Three years today.

Home Forums CancerChat NZ Going through treatment Three years today.

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  • #765
    AvatarBuxton
    Participant

    Just an encouraging post. Three years ago today I had an emergency extended right hemicolectomy. A complete blockage and a small underlying perforation well away from the tumour. But so far, all is well. Good colonoscopy, CT scan and CEA tests. Best wishes to all.

    #767
    AnnaAnna
    Keymaster

    Great to hear- go well. Anna

    #936
    AvatarBuxton
    Participant

    3 years, 3 months and 12 days, if I counted right. My colorectal nurse was pleased with my 9 monthly check and doesn’t want to see me for a year! Which must mean she isn’t too worried? I’m still a worrier and might see a councellor next week. It’s a pity the 5 year survival graph doesn’t have a 3 year point as it heads to the ‘cancer is unlikely to recur after 5 years’ point. All I am told is that the chances improve as each day passes etc. I think I started in the mid to high 80’s for my T3N0M0 extended right hemicolectomy. 22 clear lymph nodes and no chemo.
    Just rambling on a Saturday afternoon. This disease is always on my mind.

    #1529
    AvatarBuxton
    Participant

    Well! I have passed the 5 year mark and am considered disease free. Had my last appt with my lovely colorectal nurse and gave her a hug. And some flowers. BUT, not all good news. I am half way through 20 radiation sessions for localised prostate cancer, Intermediate a Favourable and the shingles rash I developed has mostly faded. It’s all go. Best wishes to all.

    #1577
    AvatarBuxton
    Participant

    Hello. Is there anybody there? I finished my radiotherapy for prostate cancer early February and had the PSA test 4 months later. It dropped to 3.1 from 7.4 last July and was told it could have been even higher pre rt. The 3.1 pleased me and the Specialist. In fact he said 6 monthly tests now and discharged me! I told him I hoped not to see him again and he said the same. Nothing personal of course.

    #1578
    AvatarBuxton
    Participant

    And one question. Is it normal procedure for a dre to be necessary after radiotherapy for localised prostate cancer? My PSA went down to 3.1 but I’m getting coflicting advice about a follow up dre. Thanks.

    #1579
    AvatarBuxton
    Participant

    Now my PSA is 2.9, three months after the 3.1 reading. I’m disappointed with the small drop. I don’t have any hormone treatment as they treat people with normal testosterone levels. Any thoughts? Or am I expecting too much?

    #1590
    AvatarBuxton
    Participant

    Somebody must have an opinion on this? A .2 drop in PSA doesn’t seem much. Specialist said it was ok and wait until March before next test. Patience!

    #1601
    AvatarBuxton
    Participant

    Anyone?

    #1604
    AnnaAnna
    Keymaster

    Hi Buxton,

    I’m sorry that it’s been so quiet on CancerChat recently.
    After radiation treatment it can take 18 months to 2 years to get your lowest PSA reading- this is called your nadir reading. It never gets down to zero because you still have some normal prostate tissue which is making PSA. The trend is what’s important and trending down is great, even if the numbers don’t seem big to you. Be aware that there can be slight rises and ups and downs of the PSA which isn’t necessarily a return of cancer. PSA is not a very specific test but it’s the best we have! Once you get to your lowest reading, then monitoring is looking for an increase from there, so it is different for each man. Generally there is concern if it is 2.0 above your lowest reading for 2 consecutive tests.
    The need for DRE during follow-up is harder to find a definitive answer for in the literature. A lot of the information says this should be discussed with your specialist but there is quite a lot of discussion saying that there is no need for DRE if there is not any PSA rise, as this hasn’t been found to be useful. Sorry that’s a bit vague.
    Kind regards,
    Anna

    #1606
    AvatarBuxton
    Participant

    Thank you Anna for your welcome reply.

    As you might suspect, I have become very anxious about my health and worry about upcoming test results etc. My next PSA test isn’t until March, but already it’s very difficult to ‘put it at the back of my mind!’ Partly because the .2 drop last time was disappointing, even though I’m assured that it’s ok.
    My health concern started when I had emergency surgery for bowel cancer. (All clear now 6 years later.) That was followed my mesh repaired hernia, cellulitus, gall bladder removal, shingles and now the prostate cancer. I finished rt a year ago, so it’s regular testing and worrying yet again.

    I’ll try to remain positive and might consider counselling. I think I was trying to reassure myself that all will be well.

    The PC was Intermediate Favourable, 60 Gys in 20 fractions. The specialist said I might have had the last PSA test too soon, so I’ve waited 6 months this time.

    Thanks again,
    Buxton. (John.)

    Sent from my iPad

    #2042
    AvatarBuxton
    Participant

    Hello Anna. Or anyone. PSA went to 2.7 in March and next one will be this week. Getting very anxious again but don’t know why. The prognosis for Intermediate Favourable is very good, but the what if keeps coming into my brain. Any statistics? It’s about 20 months after rt now.

    #2043
    AnnaAnna
    Keymaster

    Hello Buxton,
    It’s very common to get anxious around the time of follow-up tests, and this is very natural. It’s harder than usual to distract yourself and focus on other things with the results of a test pushing to the forefront of your mind. You are definitely not alone in this.
    I don’t have specific New Zealand statistics for your exact situation, but the cure rate for your diagnosis is very high. From what you tell me your PSA has gone down each time you have tested,which is fabulous, although you have been worried about the small decreases. It is only the increases that are worth worrying about, not the size of a PSA level decrease. Maybe you were expecting more of a change? It can take 2 full years for a man’s PSA to drop as far as it’s going after radiation, and it will never reach zero.This is because you still have some normal remaining prostate tissue that is doing it’s usual job of making PSA. 2.7 is a normal kind of level for a man and concern about recurrence only comes with repeated increases of a significant amount. It is also common to have bounces in PSA where there is a temporary increase which is not related to the return of cancer. This is why there needs to be more than one test in a row with an increase.
    The PSA is not a very precise test and but it is a good indication of what is going on. As humans we love a number that we can track and follow but I really feel we put too much emphasis of what is only one part of the jigsaw puzzle. If possible, try and focus on the things you can do to improve your health- diet, exercise, stress reduction, sleep and mindfulness.
    All the best, Anna

    #2045
    AvatarBuxton
    Participant

    Thank you Anna. A wonderful answer. I had my test early pm today and rang the surgery after 5 to see if any news, but she just said she will ask the nurse to keep looking. A locum was in today for my Dr and just as I hung up from my call he rang on my cell phone to tell me it had dropped to 1.5! I asked him to repeat it a few times as I thought he had got it wrong. I’ll confirm it online tomorrow, but far better than I imagined. Next one in March, so no worrying yet. Thank you again. I’ll now read your reply ay least 6 more times.

    #2046
    AnnaAnna
    Keymaster

    That’s great to hear. Now you can know that things are going very well and can relax a bit and concentrate on enjoying each and every day!
    Glad to have helped and been here to offer support.
    Kind regards,
    Anna

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