Dawn Reader

Dawn Reader
from Open Door Coffee Co.; Hudson, OH; Oct. 26, 2016

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Medical News

Yesterday, I went to the local University Hospitals lab here in Hudson (see picture), where I underwent some blood tests, including the first test for PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) I've had since I commenced hormone therapy on July 16 (Bicaludamide--for thirty days) and on July 26 (Lupron injection).  My PSA score, which should be zero (I have no prostate gland--removed in June 2005 surgery), had risen after surgery to .31 in late October 2008.  I began radiation therapy a couple of months later (thirty-five daily treatments, weekends off), and the score fell to .07 when I had my first blood test afterwards (August 2009).

And then ... it started rising again.  My final test (before hormones) was on June 7 this year, and it had soared to 22.9.  Not good.

But the result from yesterday was very encouraging.  In just that short time--from July 16 to yesterday--my PSA has fallen from 22.9 to 0.59, the lowest it's been since January 2011.  (My other scores were good, too--liver function, electrolytes.)  As important--or even more so: I feel all right.  Nothing egregious is yet going on with me--no major hot flashes, no lassitude, etc..  I sleep more soundly (that is not a problem), and I seem to have even more mood swings than usual ... but much better than I'd feared ... so far.

So .... I'm encouraged.  But, of course, I know that these numbers are both real and chimerical.  They're "real" because, well, I took the test; 0.59 is my score.  (Kind of like some Algebra II quiz scores I remember from high school.)

They're chimerical because, as I've written here before, hormone therapy is not a cure but a delaying tactic.  Right now, the cancer cells are starving (no testosterone to "eat"), but some of the clever little fellers will figure out what's going on; some evolution will occur; the hardiest/fittest will survive--and reproduce. You know.

We're hoping that doesn't happen for a good long while.  (A year or so?  More?)  But anything is possible with this nasty disease.  And when the numbers begin again to rise--as they surely will--then it will be on to chemo--or, we all hope, something even more efficacious that will have emerged by that time.  Something that works.  A cure.  Then ... something else can dispatch me!

1 comment:

  1. Still, good news is good news. A rose is a rose. I am so happy to read this!