Monday, October 31, 2016

Hormone Lite Loses Its Mo Jo: Quality of Life In the Crosshairs

Over the past few months my PSA has risen incrementally as shown below:
April   .11
May   .18
June  .24
July   .29
Aug.  .38
Sept. .38
Oct.   .39
In response to these numbers Dr. Myers and I discussed several options via the Patient Portal including radiation, surgery, full blown hormonal therapy (I. e., complete suppression of testosterone along with its concomitant adverse side effects) and modification of Hormone Lite by substituting xtandi for casodex. We agreed on the latter, but decided to postpone action to monitor my PSAs awhile longer.
I pondered this discussion over the next few days and returned to the Patient Portal  to raise a few related concerns. I advised Dr. Myers it would give me peace of mind if I knew whether he had guidelines in mind as to when action may be indicated. More specifically I posed the following questions: (1) Will we wait until my PSA reaches a certain level? (2) If so what might that number be? (3) Is the speed of ascension a determinate? As was his prerogative Dr. Myers chose not to respond. Rather than press him for answers via the internet, I elected to revisit these concerns at our upcoming annual appointment which occurred a few weeks later on October 26.
The planned informational exchange did not occur. Au contraire! I got blindsided and bushwhacked. The meeting began as usual. Initially a medical technician conducted a few routine tests, e. g., blood pressure, weight, temperature etc.  Dr. Myers' physician's assistant continued with a few routine preliminaries. Out of the blue she dropped the following bombshell: "It would appear the casodex has ceased to control the progression of your PCa. It is also conceivable that the casodex has begun to nourish the cancer. She continued  with the following barrage: "You might wish to consider Cyberknife  intervention. There is a physician in California who has demonstrated considerable success with this technique." Her frontal attacks were subsequently supported by Dr. Myers who added the option of  PBRT. While xtandi and full blown hormone therapy should remain in the mix, Dr. Myers wanted me to understand, both of these options harbored the risk of castration resistance resulting in a painfully slow, agonizing death. In any event before deciding on a course of action Dr. Myers and his PA agreed a follow up endorectal MRI was an essential prerequisite.  Dr. Myers urged me to have this procedure performed by VCU in Richmond Virginia since it was this clinic who provided the "benchmark" examination two years ago. 
So there you have it. The tumultuous journey is back on track with a vengeance. The endorectal MRI is scheduled for November 12th at VCU. Stay tuned.

1 comment:

Ken Schuster said...
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