Wednesday, March 23, 2022

March 23, 2022 – Back on Track

Well, I have much good news and some clarification.

Kidney Stones

I had the kidney stone operation and it was successful.  Aside from the catheter that I had to wear for two weeks, the urethroscope and laser didn’t change my urinary flow rate.  The journey they took through my wounded prostate (from Brachytherapy and a TURP) only had a little bleeding.

Not to be undone, the after-surgery CAT scan showed that I have five more stones lurking in both kidneys.  This resulted in the urologist performing a lithotripsy (ultrasound) to remove two of them on the other kidney.  None of these were blocking the ureter, so no pain.  No pain = no more lithotripsy.  Now I wait until one of these 2-7 mm stones gets into the ureter. Wonderful.  Note:  Waiting plus 64 ounces of water per day is the treatment prescribed by two urologists.  I changed urologists after the last lithotripsy because my new urologist has a relationship with my oncologist.

This blog isn’t about kidney stones so I will stop to say that I need to drink more, drink lemonade or cider vinegar, and avoid nuts—especially almonds.  All I can say about this is %$^&*%!

What about the diverticulitis?  I’ve heard not a word about that and I feel no pain, so I conclude that diverticulitis was a miss-diagnosis.  This is good news!


In my November and February checkups I discovered that the Casodex did its thing.  My PSA has returned to less than 0.1 ng/ml and stayed there.  Casodex for the time being is my friend, as it has been in the distant past.  My testosterone level is 9, so I continue to feel tired at times and have to fight the loss of muscle mass.

Because I am having to take Prolia for the osteoporosis caused by the hormone blockers, I had to consult with my doctor before having a root canal on tooth #18.  I have been told not to have any major dental work that might start an infection that could lead to the death of my jaw bone.  I did have the root canal and all appears to be good. 

Life is good as travel restrictions lift so that boosted me and boosted Kathe can do some local and distant travelling.  It is back for a visit to San Diego in the fall.

Next Steps

Many steps to the bathroom to get rid of my 64 ounces!  The best news is that constipation is no longer a problem.

Until next time…





Aug 27, 2021 – Rising PSA

Since my last post many things have changed. The main thing is that my PSA has increased from 0.22 to 0.30 in one quarter which means that doubling time is 6 months. This concerns me and concerns my doctor so I have now added Casodex to my drugs. I have no other symptoms of course and I did have that Axumen PET scan that showed no growth but the concern is still there because of the rising PSA levels.

To add insult to injury, I also have had a rough time with diverticulitis. I don't know what started the flare-up but I suspect that it's my heavily-weighted nut diet. On one night just before my flare-up I remember I had three cups of nuts.

The pain of diverticulosis is incredible. Almost as bad as the diverticulosis itself was trying to get an appointment with my primary care doctor.  I ended up having to go to Urgent Care.  When I finally did get an appointment with my primary care doctor, I discovered that the Urgent Care doctor prescribed a drug that actually made my condition worse. When I finally did get to see my primary care doctor I was able to also get an appointment to get a CT scan.

Unfortunately the CT scan identified a 7 mm kidney stone.  This raised the question, “What was causing the pain?  …Diverticulosis or the kidney stone?  My primary care doctor only gave ma the message to see my urologist and so didn’t help answer this.  Frustratingly I couldn’t get to talk to him about it because of the wall of staff built around him. 

Miraculously I was able to set up a same day appointment with my urologist!  My urologist informed me that this had to be fixed and that the only way it was going to be fixed would be using a ureteroscope through my urethra and bladder to my ureter, where the stone is.  There, using a laser he will break up the stone and bring it back out.  He wanted to perform the procedure the next day!  Fortunately for me, I have very little pain, so we don’t have to go off half-cocked. Normally this would be messy but because of my scar tissue due to the radiation it increases the risk that my sphincter muscle gets damaged.

This is not to mention the risk of going to the hospital when all of the hospitals in the area are filled with Covid patients. I'm scheduled in a week to have the operation and I'm hoping maybe we can at least try to use ultrasound to break up the stone. I don't think my urologist is going to say that is a good strategy because of the size of the stone.

I will admit that I have some fears about what's going to happen next week 

What To Do Next

Of course the next step is to get rid of the kidney stone.  While dealing with that, I will take the Casodex and see what effect that will have on my rising PSA.

Until then I look forward to some relaxation of the pressure Covid is putting on all of us.