Living Life One Extension at a Time - Extension Four
One advanced prostate cancer survivor's story of living through incurable prostate cancer with one life extending treatment at a time.
The end of March 2022 would bring new CT and Bone scans. There was nothing in the soft tissue but the bone lesions were active. This included T5 that we radiated just a year ago. They will not radiate the same spot again, there is concern it could damage the spinal cord. So we need a different treatment.
Oncologist Visit and New Treatment
The beginning of April would bring anxiety and my oncologist appointment. I had a gut feel I was going to facing chemo but Beth disagreed. She said he has something else in his pocket. As usual she was right, doctor suggested we do Xofigo, which is a Radium 223 treatment. I would have six treatments four weeks apart. I would have an IV started then the Radium 223 isotope would be put in the IV. The Radium has a sort of binder with it that allows it to attach to the prostate cancer on the bones and radiates those spots. So for six months I would be radioactive internally. The first three to four treatments I was doing pretty good. The last two would take its toll on me. I lost most of my energy and didn't feel like eating. I had a lot of muscle mass loss since I had no energy to work out. Just making it through a work day was more than I could handle a lot of days. Doc said it would take around six weeks to start feeling better. My last treatment was Sept. 21st, six weeks afterwards would be the end of November. In October we took a vacation to Tennessee in which I spent most of the time sleeping. It was much needed.
When Will the Extension End?
Before starting Xofigo my PSA was at 1.48. At the end of October after treatments I was at 1.05, so I had a benefit from the treatments. December would bring the beginning of the end of this extension. PSA would rise to 1.39, almost what it was before treatments. January would bring 2.27, it's definitely time to start figuring out what's next and we would start with a bone and CT scan. My mind started going astray and again I'm thinking this time it's chemo and again Beth says I don't think so. The oncologist said the two scans did not give him all the information he needed so he requested a PSMA pet scan. I was denied this scan a year ago, but this time we had inconclusive results from the other two scans and it was approved. This would happen in February. I saw my oncologist on the 1st of March and the PSMA scan only showed activity on the bones and no soft tissue activity. PSA went up to 3.51. Next step see the radiation oncologist in April and get ready for extension five.