It is a while since I blogged. I have been on the site regularly and responded to a few other blogs, but I haven't said much about my current situation.
I'm sitting in the Wellness centre of a major cancer centre, having had the opportunity to leave the Day Oncology Unit for a few hours until they need to take some more blood. I am on a clinical trial of a new drug. I can recommend being on a clinical trial. It gives the opportunity to make sure that the future is better of other cancer patients, whilst also potentially benefitting yourself. Whilst on a clinical trial you really do receive better care as you are so closely monitored. In the last few weeks I have had all sorts of tests and scans that I normally would not receive unless something has gone wrong. If you want to find out about clinical trials and whether or not there is one available for you, go to Cancer Australia's clinical trials website www.australiancancertrials.gov.au/. That is where I learnt about this one. Took the details to my oncologist and here I am.
So what is my situation. Almost two years ago I stopped responding to hormone manipulation, which is one of the main treatments for advanced prostate cancer. I was put onto what is called Total Androgen Deprivation, but that did nothing. So in medical terms I am termed Castrate Resistant. It is a term I hate. I keep reminding the medical profession that as a male I have been castrate resistant for most of my life. So the last two years have been watching and waiting whilst the tumour progresses, into abdominal lymph nodes, engulfing the plumbing that goes from the kidney to the bladder, and now it appears that it started to invade bones. Side effects - lower leg lymphadaema, renal pain so a stent had to be inserted into the kidney, recurrent kidney infection. So far no bone pain. I'm still trying to keep as active as ever, but do get tired more often.
What is the trial about. It was once thought that when prostate cancer stopped responding to hormone manipulation that a clone of cells had developed that no longer need testosterone. It is now realised that this is not the case, the cells switch on internal pathways to produce their own testosterone. So there have been developed several new agents that target those internal pathways and switch them off. The drug that I am on is one of those. It is an interesting trial as initially it is randomised against a placebo, but eventually everyone will get the drug. It is an oral drug so it is a matter of taking a pill twice a day and being monitored closely. Today I am in here for thirteen hours having bloods taken and other tests done. That is repeated next week. After that it is each week for about five hours.
So apologies for not blogging as much as formally, but I have had a few things on my mind.
And a sailor you must be if you're going to try ocean voyaging. You'll need a modicum of sailing aptitude, some grasp of mechanical concepts, and a willingness to pitch in and work. Most veteran world sailors fall into the classification of restless adventurers who are always looking at distant horizons.
Hal Roth "After 50,000 Miles"
Cancer Council NSW would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work.We would also like to pay respect to elders past and present and extend that respect to all other Aboriginal people.