Hello Future Cancer Survivors. My Family and I have been on this journey since February 2020. Of course, the cancer started before then, but I was stupid. I didn’t listen to signs my body was giving me. I just assumed it was what I called “old man bladder” jokingly. Having to go often, never feeling like I could empty my bladder fully.  To compound my stupidity, my Dad had prostate cancer about 10 years previously. He is and has been in remission since his surgery ❤️.

So,I had a PSA TEST to give me a baseline  at that time. Test results were great, numbers were where they should be. Then a few years later, started feeling sluggish and not as engaged. So I went to the doctor for that and found out I had low testosterone. So started receiving testosterone shots. Now they do say when you get them, that it could cause cancer. What they do not tell you is that, prostate cancer feeds on testosterone. So if you go for the shots, make sure you get PSA Tests as you do. Its good to know tha WhileA Test is not a for sure indication, it is a good guideline.

I believe  those shots were like throwing gas on a fire. The next significant part of the story is kinda funny, I think. It was Christmas Eve 2019 at my parents, and came out to get some air. I find my future wife talking with my cousins wife, talking about our issues with peeing(cousin and I) and other things. She was telling her that my cousins symptoms were similar to
mine. He just had some scar tissue they “rotor-routed” out and , he was good afterwards. So hearing that I thought great, I’ll get that checked.

First saw my regular physician and he ran some tests and the PSA was one of them. On my follow-up appointment was told that I most likely had cancer, but if I was going to get one, this was the best one to get, as it was the most treatable. Couple thoughts on this.

One, no cancer is the best. Two, as much as my doctor was being clinical, there are no guarantees. From there I was referred to a urologist. Even though I had a high PSA 10.65. He did not feel any tumer(s) so we tried antibiotics and some other treatments. No changes, except for my PSA, which kept going up. So at that point they did a biopsy. The result were as expected, with a extra kick, my doctor said, “you got a nasty one”.

I didn’t even know there were different kinds you could get. I was told I was Stage3c with a Gleason score of 9/10. My doctor told me at this stage, radiation was not a viable option, in his opinion. So, that was in May, 2020 and he wanted me on the table ASAP.  To add to this, because of stage and type, I found out I wouldn’t be getting robotic surgery. He would be opening me up from my belly button, to just above my privates. As he said it, ” I need to get my hands in there to make
sure I get everything”.

June was next opening for surgery, so of course I took it. Surgery happened as planned. To be honest, it was the most
scared I had every been in my life. If it hadn’t been for my wife, I might have walked out after the shave down lol. Being delayed before surgery, because another’s surgery has ran long. Will make your head produce uncomfortable thoughts.

When I woke up from surgery, I was in extreme pain to say the least, but that was not the worst of it. I found out that my prostate had fused to my colon. So when removed, my colon tore. My doctor never even discussed this as an option. Doctor said in over 800 of these I was only the 3rd one it has happened to.

The solution to this is sew up your colon. Then they cut you open in a higher part of your intestines and attach a bag to you. This was not permanent, thankfully, but did have it for about 5 months, before it was reversed. This has caused some other long term effects. But have learned how to cope with those for the most part.

After surgery we monitored my PSA level and they were going down, until they weren’t. Even though I no longer had a prostate, and doctor took extra wide margin, which all came back negative when tested. It only takes one cell to replicate

At this point, I was referred to see an oncologist for radiation treatment and started on hormones. The hormones would reduced my T-Level to 0. Which intern, puts the cancer into a hibernation sort of, as it was explained to me. Then they will radiate my prostate bed, which should kill, the remaining cancer. Radiation is kinda simple and not terrible per say. But takes a toll on the body, but these effects you recover from within a couple weeks of completion.

This was not Chemo, for which I am thankful. As that is a whole different animal. I made it to remission a year later. Made it a year and a half in remission, then it returned. Luckily modern medicine had advanced enough to be able to scan to find where it had moved to.

A year prior, my only option would have been to just go back on hormones. It had moved to my lymph nodes in my upper pelvic region. Once again I am on hormones and have just completed radiation a couple weeks ago.

We will continue to test to see.

Jason Self