My story is pretty much the same as anyone that is told you have cancer - who ME??
However since it was meant for me to have cancer then prostate cancer is the one to have, and as far as technology is concerned, then now is the time to get cancer.
Since knowledge replaces fear I turned to forums and support groups throughout the Internet. I decided that seed implants was the only type of treatment I needed for my cancer based on my scores.
On the 4th of June 2003 I had 106 iodine125 seeds implanted into my 32cc prostate gland. It was a 30 minute deal, went home in about two hour's after implants, felt as if I was sitting on a tennis ball for about three days, was given some pain pills but never needed them.
Today I'm ten months out from treatment and the PSA's are looking good, everything is working great no serious side effects to fuss about, so I'm real happy with my quality of life as of today. Ten years from now is anyone's guess. I really feel the radiation did what it needed to do, so my story seems to be a successful one at this stage of the game. But we all know everyday we keep looking over our shoulder waiting/worrying did the big mean bug come back, so it gets very tense the day before your next PSA test.
In closing remember the doctors get paid but God does the healing, thanks Tim.
UPDATED 18 June 2004
It has been 17 months since I heard that I had early stage prostate cancer and it has been one year since my seed implants, each PSA test keeps coming down. Currently my PSA is 1.42 ng/ml. Now this might seem high or maybe that the cancer coming back, but this is the norm for seed implants. The radiation splits the cancer cells in two and attacks their DNA so to speak. Then after the cancer cells split, the radiation kills them, while this is going on new/healthy prostate cells grow and sort of keep your PSA a little active. Bear with me I'm trying to place this in layman terms as best I can. Also I'm aware of the PSA bounce at 17-24 months after seeding. So as of today I feel that I'm on the road to a success story, thanks to Detrol LA the frequency for urinating is behind me, and everything else as I type this update is in good working order.
So in closing I hope that this update will send a message to other PCa survivors, in closing when you decide what type of treatment is best for your stage of cancer,and your concerns for your quality of life after treatment, sometimes Physician income is more important than patient outcome.
Thanks for letting me share my update and hope it help's someone, Tim Hillen.
It will be two years on the 4th of June since my implants, my PSA is dropping slowly.
4 June 2003- 6.63ng/ml
4 August 2003-3.63ng/ml
12 December 2003-1.60ng/ml
15 March 2004-1.52ng/ml
5 April 2004- 1.4ng/ml
2 June 2004-1.48ng/ml
21 Oct 2004-0.96ng/ml
18 March 2005-1.12ng/ml
I'm sure my last reading is a small bounce, but as for me all is going well so far.
I've been taking Detrol LA to help with some minor stress/urgency incontinence. I'm kicking around the thought of trying Flomax so if someone out there is using Flomax and it's working better than Detrol LA let me know.
Also has anyone experienced radiation prostatitis from seed implants? I've been researching and right now I'm in the window for this to occur. Any information is welcome so I can holler at my urologist for some antibiotics. Currently I have a little burning during urination but nothing I can't live with, because it comes and goes, also I get up once through the night for urination, again something I can live with. I don't know if these things get better or worse over time, so I guess this is why we have mentors to help one another just remember my experience helps you, and your experience helps me, together we can get done.
Thanks for the post/update will stay in touch, Tim.
I'm closing in on three years since seed implants and so far all seems to be going really well. I just continue my PSA tests every six months, I sort of hate waiting for two day's after the test wondering what the test results will be but I'm slowly letting go of the concern because these PSA results seem to wander a little from time to time based on other factors, that aren't caused from a recurrence.
So for now I stay positive and count my blessings for the results that I achieved from my treatment. I hope and pray that soon PCa will not be a concern for anyone.
Thanks to all that has posted and shared their experience before me and good luck to all that have yet to receive treatment, remember if your ever told that you have cancer make sure its a WE ride and not a ME ride, share your cancer with family or friends don't take this journey alone.
Good luck, Tim Hillen
4 August 2003-3.63mg/ml
12 December 2003-1.60mg/ml
15 Mar 2004-1.52mg/ml
2 June 2004-1.48mg/ml
21 Oct 2004-0.96mg/ml
12 Dec 2004-1.16mg/ml
18 Mar 2005-1.12mg/ml
5 April 2005-1.4mg/ml
1 June 2005-1.64mg/ml
29 Nov 2005 less than 0.59mg/ml
6 Mar 2006 less than 0.55 mg/ml
7 July 2006-QTC VA Physical UNKNOWN PSA SCORE
11 Sep 2006 less than 0.31 mg/ml
20 March 2007 less than 0.12 mg/ml
April 9th, 2007 taking Ditropan three times daily for urgency and stress incontinence nothing major I can live with a few minor side effects.
I've made it to the five year mark and things continue to stay positive.
Still get the nervous in the service jitters the night before the PSA test, I elected to do the every six month PSA test I don't think I can sit still for a year without knowing the score.
My last DRE was back in Feb 2003 so I don't know what my prostate feels like, my take on that is it's like putting a band aid on cancer, let a sleeping dog lie, if my PSA starts to go up then I'll let the doctor do the infamous finger wave/biopsy or whatever other options are available at the time.
I wish nothing but the best for all that have posted here on the YANA site, for all those that will post on this site and my prayers go out to everyone that has to sit in the doctors office and hear you got cancer.
Good luck and God bless
I made it to the six year mark this month although it seems like its been 60 years, I guess its all the worrying about when will the beast raise his ugly head again, especially since he has been sleeping all this time and every time on the eve of the PSA test you worry is the test going to be normal now that's a good question what's normal after cancer. We don't even know what PSA score to determine is normal we started out at 4.0 or less being a healthy prostate, that has been proven to be bogus. Their are men out there with PCa that the PSA was under 1.0 well below the standard of normal and was told oops you got cancer.
Even though its been a long journey from the day the doctor said that I had prostate cancer and to where I'am today I wouldn't have changed my treatment option, I honestly feel that Brachytherapy was the gold standard treatment for my situation based on my Gleason score, PSA, age, different strokes for different folks, whatever flips your bippy.
No matter what treatment you decide is for you make sure you get it right because we only get one shot at the beast so be sure to hit him point blank cause if you get it wrong then its salvage treatment if you get recurrence. I also feel blessed with having to get Prostate cancer because if I was to have cancer in my lifetime then Prostate cancer would be my cancer of choice because of the high cure rate and the fact that it grows slowly and most likely I will die with it and not from it.
To those of you that just found out today that you have prostate cancer get your attitude adjusted quickly. This ride is for those that have a positive attitude, learn to laugh about your illness yes this is serious business, but you need to share your problems with family and friends, they will help you get over the first wave of shock and the why me. Cancer can be beaten, so don't walk around sticking your head in the sand. Some days you're the pigeon, and some days you're the statue, you decide which day is which and good luck to all that find their way to this site with cancer or just being curious.
Be tough with your doctor or doctors as you decide what treatment option you want all to often we get caught up with patient outcome over doctor income and we lose the battle before it starts.
A friend to all
Tim's PSA is 0.06 ng/ml and he says:
Good luck to all that are having this journey; feel free to e-mail me as I will share my story and the journey to anyone that will listen. Remember I'll learn from you and you'll learn from me - thanks and good luck.
Tim and Carolyn Hillen
Well another year passed by and I'm still happy with my 0.06 PSA that was done on the 22nd of July 2010. I just exercise, eat and live right, and wait until the next PSA test in July 2011. That's about all we can do is just wait till the next test.
I decided to take early social security at age 62, one never knows what tomorrow brings so I'll take my money now and get out and live. I stood in line for 50 years now I'm next and wondering now what do I do? I'll chill for the rest of this year and then I'll decide what if anything I'll take on, good luck to all that have taken the cancer journey and good luck to those that have just started.
To anyone that reads my post feel free to e-mail me and I'll share my Brachytherapy journey since Feb 2003, thanks
Just changing my age would like to be frozen at 55 but next week it will be my 8 year anniversary since being seeded. My how the time flew!!
I've made it past the nine year mark and so far all is well and all the plumbing works just fine. No bubbles no troubles up to this point and once again if I had to back up nine years and decide on a treatment option brachy would still be my option.
I'm closing in on the ten year mark since treatment and I have passed the ten year mark since the doctor told me I did in fact have prostate cancer. My journey started in November 2002 and my how the time has flown, it seems like only yesterday that I awoke from my seed implants wondering what was I thinking to have 106 radioactive rice size seeds injected into a organ the size of a walnut. My first visit to the bathroom after I removed the catheter the next day after the implant I will never forget because I was sure I made a big mistake and was going to pee fire the rest of my life. I'm really glad I was wrong and things settled down in about two weeks and kept getting better as the days passed. I have added my PSA scores for the last 4 years because PSA scores is the only concern we survivors have and will continue to have the rest of our lives, always looking over our shoulders and wondering did I win this one. May good things happen to each and everyone taking the Big C journey as a survivor or a caregiver. I hope to continue reading all the stories and experiences posted on the YANA site. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all, and thanks for your memories and experiences also. Your friend Tim Hillen.
26 Nov 2008-0.11mg/ml
07 July 2009-0.06mg/ml
26 July 2010-0.06mg/ml
8 Nov 2010- 0.06mg/ml
27 July 2011-0.06mg/ml
25 Jul 2012-0.06mg/ml
I'm almost at the 11 year mark for my seed implants that was done on February 3rd 2003, and so far No bubbles and No troubles. For all those out there that get the news that you have prostate cancer just remember you can beat it, also remember cancer is a we thing not a me thing don't try to go it alone get family/friend support and don't stick your head in the sand hoping it will go away. Try to be positive, funny and upbeat about it a good attitude helps your treatment outcome. Thanks to all that have shared their stories, because I learn from you and you learn from me, knowledge will replace fear and lets all be thankful for the internet. Good luck to everyone involved in YANA and all the other organizations that reach out to prostate cancer patient/survivors and care givers.
Just wanting to say all is well and my last two PSa's were 0.03 ng/ml and I'm hoping that my annual PSA next week will be a 0.03 like is has been for the past two years. It doesn't seem like it's been almost 12 years since treatment but the time keeps rolling by faster and faster. Good luck on your journey to all that gets the word that you have cancer keep a positive attitude seek advice and a good doctor that understands why you decided on YOUR treatment option. Feel free to email me if you have any questions about my 12 year journey after Brachytherapy. Thanks to everyone that spends countless and thankless hours keeping this website afloat and operational sincerely Tim.
It has been over a year since my YANA last update nothing has changed I continue to be doing good after Brachytheraphy over 12 years ago. I decided on seed implants even after knowing I would have no idea what it could/would do to me beyond 10 years. Back then the data available about long term side effects was like any other treatment where only time will tell. I understand we all react to treatment differently but I can say for myself I made the right treatment choice. To anyone that has to hear that you have prostate cancer and the time is here for treatment plans, turn to the internet and friends and most importantly join a support group. The knowledge you gain from others will replace the fears you have about prostate cancer. Research and get an excellent doctor one that is a expert with your treatment choice. Good luck on your journey and hope everything along the way gives you nothing but positive outcomes and a great quality of life. Tim Hillen.
Not much to add to my story same story different day. I choose to go with seed implants because to me that was the least invasive treatment in 2003 for prostate cancer. I'm not a big fan of surgery to many things can go wrong and if the treatment failed then I knew my option would have to be chemical castration (hormone therapy). Plus the procedure took about 30 minutes and I went home the same day. Sort of like having a colonoscopy I woke up and had no clue as to what was done in the OR. It has been over 13 years since my procedure and if I had to choose a treatment today for Prostate Cancer I would again choose Brachytherapy. As of today September 21, 2016 today all my plumbing works as it always has. I do have some urinary leakage however that is no big deal and it is what it is and you live with it. Good Luck to all that has to make the cancer journey and whatever you do remember cancer is a we problem and a me problem. Get support don't take the ride by yourself and feel all poor me sorry. It helps to laugh and joke about it yes I fully understand that Prostate Cancer is nothing to laugh about, however a positive attitude and good humor helps the healing process. Thanks for reading my update and remember knowledge will replace fear. Git R Done Tim Hillen.
Well it's getting close to 15 years since my seed implants and I'm still really happy about doing Brachytherapy in 2003. I still do the annual PSA test so I can monitor what my blood has to say about the inside of my body. I can look in a mirror and see what my outer body is saying to my 70 year old body. I have not had a DRE since February 2003 and I don't see the reasoning behind it. First off, the doctor can only feel the top portion of the prostate and secondly what is a prostate gland that had 106 radioactive seeds implanted to Nuke the cancer is supposed to feel like. I don't need a doctor fingering around up in there to tell me that your prostate feels weird, (Really) so I think maybe you should have a biopsy. No thanks I already had two of those (OUCH) to put things in perspective it feels like getting stung by a wasp 12 times. Now having said that if this is your first scare from having a high PSA and your doctor recommends a biopsy to rule out Cancer then Git R Done. It does smart to have it done, however it is really smart to rule out cancer. Hope and prayers to all that read this update and if your doctor tells you that you have prostate cancer leave his office and tell all your friends and family. Cancer is a WE thing and not a ME thing. Knowledge will replace fear. So stay positive and ask questions to anyone that will listen, you learn from me and I learn from you. You will be shocked at just how many people you know that has or has had prostate cancer once you open up yourself for discussion. Good luck on your journey. Tim Hillen
Tim's e-mail address is: paphillen1947 AT att.net (replace "AT" with "@")