Thursday, April 25, 2013

NIH Part Deux

The last 5 days have perhaps been the best that I've had since this disease first reared it's ugly head almost a year ago. It has been 5 days virtually pain free. Sure I've felt a little discomfort here and there, but aside from some pain in my legs at bedtime and various pains when I first wake up in the morning, there's really not been much else to talk about. I've been down to only 2 Vicodin per day, one first thing when I wake up in the morning, and one at bedtime. The primary source of pain that I have dealt with has been in my knees and Icy Hot applied around the knee seems to be handling that for the most part.

After spending part of the day on Saturday doing yard work single handedly, I had some friends come over to help me complete it on Sunday. Quite literally doing the work of 8 people, we knocked out what would have taken me the rest of Spring to accomplish, assuming that the weather and my health had cooperated.

Monday I returned to NIH for a follow up visit. They again took blood and I met with a doctor to go over my case. It was largely more of the same as the doctor re-affirmed what had been said the previous time and acknowledged that my current trend in PSA levels seems to indicate that the current treatment is on the right track and that they recommend keeping on it for now.

I even made it into the office two days in a row, spending today and Wednesday there once again working at my desk. So far, there has been no down side to all of this. I've expected each day to wake up feeling the after affects of the previous day's efforts and needing a down day, especially after two days of doing yard work on the weekend, but so far that has not been the case. The most impact I have felt has been to get sleepy a little earlier in the evening than normal.

I've even been sleeping through the night which is largely why I haven't been posting as much here. Traditionally I've done most of my writing while awake at 3 in the morning dealing with pain and waiting for a Vicodin to kick in, but lately I've had no such opportunity.

All of this sounds like good news doesn't it? It truly feels like things are moving in the right direction and I'm that much closer to being back to where I need to be. Then this afternoon, the doctor from NIH called to tell me my PSA score from the last blood test: 1.42. This sounds good, it's a very low number and well within the normal range, however, it is higher than the 1.09 reading from just 3 weeks ago. The doctor sounded concerned that it had gone upward and wants me to come in to get a CT scan to compare against the original and get more blood drawn. He also mentioned considering one of a couple of trial that they had told us about the first time we visited there.

I'm not sure what to think of this. It's a single data point, so I don't know if this is a fluctuation or a trend. Is this something to be worried about? I just don't know. I've been so encouraged by all the events of late, this feels a little like having the rug pulled out from under me but I'm not sure at this point if that is the case or if it's just the rug being tugged on a little. Only time and further testing will reveal for sure, but it was a bit of a discouraging way to end the day today.

At this point, I don't know if I have anything to be worried about, therefore I'm not worrying just yet. We'll see what the next few weeks bring. In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy my newly acquired state of normalcy until it's no longer prudent to do so.

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