|Seidman Cancer Center|
Well, as readers of these posts know, it was on to surgery (2005), radiation (2009), and then hormone-deprivation therapy (2013). The surgery had failed--as had the radiation. My PSA kept rising. But the quarterly injections of Lupron (which zaps my testosterone, the "food" of prostate cancer)--a temporary fix--have kept my PSA undetectable since my first blood test that came three months after the first injection in July 2013.
Last week I had my most recent blood test, and my PSA remains undetectable. Nearly a year and a half now. But I also know this is temporary: Lupron is not a cure; it's a delaying tactic. The cancer is clever. Figures things out. Adapts. Survives. (Curse you, Charles Darwin!)
Yesterday (Monday) I saw my oncologist up at the Seidman Cancer Center, and he remains encouraged. In fact, he held out the possibility that if my PSA remains undetectable in my next test (March 2015), he will try taking me off Lupron for a while. Just to see. He says my cancer is "behaving well"--which, of course, is a bit like saying that the invader in your home has been doing the dishes for you.
He also wants me to undergo a couple of bone tests (the cancer had been moving into my bones before Lupron interrupted that process), so after New Year's I'll be lying inside some scanners. I've done it before--several times--and it's more an inconvenience than a problem. Another hoop.
My symptoms remain fairly stable: no libido (no testosterone), periods of heat and sweating (though they seem more infrequent now--not the once/hour I have been experiencing), emotions near the surface (weepy, weepy boy am I), depression (why not?), much-diminished energy. And so on. I've also had some dizziness and instability lately, but I'm going to be seeing my family physician about those. Nothing too serious--just annoying. Could be Rx-drug related.
Before I left Seidman yesterday, I got my quarterly Lupron injection in the derrière. The only good thing about that? I couldn't watch--not that I wanted to.
Joyce remains my most potent weapon against all of this--holding my hand, encouraging me, holding my hand, holding my hand, holding my hand ...