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This member is a YANA Mentor This is his Country or State Flag

Magwa J lives in New Brunswick, Canada. He was 66 when he was diagnosed in May, 2015. His initial PSA was 212.00 ng/ml, his Gleason Score was Unknown, and he was staged Unknown. His choice of treatment was Other (Other). Here is his story.

Hello to all, last summer 2015 I found myself urinating a lot at night like every hour or so. Pain in my lower back and legs and just not 100%. Tried lots of herbal stuff but nothing worked. Like most men I waited to the last moment and then went to the doctor. Told me I had prostate cancer after putting you know what you know where. Never felt one that big he said. It was Flomax and a pain killer which did the trick as far as I was concerned. So off to get blood work done. 212, said he never heard of one so high. Off to the oncologist and confirmed and then all the other test to come up with stage 4 metastisized to the bones and maybe lymph nodes. Firmagon was the drug and it brought my number down to 19. I am getting results from my last PSA; on the 18th of this month, Feb. Three months ago I asked about marijuana treatment and off to another doctor. I am now smoking pot on a daily basis which at least makes me feel better mentally. This most recent test hopefully will show something but doing the Firmagon and the pot will not get a real picture if one is working better than the other. I heard about taking a break in the therapy for a few months and then going back on after a PSA; test. Not sure if that will happen. After I started the Firmagon the pain went away and the urinating was better anyway with the flomax but after stopping the Flomax and the pain killer the Firmagon seemed to take care of both. Now after nine months of the therapy some pain in the lower back and my butt. Pot smoking is fun anyway but didn't think after quitting 20 years ago that I would now be doing it for my life saver even though I am not sure if it's doing anything. I have read encouraging stories from people who deal with it with pot only and they say it works. I am 66 and have a son who has a daughter and is happy. To me it was not a death sentence but a closing date on this journey. Sure I don't want to die but as they say we are all dying. My wife is the only one who knows and for me right now that is the way I want it. Not ready for those eyes from family and friends just yet. Doctor says maybe 5 years and I say 2-1/2 only because they are not sure and I could go for ten years but it's in the stars. At this point I wish the doctors had not told me how bad it was and I think they think I may not be taking this seriously. I am a beekeeper and enjoy life with my wife and have kept on going as if nothing has happened. She bought me a 1948 Ford 8n for my birthday last year but I said will I be able to enjoy it and she said if you don't I will, haha. But life goes on and without my wife not sure how this would have gone. We don't talk about it much and I like it that way as I know that leaving her will be hard on her. We have been together 24/7 for 20 years and getting closer all the time. We don't travel as much as we used to but not because of the cancer but we are getting old and it takes more out of us than before. We both love to garden and we have the bees and the ocean where I get my seaweed for the garden. I have lived a great life and don't want to leave but with Trump on the horizon and the planet going to shit maybe just maybe I won't mind so much.......

UPDATED

February 2016

I have been on Firmagon for about 9 months and my PSA at that time was 217 and now 0.37. I just got this news from my doctor today(2/11/16). This is a 80mg shot every four weeks like clockwork. It starts to hurt about 3 or 4 hours after the shot. Stomach gets red and gets real itchy after about 3 days. It does not hurt a lot but hard to keep your pants in the same place. I have gained about 30 pounds and my breasts are competing with my wife's. This is an update and I am not complaining. I still take the Flomax for night time. I stopped taking the Flomax about a month after the shots started but found about a month ago that I was leaking at night so went back on it and back to normal. I was taking pain pill for the back and leg pain but the shot made that go away. Also I am on legal medical marijuana which is hard to figure out if it is helping. People talk about cannabanoids(spelling) cbd which attack the cancer cells. I hope it is also working and it does help sleeping. I used to get up every 2 hours and now about every 4 hours. I started the shot at the urging of my urologist who also set me up with an oncologist. She was nice but chemo at this stage most likely would only extend me about another month or so and I did not feel like getting sicker than I was. I do not really have any pain to speak of. When I first found out it was stage 4 at the onset it makes you think back to when it might have started. I live in Canada now after moving here from the US. I would be broke now if not for the excellent health care we have here. The initial shot was $1500 for the first two and then $350 each. With the health care all my prescriptions cost $15 each (over 62). If I had had health care in the States I may have had myself checked but it was not affordable to me at the time. The last time I had a physical was when I got discharged from the service in 1972 and that's my bad. It's OK with me as far as the cancer goes as I have had a very good life with no complaints. My urologist was not happy with me being so carefree about my feelings but hey it's my life. I don't go to him anymore because he did not keep up with the shots as they are supposed to so I went back to my doctor who understands me and gives me the shot on time.

What can I say to anyone else with this cancer? It seems after all the posts I have read that this cancer is different for everybody. One man beat it with marijuana and so did a doctor but have not found any other people so I take it with a grain of salt. Pot can help but I may never really find out how. They can't be sure how long I have but I figure a couple of years. I still keep my honey bees and gardening which I love. I honestly never think about the end just enjoying the time I have. My biggest fear is leaving my wife who has been so helpful. I have lost my sex drive because of the shot which stops my body from producing testosterone but my wife still loves me for who I am.

I only came here to share and see how others are doing. Thanks for this and the support.

UPDATED

March 2017

Hello and hope all are feeling better. Just to update, I have stage four bone cancer from the prostate. I was getting a shot of Firmagon (hormone therapy) once a month for about 18 months. The side effects for me were to painful and almost stroked out. I decided quality of life was more important. It has been about four months since my last shot and there are still lingering effects but all is better. I will say there are stories of men who get this shot and have done it for 18-20 years and felt OK. Some men say they would rather have the side effects but I was having to much of a reaction from it. I have a marijuana license and figured I would try it. Not sure if it is working or doing anything but life looks better doing this. I have been a vegetarian for 45 years and feel OK but for how long? I have an appointment in a week and will probably have a blood test for PSA. Living in Canada has been one of the best things as I have not had to pay for anything and my prescriptions are all $9 each no matter what the cost which for each shot is about $300 each. Having that makes it a little easier knowing I won't go broke trying to stay alive. If anything changes I will let everyone know.

Magwa's e-mail address is: magwa999 AT gmail.com (replace "AT" with "@")


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