I was 56 when I was diagnosed with prostate cancer on December 10, 2008.
After initial diagnosis with biopsy Gleason Score of 7 I discussed
treatment options with my urologist and primary care doctor. I decided
on robotic surgery with a very well regarded and experienced local
Since I wanted to get the best local surgeon possible I ended up
waiting until March 25, 2009 for surgery. It went well, lymph nodes
and margins negative, although the pathology report indicated that my
cancer was actually a Gleason Score of 8.
It has been awhile since my initial entry and a lot has happened. My
post-surgery PSA's at 3 and 6 months were both <.01. At 9 months it
went up to .07. This got me pretty worried and I started to get
serious about my diet. I had read quite a bit on the subject and felt
that it could indeed slow the growth of tumors.
I started slow. Cut out red meat, eggs and most dairy. Added
pomegranate juice, soy and green tea. Slowly worked more fruit,
veggies and whole grains in. I found out that sugar can fuel prostate
cancer and also cut out white potatoes, suger in drinks, and desserts.
Still can't give up alcohol. Although I have cut out beer, for the
most part, and switched to wine.
Unfortunately, it didn't seem to help much. End of March 2010, 12
month PSA came in at 0.28. This really freaked me out. With my Gleason
8 organ confined tumor, a Biochemical recurrence 12 months after
surgery with a 6 month PSA doubling time is a really bad sign.
I set up appointments to see my Uro, and two medical oncologists, one
local and one at Dana Farber. Also worked harder on diet. Was getting
ready to go vegan when I read Dr. Myers book on Hormone therapy and
diet. I decided to switch to a Mediterranean diet, still cutting out
sugar and adding green tea and soy. I also added supplements that he
recommended. In addition to the multivitamin and selenium that I was
already taking, I added vitamin D and E, lycopene, pomegranate
extract, soy isoflavones and omega 3. I have lost 25 lbs from the
initial rise in my PSA and I am down to 170 lbs, BMI of 24.
The Uro and medical oncologists all recommended salvage radiation therapy
with hormone treatments. Chance of success is less than 50% in my
case. DF (Dana Farber)doctor said, only 30-40%, but you have to go for
I had a MRI and bone scan in advance of SRT (Salvage Radiation
Therapy) and had my next big scare when it turned up a lesion on my
lower spine. Because of my stats and location of lesion, both my Uro
and radiation oncologist were pretty sure it was cancer. I went
through two bad weeks before another MRI with gadolinium and CT scan
showed that it was actually a hemangioma.
Radiation treatments are now back on. I saw a local radiation
oncologist and one at DF, and decided to have treatments at DF. This
was a difficult decision. I liked the local guy and treatment center
was on my way to work. DF is about 90 mins away and I probably won't
work while getting daily treatments (hopefully I can get ST
disability). Locally there was little coordination between Uro,
medical oncologist, and radiation oncologist. All decisions seemed to
take longer and there was some dissagreements. Quite often I felt that
if I didn't push things they would just drag out. DF had a plan for my
situation that I agree with and were ready to go.
I had a shot of Trelstar on May 25 (2 months after my PSA reading of
.28 - this is the dragging out I talked about). Just prior to the shot
I had a PSA reading of .50. Salvage radiation therapy scheduled to start end of
I set-up an appointment to see Dr Myer in Virginia in July. I am
looking forward to this consultation.
Just prior to starting radiation treatments I had a consultation with
Dr Myer in Virgina. One long day of travel from Connecticut, but well
Dr Myer generally agreed with my treatment plan, but tweaked it a
little. He put me on ADT3 with HT limited to one year due to the fact
that I am pre-diabetic. Increased the frequency of my blood tests and
added several tests. Adjusted my diet and supplements. Diet to focus
on vegies. Fruits to be limited.
I have gotten through seven radiation treatments to date and my
biggest problem is travel. I haven't found a good way to get to
Boston. Driving two hours each way doesn't work. Luckly I can take a
train, but it's expensive. I am entering my third month of hormone
therapy. Most bothersome side effect is the hot flashes, but they seem
to be subsiding a bit. ED, well it's a given if the HT is effective.
What worries me the most is the muscle loss.
The good news is that it is working. PSA tested 7 weeks after the
beginning of treatment was <.01.
That's all for now. I will update again after SRT is completed.
I completed salvage radiation therapy yesterday, IMRT 38 sessions 68
Gy. It went very well, other than the daily commute to Boston. Only
side effects occurred very late in treatment, sun burn type redness
and irritation on butt as well as a little fatigue. Now I have to wait
until I complete 8 more months of HT to see if I am cured or if the
PCa is in remission. Guess I won't know which, I just want the PSA to
remain < .01.
I am getting my PSA, testosterone and vit D levels tested every month
now. PSA is less than .01, testosterone is down to a low enough level
and I am working to get my vit D level up to 70-75 nl/mg. Currently I
am at 49. I am fairing well on my low fat diet, not having added any
weight while on HT. I will be starting back on supplements, I stopped
all anti-oxidents while having radiation treatments. Current
supplements are vit D3, omega 3, curcumin, pomegranate extract, soy
ivoflavones, lycopene and resveratrol.
I feel like I am now doing all I can do for a cure or remission. Only
time will tell.
I am now four months past SRT (Salvage Radiation Therapy) and seven
months into ADT3 treatments. The good news is that my PSA is still
coming in a <0.01.
The bad news is that I continue to feel the adverse effects of hormone
treatments. Hot flashes have tapered off, but I am now gaining weight.
I've put on 12 lbs over the last 3 months. I guess some of that can be
blamed on the holidays, but I am having a very difficult time trying
to take off the weight. Also, muscle loss is pronounced and I am
getting very chubby in the middle. I am still doing well on my diet
and taking my supplements. Although I do find myself craving carbs.
My goal now is to get through the next 6 months with an undetectable
PSA, and go off HT in May. Then hopefully I will be cured or have a
I have successfully completed 12 months of ADT3. Started with a
Trelstar shot on May 25, 2010. I had my last three month Lupron shot
on April 6, 2011 and stopped Casodex today, May 27, 2011.
By success I mean that PSA went to undetectable right after HT was
started and remained undetectable through my last PSA test earlier
this month. Now I continue with Avodart, diet, and supplements
recommended by Dr Myer; pomegranate extract, Revesterol, curcummin,
and Vitamin D. Hoping for a long remission if not a cure.
Recovery from ADT3 will take up to 6 months. I need to lose the 10 lbs
that I gained on HT and build back muscle mass. Exercize will be very
important and I will start a daily routine which will involve weight
training and a lot of biking over the summer. I will continue with
monthly PSA tests and will report back in a few months, hopefully with
continued good news.