Cancer strikes again

Occasional Contributor

Cancer strikes again

At 82,  I guess that most of us are considering that,  at this age we are on the home run on one's journey through life.  Especially after having spent the last 30 years of it warding off attacks by Meningioma Tumors, Prostate Cancer, Diabetes and several cases of Osteomyelitis, resulting in 5 craniotomies, 3 of them in 2005 resulting in removal of the frontal bone flap, a cranioplasty of a Titanium plate and its subsequent removal all in the same year.

Late in 2017 I suffered exacerbation of an on going spinal condition with severe impingment in the Lumbar region at L4, L5 & S1. resulting in a CT Scan and subsequent treatment with bilateral facet joint injections.

In April 2018, a further call was made for an updated CT Scan of the Lumbar region, which opened up a can of worms.  Lesions on the Right Kidney and an unknown mass at the seat of a previous Radical Prostatectomy performed in 2000.

Subsequent Ultrasound, CT Scan with disclosing and Bone Scans showed Prostatic Neoplasia accompanied by multiple sites of prostatic metastasis

Plainly put dormant cancer cells have raised their ugly heads some 18 years after the original event.

with my PSA showing as around 107.68. 

I have appointment with an Oncologist on 22nd June at FSH Cancer Clinic. and possibly with an Urologist after that. 

At the moment my mind is in a whirl, unfortunately my wife is overseas at the moment getting Medical treatment (Thanks to the DIABP!) so I am on my own  ... I am really not sure how I am going to handle this after my previous medical history.   Having been on DSP/Pension since I was 55 years old. 

"My Story" can be found at http://dsmithdale.net/dls007.html

 

 

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Occasional Contributor

Re: Cancer strikes again

Well the 22nd has come and gone and now I am in possession of much greater information than before.  Apparently my Cancer is such that it cannot be cured, it will not go away, but it can be controlled. My Oncologist has placed me on a hormone inhibiting program, with a tablet taken daily and an injection applied every 12 weeks by my GP.  As time progresses, periodic Pathology will be done to check my PSA and other related issues.  Hopefully this treatment will reduce the amount of testosterone being generated which is the source of "nourishment" to the Cancer cells.  

The diagnoses has come fairly early in the piece and was discovered quite by accident when a CT Scan I had for Lumbar Spinal issues showed up the new cancer growths on my spine, ribs and pelvis together with a large carcinogenic mass at the seat of the prostate removal in 2000. 

The medical team seem to think that this initial treatment will work, only time will tell.  Not that I have a lot of that left 🙂 

Surgery has been ruled out due to my age and heart issues, which though not life threatening can cause problems undergoing surgery. 

Cancer Council Team

Re: Cancer strikes again

Thanks for sharing your story @Dave_S, you certainly have had quite the experience.

 

I am glad that you now have a clearer picture of things, it's good to be well informed and be able to think about everything wholistically. 

 

How are you feeling about it all?

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Occasional Contributor

Re: Cancer strikes again

Thank you Kate. Inititially I went through several stages, first it was shock, that after being in remission for 18 years, other than two  small melanomas being removed from my hands, I thought I was on the home straight, you will see from my home web page in "My Story" that my 2nd marriage crashed due to the issues that occurred in 1988 (I will not repeat them here) but many years later being on my own I remarried a sweet lady from Russia in 2014. 

 Unfortunately she is not here at the moment  and is seeking medical treatment herself back in Russia and will not likely return until the end of the year,  I could really do with her by my side now.

Secondly, it was angry, why should this beast rear its ugly head again. I had maintained a healthy regime, controlled my weight and various bodily indexes within the acceptable parameters, have not smoked for over 30 years and treated alcoholic drinks with great respect limiting intake to a maximum of 2 standard drinks with a meal  on very occasional instances.   Where had I gone wrong?  I do not know.  My Oncologist tells me that cells can lay dormant for any number of years, which was the case of the second Meningioma I had,  although not cancerous, it caused me a lot of subsequent issues including depression caused by the scarring of my frontal lobes (Gliosis) by the first tumour in 1988. 

Handling stress has been a challenge and at times I have had to resort to prescribed medication to control its effects. But in recent years I have managed without medication after my home life stabilised, but it is still lurking just beneath the surface.

Amongst my many skills achieved during my working life I also was as a secondary position,  a paramedic on the NW shelf oil rigs, where, I was employed as a Communications Officer and Radio Technician for 7 years.  This gave me an insight into the workings of the human body and the abilities to perform advanced First Aid. I had been a member of St John's since 1957 as Police Officer in the UK.  

I have therefore a working knowledge of the human body and its functions which has given me a greater understanding than the average person.  I have put this knowledge to good use in my consultations with my GP and Specialists, being able to discuss situations on a higher level of intelligence and understanding.

 

Concluding, I will say I have never been what you might call a "religious" sort of guy, though my beliefs have guided my path through my life by having that certain faith.  Previously and again now I am finding spiritual comfort, especially in the absence of my wife, from my association with my local church, its Minister and its members of the supportive congregation.  "Keep Calm - Rejoice and have Faith" 

Occasional Contributor

Re: Cancer strikes again

How amazing just two months can make in your life.  As I have mentioned I was ready to meet my doom.  Life held no real future and I was preparing myself to meet my maker.  Along came a micro pill called Zoladex, a slow release dose the size of a grain of rice which was in jected subcutaneously.  Now in the first week of August, two months later I am to see my Oncologist again and following Pathology ealier in the week.  PSA has dropped from 78 to 9.0.  (Originally it was around 107) My testosterone level has dropped from 7.8 nmol/L to <0.3.  This means that the cancer cells spread throughout my spine, ribs  and the mass located on the prostate floor will be denied essential nourishment to grow and spread further.

My GP whom I saw yesterday, said this was wonderful news and now I can start planning for my 100th birthday in 17 years time. 

For the record, I was quite surprised at the lack of side effects, I think the most concerning were the hot flushes which invariably occurred at night, interrupting my already poor sleeping pattern.  Control of bladder, due to removal of Prostate gland, has been affected further.  But overall I have been quite well and all my other pathology tests have been within tolerance for my age and overall health condition. 

I have taken up my paint brushes again and hopefully soon be able to present more of my works of art in oils, a hobby I have pursued for many years. WIN_20180809_11_21_33_Pro.jpgDave August 8 2018

 

 

 

 

Occasional Contributor

Re: Cancer strikes again

As 2018 closes and reflecting on how it started I am amazed at the advances in medical procedures over the past 20 years. Even more so the turn around in my general health.  The Cardiomyopathy (dilation) has cleared and they suggest I call back in 3 to 5 years!  The Metastatic Prostate Cancer has been put on hold by the Zoladex Hormone Treatment with my PSA now sitting on 1.4  down from 107 when diagnosed.

Later in November and early December I will have further CT Scans of affected areas and see my Oncologist again.   The bottom line is that I am no longer facing 'End of life" and further posts should now be posted in a more appropriate section.   I would also like to thank my medical carers for the incredible and caring support throughout 2018.  Thank You. 

Super Contributor

Re: Cancer strikes again

G/Day Dave

I read your story what an Inspirational read,you are a very remarkable person, even with your  serious surgeries  and life threatening conditions you have managed to stay alive with medical intervention, your outlook on life, and a a fierce will to live..I wish you continued longevity good health  and hope you are reunited soon with  Valentina.

best wishes

kj

Occasional Contributor

Re: Cancer strikes again

Thank you KJ Its been people like yourself and all my friends around the world and my local Church who have given me strength to "Carry On" and above all keep "Sunny Side Up".  I encourage everyone to look for that Silver Lining in every cloud that darkens their life. Have Strength, Have Hope, Have Faith.

Dave_S

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Occasional Contributor

Re: Cancer strikes again

When I was diagnosed with Metastatic Prostate Cancer quite by accident early in 2018.  It was classed as Terminal and had affected my spine and pelvis with Cancer nodes from a new growth that appeared where the original Prostate Gland was removed due to cancer in 2000.

 

As you now see that my Cancer is under control. I saw my Oncologist in January of this year (2019) and was told that my PSA has gone from an initial reading of 107 to a miniscule 0.59!  That the damage to the spine is now being repaired.  The new calcium growth shows up as white areas on the skeletal scans. 

My Faith and determination has seen me through another terrible year in my life.  But now in 2019 I give thanks for my Salvation and will close this feed, which is no longer applicable to my prognosis.

I will continue my story in "Living With Cancer" 

 

Thank you to all the people who have contacted me and given me support.  Most of all the scientists who created the drugs to bring this result about and give me hope for the future. 

Thank you Dave. 

 

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