First and foremost, medical update.
Mary and I just returned from KU Medical Center where we met with Dr's Van and Helz, two very, very nice chaps. We were both very impressed, and both of us liked their personalities, bedside manner and progressive approach to treating my case. We are seriously contemplating transferring to them as our primary oncology team.
1) They agreed that starting the Ketoconazole was a reasonable next step - they also minimized in our concern with the risk to the liver as a side effect. It occurs in few cases. My monthly blood test for PSA will now include other analysis that will indicate any potential impacts to my liver. If indications result in concern that my liver is adversely effected, I will stop the Ketoconazole. The potential damage to the liver is not permanent. They were clear however, that because the hormone blockers were only effective for 18 months, the possibility of long term success with Ketoconazole is pretty low. However, every case is different, so we all agreed to proceed. I’ll start taking the Ketoconazole and Hydrocortisone tonight followed by a PSA and liver screening in 4 weeks. If my numbers come down, we'll reassess and run the same tests several weeks later. If my number does not come down, we'll likely go directly to #2 below.
2) We discussed a number of clinical trials, standard treatments, etc. These two doctors were more in step with current trials and leading edge treatment protocols, than any doctors we have met with yet (no offense to anyone, they work in a research hospital, they should be!) The good news is the one trial that Mary and I have had the most interest in (Taxotere and DN-101, a concentrated vitamin D compound) is within weeks of being brought to KU Medical Center. The nearest other location is St. Joseph, Mo or Columbia, MO. 90 minutes and 120 minute drives, respectively. The timing could work out to be perfect. It is NOT a placebo controlled study , but there is a control group. What that means is , if I am selected, I'll know it right away because the control group has the standard treatments every three weeks and the trial group gets the Taxotere/DN-101 treatments weekly. Only time will tell.
So we have started a new regimen and a new chapter in our battle against this horrible disease. We ask for your prayers that it will be effective in managing the growth of the cancer cells and have hope that we are on a path to remission.
The Golf Tournament was a tremendous success. We were blessed with beautiful weather and a crowd of 140 golfers, four short of a full field, due to a few last minute cancellations. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves while supporting a very worthy cause. We still have a few bills to pay and checks to deposit so I should have the final tally before the weeks is over. If we don't reach our goal of a $20K donation to PCF, we will be REAL close!
I owe so many people thanks and recognition but I think I'll save that for another post. I cannot adequately articulate my gratitude to all the players, volunteers, sponsors, friends and family that made this day possible.
The days leading up to the tournament were very hectic with last minute details, coupled with family and friends in town all weekend, Mary and I were wiped out by last night , but it was a 'good tired'. It may take us a day or two to fully recover!