Preen cancer update 12.8.20

I’ve just got off the phone with my oncologist who came calling with good news. My PSA level remains at 0.03 and has done so now for almost a year meaning I’m still part of the NED Squad. (No Evidence of Disease)

My final hormone therapy jab happens at the end of the month and at that point all treatment ceases. My PSA is then monitored every six months for two years. It may start to rise, and should it reach 0.5 then further treatment will need to be considered.

Obviously, I’m hoping the unwelcome guest gives me a break for a year or so, but you never know. But make no mistake this is good news by any standards. Thanks to you all for being in my corner during this trying time. Now fuck off cancer you irritating little bastard.

The Final Countdown

It’s close on three years since I was diagnosed with prostate cancer and in a month my treatment for the ejection of my unwelcome guest should come to a close. What then?

It was in November 2017 when I got the unwelcome news. I’d had blood in my urine, a rectal exam discovered a distended prostate and then came a biopsy telling me there were lots of little unwelcome guests all over my prostate with a particularly ugly slug measuring 10mm. Dr. Gleeson had me at 4+3=7 and my PSA stood at 5.03, but my feeling scared and sorry for myself meter had the needle jammed way over into the red zone.

Sometimes I get nostalgic and miss the old days, but there are some old days I’d rather delete entirely from the memory bank. As most people reading this will know, those early weeks after diagnosis are frankly terrifying, whatever the doctors are telling you, you are telling yourself something infinitely worse. Read on…

Prostate Cancer and PTSD

I have prostate cancer and I’ve had PTSD, but in my case, the two aren’t linked, but they can be. Although my cancer diagnosis petrified me, and I get stats angst every time I have a PSA check I’d never considered that cancer might cause PTSD. My brush with post traumatic stress disorder happened more than twenty years ago, long before I’d heard of radiotherapy, hormone therapy, prostatectomy and the other ugly words associated with our condition.

My brush with post traumatic stress disorder

I was fit and healthy, in my forties, and working for ABC News who had a habit of sending us to places where guns, bombs, and bullets were in plentiful supply. If you worked for American TV, particularly in the 90s, then more than likely you’d be chasing the Marines all over the globe. I did time in Sarajevo during the Bosnian conflict, was in Mogadishu when Bush senior sent in the troops and did a stint in DR Congo and Rwanda during the genocide, all places guaranteed to set your nerves on edge. Read on.

With Prostate Cancer, You Need To Think Like A Reporter

With Prostate Cancer, you need to think like a reporter. Being in and around the news business for most of my career it comes naturally for me to ask questions and with prostate cancer, questions are your friends.

I take a degree of comfort in knowing as much about the nature of my cancer, the treatment involved, and the possibility of a cure (always nervous of using that word) or getting to a place where there is no evidence of disease. I’m a firm believer that knowledge is power and while knowledge won’t cure your cancer it at least puts you in the driving seat.

Not everyone feels comfortable asking questions of doctors about a subject they probably have little knowledge and there are others who just want to leave decisions and actions in the hands of the medics and not probe too deeply. That’s not how I operate.

Read on.

How Does Your Partner Understand Your Prostate Cancer?

When I was diagnosed with prostate cancer my wife and I sat together when I got the bad news. Even though I kind of knew it was coming, the fact that I had an unwelcomed guest loitering with intent in my prostate was still a shock.

When I got home, I knew I had to tell my 14-year-old daughter the bad news but was at a loss as to how to begin. Finally, I said I had a problem, but it had been caught early and my prospects were good. To which she replied: ‘Well at least it’s not cancer’. This wasn’t going well.

Read on: https://prostatecancer.net/living/partner-understanding/

The cancer trees

When I was diagnosed with prostate cancer just over two years ago, I remember taking the dog for a walk in our local park. Truth to tell I was feeling pretty down and not a little sorry for myself. Anyone reading this who is unlucky enough to be part of the cancer crew will know the early weeks after diagnosis are a tricky time. Suddenly your life is not only upended, but there seems a very real prospect of it being actually ended.

Coming to terms with stage IV cancer

Over the years we’ve all inevitably accrued inaccurate or just plain false facts about cancer. Different cancers respond in very different ways to treatment, some really are a death sentence while others can be treated very successfully. I soon learnt my cancer was stage four and as everybody knows there’s no stage five. Did this mean I was already in the departure lounge on journey I had no interest in taking? Read on…

This Year I Finally Got a White Christmas

It wasn’t just Bing Crosby who dreamt of a White Christmas. To this day my daughter bemoans the fact that as we live in the city center, we almost never get snow and have only ever seen two White Christmases.

I thought my prostate cancer recovery was going well

Even those of you who are entirely ‘Bah! Humbug’ about Christmas must admit that for about 30 minutes when the snowflakes fall a kind of magic happens and even the ugliest places are beautified. Admittedly after that half hour is up, the snow turns to a grimy slush, but I’ll settle for a few minutes of crystal white wonder, particularly on Christmas Day

Well, this year I got a White Christmas, but as the eagle-eyed among you will have spotted this sentence starts in the first person singular and not the third person plural — all will be explained.

Read on…

Bedside Manner from Hell

Perhaps the doctor with the worst bedside manner ever was also thankfully fictional. Step forward Dr. Gregory House star of the long-running TV drama House. He was played by actor Hugh Laurie as a brilliant diagnostician with the bedside manner of Atilla the Hun. A drug addict, liar, and cheat, he cared nothing for the feelings of his patients or friends. No wonder the show was so fantastically popular. Read on…