An old computer geek

I was diagnosed with a Gleason 4+3, T2c, PSA=10+ cancer at age 57 in 2003 and was treated later that year in a clinical trial at the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI) where I was working as a computer programmer. My treatment consisted of Lupron + a session of MRI guided High Dose Rate (HDR) brachytherapy, followed by 25 sessions of external beam 3DCRT radiotherapy, plus one more session of HDR. It was intended to use the Lupron for a year or two but I had indications of liver damage from it that caused the docs to limit the drug to the two injections I had already had. My PSA bounced around quite a bit and took five years to reach a low level. I even had a small bounce in year 7. But, knock on wood, I seem to be cured.

I worked at NCI long before I had cancer but, when I was diagnosed, my understanding of my work there changed from being about ones and zeros (as programmers like to say) to being about people who were suffering with cancer. I got interested both in supporting others and in understanding the science of cancer biology. Although I think I am now cured, and I have retired from my job at NCI, I remain interested in what can be done about cancer.

1 Reply

  • That's an interesting history -- thank you!

    It must have been nerve-wracking, watching your PSA go up and down over so many years.

    May it stay at 0 forever . . .

    . Charles (another ex-programmer)

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