FIGHT

Life – Terror. Ecstasy. Fight. Denial. Flight. Failure. PAIN. Forgiveness. Reconciliation. Hope. Love. Peace – Death.

Fight for treatment. Fight for life.

With waiting lists for NHS treatment currently at a record breaking high (6,000,000+ and counting, waiting for treatment, to receive a Cancer Diagnosis is even more alarming. I have spoke of this in previous posts, the terror of finding out followed by the turmoil and fear of making wrong choices.

I have just read an article by prostate cancer UK, a short case study of a Grandfather, Father and son ‘Exploring the progress and potential in prostate cancer care through a grandfather, father and son. that highlights  how prostate cancer is treated now compared to say, 20 years ago.

The patient ‘Steve’ who’s father was also diagnosed with prostate cancer 20 years ago. Being younger, Steve wasn’t that aware of it then and his father didn’t speak about it at all; treatments were limited and support barely existed. The picture has changed massively since, but has it changed enough?

Steve hopes his son won’t have to worry about prostate cancer at all. Feelings I too resonate strongly with. I recently did full Geno mapping with the aim of identifying potential risks for my son and also my new grandson.

like myself, Steve was diagnosed over Christmas. Like many men of a certain age he noticed he was going to the toilet a lot. A PSA test, followed by a call from the doctor telling him to come in. With both his father and grandfather having had the disease, Steve felt like he already knew it was prostate cancer – However, he still broke down in tears when they told him. Something about those words, ‘You have cancer’, are so powerful.

Luckily, his cancer was caught just before it spread outside the prostate, so it was possible to cure it. He opted for radiotherapy. For him it felt like a better option than surgery as he had ‘heard’ the side effects were less severe.

He chose Radiotherapy I chose surgery as with surgery you get two bites at the problem? Post surgery, radiotherapy, is still an (additional) option. After radiotherapy surgery is no longer an option.

Steve had 37 doses of radiotherapy in total. Seven weeks of traveling every day from Essex to the hospital in London. The treatment really weakened his bladder, and towards the end he had to go to the toilet every hour or so, even through the night. He describes it as the worst time of his life.

Steve, met others in the hospital who were only having 15 or 20 doses, and their side effects weren’t nearly as bad. So it was hard for him to understand why his experience was so severe. Even now, his bladder isn’t back to normal and he struggles with erectile dysfunction.

Post surgery, my recovery was relatively side effects free, apart from my cock which had become fully redundant. Post biopsy revealed metastasis, my cancer had spread. Further treatment would be required.  

Sometimes Steve wonders whether he should have had his removed instead. As do I only with the opposite choice? No treatment is perfect, they all cause some level of side effects. Two years on, and so far Steve’s been given the all clear. This makes him realise how far treatment has come – his father had radiotherapy too, but it wasn’t able to cure him. His disease returned a few years later, and this time there weren’t any treatment options left for him.

By the time I and Steve were treated the technology had massively improved. 20 years ago, they wouldn’t have known how aggressive his cancer was and how much radiotherapy was needed to kill it. But now they could help tailor treatment and deliver the intense dose that might be needed.

This is the fight bit

Mine had spread but was not detectable via a normal scan. It required a PSME PET scan which I was initially denied and had to fight for. Eventually, I paid for my own in Australia. The ultra sensitive scans revealed spread in a lymph node (5mm tumour).

My second fight

I pushed for Proton Beam (SABR) Radiotherapy, quite new to Prostate Cancer Treatment, often reserved for intricate Brain Cancer Treatment. Far less intrusive and far less invasive as in less collateral damage to local organs. And only three proton sessions compared with 37!

Successful?

Too early to tell but I am still here?

One thing is for sure definitely it is worth fighting for anything and everything you can get (or can’t get?). I have detailed many options and comparisons for treatments in previous posts.

The latest research I have discovered sounds exciting – Dr Jonathan Coulter aims to harness the power of gold, yes, GOLD, to cure more men with aggressive prostate cancer. His work focuses on minuscule particles of gold, called nanoparticles, and their effect on radiotherapy.

Inserting the gold nanoparticles into prostate cancer cells amplifies the effect of radiotherapy treatment, making sure the cancer cells die. This makes radiotherapy a more accurate treatment than ever before, even when lower doses are used.

Thanks for Reading

Peace

Published by Riff

Husband to my inspirational, (long suffering) wife, father of two amazing (adult) children, teacher, former guitarist (now guitar owner), recent 'granda(r) to my beautiful grandson who I am yet to meet. I Love people. I love my family, my friends, I love(d) what I do (my Job), I love Music, Cars, Everton .... I love many things, most of all I fucking love 'life'.

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