Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Going Forward

My post-treatment life is off to a good start. My PSA (proton specific antigen) score had risen slowly since 2013 from 3.5 (normal is usually considered under 4.0, unless it's rising). It was up to 4.1 in 2014, 4.6 in 2015, and 6.0 in late 2015. By late 2016 it was up to 7.1. Before I started the ADT (androgen deprivation therapy, aka stopping production of testosterone) in February, my PSA had reached 8.15. But after three months of ADT, at the beginning of the proton beam therapy, my PSA had plummeted to 1.07. When I completed treatment (still on ADT), my PSA was even lower: only 0.05.

Now, PSA is a tricky and imperfect number. It can continue to fluctuate, depending on the individual and on various factors such as prostate irritation and infection, cancer regrowth, and seemingly random other reasons. My current PSA is considered a baseline that will be used along with future values to determine the long-term trend. But this a GREAT baseline.

My next PSA test will be in October, with another in January. Then, in February, I'll go back to Jacksonville for a follow-up visit and complete examination. While there, I'll try to make it to a Wednesday Lunch Bunch. I'll be an alumnus, and invited to say a few words after the meal.

I'll continue to have regular PSA tests after that, but I'm very optimistic about the results.

Meanwhile, I'm getting back to a normal life in Tallahassee. I restarted eating beans and broccoli, and other potentially gas-producing food, right after the proton beam therapy ended. I started taking anti-oxidant supplements, including Vitamins A, C, and E, turmeric, and Co-Q10, today. By the middle of August there will be no problem going back to regular consumption of bladder irritants such as spicy and salty food, coffee, beer, and wine (although, I must admit, I've had some of those items already and haven't had any new bladder issues. I'm also following my doctor's recommendations for healthy eating and exercise.

The future looks healthy and happy.

Coming up: Links to helpful web sites and reading material.

1 comment:

  1. Gordon, just met Ursula at the Senior Center this Saturday morning. Great lady! I'm also doing the testosterone thing (with Bradford here in Tal.), which is good for my comedy routine. "Yeah, if I had done this in college, I would have made GOOD grades. I went to Hooters and dang...discovered they have a menu. And I could focus on it..."