Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Great news

Not one to beat around the bush, the scans are clean....Woo Hoo!
We met with my medical oncologist today and both the bone and CT scans were clean, no cancer showing up, which is awesome news. Not sure why the PSA is showing up so high and it could be a false positive or due to the fact there is still some cancer lingering.

So, to take a proactive approach, I've started hormone treatments and then we'll check my PSA every month. Dr. expects it to drop from 8.35 down to "almost nothing" in the first month.
We're going to take away the food source of the cancer.

Understandably, we're jazzed.

To top it off, on the business side we finished our 3rd quarter with a bang and I'm incredibly proud of my team. When the dust settles, it looks like we'll finish around 171% against quota, the team was rockin.

But, as those of you know, in the sales game, you get about 8 hours to celebrate (and most of those you're sleeping) and then it's back to chasing another quarterly quota. Fun stuff.

another post coming tomorrow, I attended a fundraising event tonight and will share more later.

See ya

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

more tests...

We met with a Medical Oncologist today, Dr. Reza, sticking with our step by step approach. Good guy, communicated well and our homework/reading has paid off by way of having a good understanding of what is discussed.

So, the next step is to repeat the CT Scans of the pelvis and torso areas and also the bone scan.
Both will be done in the next 3 days. Dr. Reza is concerned by the high PSA post operation so he wants to get after the 'micro cells' that have spread. After the results of the scans are done, Dr. Reza will 're-stage' my cancer. We have no evidence that I have metastatic cancer so with the tests we'll be looking to see if the cancer has spread to the bones or other lymph nodes.

Starting next week I will start hormone therapy which most likely will last 2-3 years.
Once the treatments start, I will go back each month for a PSA check and what surprised me is the Dr. expects the PSA to drop immediately, first month, he would want it below 1 after the first month. Again, to refresh, my PSA, pre-surgery was 58 which is off the charts. My PSA post surgery was 7.9 which is considered high.

By taking away the food source of the cancer (shutting off the testosterone), the goal is to stop the growth and spreading. Hormone therapy won't kill the cancer, just stop the growth.

Dr. Reza wants to be aggressive with the hormone treatment and I agree.
They took blood today, another PSA, results will be in tomorrow.

more news tomorrow.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Next step in treatment

First we did radiation, then surgery, stupid cancer is still sticking around so it's on to the next attack.

We'll learn more of the details after tomorrow/Tuesday, Sept 22 when we meet with the medical oncologist to discuss hormone therapy and possibly chemo.

One thing I'll want to do is get another bone scan done, maybe another CT scan to try and determine if this has spread to the bone and/or other lymph nodes. My surgeon speculates that it's quite possible other lymph nodes are carrying cancer and in a previous conversation with the medical oncologist from Duke, he indicated my original CT scan showed slight enlargement of 'aortic lymph nodes'.

More news later.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Happy 80th Birthday Mr. Palmer

If you don't already know, today is the 80th birthday of Arnold Palmer, the King, the working mans golfer. For over 50 years he has graced the golfing world with his 'go for broke' style of play and his down to earth honesty and genuine personality.

Arnie as he's affectionately known is also a prostate cancer survivor.

Mr. Palmer, Happy 80th Birthday and here's to many, many more.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Surprise, Surprise

Well, at the beginning of this journey I told myself "don't get too high, don't get too low", just stay positive. It couldn't have been better advice.

I had blood drawn last week to establish my new baseline PSA and expected a negligible number like 0.5 or 1.1.....something really low. Hey, let's face it, the prostate is gone, what the hell could produce 'PSA = prostate specific antigen' if it's gone, right?

Well, my PSA came back at 7.9 which is high and it means that the joy in mudville is gone, at least temporarily. Scoring high on a test in school is good, scoring high on a PSA test, not good.

There is no way to tell at this point if some prostate cancer cells may have/had escaped the pelvic area. So unfortunately this isn't going to be perfect.....so now what?

The team of Dr's are recommending starting hormone therapy immediately to try to starve out any cancer cells within the body. Cool, I get to meet another Dr.! (actually, the only Dr. I want to see after all this is done is Dr. Pepper)

I haven't talked to the Dr's yet, just corresponding with the nurse withing the clinical trial group so I'll probably have another update soon.

Later

Sunday, September 6, 2009

New PSA

Well, Monday Sept. 7th will be 5 weeks since surgery so last week I had blood drawn for my new PSA baseline. Given that they've taken taken out the prostate and everything resembling cancer, my PSA should show up as almost 0 or 0.1, something low.

Then, I will go ever 3 months for a PSA test to watch to see if the level stays the same or starts increasing. We don't want it to increase because if it does, that means there are cancer cells within the body they couldn't find or remove. But we won't go there.

Labor day weekend, very grateful to be working for a great organization and have the ability to make an impact not only within the org but more importantly with our nonprofit clients. Very rewarding.

Last night we went to a 50th birthday party for a great guy in our neighborhood and what a blast. He hired an incredible band that included, one of the best saxophone players I've heard accompanied by bass player, drums, keyboard and bongo drums. You had to hold yourself back if you didn't want to dance because the music just captured your inner groove. They were loud and awesome.

So with the extra day off, I guess I'll get some more yard work done.

BTW, feeling great, thanks to all for the positive thoughts and prayers.

Now go have some fun!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Sept is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

yes, Prostate Cancer has it's own month on the calendar to raise awareness. And it's a good thing too because prospect cancer effects 1 in every 6 men and I still think the understanding is terribly low. I myself didn't understand as much as I should have given the fact that 2 years ago my younger brother was diagnosed with PC and had surgery.

One big reason the awareness isn't where it should be is because guys don't like to talk about some of the side effects of treatment. Why? Because the side effects of treatment of the disease strikes at the very heart of our clich├ęd, John Wayne image of the American male. Impotence and incontinence, fatigue, etc just don’t sell pickup trucks and the King of Beers, hoss. These symptoms are not some mere midlife crisis — more like a change-of-life crisis —. They shake the very pillars of what we talk about when we talk about being a man.

So that's why you, yes you, should reach out to as many men in your life who are 40 years or older and strongly encourage them to go get a simple blood test. The old thought was only men over 50 but in my discussions with doctors, they tend to lean towards the age of 40 for when men should get their PSA checked....especially if there is some family history.

Help raise awareness, reach out to a loved one.

Make it a great day!