G'day there fellow travellers.
Haven't been too active on the site for a while - been a bit busy for the last few months.
As you all know I have been living with prostate cancer for the last thirteen years. Had aggressive therapy over the years and also been on intermittent hormone therapy. That is you are on medication that stops you producing testosterone for a while, then off it until the blood results indicate the cancer is moving again. Side effects of hormone therapy - a really bad case of menopause; hot flushes, irritability, mood swings, weight gain, fluid retention, the lot. Well I've been through menopause eight or nine times now and it doesn't get better each time!
Well back in March I started to not respond, so onto super strength hormone ablation. That didn't work either, so now I am, what is called in medical terms "castrate resistant". I keep telling the medically qualified that I have been castrate resistant for well over fifty years now and I prefer the term hormone refractory.
When you get to that stage, and it hasn't spread to bone and other parts of the body, being given cytotoxic chemotherapy is a bit of overkill, so I wasn't interested in that. There are some new drugs being developed for this stage of the disease, so I tried to get on a clinical trial. Learnt a lot about clinical trials in the process but failed on a technicality. So my medical oncologist and my radiation oncologist got together and decided that the areas where it had spread could tolerate some more radiation, so I went in and had three weeks of radiotherapy.
That was rather amazing - technology ion this area has advanced incredibly. X-rays were being taken from two directions whilst I was being zapped, so that if I relaxed or the target mass shifted slightly, the bed I was on moved to reposition me and ensure that the tumour and not surrounding tissues was getting the full dose. So no side effects at all!
Has it worked - you bet it has. Saw my oncologist today, after tests were done last week. All results good. Don't need to see him for three months.
I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving: To reach the port of heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it, -- but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor. Oliver Wendell Holmes, The Autocrat at the Breakfast Table
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.