New Year 2018

As I’ve not posted for the last three months I thought it was time for an update. There have been things happening but, in a nutshell, it’s like being in the eye of a storm right now with the anticipation of what’s to come being worse than what’s actually going on.

I got my latest PSA result between Christmas and New Year and, for the third test in a row, it’s more or less doubled every three months since April 2017 and now stands at 0.417, almost 2½ times higher than the previous 0.176 just 3 months ago and almost 10 times higher than the 0.044 back in April. It is still low, but then it should be after the surgery, radiotherapy, hormone therapy and chemotherapy I’ve had over the last four years.

Because of the two previous results the rate of increase didn’t come as a surprise to me so no reason to feel shocked, except nobody told my head that so, by New Year’s Eve, the potential of it hit me and I felt a mixture of gutted, upset and fearful of what’s to come. The time of year could have had something to do with my frame of mind, Christmas and New Year evoke lots of memories after all, but so could the hormone therapy, which is notorious for inducing mood swings in men (I don’t watch sloppy movies in company these days). I started to get maudlin and wondering how many more New Year’s Eves I’d be having so it was probably just as well I didn’t have a party to go to as I would have been lousy company.

I’d also had a CT Scan a couple of weeks before the PSA test and that had shown no visible spread of the cancer but when that positive thought floated into my brain it didn’t stand a chance of taking root with the way I was feeling and instead I started counting how many treatments I’d used up and how many I had left.

It was with that in mind that I went for my hospital appointment today, which wasn’t as bad as I’d imagined it might be. My oncologist expects my PSA to continue to rise and estimated it’d be back into whole numbers by my next appointment in April but generally isn’t too concerned. For now she is going to leave my current treatment as it is as the objective she has is to eke out its effects, and those of my future treatments, as much as possible. I’m not out of treatments yet but there aren’t that many left so it makes sense to get the most out of each one.

I asked why I’m staying on Bicalutamide as, despite taking it, my PSA is still going up and the reason is that, if I were to stop, my PSA would rise even faster.

I also asked if I’d be able to have more Docetaxel chemotherapy in the future and the answer is no as all you get are the side effects but with no known benefit. However, there is a different chemo drug, Cabazitaxel, that I could have. I’ve read it adds around 2½ months on average to lifespan, not as much as Docetaxel but every extra day is worth grabbing, so definitely not to be sniffed at! When I’ve exhausted all the regular treatments I’ll then be put on clinical trials and one she mentioned was an Immunotherapy drug trial. I wish I’d written the name down but, still, it’s good to know that’s another possibility to try even if I can’t remember what it’s called.

Happy New Year.

Addendum – Since publishing this post I have found out the name of immunotherapy drug in the Trial that I mentioned above. It’s Rucaparib.

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