Three Years On

I can’t believe it has been over three years since I was first diagnosed with Advanced Prostate Cancer, it has been a fairly tough time with lots of up’s and down’s. I think the main thing that has kept me going is a positive attitude and the support of my wife and family and to them I say a big thank you.

The diagnosis I was initially given was.

  • Carcinoma of the Prostate T3b N1 M1 PSA 226 Gleason 9

Since then my PSA has been as low as 1.6 and as high as 1585.

In summary here is a list of the main cancer treatments I have been through. Alongside these there have been a number of other treatments to treat the side effects of the main treatment, Steroids for example.  Side effects have been tough at times and diverse, from minor to visits to A&E.

  • Hormone Therapy – Prostap Ongoing
  • Chemotherapy – Docetaxel
  • Radiotherapy – On Spine and Shoulder 3 times
  • Enzalutimide
  • Immunotherapy – Nivolumab and Ipilimumab
  • Chemotherapy – Cabazitaxel
  • Dexamethasone
  • Lutetium 177 – Current Treatment

Below is a list of the different scans and tests I have had over the past 3 years. For the blood tests I have written 42 at least, this is how many blood tests I have had at UCLH, on top of this I have had loads at PAH and with the GP, I would estimate that this figure is closer to 70 blood tests.

I believe to rest to be more accurate.

  • Blood Test 42 at least
  • Bone Scan 10
  • CT Scan 7
  • MRI 1
  • Ultrasound 1
  • Radiotherapy 12/3
  • Prostap Injection 10
  • PET Scan 1

And of course on top of this there have been the regular outpatients appointments and other trips to the hospital.  At times I have been to the hospital everyday for a week and at other times just a monthly visit.

Perhaps the worst trip was when I was hospitalised earlier this year with concerns around spinal cord compression.

I am really appreciative of the hospital staff and the service and support they provide, there have been hiccups but for the most part the service has been excellent and I feel lucky to be able to have this kind of service.

I am hopeful that the Lutetium is working as it should and I look forward to the future.

Back in A&E

Woke this morning with a bit of a rash which slowly got worse as the day progressed.

About 7 pm I called the UCLH Chemo Helpline who asked for photo’s.

After a wait they recommended that I go to A&E.

Got there about 10pm.

Before long I had seen the triage nurse who was a little short with us.

Then it was off for a blood test and to have a canula fitted.

Come about 11pm a nurse came over an gave me an injection of antihistamine. Didn’t get the name as he had a strong accent.

Now (11.40 pm)waiting to see what happens next.

At about half past midnight I was seen by a doctor who gave me another check over and told me my bloods were ok. She would get an ECG done and prescribed a course of antihistamine for me to take.

We finally left A&E at about 1.15 am and had a really easy drive home as all the sensible people were already in bed 😉.

A Monday in A&E

Having gone to bed with a minor headache and feeling slightly hot I awoke this morning with a raging headache and a temperature of 39°.

And generally feeling pretty awful.

I phoned the UCLH helpline who advised me to go to my local A&E.

I phoned mum to ask if she could look after Teddy ( the dog) and my brother in law kindly offered to take me to Harlow A&E.

On arrival at A&E we were met by Barbara who had come from work, she helped me check in.

After about 30 minutes Barbara went to see when I might be seen and I was escalated to the Red List.

Within 10 minutes I was being seen.

My observations were done and some notes taken.

I was then moved into a room were thankfully there was a bed I could lie on as I was feeling pretty rough by now.

I was then hooked up to an IV and given 2 types of antibiotics and some IV Paracetamol.

I also had a chest xray and a ECG.

I started to feel a bit better, not sure what it was, maybe the paracetamol?

Once the IV meds had finished I was then given 1000ml of saline solution to boost my fluids.

I was then seen by a Doctor who did a few more checks and then he went off to check my xray.

Before long he was back and said everything looked fine apart from one ‘infection’ marker which a little high.

He had also spoken to the onclogy team who said this sounded like it was a reaction to the Trial Drugs I have taken as part of Neptunes.

He also asked me about my broken ribs which he had seen on the xray, but that was from a fall about 20 years ago!

We then had a chat about how I was feeling, I was feeling much better by this time. So we agreed I would go home once the saline completed.

So after about 5 hours in A&E we headed home, I felt better but still felt a bit groggy and done in.

I have to say that all the staff I met today were very good, kind and friendly. Nothing but praise for them all.