Friday, May 17, 2013

We Now Return to Our Regular Progress

The follow up at NIH proved to be a very log day full of various tests of one form or another. At the end of the day, the doctors came in and told me that my PSA that morning was 0.9 indicating that it had gone back down from the reading a couple of weeks prior that prompted this unplanned visit. I hope I was reading them wrong, but they almost seemed disappointed that it had gone down. They at least seemed puzzled by it and ordered yet another blood test before I left for the day to compare to the one from that morning. They also informed me that it would take some time for them to compare the scans of that day to the ones ordered by my doctors in the beginning. Apparently their system is different and incompatible with the system the local hospital uses, so they would need to do a manual comparison or something. After drawing my blood one more time, they sent me on my way saying that they would be in touch in a couple of days.

That following Friday, the doctor called me to ask how I was doing and to tell me that my PSA at the end of the day was 1.25, further proof of the erratic nature of the PSA readings. He said that they had not yet completed their analysis of the scans and would get back to me as soon as they had. That was a week ago and I haven't heard back from them yet. I have a follow up scheduled for the day after Memorial Day so we'll see what they have to say then.

I had visited my Oncologist the Thursday before all of this and he didn't seem overly concerned by all of it. He stated that the PSA trend was more important than any single value and that he medicine used in this trial is what he would probably put me on if my current treatment stopped working, but at this point there isn't any evidence of that. He ordered his own PSA test that day, but I haven't heard the results from him yet. I saw my pain management doctor that same day and he felt that I'm doing well overall. He asked if the Meloxicam was helping and I stated that I really couldn't tell, so he switched it out with Etodolac and asked me to let him know if that resulted in any change. He did take a quick look at the report from the long MRI that I had the previous Friday and was concerned that it seemed to indicate a spread but asked me to speak to the radiation oncologist about it. He said that it didn't make sense and seemed to run contra to all other signs and symptoms which have all indicated progress. I have an appointement with the radiation oncologist next week, so I'll hopefully know more then.

I don't know if the change to Etodolac made the difference or not, but I've felt pretty good this week. I've only had to take one or two Vocodin per day, usually first thing in the morning and maybe one on the way to bed. I managed to spend some time working in the yard all weekend and made it to the office 4 days this week, all without feeling any negative after affects. The only reason I didn't go in all 5 days was that Thursday I had a series of phone calls all day that started fairly early. Had I gone in, I would have been holed up in my office with the door shut most of the day on the phone anyway, so there wasn't much reason to drive in. Instead I holed myself up in the bedroom all day while I sat on those calls. Otherwise I would have made it a whole week in the office, a pretty significant milestone. I'm on vacation next week, taking a staycation. Assuming the weather cooperates and all goes well, I hope to clean out the garage, and perhaps my shop as well as get a number of tasks done in the yard. This week has made me optomistic about my chances for success in those endeavors. Hopefully the good feelings that I've had this week will carry over into next.

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