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







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

John Harrigan and Mary live in Maine, USA. He was 69 when he was diagnosed in May, 2005. His initial PSA was 4.70 ng/ml, his Gleason Score was 6, and he was staged T1c. His choice of treatment was Brachytherapy (Seed Implant). Here is his story.

I returned to Maine from our winter in Florida and had my yearly exam in May 2005. My PSA had went up from 3.2 ng/ml last year to 4.7 ng/m; this year. My internist made an appointment to see Dr Michaels - a Urologist in Dover N.H.

I met with him and he said I should have a biopsy, which I had. Twelve samples were taken. Two were positive one in each side and four were questionable. Gleason of 6 and stage T1c.

Dr. Michaels is a surgeon---and surprise--he said if I were his brother he would not recommend surgery. He suggested seed implants which he did not do. Took two weeks off to think about it and do a little reading including this site. Went back to see Dr Michaels and he suggested Dr Evans a Urologist and Dr Becht a radiation oncologist at Dover Wentworth Hospital Cancer Center in Dover NH. Saw both of them and felt comfortable enough to set up a date for the seed implant.

On Nov 15 2005 I had 103 seeds implanted. Went in to Hospital at 7 in the morning and went home at 1 the same day. I had a catheter overnight. Removed it in the morning next day. Started flowing with in an hour---like a race horse.

I really can't put into words how well the procedure went and how well I feel. Will update if anything changes.


February 2006

I just got the results of my 3 month PSA. The doctor predicted it might be about 2.3. but was very pleased it came in at 1.31. I still have frequent urination during the daytime, but have cut my night time trips to 1 or 2. Still no erectile function. Other than that I can't complain. I still find it hard to believe how well the last three months have gone.


May 2006

I had my 6 month visit with my radiologist and urologist. Both were please with my post seed implant results. Had my PSA done in Feb 06 and was at 1.31.

My visits to the bathroom at night are once of twice a night. I have no problem urinating. I still have no sexual activity. I had little or none prior to seed implant. Both doctors said they expected my PSA in 6 months to be well under 1.0. My next PSA will be in 6 months.

I continue to feel very positive and pleased with my seed implant.


October 2006

I just had my yearly followup for my seed implant. I am pleased to report my PSA has dropped to 0.71 ng/ml. Had a visit with Dr. Evans today and he was pleased with my progress. Will see him again in 6 months. Still getting up 1 or 2 times per night. I have had some nights where I did not get up at all. Still no progress on my sexual function. I have no new problems as a result of my seed implant.


June 2007

Early this year while in Florida for the winter I developed bleeding in my stools. It seemed to get worse so we left Florida and returned to Maine for treatment.

I had a colonoscopy on April 7, 2007. There was no active bleeding, but there was some radiation damage from the seed implant. The doctor recommended no treatment at this time to see how it goes. If significant, he would cauterize the area. I also had 3 month update on my PSA. It went from .71 ng/ml to .906 ng/ml. The doctor said he thought this was normal.

I also developed a sudden urge to urinate during the daytime hours with a strong painful feeling at the end of my penis. I would hear water running, even filling my car with gasoline and get the urge to urinate. This something which came on suddenly. My nighttime going did not change. Dr Evans put me on Flomax - one a day. The burning has gone away, but I still urinate frequently duing the daytime. It seems to be better than it was a month ago.


October 2007

I started using Flomax in May of 2007. In early October I developed blurred vision I read the side effects for all my medications. Flomax was the only one with blurred vision as a side effect. I stopped a week ago, and made an appointment with my ophthalmologist for the 31st of October. I had cataract surgery in both eyes prior to taking Flomax, and thought I would not have any eye problems.

Please read all the things that can go wrong using Flomax -- I would say don't take it if you do not have to.

I will also see my urologist as soon as I get an appointment I will post any new information I get.


February 2008

There have been some changes since my last update. The problems I thought I was having with Flomax went away. My urologist advised me to stop the Flomax. He said if you can get off it and have no problems, then just stop taking Flomax. I have been off it for a while and have had no reason to begin using it again. Just one less medication I need to take.

My PSA dropped from .906 down to .4. Last time it went up from .71 to .906. Down is good. No real new issues to report. Everything else, other than the Flomax, is as it was in my previous updates.


November 2008

I had my latest checkup and there is nothing remarkable to report other than another year has passed and my PSA is staying about the same at 0.45. Not on Flomax any more. I have had no repetition of my bleeding episode of a year ago.

Hope this year goes as well as last year.


February 2010

The good news is that there is no news. Everything has been going great. PSA is steady with no elevation. No issues with radiation problems I had in the past. No other health issues to report.


March 2011

Nothing has changed since my last update. My PSA is staying about the same as last year. No return of past problems - burning sensations and rectal bleeding as a result of radiation seeds. Still no sexual functioning. There have been no other changes in my medical history in the last year.


April 2012

Since my last update I was diagnosed with colon cancer and had one half of my large intestine, my gall bladder and appendix were removed. No cancer cells got out of the intestine therefore I did not need any chemo. Only problem with this is trying to regulate my bowel movements.

My prostate information is the same as last year. Still go to the bathroom once or twice a night, and have no sexual function. My PSA is still low at .31 my weight is down by 35 lbs due to the colon cancer surgery.

Other than that I am doing OK.


March 2013

My prostate history seems to have had little change since last report. I have resolved other prostate problems as a result of my colon cancer operation.

I have had a change for the better. I have not had to get up to go to the bathroom since taking cholestyramine. I did have a real problem regulating my bowels. I took me a few months after my colon cancer operation to get regular with my bowel movements. I take it every morning with a tablespoon of applesauce. I mix 4 oz of apple sauce and 1 package (13 grams) of cholestyramine and take a heaping spoon full each morning. If I miss any morning applesauce I develop a real bowel problem.

I don't know if cholestyramine will work for you to reduce having to get up several times every night.

It has for me.


March 2014

Nothing much has changed. My PSA; is 0.072 the lowest it has ever been as of 3/8/14. Another year has passed without any new news or health problems.


November 2014

Nothing much new to report. PSA is very low. Only problem I have had is bowel movement regulation because of the colon cancer operation. I use cholestyramine powder in apple sauce to control loose bowel movements. I take a spoon full once a day and any time I have a loose stool. It seems to work for me. Other than that all is well.


November 2015

Had my yearly physical and my PSA; is near 0. Still have bowel movement issues after my colon cancer operation. Other than that, nothing else has changed.


January 2017

Another year with no prostate problems. PSA is almost non detectable. Still have issues with bowel movement after colon cancer operation 5 years ago. Other than that life is great


July 2017

Had my yearly physical and all is well. Still need to watch my bowel movements because of my colon cancer operation. The chlorestomine is still used to regulate my bowel movements. Had my 81st birthday recently. Also as I write this, today is our 60th wedding anniversary.

John's e-mail address is: jdh5536 AT aol.com (replace "AT" with "@")