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Showing posts with label Medical. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Medical. Show all posts

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Kind Of Bored On A Sunday Afternoon

Dear Diary,

It's an unusually quiet Sunday afternoon here in Paradise. I'm just sitting around with the cats and feeling about as lazy as they look!

Wife's working until 5 tonight so I'm just trying to get the house a little bit back together.
Being constantly tethered to a 25-foot oxygen tube is getting old. I tend to keep tripping over the damn thing.

Things have been going a little slow with that because I've been plagued with a persistent case of the trots since I got up this morning. I hate it when that happens! Probably due to the ingestion of too much hot sauce, LOL!

I've got a routine appointment coming up in a couple of days with Dr E, my GP.
He will doubtless be upset about my unfortunate weight gain.
I do realize that probably at least 50 to 60% of this is my fault but I'm still wondering if the hormone that I'm taking for the prostate cancer isn't at least partially to blame.
I'm going to be talking with him about that as well as letting him know that I'm hooking up with a bariatric specialist.

I'm currently at 290 lb and my breathing is beginning to be compromised again. I just seem to have lost my taste for the low-carb high-fat diet that I was on and I don't understand why that would happen.

I think I mentioned in a previous post that I'm planning on discussing the technique of intermittent fasting with the bariatric person. I've never tried it.
Maybe she will have some insights that I'm not aware of.

Lately, for some reason, I seem to have lost my taste for hard liquor. I don't know how that came about but the only thing that I have a taste, for now, is beer and wine and beer is pretty much out of the question so I'm down to just drinking a couple of glasses of wine every once in awhile. Whether I keep on drinking wine depends on how it affects my blood glucose.
My alcohol consumption has seriously diminished which I guess is for the best.
I'm happy to say that I haven't had any significant bouts of fatigue or depression in98 the past few weeks. This is a new, hopefully, upward trend. I hope it doesn't mean that the Lupron isn't working anymore!

As far as the Lupron goes, I really must be one of the lucky ones because going on a year of ADT, I really haven't had any significant side effects whatsoever but I've mentioned that before in previous posts.
If I sound repetitive from time to time, it's because my memory is not what it used to be and that is due to the hormone.

Believe it or not, now that the weather is getting a little better, I'm actually considering trying to get out and do some walking at least every other day. There is very little I could do that would be better for me!
I may also be able to start getting in a little tiny bit of outside work around the house which would be beneficial to my health as well.

I really am trying to start moving forward with these goals but this type of thing has always been hard for me, even in the best of times.

Well, enough rambling for today.
Wish me luck at the doctors on Tuesday!


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Looks Like It's Bye-Bye To Xarelto

Dear Diary,

Woke up feeling out of sorts today (what else is new)? Sure enough...bad news!

After my usual cup of java, I called up Wal-Mart pharmacy to check on the status of my Xarelto order only to find out that I would be responsible for a $200 co-pay for a 30 day supply!
What I had totally forgotten was that the program from Janssen Pharmaceuticals which has provided me with a year and a half of free product is no longer valid since I went on Medicare.

So...I'm sitting here, eating a bowl of soup and planning out what our next move will be if I'm to remain on anticoagulants for the rest of my life.

I've gotta call my cardio guy and see if he is ok with going back on warfarin like I was at the start of this mess. A little more trouble but dirt cheap and effective.

Back to the soup! ;)


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Today's Six Minute Walk

Dear Diary,

Just had my latest six-minute walk at St Joe's this morning. Despite my recent weight gain of 28 pounds, I only lost 7 meters in distance from the last time which really surprised me.
Their baseline goal is 400 meters in six minutes. So far, I have always come up short of that.
They really want me to get my BMI down to 33, minimally before they will even consider surgery.
My current calculated BMI is 40 and getting it down to 33 would require me to go from my current weight of 288 to 235 before they would seriously consider cracking my chest open.
This is not an easy task! :(
I am going to follow their advice and have a consultation with one of their bariatric docs. I'm not too optimistic that she will be able to help but I'll at least give it a shot.

Medicare kicked in exactly as expected, thank goodness and we had zero payments or co-pays for today's visit. :)

Today was officially my 65th birthday but I don't feel a day over 90, LOL! Trying to decide if I should allow myself a nice, big chunk of birthday cake!!! Updates to follow.


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Another Fine Day...

Dear Diary,

Well, it's another fine day in this miserable,  godforsaken hellhole we call home.
Seem like nothing is going right today! 

I was almost killed by some dimwitted, asshole motorist who nearly sideswiped me as I left the grocery store after dropping the wife off for work.
I'm cleared on my left two lanes and am paused at the median checking the right. Thought I was all clear so I move out into the southbound lane and here comes this prick doing about 75 mph in a 45 mph zone and probably on his fucking cell phone.
I had at least 1000 feet clear on right and he comes straight at me. He could have easily changed lanes but instead, chose to lay on his horn and swerve around me with about a second to spare!
Just a typical scum of the earth asshole. Where the hell is my gun when I need it?

To top it all off, I'm out of sertraline and have been for about a week. The doctor was very late approving and faxing in a refill to Wal-Mart.
Consequently, I'm going through some SSRI withdrawal which includes some mild paranoia, tremors, and heavy tinnitus. I've been down this road before and it isn't pleasant!

I'm getting scared that I'm gonna die abruptly and leave my beloved wife alone.
She works so hard to keep us afloat for very little money. I owe her my very life.

So... how's your fucking day going?


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Good News!

Dear Diary,

I'm pleased to announce that I just received my latest lab results for PSA and Testosterone after my first six months of ADT.
My PSA has dropped from 9.3 six months ago to 0.8 now. My 'T' is at 9.
Feeling great and no apparent side effects.
I get my second Lupron jab this Tuesday and maybe some constructive feedback from my trusted urologist.


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Feeling Like Shit

Dear Diary,

Overdoing it with the booze, benzos, and food.
Gotta get my act together or I'm gonna die.


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Paradise Is Cold!

Dear Diary,

So it's been really cold here in Paradise for the past few days and I'm really feeling it! The generalized aches and pains are about the same as they usually are but it's the lower back pain that's really getting to me.
Sometimes it's so bad that I can barely walk around the house without feeling like my left leg is going to give out. My left leg is the one that's 3/4" shorter than the other.
I should have been wearing a lift all my life but I didn't and now I'm paying for it!
I've been told that wearing a lift at this point in my life wouldn't do any good so when it flares up I rely on good old acetaminophen.
Hopefully, I won't trash my best and only liver any more than it already is.

Got the results back from Monday's routine labs. All is well. :)

Still not back on my diet. My weight seems to have stabilized at 276 lbs. I've gone and gotten used to eating carbs again and that's contributing to my water weight gain.

The booze is pretty much under control. I now only drink when the wife is home on her days off so that's 5 out of 7 days I don't drink. Quite a change for me. LOL!

So much for Thursday night. I wish there was some football on!


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Weekend Ramblings

Dear Diary,

So... I'm sitting here outside the grocery store on Friday night waiting for the wife to get finished working so I thought I'd use this time to catch up on a few things.

Truthfully, there really hasn't been much to blog about over the past month or so.
As I mentioned before, I'm not really big on posting content just for content's sake.

We spent part of the day yesterday at St Joseph's getting another 6-minute walk test done. My performance was even better than the last time, much to my surprise!
I was able to walk just a shade under 400 m in 6 minutes so they were pleased.
I also had another cardiac ultrasound with bubbles like I had previously. I'm really not quite sure why. Dr. O, the pulmonologist wanted to repeat that specific test as the first one I had was negative.
They have decided to increase my diuretics based on the results of the last right heart cath recently.

Since they increase the diuretic dosages, I have been experiencing really wild weight swings, almost definitely related to water retention.
I'm also having quite a few nocturnal leg cramps which may be related to an electrolyte imbalance.
They've decided to have me get blood work done every two weeks for a while to monitor the electrolytes.
Hopefully, there isn't a problem as the diuretics are quite obviously helping the pulmonary hypertension when used in combination with the sildenafil.

I'm currently feeling alright most of the time with periodic bouts of fatigue which probably attributable to both my intermittent weight gain and loss and the side effects of Lupron therapy.

I'm still trying to stay as true as possible to the low-carb lifestyle but I admit I do find myself frequently cheating which is not in my best interest.
With this water weight issue going on, it is quite difficult to determine what my actual true weight is as it tends to fluctuate anywhere from 2 to 6 or more lbs. everyday.

It's now Saturday night and I'm sitting in the same place I was last night waiting for the wife to get off work so I decided to finish up this dictation.

I went way overboard on the diet again today but at least when I did, I kept the carbs to somewhat of a minimum.

Last but not least, I am clean and green to transition to Medicare this March!
This will remove a huge financial burden from the wife and me, especially as the continuing medical bills keep increasing down the road.


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Sunday, November 26, 2017

A Few Updates

Dear Diary,
Things have actually been fairly quiet around here lately. For us, that's always nice.

Had an interesting experience recently. I had a routine follow-up with my GP a few days ago. You may recall from my last post that my angiogram in January was clean and green as far as coronary artery disease (CAD). Well, my GP was reviewing my chart, including my most recent right heart cath. when he casually noted that I had significant CAD. WTF??
I explained to him what he should have already known...that I was certified free of CAD in January but he said: "well, I'm just reading you what the report says".
I can tell you I was pretty upset at that news so on the way out, we stopped in at my cardiologist's office one floor down (I even took the stairs!).
We obtained a copy of my last procedure which did, in fact, indicate serious CAD.
By that time, I was nervous as hell! We left the office and were leaving the building when I took the time to look at the report one more time.
This time, I was lucid enough to actually look at the patient name and DOB. IT WASN'T ME!!!
It belonged to another patient of my cardiologist and had been scanned and missed by three separate offices.
Moral of story: ALWAYS be your own advocate and take the extra time to actually read your files and charts!

In other news, I've lost control of my weight again. I've gained 20 pounds over the past few weeks!
this is very depressing for me even if it is my own fault.
I'm going back on Atkins 20, induction phase tomorrow morning. I just don't understand why I keep backsliding and putting myself through pure hell.
I will get back to where I was but it's gonna take a while! :(

No updates on the status of the cancer as yet but we should know something in two or three weeks when I get the next PSA draw. Wish me luck! ;)

The Seahawks won against the 49ers tonight and the Cardinals beat the Panthers! I'm happy! :)

A final note: On October 18th, in the wee hours of the morning, our beloved kitty, Pumpkin finally passed away from old age. He peacefully expired on the floor at the foot of our bed.
Pumpkin was 20 years old and had been with us for 17 of those years.
We miss him terribly!

Pumpkin   1997-2017

We now have two new family members, Jordan and his sister Jesse!
Jordan and his sister are both 5 years old and respectively 20 and 15 lb! We got them a couple of weeks after pumpkin passed away because we felt we couldn't live without kitties.
As luck would have it, we got them from an elderly lady who was planning on moving to Florida with her family so she felt that she couldn't keep them anymore.
We are all in the continuous process of getting used to each other right now and we look forward to spending many years together.

Jesse (Top)                   Jordan (Bottom)

I'm sitting here outside the grocery store right now waiting for Karen to get through work then we're going to go home and have a cozy evening!

That's about it for tonight.


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Cardiac Catheterization Update

Dear Diary,

Well, we had an interesting day yesterday.
Spent nearly the entire day in the St Joseph's Hospital cath lab.
We went in at 1 p.m.for what should have been a 20 or 30-minute procedure at 3pm and wound up getting out around 7pm.
Apparently, they had several heart attacks come in on an emergency basis so I was sort of left to last.
When I finally got in, I had the best suite they had available. The whole procedure took about 15 minutes and it was no more traumatic than getting a dental cleaning.

The real good news, however, is that the pulmonary artery pressures are down, significantly from the last procedure in January.
The pressures in January were in the low 70s and they are now in the low 40s which is very good. We still need to get them lower but this shows that the sildenafil is definitely working.

They did some special testing to find out whether the pulmonary vessels were reactive or nonreactive. Apparently, they were at least mildly reactive which gives me the possibility of being able to use different medicines if necessary.
At any rate, the wife and I are both very pleased with the results, so pleased in fact, that we stayed at the hospital and had dinner at the cafeteria.
We almost never go out to eat you see! :-)

The other good news is that the wife's hands are healing perfectly and the numbness in her fingertips is going away much faster than we expected. She is ecstatic!

All this excitement is being posted a few days after the fact due to server issues with blogger. Anyway, the wife and I are now back to sitting out on the front porch in 100% wonderful weather so I really don't give a rat's ass!


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Sunday, October 22, 2017

I'm Still Here!

Dear Diary,

Well! It looks like I haven't posted anything for two months! Consider yourselves blessed.

The wife just had carpal tunnel surgery which appears to have been very successful. She is off work for up to six weeks and I'm encouraging her to take all of it. She deserves it.
When she returns, she should be able to do her job much more comfortably.

No idea what the damn cancer is doing. I'm not due for a PSA for 2 or 3 months. I've been on ADT for about three months now with no major side effects. Makes me wonder sometimes if it's working at all! The interesting thing is that the bladder bleeding stopped about a week after I began ADT and has never recurred. Weird!

I go for another right heart cath this Thursday to see how the PAH is responding to the sildenafil.
The PA pressure last time was a whopping 70. With any luck, maybe it has gone down a bit.

My weight is holding in the low 260s. I'm currently on another diet push to see if I can get to 250 this time. I went off plan for a few weeks out of boredom and gained a little weight back so now I'm back on the wagon. At least my diabetes and blood pressure are doing great and under tight control. :)

A bit of sad news.
Our beloved kitty, Pumpkin passed away peacefully of old age early Wednesday morning, Oct. 18th. He was here with us at the foot of our bed when he passed. As much as we miss him we know he is better off.
We had anticipated this as he was 20 years old. He was our fuzzy baby for 17 of those years.
R.I.P. Pumper!

Pumpkin 1997-2017
I'll update more as I think of it. Right now, I have a bout of fatigue setting in.


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Odds & Ends

Dear Diary,

Well now, let's see. What's been going on here in Paradise lately?
Not too much which is why I haven't posted anything in a while.

The wife and I just got a nice, free, pre-owned Serta queen size mattress to replace the futon mattress that we've been sleeping on since we came to Arizona in '94. (no, it didn't come with pee stains)
We've both been sleeping better since. "Beggars can't be choosers".

Our 2002 Chevy S-10 just started leaking oil from the rear differential a couple of weeks ago.
Took it to a brand new garage that we just discovered. Turns out the pinion seal was bad. They had it fixed by the next day because they had a problem finding the part.
So, we got that fixed and finally got the oil changed (it's been a while) for a very reasonable price.
We will be using them from now on for anything I can't do.

Health wise, no noticeable side effects from the ADT (Androgen Deprivation Therapy) that I am on to slow or stop the progression of the cancer. I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop but so far, I'm feeling fine with the exception of a little transient fatigue now and then.
I guess the more severe stuff comes on after months of treatment. I can wait! ;)

I think I mentioned in a previous post that I succeeded in losing 49 pounds over the past six or seven months. I've started cheating quite a bit lately, probably due to boredom with the menu, which bothers me. I've gotta get it under control soon before I start gaining again.
It's not an issue with quantity this time but more with what I eat.
Ketogenic dieting works but it is difficult. You really have to stick to the plan.

The bladder problem has at least temporarily resolved. There has been no pain or bleeding for several weeks. I'm still 100% incontinent but that will probably never change. It's just really nice to be able to take a vacation from blood clots and catheters for a while.

I can't really tell if the new stuff (sildenafil) is having an effect on my lungs or not. If there are changes, they are very subtle. I really need to remember to ask Dr. O what he expects as far as effects on the O2 saturation and what time frame we're looking at.
Regardless, I continue to very gradually improve which is unusual for arterial pulmonary hypertension. It's usually just the opposite.

*sips on a bourbon*

On another note, the wife has now signed on with my cardiologist (on my advice) for a baseline evaluation. She just had a Doppler ultrasound of her carotid arteries which was recommended by our optometrist. She has a 60% occlusion of the right carotid. Probably not a serious issue but why take the chance? We want to see how much this increases her risk for stroke.
She also has fairly severe carpal tunnel syndrome. We saw an orthopedic specialist today for an evaluation and she got a set of wrist braces. She will have a nerve conduction test in the near future and, depending on the results of that, be evaluated for possible surgery.

And with that, I'll sign off with one last comment. It is very obvious that we, (the world) are in the so-called 'end times' and we are very grateful to be on the way out and not on the way in!
Does that smack of religion? Not to this old boy! It smacks of reality.
We don't need religion or blind faith to see the obvious!


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Officially In The 'Lupron Club'

Dear Diary,

Just got my first dose of Lupron yesterday, in the form of an injection in the butt. The area is a little tender but that should resolve shortly.
As mentioned previously, the goal here is to literally "starve" the cancer of testosterone in hopes that is will retard, or even stop the progression for a certain amount of time (the longer the better)!
The average effective range is 18 to 24 months, sometimes less and sometimes much more.
We will have to be content to wait and see.
There are a host of common yet unpleasant side effects associated with hormone therapy and I will be updating if and when they happen.
One of the more common ones is 'gynecomastia' or enlargement of the male breasts. I guess it's fortunate that I've always enjoyed wearing women's apparel! LOL!

I got another Doppler Echogram done on the old ticker today. We need that to keep track of the progress (or lack thereof) of the myxoma. I will know the results of that in about a week. I really hope it hasn't progressed much because I'm still not ready for surgery.

Things are looking much better with the lungs. I was prescribed sildenafil at my last visit to my pulmonologist but haven't been able to get it filled yet due to an unexpected pre-auth.
Apparently, the stuff is really expensive!
Sildenafil is a potent vasodilator and we hope it will be able to relax and open up my pulmonary arteries resulting in at least a modest reduction in pulmonary arterial pressures.

I think I'm gonna go lie down for a little while 'cause I'm getting fatigued

More dirt later!


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Some Good News For A Change!

Dear Diary,

So, it's been an eventful past couple of days!

On Wednesday, we saw Dr. M, my cardiologist for a routine follow-up. He is pleased with my progress with my weight and the respiratory issue. We are going to schedule another Doppler echocardiogram for this coming week to check on the size of the myxoma. My last one was about a year ago. The new information will help organize our priorities regarding the heart surgery.

Today, (Thursday) I went to St Joe's for a six-minute walk test and pulmonary function testing.
Apparently, I did very well and there is an improvement from the previous testing 4 months ago.
It was also officially confirmed that I have lost 30 pounds! They were impressed.

After the testing, we met with Dr. O, the pulmonologist to go over the game plan.
He is finally going to start treating the pulmonary hypertension with drugs. We have been waiting a long time for that.

We are going to start with low dose sildenafil aka Viagra as a first line treatment and see if we get a good response. If we do, they will do another right heart cath to check the pressures.
The goal here is to actually reverse this process that is causing the PH. I hope he's right because PH is usually a chronic progressive condition and not reversible.
Cardiac and pulmonary auscultation was unremarkable save for a few fine crackles in the left base.

*sips on a neat bourbon*

As far as the cancer goes, I'm about 2 1/2 weeks into bicalutamide (Casodex®) to see if we can reign in the horses that have escaped the barn. I expect to be starting leuprolide (Lupron®) in about a week.
This is not a cure but it could theoretically delay the onset of metastases and hopefully buy me a few more years.

Any chance of a cure is no longer on the table but long term control is very possible. I am always grateful that I am a Gleason 7 and not a 8, 9 or 10. My heart goes out to those who are.
At this stage, pain control is not an issue but I am very concerned with this current nonsense about opioid regulation. If I live long enough, eventually I will require them. If they become over-regulated, I may face the death my father had and I don't even want to go there!
For folks in my position, opioid drugs are our friends.

*sips a little more bourbon*

We are now into monsoon season here in Paradise with triple digits and high humidity. Hoping we'll get a little rain this year. Every year we seem to get less and less.
Outside conditions are less than optimal for any kind of exercise so, once again, I'm kind of confined to the house.

Well, enough for tonight. Keep the faith!


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Thursday, June 29, 2017

ADT Update

Dear Diary,

I'm now 8 days into ADT with bicalutamide (Casodex) and still feeling ok.

I've had a few bouts of depression and now there is a sense of generalized fatigue. We didn't do a baseline serum testosterone level but I assume it must be dropping.

All I feel like doing now is lying around. I sort of wish we still had a TV.

Some say these symptoms will significantly increase when we start the Lupron in a couple of weeks.

Finally managed to get hold of the kids in Italy. Good to know they're all doing well.
I'm a very proud Grandpa!

L to R  Abbie, Arabella, and Chris

My appetite seems to have diminished a bit in the past few days. I guess I shouldn't complain. Having a real hard time losing the last 4 or 5 pounds to hit 260.

The back pain is still there and I'm still treating it with acetaminophen and Tramadol but it really doesn't seem to help that much. That probably contributes to the fatigue.


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Saturday, June 24, 2017

I Feel Like I'm Falling Apart

Dear Diary,

The past two or three weeks have been pretty rough. My lower back is acting up again to the point where sometimes I can barely walk. It seems to be a pinched nerve (possibly sciatic) that is causing all this pain and numbness in my feet. I'm currently trying a daily regimen of 1300mg of acetaminophen chased with 50mg of Tramadol three times a day.
It's a good thing we kept that walker from a year ago because I'm really concerned about falling, especially when I'm here alone.
It's unlikely that the pain is associated with the cancer as I've had it off and on for many years.
It gets very wearing though, after a few weeks.

I've also been dealing with untreated dental issues including a huge cavity in one of my front teeth. The tooth finally broke off today. I need two extractions. At my age and income, restoration is not an option. I'm looking into local dental schools who might be able to do it for discounted prices.
Turns out, In America, the health insurance industry considers basic dental care a "privilege" and not a necessity. Therefore, they get away with not having to offer it in basic health plans. Sux!

I'm into day 4 of hormone therapy for the rising PSA. No side effects as yet except the strange urge to dress up in my wife's clothing and hang around in ladies' lingerie departments.
No...wait, that's not a side effect, I've always done that!   ;)

*takes 7 pm meds with water, not bourbon*

Last of all, a shout out to my son Chris, in Italy. Your Daddy's trying to reach you on FB but I get no response. Been awhile since we talked. Call me.


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Joining The 'ADT Club'

Dear Diary,

A brief update to my last post.
Saw the Uro today and am now officially in 'Club ADT'.
Took my first dose of Casodex 50mg and have a follow-up appointment in 30 days.
At that time, we will start Lupron as well. I hope this will 'reign in the horses' for at least a good while.

As far as the bone scan, he agreed that there was nothing there that was obvious at the present time.
We talked about the merits of additional scans and his opinion was that yes, we could do that, and we would have additional information, however, the
treatment would be the same regardless of the results. Opinions?

Lupron will be about $1500 per injection twice a year. Insurance shouldn't have a problem covering that...I hope.
If they do, we will have to resort to bilateral orchiectomy to hopefully achieve the same goals.

It's not confirmed yet but it's apparent that I have graduated to stage 4 and there is no stage 5 so you figure it out.

* sips bourbon*

All I can really hope for now is that something else takes me out before the cancer does.

It's been a trying week as I am also suffering from excruciating lower back pain unrelated to the cancer. Got some Tramadol from the Uro so maybe that will help. The pain is wearing me out!

*sips more bourbon (no Tramadol involved)*

On the good side, my weight is closing in on 260lbs which is wonderful. I look and feel so much better. Even the wife notices! LOL!

Nothing more to say until I get depressed again.


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

PSA Update

Dear Diary,

I forget whether I mentioned this earlier but my PSA is now increasing by leaps and bounds.

The last 5 PSAs are shown below.

0.8 as of 9 months ago.
1.8 as of 6 months ago.
1.6 as of 3 months ago
7.3 as of 05/15/2017
9.3 as of 06/14/2017

Because of the size of the jump, I had another PSA done to rule out an error. Unfortunately, there was no error. In fact, it went from 7.3 to 9.3 in four weeks. Not good!

Uro appointment next Thursday. I will have A DRE and we will discuss the pros and cons of

Casodex and Lupron.

The cat is definitely out of the bag. We just don't know where it is.

I'm thinking we need to start ADT ASAP and worry about the PET scan later.

I'm still thinking that this may be local recurrence in the prostatic bed.

Definitely not a happy camper right now! 😞

"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Friday, June 09, 2017

Update On Bone Scan

Dear Diary,

A quick update.
Just got the full body bone scan today and the tech said there was no sign of metastatic disease.
Uro still has to see the results but hopefully, he will agree.

The next step, hopefully, is a PET scan to see where the activity is located and find out if treatment options
other than HT are available.

The really good news is that the bone scan fulfilled my entire annual out of pocket so for the rest of the
year, I'm covered at 100% Yay!

Won't know much more till we get the PET scan so I continue to be nervous.


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Urologist Appointment Update

Dear Diary,

Just got done with the appointment with Dr.F. He spent a lot of time with us and was encouraging but he agreed it is time to act.

He wants to start with a full body bone scan which I will have on the 8th.

Based on those results, we will then look into more sophisticated imaging.

He is a little frustrated because, as always, he has to go "toe to toe" with the insurance to get this stuff authorized.

If the bone scan is positive, we will initiate ADT. Casodex followed by Lupron.

If it is negative, we will have to make the decision of whether to start ADT anyway or to watch the PSA a little longer.

I imagine this is where the MO (Medical Oncologist) comes in. I flat out forgot to ask him if he felt it was time to bring one in!

The options regarding more sophisticated types of scans/imaging are all on the table as far as he is concerned. It's just a matter of getting them paid for.

If there is no visible spread and the disease appears to be still localized, I am interested in taking this to the next level to try to locate and isolate the active area(s) and possibly looking into HIFU (High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound) to try to clean up whatever is left.

I don't know if that will be an option for me in the future but right now I want to concentrate on proving what exactly is going on in there and treating it accordingly.


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface