My Hormones

What a month this has been! I will be glad to get off Lupron. This one month dose has been more traumatic than the 3 month doses I have been getting. The flareups were bad enough but now I am feeling wrung out. Absolutely no stamina which, I assume, means no Testosterone.

Monday I had planned an Ombudsman visit to Hildebrand but was so exhausted by the time I got to town, I asked my Boss to excuse me. She did. So I just did my errands and went back home.

Now I know how my Dad felt when we went out. 2012 has to be some better.

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Status: Charlie

Note: we have so much going on, I decided to post individual updates on each family member.

My body has gone crazy since my last Lupron shot. I had the flare up pain which lasted about 36 hours. And I thought I was done for the year. Nope.

Yesterday afternoon, while out doing errands, it started again. I had gone to town for Hildebrand’s Resident Council meeting followed by a visit to the tire store for a leaking tire repair (valve stem, so a freebie!). Then lunch. Sometime along in here, the pain started, mild at first then increasing.

I had been feeling kinda odd, emotionally, for the two days previously; I never felt rested. And my brain was “fuzzy”. I have been here before, I eventually realized. My “zombie” period in 2008.

Last night I took some aspirin so I could get some sleep. And had a sexy dream! That was both a surprise and not good. That meant I have testosterone running around in my body! No wonder my cancer was achy; it was growing. Again. I have another month until my new treatment.

All this makes me wonder about Abbot Labs’s (the Lupron manufacturer) quality control. Or maybe my body is rebelling (again) against having its hormones suppressed! Or maybe the Casodex isn’t working to inhibit testosterone uptake. I have no way of knowing.

I think I have lost ground to the parasite this month.

Another Urologist Appointment

This was my regular 3 month Lupron injection. But when the doctor saw my PSA results, he changed the plan! It was over 8!

Instead of getting three month’s injection, he gave me one month’s worth. Next month he will change to a different drug “for situations like mine”. But I don’t know the name. He has to order it and I will get it the 27th. That drug has to be given monthly. In my abdomen. sigh.

The curve of my PSA results shows it rising in a non-linear manner.

They took another blood sample to see what the increase in one month is. Based on this chart, I estimate the results will be near 9.5.

This was the thing he was talking about when I get to 9. But he assured me any talk of chemo will be when I get in higher (?) double digits.

So my adventure continues.

Cancer Musings

I do this periodically after some unpleasant news. And my rising PSA is bad news. Just how bad, I am not sure.

When I began this process, one of my several urologists told me some “milestones” in the progress of the disease. One of those was a PSA of 20 when the cancer would likely be spreading into my bones. But mine has never been above 10 and it has metastasized. So I am ahead of schedule. 😉

I went back and looked at my PETScan again. The spots on my rib cage that showed up on my last bone scan in June, 2011 were NOT there in May 2010.

So my parasite is still active “below the radar”. My PSA has been low since I went on full suppression in May of 2010, even with the 3 month break in Lupron. This implies it has already mutated somewhat.

My level was 0.2 ng/mL in August 2010. In Jan 2011, 0.56. By March 2011, it was 2.4 after my Lupron holiday. In retrospect the vacation was a mistake. But after I went back on suppression, my PSA should have dropped below 1.

My urologist told me he wasn’t concerned until my PSA goes over 10. I have a different view if it is spreading while still low. But, using his guideline, and extrapolating from these two tests, I will be over 10 in another 4 cycles or 12 months. Even if the last results were skewed and it really only went up by 1 instead of 1.5, the timeline extends out to 18 months.

I don’t know what happens at 10. But I am guessing it won’t be fun!

My Urologist Appointment

This morning I did my library duty then had lunch in the school cafeteria: spaghetti with cheese sauce and chicken. I wasn’t the only one who found this a unique experience among the staff! Lol. But it was good.

Then I headed down the river from Cotopaxi to Pueblo for some time to bond with my urologist. By the time I got to Pueblo, the temperature was near 100°. Thank the Goddess for air conditioning! The doctor’s office was downtown and the waiting room was packed! I figured a long wait.

The receptionist handed me the cup for a urine specimen. She was having her birthday Friday then joked if I thought she was 25. I told her i did then asked how old she was. “32” she replied and I told her she looked like 25. She thanked me! Then I used the cup. By the time I had settled in a chair, the nurse called me in!

When she ushered me into an exam room, she asked if I had an infection. I said no, I didn’t and asked why she asked. “Because I gave a urine specimen.” I explained it is a urologist office and they always want one and the receptionist handed me the plastic cup. Even the doctor asked me. Made me wonder.

Turns out most the people waiting were first timers and were doing paperwork. So in I went. And the doctor didn’t waste any time either. My primary purpose for the visit was to get another injection of Lupron, my primary hormone suppression drug. He actually asked me which brand I wanted! What did I know! Lol. He picked the same brand I had been using.

He found my taking pictures amusing. Then he mixed up the brew for my butt.

I didn’t know this was a binary drug but he had to mix it up; it wasn’t milky looking until he mixed it. Interesting. Nice needle, too.

I leaned over the exam table and relaxed. Then yelped when the needle hit a nerve! Normally I don’t even feel the injection since it really is on my lower back.

I was kinda embarrassed by my reaction. I will be getting these every 3 months for the rest of my life.