My Name is Lee Gallagher and I live in the state of Queensland Australia. I am 68 years old and was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer in January 2012 after becoming symptomatic with painful and increasing urination events. My Gleason score was 5+4 =9 in all eighteen segments, my PSA at the time was 4.5. I underwent a TURP to ease my symptoms and began 4 monthly Eligard injections, I then completed external beam radiation in December 2012 and my PSA dropped to 0.008 in 2013.
In late 2013 I began to experience urinary bleeding that slowly progressed to blockages with clot formation and was diagnosed with radiation bladder cystitis. I underwent hyperbaric oxygen treatment for two months in Townsville general hospital during 2014. The treatment failed and the blockages became more frequent and severe resulting in frequent emergency medical flights back to Townsville hospital. I underwent another TURP and a series of green light laser treatments to try and seal the blood vessels within the prostate bed and bladder without success. In October of 2014 I had an MRI done on a brand new type of MRI imaging machine that became available in Townsville. It was the now well known 3 tesla multi parametric MRI which pinpointed not only the exact damage and necrotic condition of the bladder and surroundings but identified and graded active cancer tumours still present in the bladder neck and remains of the prostate gland.
The imaging was so good it allowed my very experienced and skillful urologist to see that my original radiation treatment had not fused tissue and would allow a segregation of the prostate gland from the rectum making salvage surgery possible. As a result I underwent a radical prostatectomy and cystectomy (bladder removal) along with lymph nodes and my appendix. The surgery took over 11 hours to perform and required the creation of a stoma (urostomy) using part of my small bowel for urination purposes.
The surgery has given me a new lease on life and allowed me much more freedom and good health. I ceased androgen treatment in 2014 and apart from managing my stoma ( I call it my "wee sporran") I have had few issues apart from fatigue and mental slowness. My PSA remained at 0.008 right through from 2014 to July 2015 when it has started to rise to my latest test in February 2016 to 0.043. We are monitoring the rise every three months which is a bit concerning at the moment as my cancer has never produced high levels of PSA in its history. I am happy to provide any further information if anyone has any questions I may be able to assist with.