Thursday, May 25, 2017

May 23, 2017 - Post-treatment Follow-up - Great results

I last left the blog a month ago with a problem of swelling ankles and lower legs.  Since then I went to my primary care doctor, Dr. Vaccari, for a general exam and advice on my swelling.  She is very thorough, having asked me 100 questions and prescribing an EKG and Ultrasound scan of my legs.  I had both of these done and no problems were shown.  The end result is that Dr. Vaccari thought the swelling might be from my other treatments and suggested we watch to make sure the swelling doesn’t get worse.  Since then the swelling has actually subsided considerably.  I am wearing mild compression sox, am watching salt intake, and am taking magnesium.  From my wonderful church nurse I borrowed a compression machine that will reduce the swelling mechanically.  In any case I foresee that the swelling will soon disappear.   

For the rest of this blog post I hope you don’t mind a duplication of my post on Facebook:

We just returned from the oncologist.  This was the follow-up after my PET scan on the 22nd.  This is the appointment that most cancer patients dread because it is the report card on the chemo and hormone-blocking treatments for the past 4 months.  I’ll admit that I went into the examination room with some trepidation.

Dr. Bhangoo came in and handed me the results of the PET scan and with a smile he said, “’Looks very good.”  In other words it looks like I got an A in the test.  The words on the scan report are “Stable to slight improvement in osseous metastatic disease.” In other words the treatment appears to have stopped the spread and even reduced the signs of cancer in several areas.

I should explain that back at the beginning of all of this, the doctors told me that the PET scans are unlikely to show shrinkage of cancer because cancer in bones leaves scar tissue even when it is no longer growing.  This explains the somewhat understated results.  The bottom line is that we appear to have kept the cancer at bay.  As Dr. Bhangoo said, “We now just have to keep it this way for the years to come.”

The next step in a few days is to check the PSA numbers to make sure they are down around the 0.06 that was the case the end of March. I will also get another hormone-blocking shot that will last for another three months.  Then we another PSA and testosterone test.  The PSA will be the marker we will continue to watch.

In the meantime I will continue to limit sugar and carb intake, have Kathe’s wonderful smoothies every morning and continue to take Modified Citrus Pectin, Saw Palmetto, Stinging Nettle Root, AHCC, and Broccoli Sprouts.  I also need to get back on an exercise routine.

I am feeling very good, all things considered.  Kathe and I will celebrate our good fortune tonight by having a Brazilian dinner. 

I don’t have the words to convey how thankful I am for God’s and your support throughout this ordeal.