My treatment finished some time ago
and I've seen a slow reduction in side-effects.
But what happens next?
Although it is now 7 months since my treatment for prostate cancer came to an end, I still have periodic blood tests, followed by a consultation with a member of my oncology team.
It sounds a bit fancy when I say my team, but this was just a group of medics that were handed my case from the start. Even though they must be handling thousands of cases and wont know me from Adam, it still gives me a comforting sense of continuity.
So a couple of weeks ago I had a blood-test and this week I took a phone call from one of the team. All blood markers look good, and my PSA level is still practically zero.
I wanted to get an idea of what happens next. Am I likely to survive 3, 5, 10 years?
We danced around this question for a while, and it became clear that not only would the oncologist not commit to a prediction of my life-span, it turns out its a pretty stupid question anyway.
What he did tell me was that during 2022, the interval between blood tests will increase from 4 months to 6 months. After 5 years, if I'm still alive and my PSA is still very low, the oncology team will abandon me, and I'll become a problem for my GP. I'll still have blood tests, but maybe only every 12 months.
|The "Man of Men" prostate cancer UK logo|
The dreaded Zoladex stomach injections will continue for around another
year or two, but these are almost certainly extending my life. After 3
years, this medication is generally no longer effective.
Although the reduction in side-effects is slowing, I think I'm still seeing a month-on-month improvement.
Any swelling in my feet and lower legs is now only slight, and not a day-to-day issue.
My elevated 'resting' pulse rate is improving (...as I write, its 75bpm...would prefer 55). However, tiredness and fatigue are still an issue, but certainly less of a problem than (say) 3 months ago.
My digestive system is also in a better place. I'm eating more insoluble roughage, such as fruit and veg with skins (e.g. peas, beans, grapes) and just take Normacol (a bulking roughage) at the first sign of any abdominal pain, but I no longer take it every day.
I need to do a test and see if I can drink coffee without suffering any pains (it was certainly still a no-no back in September).
more on PSA
|screenshot taken from: https://www.menshormonalhealth.com/psa-test-results.html|
Click on the "Health" tab at the top of the page to find more posts on my experience of prostate cancer.