Good News

In Puerto Escondido, Mexico June 2013

Good News.

2 weeks ago today I underwent the last of the 39 radiation treatments.

On Monday I visited my local urologist for a pre-arranged appointment. The purpose of the visit was to receive an injection, this time the 6 month version of the Eligard (hormone depressing) medication. Previous ones had been 3 months, it is a time release capsule injected under the skin.

Dr. Locke and I spoke for about 20 minutes, we both had some questions. He advised that my symptoms would resolve in 6-8 weeks after the end of radiation, not the 2 weeks or so that Dr. Gray had indicated. This took a large load off my mind, as I have not seen any improvement in my too-frequent trips to the toilet to pee. Interestingly, last night I slept longer than I have in many months, and only had to visit the loo twice instead of 4-5 times which has been the norm since beginning radiation.

More importantly in my mind, being a results oriented person, the clinic also drew blood to check my latest PSA and testosterone levels. Dr. Locke, unlike Dr. Gray, who when asked was vague, gave me a number for the PSA level: less than 1. He said that is the target level after radiation that they are looking for. Yesterday I received the report. My result met that, it is now down to 0.710. Made me happy.

The Eligard will continue the fight to suppress any remaining cancer, though that level of PSA indicates it is almost non-existent. I will return in November 2021 for another 6 month injection. He said if my PSA level stays below 1 for the next 12 months I will not need a third injection. Testoserone levels would then take up to a year to return to normal.

And PSA testing would be done at one year intervals instead of every 3 months. Most men, in the 90 percentile, who have similar results from this combination of hormone therapy/radiation have excellent life expectancies, and normally succumb to something other than cancer.

I have been diligent about my exercise routine and my diet and intend to place myself firmly in that category.

UPDATE 11/10/21: New results posted below, PSA down, T is up a bit. I returned to Costa Rica on the 14th, and will test down here in 6 months. If PSA is low, then no more Eligard, and I am will start the annual monitoring program.

UPDATE JUNE 28, 2022: I traveled to Denver on May 6th. I needed to do some legal stuff, including moving my U.S. residency from Florida back to Colorado (I live in Costa Rica, but have to maintain an address in the U.S. for various reasons). So I decided to have my numbers checked at CU Health, my long-time providers. Numbers were good, as expected, PSA down again, Testosterone up a tiny bit. At this juncture the consensus is that the treatments were a total success, and I can forgo any further ADP (androgen deprivation therapy), the drug that reduces testoserone. I now am in the stage where (barring any other symptoms) my future tests for both PSA and testoserone will now be checked at one-year intervals. PSA will be expected to stay at levels normal for a person without serious cancer (<4.0), while my testoserone should rise slowly back to pre-therapy levels.

Here is the full chart of testing results since returning to the U.S. in October 2020 for treatment.

PSA & Testosterone Tracking

October 8, 2020
PSA      50.39

October 27, 2020
Lupron 3 month Injection
Testosterone     564

November 30, 2020
PSA    6.62
Testosterone   14.76

January 25, ’21
Eligard 3 month injection
PSA    1.83
Testosterone    < 2.5

Feb. 19 thru April 21
Proton Beam Radiation (39 treatments)

May 2, 2021 (98 days)
6 month Eligard injection
PSA     0.710
Testosterone     < 2.5

November 10, 2021 (192 days)
6 month Eligard injection
PSA     0.44
Testosterone    13.1

May 9, 2022 (182 days) PSA 0.24 Testosterone, Free <5.0

Author: RJMS

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