Living Life One Extension at a Time - Extension Three
Updated: Feb 25
One advanced prostate cancer survivor's story of living through incurable prostate cancer with one life extending treatment at a time.
Time For a New Plan
The first thing the doctor suggested was to have it radiated. They have a radiation center there that could spot treat the tumor on T5. So off to a new radiation oncologist. The treatment was done in July 2021 and would be ten days of radiation to the spine. No special prep for this like the prostate radiation needed, just CT simulation. The RO and techs were all great. Towards the end they kept asking if I was having any heartburn. I didn't until about two or three days left. I was given oral Lidocaine and told to mix it Maalox before eating. This wasn't really heartburn, it was an irritation in the esophagus. See this radiation was shot from both the front and back, the esophagus took some damage. When I swallowed and it hit that point if felt like broken glass going through it. So I tried the Lidocaine, it tasted like crap and every part of your mouth and throat that came in contact with it became numb. I couldn't hardly tell if I was swallowing. I only used it a few times. I decided it was easier to eat small bites and chew it until it became like baby food. Then it went down without much pain. But believe me, if I forgot on that first bite it would almost put me to my knees. Luckily it pretty much went away after three weeks.
The End of Three
August's PSA would come in at 0.49, great we got it! September dropped to 0.24 and November 0.20. I'm liking what I'm seeing, I'm lower than I've been for over a year. I started feeling confident that this trend would continue and had no worries about my next test. We would go two months before the next set of labs. The middle of January would be it and I knew it was going to be even lower. Time for a gut punch, it came back at 0.47. March would go up to 1.48! That's three fold in two months. Not what we wanted.
Time For the Realization
Sitting in the exam room with Beth and my medical oncologist after the March results, my MO said "We got you nine months with this". That's when it really hit me about the meaning of a life extending treatment. That's what it has come down to. How many life extending treatments are available and how long will they last. Of course there are no answers to this. Thank God there are new treatments coming out usually every year. No doctor can say for sure what's ahead of me and how much time there is. I've left that to the Lord and let his will be done.