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When we started this blog in Sept. 2015, it was our intention to share Paul’s experiences with alternative prostate cancer treatment (specifically transurethral hyperthermia.)  When initially researching the procedure, we were frustrated with the limited information we could find on the treatment results. If this treatment was helping (or possibly curing prostate cancer), where were the success stories?  We were determined to share our experience openly so that they next person considering this treatment would have the full benefit of what we learned.

Three years later, having determined that the alternative treatment was not curative, Paul will be undergoing traditional treatment in the U.S.

This blog continues to get traffic and we often hear from men who are struggling with treatment decisions. Many of the questions we receive were answered in earlier posts, but we certainly don’t expect anyone to read ALL of our previous posts (despite how riveting they are – lol.)

So, here’s a shortcut to the highlights of the past three years:

  1. About us. Here’s the background on the two of us and why we decided to undertake this project.
  2. Initial Diagnosis. How Paul’s cancer was discovered, initial PSA and biopsy results. Our research on how transurethral hyperthermia works and the various clinics in Germany where it is offered.
  3. Treatment in Germany. There is a daily recap of the five days we spent at the Marinus Clinic in Germany starting HERE and ending HERE. There is also a page of photos of the transurethral hyperthermia equipment as well as tips for anyone considering visiting the Marinus Clinic.
  4. Updates at 30 days, six months, and one year after treatment.
  5. Results of Sept. 2016 MRI.
  6. Our move to Denver, CO and decision to get a mapping biopsy to determine if the cancer had gotten worse. This post also includes our (differing) conclusions about the ultimate results of the treatment in Germany.
  7. The mapping biopsy results showing that Paul’s Gleason score was higher than originally reported, as well the fact that the cancer has spread to his seminal vesicle. His cancer was re-classified as stage 3 and we began looking at both surgical and radiation treatment options.
  8. The results of a February 2018 CT and bone scan that confirmed the cancer had not spread to other organs.
  9. Treatment Plan. Paul’s decision to proceed with radiation combined with hormone deprivation (beginning July 2018).
  10. Treatment is underway. ADT hormone blocker therapy and pre-radiation testing.
  11. Prepped and ready. After four months of ADT therapy, Paul’s radiation treatments will start in October.
  12. 3 Down, 2 To Go. Half way through EBRT.

November 2018 – 3 Down, 2 To Go

IMG_1184Paul has completed three of his five radiation treatments. I’m terrible at math but I know that means he’s more than half way done.  And, not surprisingly, he’s been a champ.

For five Fridays in a row, he preps (bowels empty, bladder full), climbs into a plaster cast of his pelvis, and holds still for 10 minutes while a radiologist/oncologist uses external beam radiation treatments (EBRT) on his prostate to kill the cancer cells.

Side effects have been minimal and limited to urinary discomfort (due to internal swelling) which is easily treated with medication. He hasn’t experienced much fatigue and hasn’t missed any work.

Two more weeks and the radiation phase of his treatment will be finished (although the doctors want him to continue with the Androgen Deprivation Therapy for at least another year. There’s a bell in the radiation waiting room that patients ring when they complete treatment and in two short weeks Paul is gonna ring the hell out of that bell!

Again, to set expectations, we will not know immediately if/how the treatment worked. After radiation treatment for prostate cancer, the primary indicator is a PSA score. However, since Paul is currently undergoing Androgen Deprivation Therapy and is on a testosterone blocker we won’t be able to get an accurate PSA until he stops ADT therapy and the drugs get completely out of his system.

We’re very grateful that he’s been tolerating the treatment so well and are looking forward to celebrating Thanksgiving with this phase of his cancer treatment behind us. Thanks to all of you who have been checking on us – your support means so much.