Wednesday, January 25, 2017

January 25, 2017 - Third Treatment - Low PSA

Well, I went for my third chemo treatment yesterday.  All went well with the only side effect being the need to go to the bathroom very often.  Since I last posted I started taking AHCC, a derivative of mushrooms that is used in Japan mostly to counter the negative effects of the chemo treatments and to also build up the immune system.  I had postponed taking this until after the first phase of the chemo treatments because I was concerned about taking too many supplements that may have a negative effect on the chemo.  As I mentioned before the chemo does its major lifting in the first week after treatment.  Anyway, I think the AHCC is having its effect.  I actually grew some facial hair since taking it.

I was going to stop taking it during the first phase of treatment number 3 but after more reading and a talk with my doctor, I think I may continue with it during this phase.

Now for the best news:  My PSA is now 0.17, down from above 2 just before starting chemo.  This is the only marker for progress before bone scans that I will have at the end, so the number is very encouraging.  It makes me that much more committed to the treatments, diet, and supplements!

Again, I also want to thank all of you who have given me powerful words of encouragement and also to my wife, Kathe, who keeps me on my regimen and is following the diet as well.  We both miss our sweets!



  1. Les, what a rude shock, but also congratulations on making the all-out assault on it. I am, regrettably, in a similar condition, having had a GP who believed in watchful waiting while the PSA gradually rose to 4 and then shot up to 20. The bone scan revealed "oligometastasis" in one rib. I was Gleason 8 and Stage IV at first diagnosis. This discovery removed surgery and radiation from the list of useful treatment options. I am thankful for that, since I worked at Siemens building and designing linear accelerators for several years, and man, those things can burn you in ways that produce scarring that lasts, and increases with time after treatment ends.

    That left us with ADT. I have been getting a lupron depot every 3 months for a couple of years to stop the production of testosterone, and until recently taking daily casodex / bicalutamide to block the testosterone receptors on the cancer cells, in an effort to stymie their efforts at growth. PSA was down to .11 for a while and then took a couple of small upticks. My oncologist said stop the casodex, since it is possible that in blocking the receptors it is mimicking testosterone, and the cancer cells are happy eating it instead of their old familiar nutrient. Oddly, a new bone scan at that time showed the rib metastasis, though still visible, had shrunk to nearly nothing.

    Another uptick occurred a month after the casodex was stopped, though, I think 0.39, a tripling since the .11. I was started on a different kind of receptor suppressor called xtandi / enzalutamide. I go for another PSA test on Monday, and hope it shows a reduction, or at least a flatline.

    During all this, two of my GP's retired and my oncologist changed her practice, leaving my health plan. My current GP is great, and I will meet my new onco next week. Everyone says she's wonderful, but it's still a bit of a shock to accommodate all these switches.

    Coincidentally I am also working against Type II diabetes (15 years) and AFIB (lifelong). Metformin with a boost of Glipizide keeps my fasting glucose in the 80's. A cryo-ablation in 2014 stopped my AFIB for 2 years, but it has come back, and the electrophysiologist dr. who performed it is no longer available, so I will meet my new electrophysiologist next week right after meeting my new oncologist.

    Nobody is worried about the diabetes, with all this other stuff going on. My medicine cabinet is a polypharmacy nightmare. Cancer - 4 pills a day; diabetes - 8 pills a day; Afib - 7 pills a day.

    Ironically, I feel just great - my only difficulty is at the gym on the elliptical, where I cannot seem to get my heart rate over about 80, which slows me down. Sex, of course, is way down, but frankly I don't miss it as much as I thought I would. I agree with cannabis. I buy the caramels made by the Butter Brothers, and take about 1/4 of one of them after dinner. No high, but great sleep.

    I hope the future is good to us - sounds like Docetaxel isn't simple!