Hi all, I am 76 and was diagnosed with Advanced Prostate Cancer in August 2018. I thought I would share my experiences over the last year to help (maybe) others in coming to terms with this unwelcome event in our lives.
My details are: DRE, Biopsy, CT & Bone Scans and various blood tests, PSA 564.4, Gleason 5+4 in 10/11 cores and bone mets (skull to pelvis). My general health was good being active, non-smoker for life, not obese, without heart, asthma or diabetic issues, not on any drugs; do like a drink though !!. Following a meeting with various professionals and weighing up the Stampede research, I decided to go ahead with chemotherapy.
I was started on Hormone treatment (Bicalutamide) followed quickly by Zoladex injections, with the first of 6 chemotherapy (Docetaxel) sessions started on 3rd October. I kept a fairly detailed log of my progress which it has to be said is pretty boring and really minor. Was I lucky or what ??!!
The hormone treatment gave me hot flushes, slightly enlarged breasts and thinning hair. I must point out at this time I had decided that if I was going to have hair loss issues then I would control them, so I had a number 2 crew cut, so the thinning hair never seemed so bad but I never lost it all. To this day it is growing strongly although I have decided to keep it short; one thing "IT'S GROWING BACK CURLY"
One thing that I didn't mention earlier was that I had had a reflux problem some years back and this erupted again but was kept under control with Lansoprazole and I'm now coming back off this.
Over the period of the treatment the night time pees has come down from 4 to 0/1 and diarrhoea and sickness have never been more than an irritation, apart from my first session on returning home, I suffered some pretty severe diarrhoea and sickness and over the following few days was "loose" but it didn't last and didn't happen again. Only on one day over the whole treatment period did I feel so tired that I went to sleep on my return. I have slept well eaten everything as normal although it is fair to say that during the treatment the taste buds were shot to bits; OK now.
Over the treatment period the fitness and stamina dropped off dramatically, but they are virtually back to where they were pre C. Finger and toe nails didn't actually come off but they were bit sensitive and looked pretty horrible. I also had puffy legs and sensitive ankles but no real pain, just minor discomfort; this is still present as are the aches in the lower back, shoulders, arms and hands which had dropped off during the treatment.
So during the treatment period the side effects really didn't amount to much and didn't seriously affect my life which brings us to the first proper review with blood tests and CT & Bone scans in February 2019. Well this was a real eureka moment the PSA was down to 1 and everything else looked hunky dory and I felt pretty good.
At the next review (blood test only) 27th June the results were not so good the PSA had gone back up to 18 and there was minor movement on the bone results but everything else was OK. Well I have to say this was real bummer after the previous review, but the consultant didn't seem too perturbed and put me on an additional hormone tablet (Bicalutamide again) to assess progress later - next review 15th August - fingers crossed.
Sorry for this rather long item, but it tells my story and it might help or comfort others. One piece of advice I was given early in this process "record the interviews" because believe me you will not remember everything you are hearing. All through this experience the NHS has performed impeccably which is more than can be said for the parking arrangements which turned out to be more stressful than the treatment.