I have some tough news to share and I can’t possibly reach out to everyone individually. I was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Just before Thanksgiving I wound up in the ER because I had a blockage that caused me to retain about a liter of fluid. My kidneys started to shut down because they were overloaded and only functioning at 5%. I luckily avoided dialysis, but spent two days being pumped with fluids in the hospital until my kidneys bounced back to normal function.
Lower body scans revealed a very enlarged prostate that had swollen to the point it blocked my urinary tract. It also showed several swollen lymph nodes surrounding the prostate area. A PSA test that screens for prostate cancer showed that my PSA level was 103 – more than 40 times the safe level.
The doctors informed me that I had prostate cancer and requested that I get a biopsy. I went a week later. The results came in this week and showed that I have an aggressive form of prostate cancer (Gleason score of 9 out of a scale of 10).
We met with an Oncologist and the recommended treatment is three-fold. The first treatment is a three-month cancer shot of Lupron, which reduces the production of testosterone – what the prostate cancer cells rely on to grow. I’ll soon be starting a hormone therapy drug called Abiraterone, another testosterone blocker. In January I meet with the cancer center team to plan for localized radiation treatments.
At this point they aren’t sure if my cancer has spread to my lungs or bones, which can happen with prostate cancer. Tomorrow I have CT and bone scans to find out if the cancer has spread to other areas. I won’t have the results from this until December 31.
The hardest part to accept is that the Oncologist said the treatments are meant to extend my life, not cure the disease. As you can imagine, Sarah and I are in shock and deeply saddened. The path ahead is really unclear but I plan to fight and truly appreciate the time I have with my wife, family and friends.