Roger Cory

Roger Cory- TCPSG (Tacoma Prostate Cancer Support Group)

With my family history of prostate cancer (my dad, younger brother and uncle) and as an aviator in the USAF I was dedicated to getting an annual physical to include a PSA blood test and a DRE.

In 1997 my PSA showed a slight elevation. A resultant biopsy showed no sign of cancer.  There were only 6 samples taken. In my mind I am convinced I probably had cancer at that time, but it went undetected.

In 2001 my PSA reached 5.5.  A biopsy with 6 samples resulted in a diagnosis of PCa by Dr. Modarelli on October 4, 2001. The Gleason was 3+3 for a 6.  Adenocarcinoma was found in the right side in one core.  There was no evidence of perineural invasion.

I had been doing research since the original concern in 1997 and had read the Andy Grove article in Fortune magazine on his brachytherapy treatment, Dr. Patrick Walsh’s book “Guide to Surviving Prostate Cancer” and exchanged emails with author Joe Lintzenich who wrote “Oh No, Not Me”. He was a patient of Dr. Catalona in St. Louis. Dr. Catalona also performed the surgery on my brother and was a protégé of Dr. Walsh.

Dr. Modarelli recommended surgery, but suggested I meet with Dr. Haakon Ragde who had performed over 3000 brachtherapy procedures. He believed I was a good candidate.  I decided to have that procedure and it was performed on January 17, 2002 at Northwest Hospital in Seattle.

I had a 152 seeds implanted. I experienced some issues with urinary tract infection and subsequently had to have a TURP (Trans-Urethral Resection Procedure) in April 2002.  I continued to experience urinary issues including urgency for some time.  This was ultimately corrected with exercise and medication.

I continued to have quarterly PSA tests.  In October of 2007 the PSA was starting to slowly rise from a sub 1.0 reading to 1.63 in June of 05, 3.83 in July of 06, 4.4 in Feb of 07, to 6.92 in July of 07.  With this increase I had a biopsy in October of 2007, which showed no sign of PCa.

A prostascint scan in October 25 found a suspicious 9 mm in the right external iliac node.  Having been diagnosed with recurrent PCa by Dr. Finnerty and after meeting with Michael J. McDonough, Oncologist, radiation treatment was ruled out as a viable treatment. I was placed on an intermittent androgen deprivation (Lupron) program in November of 2007.

My treatments have effectively kept the PSA below 4 where it drops dramatically i.e. below 1.0 after each treatment.  I continue to be active, playing golf at least once a week (weather permitting) and an exercise routine of walking and light weight work.

I continue to be vulnerable to UTI (Urinary Tract Infections) and though not suffering from incontinence I cannot go longer than 1 1/2 hours between voiding and get up between 3-4 times per night.

I live with a positive attitude, belief in God and cherishing time with family and friends.

Bob Bohlman

Bob Bohlman – TPCSG (Tacoma Prostate Cancer Support Group)

My name is Bob Bohlman and I was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer in July of 2008.
In December of 2007 my PSA was 4.8 up from 4.2 a year before. In January of 2008 it had gone up to 5.03 and in May of 08 it had risen to 5.03.
I was referred to an urologist in Tacoma who took a biopsy which showed a PSA of 6.33, my Gleason was 7 (4+3) and there was cancer in 30% of 2 cores. I also had an MRI and CAT scan or my spine and lumbar to see if the cancer had left the prostate. This was followed by a full bone scan of my entire body and a Lupron Shot good for 90 days of pure hell.
They recommended that I opt for 5 weeks of radiation and then two sessions of temporary seed implants with high doses of radiation. This did not appeal to me for several reasons, the length of time and also the side effects and risks of incontinence and ED.
My wife and I opted for a second opinion and went to see Dr. John Sylvester at the Seattle Prostate Institute. There I had and ultra sound of my prostate which basically confirmed the cancer. John recommended that I have permanent seed implants which we elected to do. Several reasons, it was a one shot deal and the side effects and results were more favorable in our opinion over the other options. We only considered these two, although we studied several others.
On November 25th 2008, I had 38 needles with 148 seeds of various levels of radiation implanted. I was in and out of Swedish in one day although due to lack of feeling in my butt would have liked to have spent the night. Went back the next day for an x-ray to locate all 148 seeds to make sure none had escaped the prostate. My PSA was .004.
The next 3 months had their moments of discomfort mainly with urination however over time they have improved substantially, although I try not to be too far away from the bathroom and still wear pads. The discomfort had basically disappeared but the leakage is still there but not serious.
As of this writing I am scheduled for my 6 month follow up at which time I will get another reading on my PSA.
I would highly recommend the permanent seed implants and the Seattle Prostate Cancer Institute and Swedish Hospital.

Bob Bohlman

Gale R. Munson

Gale R Munson (TPCSG – Happy with radiation seeds)

My first PSA (0.4) and Digital Rectal Exam were done in October 1992 at age 63. From there my PSA rose gradually until May 2003 at 3.6; in May 2004 it was 5.0; in July 2004, 5.7. Due to the more rapid increase, my urologist suggested a biopsy, which was done on Aug. 19, ‘04. Six cores returned 4 positive, 1 negative, 1 uncertain, and a Gleason Score of 6, StageT2c.

A CT scan and a whole body bone scan indicated the cancer had not migrated to bone or other nearby tissue, giving me time to consider types of treatment and hope of being cured.
My urologist did a bladder probe which showed a small bulge on the median lobe of the prostate pressing against the bladder. He said the prostate needs to be removed soon to prevent possible damage to the bladder. Because of a previous heart attack, a treadmill stress test was done by my cardiologist, which indicated I should be o.k for surgery.
On 10/28/04, my wife and I met with the urologist; he wanted to set a date for a Radical Prostatectomy. I told him I would like to get a second opinion; this upset him considerably and I knew it was time to find a different urologist.
The next day, I called the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, which had been recommended by a couple of men at a recent support group meeting. The lady I talked to at SCCA said she would set up an appointment for me.
A few days later (on a Sunday), I received an Email from Dr. Paul Lange, head of the University of Washington Urology Department. He offered to see me and, by copy of the Email, asked his nurse to get me in if I wished. On 12/07/04 I met with Dr. Lange. He examined me, did another bladder probe and said the “bulge” on the prostate was not large enough to require surgery. He said I looked like a viable candidate for radiation. (I had said I was “leaning toward seed implant” if practical.) Dr. Lange said “let’s get you in to see the radiation people”, and helped me set up an appointment.
On 12/28/04 I saw Dr. Kenneth Russell, Radiation Oncologist at SCCA and UW Med. Center. He thought that seed implant would be a good treatment method for me, and we proceeded to set it up.
On 3/08/05 (my 76th birthday), Dr. William Ellis, Dr. Russell, and their team, implanted 77 “seeds” of I-125 radioactive iodine. Using a “custom-designed” template as a guide, 26 needles were inserted, each containing a string of seeds. The needles were pushed to the “back wall” of the prostate and then withdrawn as seeds were ejected at intervals of about 1⁄4”. A catheter had been inserted in the urethra to clearly show its location and help avoid damage. The injection process took about twenty minutes. I was released after a brief recovery period and was back in my hotel room before noon. I took one of the prescribed pain pills to help get a good night’s sleep (which proved to be unnecessary).

The following morning, I returned to UW Med Center. The catheter was removed and a scan taken to assure proper positioning of the seeds. I was released and drove home to Olympia that afternoon.
Friday, 3/11, I passed 3 seeds while urinating. I had been told that this could happen, but it was still a little unsettling, as the seeds were still strung together. I called UWMC to see if this might indicate a problem. The nurse said not to be concerned; just put the seeds in the lead pouch they had provided and bring them in on my next visit. At Dr. Russell’s suggestion, another CT scan was done on 3/30 to determine if the missing seeds needed to be replaced. Dr. Russell called on 4/12 and said they should replace the missing seeds and maybe add “a couple more, for good measure”.
On 4/26, the same team implanted 12 more seeds. The next morning a scan was done to assure placement and that afternoon I again drove home to Olympia, feeling fine. Again, NO PAIN!!
On 5/4/05, I returned to UWMC for a follow-up scan. AOK!! I was told I could resume normal activities after a couple of weeks. 5/16 I went back to golf every Monday and on the 19th resumed weekly 4 to 5 mile backcountry hikes.
Minor incontinence lasted for about six months; I wore a “Light Days” pad only when away from home, and did not have any “soaking” episodes. Erections have not been suitable for penetration, but seem to be improving somewhat. Yes, the desire is still there.
My post-implant PSA readings have been as follows: Aug. 2005, 0.30; Nov. 2005, 0.17; May 2006, 0.09; Sept. 2006, 0.06.
I am feeling very well and plan to stay as active as possible. For me, radiation seeds by the team at UW Medical Center was an excellent choice. I will continue having PSA and DRE checks every six months for the next several years as part of a follow-up study.

Phone; 360-456-8173 email grmunson@yahoo.com

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