Moving to Docetaxel (Mk 2)

Thanks to all the replies to my first post on this topic. My first infusion is scheduled for next week. However, I have a few questions I would appreciate advice on first. Please keep in mind as you read this, that a difficulty for me is that I have always been a VERY active man...both physically and mentally. I am struggling with having limited energy.

During my meeting with the oncologist last Tuesday (lovely caring young Dr), he viewed the scan results. I already knew the bone scan and blood tests results as the radiation oncologist had discussed them with me on the previous Friday. AND they were brilliant! Blood tests good (the Dr kept referring to me as a fit young man) and my 5-6 bone metastises were down to 1...which hadnt progressed in 3 years due to the ADT. BUT as we know (thanks Sisara for your explanation) the problem is that cancer is heterogenous. The tumor that had grown from my prostate and invaded my bowel...without giving off any blood markers, is the worrying one. 39 sessions of radiotherapy and 6 weeks later it was the CT scan I was concerned about.

Two (small) spots in my lungs and a spot in my liver. I was crestfallen. When he tried to access the scans from 3 months ago (before radiotherapy) he couldnt. I think the lead oncologist may have failed to tell me about these recent spots and was playing a game of dont overload him with gloom! Anyway the end result is the docetaxel regime.

What I want to know is this (I realise it varies from guy to guy). If I dont take on the chemo how quickly will the cancer progress. I am struggling to come to terms with being regularly injected with docetaxel...I know some people have limited side effects but some that are described in the literature he game me are pretty undesirable. So one of my options is clearly....forget all treatments and let it run its course and ENJOY what life I have left.

I look forward to your input.

Chris

14 Replies

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  • I think you've answered your own question. If you have new mets in your lungs or liver, it has already progressed and will almost assuredly continue without treatment. How fast it will spread depends on the aggressiveness of your cancer. What is your PSA? How fast is it rising? What was your Gleason score? These are all markers that will help you decide.

    I'm not a doctor, just a patient.

    Jake

  • PSA 1.2 and fell from 1.7 a month ago! Gleason was 4+3 at biopsy 3 years ago (PSA at that time 30). PSA and blood markers not showing anything at all!

  • Chris,

    I reread your question and also the previous replies to your other post. You seem to be responding well to your current treatments. So my thinking now is that your oncologist wants to actually kill those new mets in your lungs and liver with the cytotoxic chemotherapy. I'm not clear on the bowel invasion and how successful the previous treatments were on that. The old scans would certainly be very useful at this point. Other than that, based on your current PSA, it seems the current treatment is keeping your cancer at bay. Again, I think the appearance of new mets in your liver and lungs is what's troubling your oncologist. Since they appear to be small at this point, he may think he can actually kill them and remove them from the equation. He should be able to explain his rationale and a few more days of delay shouldn't make much of a difference. Finally, if you haven't already done so, it might be useful to get a second opinion.

    Best wishes!

    Jake

  • Chris you're opening paragraphs about your fitness and your final one about enjoying what life you have left are very important. Use one to help the other but do hold on to your sense of humour. When I was dxd I determined not to think of fighting the ca. but to learn how best to live with it and to let whichever drugs were given by my Oncologist do the fighting for me. I am relatively new to this great forum and have been helped massively by being able to share others' thoughts and treatments. They prove in the most personal terms that we CAN live long and reasonably comfortable lives with PCa. In 3 weeks I will enter my 5th year with PCa (and my third with treatment). I have still to note any pain nor any heavy side effects. In fact I complained to my Oncologist that nothing was working properly because I only had six of the lesser side effects so the treatments weren't working! Chemo was a breeze for me if not for others and I enjoyed the company of the nurses and mostly was able to drag my IV around the chemo ward to chat with others male and female who were having their own treatments. This was eye opening and uplifting for me. Use your strength and the knowledge you gain to write back to this forum. And keep in touch for there are so many here who are better able to lead you through what will be happening to you. Merry Christmas and God bless. David

  • Chris. Bill here. I was diagnosed back in 2014 with mets on my pelvis. I was where you are now and trying to decide if I should go with the Docetaxel or not I was 55...very healthy (no blood pressure...cardio vascular or any other chronic health problems) and in very good physical condition (gym and cycling). I made it through all four cycles without any terrible side effects. My hair did thin (I just shaved my head) and I lost the hair on arms legs and chest (still no big deal...it all grew back). No nausea or stomach issue and no real fatigue until the very end and it was mild (I maintained my workouts and cycling throughout). Don't give up yet and tell your oncologist to level with you about your prognosis. I told mine - "...truth always...don't leave anything out". And...don't give up yet...the chemo is a good way to reset. I know the literature and what some say can be alarming...but you have health and strength on your side and this is a chance to get your PSA back down to a manageable level and serious eradicate lesions and get you to a pointment where other therapies can be utilized. I am not trying to paint a rosy pic here...having cancer is frightening and it's a lot to come to terms with. I've felt like you...my cancer (prostate of course) is incredibly tenacious. so...don't give up...or give in. You'll get through this ok. And dont...DON'T let depression steal your energy. Contact me anytime now...throughout and after to talk...if you're comfortable with it

    Bill

  • Hi Chris,

    First off, I wouldn't do any chemo infusion, until all else failed. When my PSA went uncontrollable, Zytiga knocked it right down, with no side effects.

    Is there a way to get any previous imaging? I'm 7 years with Pca, St 4, Gleason 9, PSA was 58, then 67 two weeks later. Today, I feel pretty good. I learned to live the life I can, despite the side effects. I have a spot on my kidney and lung, and both were of concern. During the years I developed a few mets, but the spots never changed.

    As I reviewed my medical records I came across an interesting fact, each radiologist has a different opinion on what they look at. Most are in agreement, but what changes are the size of the spots. I'm only talking mm's here so it's not that big a deal. At the same time, I found out that two radiologist's had differing opinions as to whether I had mets or not. Another thing, be sure to get every report you can, you may need it later on.

    Joe

  • Chris, your last paragraph is an eloquent and intelligent one. I salute you for your honesty and candor. You want to make good choices based on your assessment of the balance between quantity and quality of life. When the time and circumstance comes, you will make the right decision, I am sure.

    Fred

  • Personally I feel that Docetaxel gets a bad rap. I went through 6 courses during the summer months and continued my life as normal including running 4,5 miles in 80 degree heat. Sure it kills "good things' but in my case it took my psa down to 0.07 from 850. Many men wait until they are to weak to attempt chemo, I decided not to wait. All prostate cancer drugs have negative effects but they keep us alive. Now i'm about the furthest thing you could imagine from being an expert, I'm just throwing my two cents out here. It's your body, good luck with it.

  • nameless9999 wrote:

    > [docetaxel] took my psa down to 0.07 from 850.

    WOW!!! That's a fabulous response to chemo!

    I know that patients shouldn't expect anything like that, but still, it gives people hope that there is at least a chance of winning the chemo lottery.

    I hope that your response stays low forever or, if the cancer does comes back, you can knock it down again.

    Alan

  • I should have stated earlier that I also went 100% vegan, no sugar, no omega 6 foods, and 6 supplements. I firmly believe that Traditional Tibetan type medicine combined with daily exercise and western medicine has given me a great response. Many supplements can combine with chemo to create a synergy of sorts. But, to repeat, I'm about the furthest thing you could imagine from being an expert. It worked for me, for how long, nobody knows. for now i'm sticking to the script.

  • Sounds like a great story nameless. What 6 supplements did you use?

  • My 6 supplements that I used and continue to use are

    1. Green tea extract

    2. Berberine

    3. Pomegranate extract

    4.Turmeric/curcumin

    5.Grape seed extract

    6. Lycopene.

    If I don't eat broccoli, I will take a dose of broccoli sprouts extract. I always use black pepper with every meal as it creates a synergy with Turmeric.

    My everyday diet includes flaxseed, many vegetables, fruits and wheat bread that my wife makes for me. I also eat brown rice, lentils, certain pasta and almond butter that my wife makes. To maintain a proper protein level, I have soy protein isolate with oatmeal and flaxseed.

    I also take a multi vitamin, and vitamins d and calcium as directed by my doctor.

    I do not consume sugar in any form, including honey, molasses, etc. My diet is 100% plant based,no vegetable oil in any form.

    Exercise, I run 4 times a week, 4,5 miles at a 9.30 pace, not bad for a 66 year old man. I lift weights the other 3 days. On the days i lift I also walk at least 30 minutes on my treadmill. finally, I perform 100 sit ups, side bends every day.

    Is all this working? I have no idea what so ever. All I know is that somehow I have managed to beat my stage 4 cancer back into a corner and put it to sleep. Only time will tell when my cancer wakes up and attacks. When it does I will continue with my natural method of defense and allow my oncologist to use another drug with western medicine techniques.

  • Chrisstor, yes, "you fit youngman" ( Words borrowed from your Onco )!

    I believe, by now you have become a well informed PCa survivor.

    From your vantage point, I was glad to hear that you have been scheduled for the first infusion of Docetaxel regimen commencing next week.

    The famous war hero Sir Winston Churchill once said "When the going is tough, keep going and never look back". Under the dire circumstances it is not realistic to STOP and think of enjoying life until you vanquish the enemy.

    I am very much in favour with the reply posts appearing under the labels : Jakehannam, Struffybut1, Lombardi24 and Nameless9999 - Use of Docetaxel well expounded and containing all what I want to tell you. However I also appreciate and respect the other viewpoints as well since life is a much broader philosophy than treating a prostate cancer.

    Good luck

    Sisira

  • Dear all

    Someone has called the incredible ( So unusual ) story of Nameless9999 "Chemo Lottery"! Most fitting.

    It is because the PSA had fallen steep down to 0.07ng/ml ( undetectable ) from a significant height of 850ng/ml in the end of 6 courses of Docetaxel.

    In the absence of any historical record of Docetaxel achieving such stunning curative effect on prostate cancer one would naturally begin to wonder whether it could be the result of the package of supplements he is taking daily quite apart from his good food habits ( vegan ) and regular exercises which no doubt are essentially good.

    He has been kind enough to list down the 6 items and they can be considered as good. They are good in the sense, will help especially to strengthen your body immunity which can support the main cancer treatments. But they alone can't do much about the cancer. Even if we start eating all the medicinal plants growing on the earth, it won't help! We can't unring the bell!

    Whatever supplements we take, we should take in the raw natural form as far as possible. Taking pills sold in the market containing all these cancer curing supplements and vitamins, relying on the advertisements of various companies is really dangerous. I know, even some oncologists who have vested interests in these companies promote the use of these supplements by misleading their patients. Don't believe in these miracles, anecdotes and snake oil which have no scientific proof.

    If you want to check on any dietary supplements or vitamins that you think is good for prostate cancer, please use the following website. It is a very useful updated Fact Sheet published by the National Cancer Institute based on history of research, animal studies and human clinical trials. What else you want for proof!

    cancer.gov/about-cancer/tre...

    Best wishes to all

    Sisira ( My true name )

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