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  • Weston Bye
    replied
    Originally posted by oldtiffie View Post
    Hard luck about the costs ...

    ... makes life and expenses a lot easier.
    (Sigh...) I suppose I brought it up, mentioning getting paid, but I don't want this thread to turn into a debate on the merits and shortcomings of various healthcare systems, particularly when there is nothing we or I can do to change things in the short term.

    When all this is over I will try to give an accounting of the costs and then welcome everyone to brag.

    Leave a comment:


  • oldtiffie
    replied
    Hard luck about the costs etc. as I don't have to pay anything for any medical item - at all (Hospitals included) - as I am a Veterans Affairs "Gold Card" holder. I have the option of paying my own way in my car and getting paid $AU 0.45 (45 cents) a Kilometre (~0.6 miles) or have a taxi/cab take my wife and I to and from the procedure etc. (at DVA expense).

    https://www.google.com.au/?gws_rd=ssl#q=dva+gold+card

    Dispensary (drug store/pharmaceutical) prescription item cost both my wife and I AU$ 6.50 each until we reach a set limit (called our "safety net") after which they are free for the remainder of each calendar year.

    https://www.google.com.au/?gws_rd=ss...+prescriptions

    It makes life and expenses a lot easier.

    Leave a comment:


  • TGTool
    replied
    I did some radiation for skin cancer on my nose a few years ago. The charges always seemed huge. Something like $168 every day and then an additional $200 - $250 when the doctor talked monthly. That consisted of a blood pressure check and short conversation with the doc like, "Yes, that looks about like we expect. Any questions?" And the question I asked he couldn't answer.

    Since it was on my face they had lead disks over the eyes. Nevertheless, when the radiation came on my whole, normally dark field of vision lit up. I asked about that and he knew nothing about it. An email to the machine manufacturer got a response that they encountered that rarely but didn't now why either. Huh!

    As you mention, the whole thing doesn't (normally) take long. But it was kind of an interesting and slightly surreal trip. I'm lying down, constrained and blind with the eye protection. The technicians say goodbye and you hear the footsteps recede. Then you hear the doors close. And then a series of three relay clicks. The door interlock clicks and you know you're locked in the room with this thing. Then the machine next to me clicks and hums, then it clicks again and the light comes on. It had a certain inevitable march and finality to it. But they always came back and rescued me.

    Leave a comment:


  • Weston Bye
    replied
    Day 3. Would not even post today, as everything was unremarkable except that the machine broke down. Was setting up for my last "field" as they call it when one of the leaves or shutters that sets the radiation aperture stuck. The technician was in the area so they had me dismount and wait, pee a little and drink some more water. Back on the table, they had to line me up again with my tattoos, do another CT scan and then complete the last shot - the latter lasting a whole 10-15 seconds.

    I am sure that they had my good health in mind and wanted me to get the full benefit, but I am also sure that they wanted to be able to bill for that 10-15 seconds.

    Leave a comment:


  • oldtiffie
    replied
    Good on you Weston.

    I've been through it and all was OK - my PSA was 0.10ppm when I saw my Urologist and Radiation Oncologists about a week or so later about the radiation treatment.

    I am on the hormone therapy now and going very well.

    I am surprised that you had full bowels as I had to have an enema every day before and during the radiation process - so as not to leave a "cooked sausage" that might have been hard to pass.

    I had to have a full bladder (1 liter) for 2 hours before and "hold onto it" during the treatment - I sure was glad to get rid of it. The road to the hospital was a lot rougher then normal -a lot - and hanging onto the fluid in my bladder was quite a task.

    My program was every day Mon>Fri for 7 weeks (5 x 7 = 35). I could see most of what was going on on a monitor in the radiation room. They took an x-ray every Tuesday and it was posted to the Radiation Oncologist and he discussed it with my wife and I - very informative and very helpful -and he took as long as we required which was very helpful indeed. The Urologist was extremely good and informative too.

    I really could not have asked for more from the staff at the radiation centre - they were top class.

    My/our General Practitioner (GP) local doctor as always was excellent too.

    No bowel or other/any problems afterward.

    The machine was pretty well the same as the one in your pic.

    I had my prostate removed just over 10 years ago and I am going very well.

    I wish you all that you and yours wish for yourselves.
    Last edited by oldtiffie; 03-10-2015, 01:37 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Weston Bye
    replied
    Day 2, still learning my way.

    Day 1, I showed up with an overfull bladder and did the routine, but went to stand up afterward and lost control a bit, soaking my shorts and trousers. Seems my remaining sphincter, the lone survivor from the surgery, was not man enough for the task and lost its grip. Good thing I had a towel in the car, just drove straight home as was the plan and changed clothes.

    Today I planned my water OK, but showed up with a full bowel. They sent me out to give it a try on the toilet, without emptying my bladder!! Only way was to pinch the hose and grunt, but no luck. They made adjustments and I went through the program and got off the table without mishap.

    I thought to enquire about the amount of radiation I was getting. 1.8 Grays or 1800 Rads each visit with a few adjustments here and there for a total of about 70 Grays for the course, a pretty heavy dose, but standard for the condition.

    By the way, an hour after I got home... A right proper bowel movement. Figures.

    Sorry for the gross details. I expect that things will settle out and most future reports will be "Nothing to Report" except the count will change.

    Leave a comment:


  • becksmachine
    replied
    Hi Wes,

    It seems that you have the attitude necessary to beat it.

    I mean this in a positive way, you deserve to be the beneficiary after giving so much.

    Good luck to you!

    Dave

    Leave a comment:


  • garyhlucas
    replied
    Wes,
    You missed one, Cryosurgery, they freeze it. I had mine out about 4 years ago. PSA are okay so far. Lots of people rowing in this boat. Wishing you the best. Will you be at the show in April? I met you there last year.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bob Fisher
    replied
    Hey Wes, sorry to hear you have to go through that, been there, done that,you begin to think there Is no way I can do this 35 times. Mine was on the vocal chords last Dec. Apparently it was a success, but the jury is probably still out on that one. The very best of luck Wes. Bob.

    Leave a comment:


  • Alistair Hosie
    replied
    I wish you well brother keep your spirits high,kindest regards Alistair

    Leave a comment:


  • Carm
    replied
    Chemo, radiation and surgery can all have after effects, life changing & painful.
    As they say, considering the alternative, not bad.
    If you have an appetite and the gals look good, every day above ground is a good one.
    Best wishes to you.

    Leave a comment:


  • MikeL46
    replied
    Wow, I just posted my experiences with prostate cancer (http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/thr...rostate-cancer) and I scroll down and find this.

    Best wishes for a positive outcome for you and anyone else with this disease.

    As long girls are still attractive there is plenty of hope for you.

    Mike

    Leave a comment:


  • The Artful Bodger
    replied
    Photon torpedoes! I have been through that Wes, ten years ago, and may I suggest you pay strict attention to what they say about managing bladder content. I had no serious side effects and it knocked my cancer right back.

    Best wishes,
    John.

    Leave a comment:


  • Weston Bye
    replied
    Originally posted by bborr01 View Post
    ... Is this follow up from the prostate cancer.

    Brian
    Yep, surgery 3 years ago - they thought they got it all at that time. PSA was OK for a while but then began inching up until it got to 0.2, considered the threshold for biochemical recurrence for someone who has had surgery. I was disappointed but not particularly surprised, given my Gleason 8 score, considered a rather aggressive form of the prostate cancer. An MRI and a bone scan showed no metastasis to distant parts of the body, so it is probably only a few stray cells left over from the surgery.

    Standard treatment is to hose down the area where the prostate was with radiation. The radiation doesn't kill the cancer cell directly - instead it damages its DNA. It also damages the DNA of healthy cells but these are able to repair themselves where the cancer cells can't, and they don't reproduce and eventually die off.

    Concurrent to the radiation, I am participating in a clinical study that involves hormone deprivation therapy. Prostate Cancer feeds on testosterone, so the idea is to deprive the cancer of its fuel. A ruinously expensive 6-month shot and some pills 2 months ago accomplished this - essentially chemical castration - and my PSA dropped to zero. The most noticeable side effects are hot flashes and reduced libido. The flashes have been tolerable, but girls are still pretty.

    The hormone therapy should weaken the cancer, giving the radiation more of a chance to be successful. The hormone deprivation is not a cure though, and if the radiation is unsuccessful, and when the shot wears off, my PSA could climb again.

    There are 4 usual ways to treat prostate cancer:
    Cut it out (surgery)
    Burn it out (radiation)
    Starve it (hormone deprivation)
    Poison it (Chemo)

    Looks like I'm doing the Trifecta. I hope not to get to the final method.
    I give this long-winded explanation as an admonition to periodically get your PSA checked.

    Leave a comment:


  • Toolguy
    replied
    So - what's it like to be on the mill instead of running it? I hope it all works out Wes. You have shared so much with all of us, I think you deserve a free pass this one time. All the Best - Warren

    Leave a comment:

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