In an effort to keep anyone who is interested in my PCa progress, here’s the latest news. If you were looking for bee info, I’ll have another post soon on how they are doing.
Last Wednesday, I got the gold markers (fiducials) placed in my prostate that are used by the CyberKnife system to track it as the radiation is delivered. I get my prostate gold plated and wouldn’t you know it – the price of gold dropped the very next day! The procedure was relatively painless – a dose of Lorazepam and a local anesthetic definitely helped! It’s like a reverse biopsy – instead of taking things out, they put the markers in, and it was only 4 needle sticks instead of 12 for the biopsy.
As I was preparing for that, I got a note from Colorado CyberKnife that I could also do the setup check after the marker placement. This is the first step before the treatment where they do MRI and CT scans of my nether regions to map out where the fiducials are located. After the scans are complete, they are entered into the CyberKnife treatment computer. The physician and physicist then work together to develop a treatment plan that is tailored for me. That takes about 2-5 days, so we set up the first treatment session for a week later.
Today was D-Day – the first (of 5) treatment day – bright and early at 8 am. Diana went with me for support, but for the next ones I’ll go by myself. (The procedure itself it painless so I can drive myself to and fro with no problem. ) Jody, the radiation therapist, showed us the treatment room which has the bed for me to lie on and the CyberKnife machine. Diana thinks it looks like a Transformer, but it reminds me of the “stupid” robot that saves Tony Stark’s life in Iron Man (see the video below). Jody and Diana went out, the big (lead) door closed and the machine got to work. The whole treatment is computerized and Jody watches from outside to monitor the machine and whether my bed needs adjusting. While the machine adjusts for any movement itself, sometimes adjusting the bed makes it easier (quicker) for the machine to adjust.
The whole treatment took about 40 minutes and delivered 230+ doses of radiation to zap the cancer. I chose 60’s rock for my music choice, so as the machine danced around my body, I was soothed by the Beatles, Beach Boys and a bunch of Motown songs. I was going to bring my Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” to play, but forgot it. I thought “Comfortably Numb” would be appropriate. Maybe next time.
Here’s a good video that shows how it all works:
After I got home, I was able to finally have my coffee and eat something (you have to be on a no-fiber diet the day before and not eat before the morning treatment). I’ve been doing some yard work but decided to rest for a while and write this post. I’m feeling a little butt-hurt, but nothing a little Advil can’t help. Otherwise, everything is still working as before and hopefully that will continue for the next 4 treatments. Unless something major changes, I’ll write another post after my last treatment a week from Friday.
The next post will be about bees – I promise.
Julie · May 28, 2015 at 2:36 pm
Since gold is down, perhaps you should have some more markers inserted and save them up until it gold is up again. Buy low, sell high. 🙂
Glad to hear that you’re keeping your sense of humor and a positive outlook! Fingers crossed for a good outcome!
Don · May 28, 2015 at 3:17 pm
That’s a great idea (except for the whole insertion process. 😉 )! Unfortunately, my history in finance ends up being buy high, sell low. Every time I jump into a new market it tanks! There should be a way I could use that to my advantage – I just have to figure out how. The radiation tech told me that gold will go back up, so I’ll keep my fingers crossed on that one!
John · June 12, 2019 at 3:21 pm
Don, have you completed your treatments with the cyberknife? I start mine this summer.
Don · June 18, 2019 at 2:56 pm
Hi John. I completed my treatment back in 2015 and between that and the Lupron, I’m cured! Cyberknife treatments went well – worse thing was the enema each time. Dealing with ED side effects now, 4 years later, but otherwise no other adverse long term effects. PSA is .33.