2018.. Not the best year, however the journey continues.

During November and December last year I was having more pain, loss of appetite and increasing fatigue. My psa was doubling every 5 to 6 weeks, so naturally I assumed that all of my symptoms were due to spreading cancer. I would have one reasonably good day followed by 3 or 4 days bedridden. By the end of December I could not eat anything and the pain in my hip, back and abdomen was becoming unbearable . January 2, I was taken to hospital by ambulance. I could hardly stand up, I was so weak. Next day I had x rays blood tests and CT scans. I had my notes with me including my last psma scan on disk. The doctor said he would need to open me up to be sure about a diagnosis. Next morning I woke to find I had a colostomy bag attached to my belly. What a shock! It turns out my large bowel had perforations that had abscessed and healed over time. The infection had spread to my small bowel and abdomen. Peritonitis had set in. They removed a section of each bowel, joined the bits together and brought the end out of my belly. There were also 2 drain tubes and a large dressing. I was in hospital for 3 weeks. Toughest 3 weeks of my life. I felt like it would have been better to let me die. Stefanie was there for me every day, she bathed me, helped me pee, made my bed comfortable and comforted me. She took me home in a wheelchair as I still could not walk. Stefanie has been amazing. She has endured so much yet cared for me every inch of the way, always patient and understanding even though I was deeply depressed at times.

While I was in hospital I got connected with the cancer team, so I now have 2 oncologists, a pain management specialist and a palliative care specialist, as well as a community nursing team who came to our home to help us with ostomy management. My latest psa was 2160. A scary number! 2 weeks ago I had a cementoplasty of my left acetabulum, or hip socket. They inject bone cement into the weak bone and it restores strength and function. I could hardly walk afterwards but now feeling much stronger and much less pain.

Some good news is that there was no evidence of cancer in any soft tissue and no impingement on my spinal cord. Radiation is still an option for my spine. My current medication is Zytiga, prednisone, Zoladex, Fentanyl and oxycodone for pain. I am slowly gaining weight. I was down to 69kg from around 80. Now up to 72kg and getting stronger each day. Next psa a few weeks from now and hoping for a much lower number. As always, I thank everyone who is supporting me with prayers and good wishes.

6 thoughts on “2018.. Not the best year, however the journey continues.

  1. I’m so happy to hear from you, but sorry you’ve been through so much. It had to be very scary with so much pain and an increasing PSA. At least now you know it wasn’t the cancer.

    When my Lupron shots started to fail the oncologist gave me the choice of zytiga or Xtandi. He said they’re both equally effective. I chose Xtandi just because it had fewer side effects. Regardless, the Xtandi is working very well to hold down my PSA. I bet you’ll get the same with zytiga.

    It sounds as if you have a very well rounded medical team. Well done! That should help you enormously going forward. Along with Stefanie they should be able to take very good care of you.

    If you ever do need radiation, be sure ask if they offer stereotactic radiation. It’s very precise which translates to less damage to surrounding tissues.

    Sending you all the best. Hopefully you’ll be able to update us after your next PSA result. Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your good wishes my friend. I am feeling much more my old self and apart from some weakness in my legs I am doing well. I have had no ill effects from the Zytiga so far, quite the opposite! Next blood test tomorrow so should have a result soon. Sending you my best wishes also. Stay strong, life is worth living after all!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Les, that PSA score deserves an award! Good to see you are in caring hands and improving. Sending heaps of positive vibes for better times ahead. Cheers, Phil

    Liked by 1 person

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