Walnut

Subscribe to RSS Feed for recent updates
Subscribe to RSS Feed for recent updates

YANA - YOU ARE NOT ALONE NOW

PROSTATE CANCER SUPPORT SITE

 

SURVIVOR STORIES  :  DISCUSSION FORUM  :  WIVES & PARTNERS  :  TELL YOUR STORY  :  UPDATE YOUR STORY  :  DONATIONS  :  TROOP-C

YANA HOME PAGE  :  DON'T PANIC  :  GOOD NEWS!  :  DIAGNOSIS  :  SURVIVING  :  TREATMENT CHOICES  :  RESOURCES  :  ABOUT US  :  MAIL US

 

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

Barry Cowan and Barbara live in California, USA. He was 63 when he was diagnosed in June, 2007. His initial PSA was 31.00 ng/ml, his Gleason Score was 8, and he was staged T1c. His choice of treatment was Brachytherapy (Seed Implant with EB and ADT). Here is his story.

About four years ago I was told by primary doctor that my PSA was a little high. I think it was 5.0 ng/ml. He sent me to an Urologist who did a DRE and said my prostate was enlarged and that we should watch it.

I pretty much forgot about it and it was almost four years before I had another PSA test. I had gone to my primary for an unrelated problem and my Doc sent me for a blood test which included a PSA and the PSA came back 31.0 ng/ml. Pretty high I guess.

So off to the Urologist again...this time my primary insisted that he do a biopsy which he did. It came back positive. So...now what? First of all I knew my Urologist from when he operated on my testicle at about one in the morning after I was hit by a line drive in a softball game several years ago, and I really like and trust him. He recommended one treatment and was very persuasive. He told me I should have Brachytherapy (radio active seed implant).

I had just met a man who was new to our church who had had a radical prostatectomy a year ago and he was recommending that that is the way I should go. My Urologist explained to me that due to my size combined with the fact that robotic surgery would be unavailable to me for insurance reasons, that a prostatectomy was not a good option for me.

I made the decision very quickly and began pre-implant treatment almost immediately. To lower my testosterone I was started on Casodex; one pill a day for twelve days. At the end of the Casodex I had my first of three Lupron injections. My implant was scheduled for July 24th of this year. I had my last Lupron shot 2 weeks before the procedure. I started having hot flashes after about a month of the first Lupron shot (still do at this writing August 7, 2007).

The procedure went off without a hitch and with very little discomfort and no real pain of any kind.

It is my conviction that my primary doctor saved my life and I let him know how I felt. In two days I go back to the urologist for my first appointment since the implant and I'll post an update when I know more.

The bottom line: I am 100% convinced that in a very short time I will be cancer free.

UPDATED

August 2007

08/08/07 I saw my Urologist this morning. He just wanted to see a urine sample.

It has been just over two weeks since my seed implants and the urine is clear. So he said that means that there is no infection or bleeding or any other complications from the procedure.

I asked but he did not know if the Oncologist will want to continue the Lupron injections. I will see him (the oncologist) in one week. Soon after that I will be starting beam radiation (I think I forgot to include that in my first post).

The Flomax continues to control the only real problem or symptom (other than "hot flashes") that I have experienced. I slept through the night last night without waking up to go. Yea!

I want to thank everyone on this site! What a blessing it is to read of your experiences. You are all my heroes!

God bless and keep you all,

Barry

UPDATED

September 2007

To recap: I had my seed implant procedure on July 24, 2007, about 5 1/2 weeks ago. Aside from some urination problems (sometimes bad...sometimes not so bad) I feel great...

Today I went for my Beam Radiation simulation and tattooing. The people at the Dorothy Schneider Cancer Center here in San Mateo, California are great. I always feel like a special guest when I go.

Anyway. I had a short meeting with the Radiation Oncologist and asked about continuing the Lupron injections and he said that for sure he wants to continue at least through the course of the radiation (5 days a week for 5 weeks). He also said that for anyone with a Gleason 8 he thought I should continue for up to two years. Wow...I thought I remembered my urologist saying my Gleason was 7! Nope, he showed me in my chart 4 + 4 = 8... Oh well just numbers right?

So..after I saw him I called Dr. Emmott's office and asked if they could get me in for a Lupron shot since it's been six weeks, She said she could fit me in at 3:00PM...Not only were they able to fit me in but Dr. Emmott took a moment to answer some questions.

He will keep me on Lupron while he keeps an eye on my PSA. But he wants to get me off of Lupron as soon as my PSA gets below 1.0. He says that it can cause bone thinning and that he will put me on Vitamin D and Calcium. He also recommends that I start weight training to keep my bones healthy. And I will.

Anyway...I wish there was a market for spontaneous sweat. Just about the only thing I have to complain about. I wake up more from hot flashes than to go pee.>

Best of all...God has blessed me with a wonderful wife that takes care of me, with great doctors and nurses, and the peace which surpasses all understanding.

Philippians 4:6 - 7

Later: Today, September 26, 2007, I had my 7th of 25 EBRT treatments. So far I have experienced no symptoms.

The staff at the Dorothy Schneider Cancer Center are very professional and very efficient. My appointment is at 8:40 each weekday morning and only once have I had to wait more than 5 minutes.

I have learned to live with the hot flashes which by the way don't seem to come as often as they did at first (maybe it's due to the cooler weather of fall) but when they come I just say a prayer thanking God for the doctors and the treatments and the drugs that are available now.

I am getting anxious to see a PSA test but it looks like I won't be having one for at least three months. It wouldn't mean much at this point anyway(Lupron, EBRT etc.) Oh well, the Lord has me covered no matter what!

UPDATED

November 2007

All treatment is now complete. I had blood drawn for PSA on Friday Nov. 16th. Yesterday Mon. Nov. 19th, I got the results: My PSA is now <0.05 or as the Doc puts it "Undetectable" "Zero"

What does it all mean?....First and formost I can quit having the Lupron injections! (That stuff sucks!) Now....Am I cured? Only God knows for sure but that's the point...God knows and I trust Him as I have through this whole process... I go back for another PSA in March '08' and then we'll see!

As for now.....I praise God!!

UPDATED

January 2009

It has been a while since I have done an update. The reason is that since my last PSA test in September (<.05) I haven't thought much about cancer. My doctor told me he didn't want to see me again and to have a PSA test every six months.

I got a really nice email yesterday from Terry Herbert who maintains this site, asking me to do an update and so here I am. YANA has been the most important resource I have found and used since I was diagnosed in June of 2007. Other than my actual treatment, being able to read about all of your experiences has had a very calming and encouraging effect on me. I am thankful to God and to all of you for the peace I have had throughout this whole process. It is awesome to know that none of us are alone. That there are many guys out there going through the same thing and that they care enough about each other to share their expierences.

Thank you all and a special thanks to Terry Herbert.

Yours in the Love of Jesus Christ,

Barry

UPDATED

July 2010

All treatment is now complete. I had blood drawn for PSA on Friday Nov. 16th. Yesterday Mon. Nov. 19th, I got the results: My PSA is now good (<.05) again. Praise God!

My prayers are with you guys.

Psalm 37:4 - 5 Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass.

UPDATED

December 2011

God is good ~ My PSA is still .05 and I have zero symptoms. I still get up and go to work every day although I intend to retire in August (2012).

I've just gotten a couple of NRA certifications so I can work at the range and also teach "Firearm Safety". This I hope will be my retirement career.

May God bless all of you guys....keep up the fight and do what your doctors tell you to do!

Barry.

UPDATED

January 2013

PC is no longer something I think about until I get my annual email from Terry to ask me for an update and when I get an occasional PSA test. My wife both retired in 2012 and moved back to Southern California.

Life is good and God is blessing us every day!

UPDATED

February 2014

Nothing has changed since my last update other than that we have purchased a home in Murrieta California. My PSA is still "0". I have no symptoms or side effects from my treatment(seems like a lifetime ago now). If I had it to do over again I would choose the exact same treatment I had...I never even missed a day of work and aside from some short term side effects everything is pretty much normal for me now. It has been years now since I have taken any drugs related to my PC.

God is blessing me every day...He is "in charge" after all!

UPDATED

February 2016

I had a rough 2015. In June I had my left hip replaced.

Near the end of July my back began to hurt and got worse until I was in agony.

My GP gave me pain meds that did nothing.

I finally called an ambulance and had them take to emergency.

They did an MRI and decided that I needed immediate surgery so at a few minutes before midnight on August 8th they did a double laminectomy at T12/L1.

The recovery from that has been long and slow.

But you want to know about my P/C.

Well other than slight E/D there is nothing to report.

Life is great. My wife and I just celebrated our 48th anniversary.

Praise God and our Lord Jesus Christ.

UPDATED

October 2016

Other than mild ED, (which is likely age related "73") I have no symptoms.

I continue to trust in God for my continued good health.

I am thankful for my wife of 48 years and the best family a man could ask for.

Barry's e-mail address is: barryc043 AT earthlink.net (replace "AT" with "@")


RETURN TO INDEX : RETURN TO HOME PAGE LINKS