I completed fifteen radiation treatments to the prostate on Wed., April 20.
My prostate couldn't be removed, because of invading the bladder and against the rectum wall when I was diagnosed three years ago, and I already had mets to the spine, sacrum and "innumerable" pelvic lymph glands. The prostate tumor had grown so large that it was partially blocking both ureters and bladder outlet, as well.
Although about three years of hormone therapy had shrunk the prostate and lymph glands, the prostate tumor began growing again recently, and is causing me excruciating pain, even more than the other bone metastases. My radiation oncologist characterized my prostate as being "the size of an apple." Ouch! no wonder it hurts so much, as there's so much "plumbing" down there in the pelvis.
And I already have a lot of fatigue from the Xtandi and other meds, to commute every weekday for radiation, dress and undress, and also the effects of the radiation all combine to really hit me with even more fatigue than usual. I'm not complaining, I just intend to be informative.
Finally, I've experienced the first results from the radiation yesterday, with my urine stream being stronger and straighter than it's been in a very long time. It's disconcerting to have the urine exit my body at odd angles, as many of the guys here already know. The pain is still there, but I expect it to diminish any time now.
Dealing with the fatigue has become more difficult. My doctor prescribed Ritalin for "cancer-related fatigue," and it's only moderately helpful. But it is a balancing act to conserve energy for the necessities of daily living, while getting exercise to maintain muscle strength and stamina.
For those of you experiencing fatigue from medications and treatments, sometimes medication can help, and sometimes it's simply necessary to "power through" the fatigue. I find that it becomes a little easier, once I get up and moving during the worst episodes, when the exhaustion is almost overwhelming.
The Xtandi has given me a lot of fatigue, along with other side effects, and insomnia, and now with the added effects of the radiation, I seldom have to take Ambien to get to sleep now.
And while I've experienced a lot of fatigue and other side effects, it's been well worth it, since it has mostly kept my metastases under control (except for the prostate) and I remain convinced that it has extended my survival. I don't know what's next, when the Xtandi finally stops being effective, but I continue to fight, and while the fatigue and other side effects are unpleasant, they're tolerable.