Life – Terror. Ecstasy. Fight. Denial. Flight. Failure. PAIN. Forgiveness. Reconciliation. Hope. Love. Peace – Death.
Today is results day. The results of my latest PSMA-PET scan.
PSA level is (still) the most reliable indication of prostate cancer advancement. A simple blood test (PSA test). A sudden change ‘a spike’ is never good. I had a scheduled (every 6 months) PSA test in April with nothing that extraordinary to report. A modest increase in line with my (recent) PSA profile (steadily rising).
The thing is I haven’t been feeling that well. I have other chronic conditions = symptoms and side effects from medication, could be anything right?. However, if it is ‘the cancer’ I have been feeling disproportionately unwell to what my PSA is indicating.
If there is a problem I would rather know? Best to err on the side of caution and get checked out?
I contacted my oncologist (as usual indirectly, via his NHS secretary) I explained my recent symptoms and expressed my concerns RE: potential pancreatic cancer. I requested a PET scan. She wrote (email) back to me, my oncologist had agreed and to expect a 10-week wait. An appointment came thru within 5 weeks. I had a PET scan. After waiting four weeks without any sign of results I contacted my oncologist secretary once again, enquiring when I could expect any results. I received an appointment thru the post a week or so later for a telephone appointment with my oncologist.
Today was that appointment.
I had a script, my questions prepared, stuff about my latest research RE: radiopharmaceuticals specifically, the availability (or not) of clinical trials in this area. He spoke first with my scan results. My script, quickly, went out the window.
It wasn’t the best of news.
Scans show that I have a new, small tumour (1cm) in a lymph node close to the site of the last tumour (11m). The previous was treated with stereotactic radiotherapy (December 2019). Disappointing news about another but kind of expected (advanced cancer with no cure), certainly not that much of a surprise to me anyway.
The worse news was there is something else happening in the left side, lower lobe of one lung. Advanced Prostate Cancer tends to manifest itself first near to the prostate site, the pelvis, often in the pelvis bone(s). Other common mestatstetese sites are; leg bones, arms and more rarely lungs and for the very lucky people, occasionally in the brain and pancreas. In my lungs? That news threw me sideways. I was not prepared for that.
I would rather know? Honestly, now I do I don’t think I would?
My oncologist will meet with the Clatterbridge SABR stereotactic radiotherapy team and telephone me in about 6 weeks with a decision as to the possibility of further, focused, radiotherapy. This will depend upon two things 1. How close the current tumour is to the previous tumour site and 2. Budgets, will the NHS fund it?
I also have a CT scan of Thorax. Abdo and Pelvis booked for July. This will provide a clearer picture of what is going on within my lung (and pancreas) to, hopefully rule out cancer of the pancreas.
The next phase of my disease has well and truly kicked in. That is the stark reality.
For the first time since my treatment began I feel a tad pessimistic and afraid again.
Only one thing for it?
A ‘Hot Chillis‘ Kebab and then it’s time to buy a car!
Thanks for Reading