Specialising in the human experience of Living with prostate cancer – warts and all

When Plans Go Pear Shape

with 2 comments

Just Lee

Just Lee

Its a strange old voyage this with plans of treatments being made then remodelled on the run.

After my diagnosis three doctors and myself agreed that surgery was out of the question and that ADT medication followed by HDR brachytherapy and then external beam radiation would be the go. The HDR brachytherapy would begin on 29th May followed two weeks later by 5 weeks of external beam radiation but I was to attend clinics in Brisbane on the 2nd and 3rd May to finalise it all. No worries says I.

I attended the first clinic with the radiologist oncologist who was brilliant and gave me over an hour of discussion on how this all goes together. However the bottom line was my safety and unfortunately due to the urinary problems I had and the fact that the tumour was large and pressing on the walls of the colon, rectum, seminal vesicles and bladder the treatment could not begin and so the procedure set down for 29th May was cancelled.

This specialist also advised that the external beam radiation on its own could accomplish the same results as the combined HDR brachytherapy and external beam. The treatment would be 8 weeks and be half the cost of the HDR  brachytherapy?

The other specialist, a urologist oncologist, was pushed for time and our meeting was briefer, he agreed with the findings of the radiologist but suggested I consider having a TURP procedure to speed things up. He also reconfirmed his preferance to continue with the HDR brachytherapy when the size of the tumour allows. ( He had already sent me a bill on his costs for this procedure to be paid up front with a gap of $1900)

Fast forward now to today 8th May back in Mackay, I wandered into my urologists practice this morning to find my file on the receptionists desk. “Can you please drink a gallon of water and do a flow test for the doctor” she said. So off I go sloshing around until all at once I feel the need, get all set and then suddenly the bowels decided they needed voiding first, talk about embarrassing but I get it right the second time. Now my problem here is that I still have a gallon of water sloshing around and I am far from home (40 kilometers) I shot into one of the shopping centres and needed to go no less than 7 times in about as many minutes.  Warily I ventured back to the car and managed to make the city limits before I had to stop at the last pub out of town where I managed to have two successful attempts.  Back in the car I made it a further 15 kilometers before I had to pull into a servo and only just made it.  Back on the road I only just scrambled home in time and it was a further 8 more visits to the loo before things began to settle down.

Then I received a call from the doctors surgery, could I please come back to the surgery at 2pm for an appointment with the doctor, so back in I go. “Hullo” he says about 3.30pm” could you please sign these papers you are being admitted to hospital tomorrow (9th) for the TURP procedure and by the way can you get these blood tests and urine tests done today”. So I am off to hospital for three days having the re-bore done.

Without wishing to be critical I find it amusing that these doctors initially all agreed on what should be done, but none of them investigated deeper into the problems I was having nor the tumour size and the effect that it may have on the treatment at the time of diagnosis. The fact it took 2 months to work out that no-one had done a flow test is amazing. Still we are going forward so I will advise how it all went when I get back from hospital.

On a personal note I feel pretty shot, my symptoms due to the ADT continue to be extreme fatigue, low level fever symptoms and a flu like feeling. I am puffing and panting like an old steam train with the least exertion and feel like I have no oxygen. I need to sleep at the drop of a hat when my body demands it but usually only for between 10minutes to an hour and this can occur anywhere, sitting in a doctors room or at a coffee shop it doesn’t matter. I have also developed a cough that just hangs about and drives me mad. The doctor has advised that there are other ADT medications he can use and as I will be on them for the next couple of years, we have time to play (boy I can hardly wait)

Cheers for now

Lee aka Popeye


Written by Lee

8 May 2012 at 10:44 pm

2 Responses

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  1. Hi Popeye! Things are really moving for you. You take me back to all those procedures like filling up with water to measure bladder capacity and evacuation.

    It seems that doctors everywhere cannot agree on what is the better treatment or what preparations are required. I have had the same problem.

    I look forward to hearing how the TURP went so I don’t expect to hear from you for a week or so. Good luck, mate! … and a good post!

    Here is a video of the TURP operation…

    Here is another covering External Beam Radiation. I had palliative radiation which is the same but with lower dose levels than used for curative purposes

    and, finally, one on Brachytherapy …

    Greg Naylor

    8 May 2012 at 11:18 pm

    • Greg: Thanks mate I just about to head off to bed and I find an engrossing video of the TURP process. Many thanks old son it will give me sweet dreams this evening. Catch you in a few days.



      9 May 2012 at 1:10 am

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