Discussion Forums

Confronting Prostate Cancer 
Started by JennJilks
19 Sep 2014, 12:02 PM

It's been a long year. We were back to the doctor yesterday.
His PSA is far too high for someone whose prostate has been removed (0.58).
Dr. says he wants two tests done: CT Scan and Bone Scan to see if they can pinpoint the prostate cancer cells that remain. This should happen before late October. The last time it was at the Civic, which is a difficult place in which to get a parking spot. sigh. The doctor is the Urologist Specialist at the General. He is very good.
The quickly rising score,PSA 0.28 in early 2014 after surgery, to June 0.46,  to this one of 0.58, indicates that it's distant cancer, meaning it has metastasized. The scans will let us know if that is the case, and where it is.
What this will mean is a late October appointment with the doctor to set up a new treatment plan. 
Micrometastatic disease, possibly in the lymph nodes or bone. Possibility of local recurrence.
Want to do a CT scan and bone scan to look for possibility of limited diseases.
If see signs of distant disease, put on hormone therapy (androgen therapy – i.e., chemical castration to limit the testosterone in his system).
If not sign, sit tight.
Or radiotherapy for a local treatment. Won't help if it's distance disease, with a Gleason 8 score it is likely metastatic, i.e. spread.
Radiation treatment: 5 days/week for 7 weeks. I just shudder. We live 73km away from the hospital. 
Report this post      
Reply by JennJilks
19 Sep 2014, 12:03 PM

There is laughter... but it is tough.
We went into Ottawa Hospital, left at 10:45 - home by 5:30. Seriously.
The appointment was for 1:45. Got to the hospital by 1:20, we weren't seen by the doctor until 3:20 - he was called to emergency to do some surgery.

It wasn't all doom and gloom. We were laughing in the waiting room, he didn't mean to look so grim!

Good to go as a team.

He was watching as I concentrated trying to take the photo. There is a fabulous nurse, Leonard, who makes us all grin. He ushered us into a cystoscope appointment, as ever saying 'Come on in, make your bladder gladder!' I took Leonard aside yesterday, and quietly told him how he lightened the mood in the waiting room. People catch one another's eyes, strangers, and giggle as he does his shtick!

Then there was the woman who came in on a stretcher, pushed by an orderly. He stopped, took a huge binder (her records) and handed it to the people at the counter.
She lay there, we looked at one another, the sheet was up over her face. She look very old and very sick. I wondered if she was alive, but she had to be.
The nurse came over and asked if she could remove the sheet and if she was ready to wake up! We were relieved!
Report this post      
Reply by JennJilks
19 Sep 2014, 12:03 PM

To answer Katherine's e-mail question, this is an iPad app called ToonCamera. I also have a couple of apps that take a picture and convert it to a painting.

From a photo!

My original photo
You can compare the two rhododendren images to see how much you can play with the effects.
It amuses me on our outings.

 I always take the iPad in order to take notes. I find it important. We often do not hear accurately, or do not hear what is said to us.

Today we had some news. The first test is scheduled for Fri., Sept. 19th, since they had a cancellation for Bone Scan #2. Hooray. Good to get this out of the way.
Report this post      
Reply by jorola
20 Sep 2014, 4:27 AM

Hey Jenn,

Crossing my fingers for you guys. Might as well laugh and enjoy life right. Good for you guys.

Not sure if you know this but save your reciepts for gas, meals, parking etc when you have to travel to get he medical treatment you need. This all adds up  and can be used for your taxes. I know i mentioined it on here before but as usual i can't remember who to. Don't worry if you do not have them all as there is a flat rate that can be used to.

An accountant can tell you more.

All the best
Report this post      
Reply by JennJilks
22 Sep 2014, 1:51 AM

It doesn't work if you aren't more than 100km away. I did the taxes last year and I don't htink it does. We're only 83 km away.
Report this post      
Reply by jorola
22 Sep 2014, 12:36 PM

Really? wow that sucks. Maybe check with an accountant or even call to Revenue Canada to make sure because it sure adds up.
Report this post      
Reply by jaindough
22 Sep 2014, 11:51 PM

Hubby is an accountant and he agrees; if you aren't far enough away, you cannot claim these items as expenses, unfortunately. Parking fees are the absolute worst of them all, in my opinion.

I am hoping the best for you and your husband, Jenn.

Report this post      
Reply by oldbat
23 Sep 2014, 2:41 AM

On the topic of REVCan, may be someone can enlighten me about something.  I don't understand why a parent can claim expenses for children, but I can't claim for everything I pay for Karl:  his dental treatments, personal expenses, medications, some physio, outings, gifts for his lovely family, etc., etc.  It all comes out of my tiny government pension, but apparently I can't claim for any of it.

Does Mr. Harper know about this?!!!!! 

Report this post      
Reply by JennJilks
23 Sep 2014, 12:18 PM

These expenses do add up. I'm more worried about the psychosocial costs.
I'm getting chest pains, I think high blood pressure,  and it takes a lot out of me.
I don't know how people do it who are working.

I'm off to the doctor tomorrow for ME!
This afternoon I am having a Reiki treatment. It cannot hurt. 
Report this post      
Reply by oldbat
23 Sep 2014, 4:09 PM

I don't know how they do it either,Jenn.  But congratulations to you for hanging in.  And lucky you with the Reiki.  Hope the doctor has good suggestions for you tomorrow.

I do agree about the psychosocial costs.  Think my body has simply given up after three years of doing this.  That's what my doctor's suggesting anyway! I'm actually more concerned about my mind.  It's been wandering down some pretty strange pathways lately!

And KATHERINE, I'm so sorry for the name change I deeded you with here last night.  Blame it on my errant mind!

Report this post