Thanks so much to those of you who shared your stories and advice. I had good news is that my MRI indicated that the cancer is contained to my prostate, though it is quite enlarged. The bone scan showed some abnormality in the upper part of the spine, so I am scheduled for an MRI of that area this Thursday just to be sure of what is showing there which hopefully is just arthritis.
I met with Dr. Neha Vapiwala, one of the most respected Radiation Oncologists at HUP. Her approach to my specific cancer would be to start me on Lupron Therapy a month before beginning Proton Therapy. Depending on an assessment of all of my factors I would either receive a 28 day high dose Proton Therapy or a 44 day moderate dose. I felt very good about my conversation with Dr. Vapiwala. I did subsequently learn that one possible side effect of the Lupron ( I would get that for a total of four months) can be osteoporosis. I understand there are supplements and other prophylactics to help prevent that. Has anyone here had any experience with this issue?
I also looked at Fox Chase Cancer Center's site and am intrigued by the possibility of Focal Therapy which uses thermal-based tissue ablation devices, such as cryoablation, which freezes the targeted area, or High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU), which uses heat to destroy cancer cells. Do any of you have any experience with this type of therapy?
In the meanwhile I'm trying to keep my life as much as it was before my diagnosis: full of enjoyable time with friends and my best pals-my Border Collie and my Sheltie, and my 20 year old cat.