Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Forty-One to Go...

I just got back from my first Proton Treatment, the first of a total of forty-two.

Prostate cancer is a funny thing. If your doctor ever tells you you have it, get all the details, do some research, and then go off and get a second opinion. I did, and am I ever glad.

(Technical stuff follows; feel free to ignore if you're a girl or if you haven't been diagnosed positive) My initial diagnosis was "3 of 10 biopsy samples positive for cancer, Gleason 3 + 3, T-1-C". When I found out about Proton Therapy, I came down here and had a major "second opinion" which included a battery of tests including a bone scan, CT scan, MRI scan, another biopsy (this one was mapped, with twelve rather than ten samples), and evaluation by my urologist and six of his collegues. Today I found out that only 2 of the 12 samples were positive, but that my Gleason score was placed at "4 + 5." This places me into a "high-risk" catagory, as opposed to what was hoped for based on the initial diagnosis All scans were normal, and verified that the cancer had not spread beyond the prostate; that is a definite positive. I guess the rest is, as well: I will need to have 42 treatments (the initial biopsy led me to hope for a lesser number), each treatment will be a higher intensity, and after the proton treatments end, I will need to have some hormone treatments as well, to ensure that they get "the whole enchilada."

Anyway, I must say that I'm pretty happy with all of that. Also happy with the place we found to stay while we're here. We're having problems with our computers (the power supply in Anita's CPU died en-route to JAX, and the display on my laptop has developed a problem) but the former will be fixed soon under warranty, and the latter doesn't keep me from necessary duties. Did I mention that we're happy with our new digs? Thanks, Randy Stair, for your suggestion.

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