Tuesday, December 1, 2015
Another Quarterly Review
Well, today we met a different oncology consultant and had a really thorough talk through my situation. He's not particularly committed to PSA measurements and did not feel that Abiraterone was indicated for anyone in my present condition.
His over-arching concern was "How does the patient feel". That approach jelled with my own view. On that criterion there would be very little to discuss in my case - I still seem to be completely lacking any symptoms of cancer.
My Doubling Time for PSA over the last year appears to be about four months but his calculation suggested six months. That's right on the border between "This is serious" and "Well let's watch and wait for a bit longer". Being the patient and not the expert and always on the side of doing as little as possible, I was happy that we opted to do nothing dramatic for another three months.
We will add Cyproterone to my treatment - it's another anti-androgen and might help the slow the cancer's growth. And I will go onto Vitamin D for my bones. We have put PSA testing back to once a quarter but will do a CT scan next time round. I enquired about the possibility of contributing to another drug trial and found that he's very keen on research and will let me know if anything appropriate comes along.
All in all, an encouraging interview. I'll be talking through it all with my GP tomorrow when I have my quarterly Zoladex implant. I think I should be getting another Eclasta infusion, too. Gotta keep those bones in good shape!
I had my bone scan earlier in the week and a quick look at the monitor suggested that there's more activity in more of my spine than last year. Today I got my quarterly PSA result from yesterday's test. Actually, I have had monthly PSA for the last quarter, as the dramatic rise in the first half of this year seemed to indicate the need for closer monitoring.
As it has turned out, the rise is only about 4% for the month, though the doubling rate for the year is 3.7 months. That's high enough to be a concern but most of it was in the first half of the year when there was a dramatic and massive increase.
So I think we will go to the consultation on Tuesday prepared to agree that no major action is appropriate at this time - unless there's a move to try a further burst of targeted radiation in my spine. I guess my agreement will depend on how targeted it might be .... Well, Tuesday will tell...
Meanwhile there are lots of things to do. And lots of sings to do - our Barbershop Chorus and Male Quartet have several appointments between now and Christmas. And I had a bit of excitement on Community Patrol yesterday with a distressed dog locked in an airless car. It was amazing how long it took to get action about it. And how many people said it wasn't their department! Onlookers were ready to smash a window when the owner finally turned up. And we didn't tell anyone we had a hammer in the patrol car... Ah well, it all added to the interest of life for the day....