Proton Therapy Journey continues!
It's been a while since I posted PSA results or moderated thoughts. Today it has been 5 years and 3 months since my last trip to a proton therapy gantry. It's been over 6 years ago when my PSA had tripled alarmingly over 8 months at a high of 5.8. It was mid fall Nov 1, 2007 when I received the dreadful news that I had cancer. I was then encouraged as a perfect candidate for surgery, or IMRT, brachytherapy or combintaton of IMRT and brachytherapy. I was anxious during that time and recall side effects of increased urgency in urination and symptoms of early Erectile dysfunction. It was a confusing time coping with the diagnosis, facing possible surgery at urologist's recommendation, or some form of radiation. I was 52 when they symptoms started and 53 when diagnosed. Urologists and my General Practitioner concurred if untreated at my age or consider watchful waiting I would succumb and die from prostate cancer at an early age. The concept of surgery and its side effects made me sick to my stomach. You see I never faced any serious illness or past surgery and couldn't fathom the long recovery of possibly only being a shadow of myself after the surgery. IMRT or some variation was my early thought and yet concerned of its possible outcome. I investigated Cyberknife and was discouraged even by practitioners then in multiple locations that long term benefits were too early to predict for men my age.
I discovered proton therapy early on and encouraged by positive reports by thousands of proton patients with organizations like Brotherhood of the Balloon and having fewer side effects and maintaining a normal life. My urologists indicated it was not readily available and experimental. Oncologists locally indicated proton was over the top for my cancer and yet they were a branch of MD Anderson and had access to proton. I forged on and eventually was treated with 45 sessions of PBT over 8 weeks. Being away from home and managing our small business was difficult. Tracy my loving wife kept all our affairs together during my treatment. Without her support, proton therapy was not possible, and yet she knew the long term benefit.
Flash forward today my PSA is now at .059 !!!...yes that's true. It dropped even lower over the last year. Clinically, I am considered cured by my insurance provider and local practitioners. I even decided after all these years to do a comphrensive bone scan. Guess what... All clear. And even more importantly I never had a side effect and my frequent urination disappeared and no signs of Erectile dysfunction. Never lost any function, no loss of career and no loss of love and affection with my spouse.
|Trip to Beijing with Noah 2012 seeking|
Proton funding for US center
So for me proton was the magic bullet. Is it worth the costs? Ask the patient. Good health to all. Curtis Poling, successfully treated with PBT.