what had happened to me and my little saga, well, not too much to be honest. Blood tests through the summer with all being well. Saw my oncologist yesterday with the latest figures, PSA 0.16, every body happy all round. Next test in December and then back to see him again in January. Most of the bad effects have gone, although I still daren't be too far away from a loo for the first hour of every morning. Apart from that, as far as I can remember, I am more or less as I was nearly two years ago when all this started. Of course I am two years further down the line and at my age, 71 now, the years take their own toll more noticeably than they did when I was much younger. It's only a little toll though, so I'm not particularly bothered.

January 14th..........2006  Well that's another blood test out of the way and the results came today. The PSA has gone up from 0-16 to 0.55. Whether this is to be expected or not I don't know but I will be seeing the oncologist next Tuesday to see what he has to say. I will be reporting on what he has to say on Tuesday evening, all being well. I have seen the man and he doesn't seem too worried. In percentage terms 0.55 is a very big jump from 0.16 but the figure itself is good. To be wary though I have to have another blood test in three months instead of the usual four so that we can see what the rate of increase is then. If it continues along the same lines then I think I could be in trouble. Will have to wait and see.

April 13th ......2006  Latest blood test results came through today and the figure was quite good at 0.79. I could have wished that it was much nearer last time so showing a steadying off instead of this climb. Never mind. I see the oncologist next week so let's see what he has to say.

April 25th......2006 Saw my oncologist today with the blood test results and he isn't a happy bunny. Most disappointing he thought, the rise in PSA reading is far too regular for comfort. So, yet another blood test in July and if the trend continues then it's straight back on the injections and hope for the best. What can I say, it's not what I wanted to hear but I feel ok and am enjoying life, plus the years are ticking by, so it's fingers crossed time again and hope for the best.

October 28th ......2006 I have left off entering more details until I was sure of where I was going with all the testing and because I have been having great difficulty in walking. Scans have been carried out to see if the cancer had spread but that was ok. Blood circulation tests followed and that was also ok. Last week there was a densiometer scan to check on bone density, waiting for the results of that. Anyway I had the results of another blood test on the 11th July and that came in as .94, still climbing. The 14th of this month saw yet another test and I should have the results on Monday 30th. It's to be hoped that the result will still be less than 1.0 but I think not. All in all a fairly difficult last few months.
Saw my GP this evening and he had the results we have been waiting for. Not so good I'm afraid at 1.29. I'm seeing the oncologist on the 21st of November so I will have to wait and see what he has to say. I'll report back as soon as I can.

November 25th......2006  Saw the oncologist earlier this week and he wasn't too happy with my blood test results and would have started me straight back on HT (Hormone Treatment) except that as he told me the latest thinking is that it is best to let the PSA figure go up to 2.0 before taking action as the possibility exists that the increasing figure may level off before 2.0 is reached, thus avoiding further treatment. That's how I understand it anyway. Problem is that the figure is now doubling every eight months and that's not good. So, it's blood test time again in January then back to him in February. I feel like a mouse caught in one of those treadwheel things.

January 26th......2007 The news is not good I'm afraid.The PSA figure has gone over the 2.0 mark in one big jump so when I see the oncologist next month I'm sure he is going to tell me that the cancer has returned and that the free cancer cells are multiplying quite freely. Ah well, I've had a couple of years free of the chemicals, injections, radiation and the rest of it. Perhaps I am being overly pessimistic but at times I do get down with it all.


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