Sunday, 18 February 2018

Process of Cancer Treatment PART LVI: Injection #3

Thankfully, someone reminded somebody that he needed to pick up his needle of Lupron from the pharmacy on Wednesday, while she was about to cook ❤️dinner. Whoopsie. Fortunately, they had one for us. We buy it at our local pharmacy, then take it into the appointment in the hospital. They cost $1100 or so each, but since he is a senior, he gets a senior's discount and pays $4.11. (Treatment is free with OHIP.) We have drug subsidies in Ontario for: seniors, people on disability (ODSP),  youngsters, those living in long-term care, or those enrolled in the Trillium Drug Program.

Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018

Back to the city for another injection, every three months. It appears that the injections are doing their work, keeping the PSA down. It's been 0.08 for 3 months, surgery was in 2014 so it should be zero.

10:00 we departed

It's a heckuva drive (~90 km one way) and 90 minutes long, without heavy traffic.
The weather didn't look good. We had to travel from the dark green (rain) to the pink (ice rain).

It was wet and foggy. Pretty miserable. A long drive through swamps, North Gower, Manotick, fog, and speed sensors. Nearer to home, it was 3˚, as we approached the city, it went down to 2, 1, then 0˚.

This speed monitor is a hoot! If you are in the green, it shows a happy face! It's on River Rd., near Manotick.

I wore my snappy boots, with the ice picks on the bottom. Our sidewalk, and the parking lot was still icy.

11:52 Our Meal was Ordered

The trick with going into the city, is planning meals around our trips. We schedule them early afternoon, driving in early for lunch, and straight home afterwards, avoiding any rush hour traffic.
This is our Go To place. The guys with whom JB volunteers said they thought the city a great opportunity to visit different restaurants, but we go back to this one, as we know their menu, we know the speed of their service, and we can depend on them.

It being the day after Valentine's Day, the flowers were amazing!

Someone had a birthday. This was on the floor!

Ottawa Hospital Parking Lot 12:53 p.m.

It was packed! People were driving around in circles looking for parking. Finding parking can be tricky. There was an attendant (which was unusual), and he told me where to park. Right on the end, on top of no-parking lines!

Our appointment was for 1:10, and we were ushered into the room at 1:00 p.m.. Our Dr. popped in, we chatted, and talked about next steps.

The research is very interesting. JB falls into the middle of the two study groups. One research project compared those who received intermittent injections, have a course of therapy, then stopping, or having it continuously. There was no difference mortality rates between the two groups.

 His symptoms are minimal, so we'll keep on with this treatment. The whole course of treatment should buy us 10 years. ENJOY EACH DAY!

Eventually, the cancer cells (in his lymph nodes, determined from imaging) will be able to resist the anti-androgens, and we'll deal with that. The next step is a bone density test, to determine a baseline. (Often, prostate cancer spreads to the bones.)
We won't repeat any other imaging until the PSA begins to rise again. (He's had: Bone Scans–4, MRIs–2, CT Scans–6, Ultrasounds–3.)
We are also participating in a research study on the efficacy of this treatment, including lifestyle and activities. A researcher came in with the questionnaire. He's working hard on his nutrition, and exercise.

The nurse poked him in the left hip. (They alternate sides.)

As we waited for paperwork, and another appointment, I took some photos of the grounds. We've seen this scene in all seasons, lo these several years (beginning in 2013). I even grabbed a photo of the building being built.

Despite the crowded parking lot...

There was a line-up to get into the hospital parking lot when we were leaving at 2 p.m. It appeared to be getting worse.

We stopped for more washer fluid.

We also stopped in Manotick, to see the birds on the river. I'd spotted them on the way in.

There are lots of snow machine trails, including stop signs at people's driveways. (I wonder if there have been collisions?!) I saw one guy out on his machine, even in this less than ideal weather!

Through Marlborough Forest.

You know you are familiar with the roads when you recognize a new stop sign! This one at Dwyer Hill Rd.

At home, it was up to 10˚ C. Hooper decided to talk a walk on the deck. They were happy we were home by 4 p.m. He was watching deer and turkeys.


DUTA said...

The treatment your hubby's undergoing sounds very promising!
The picture with Hooper watching the deer and turkeys from the deck, is a hit.

Yamini MacLean said...

Scotland (not the UK) honours the elders; free meds. Well, I say 'free'. They cost, and that cost is covered by the taxes and National Insurance contributions of the individuals and greater society. The reward for a lifetime of putting into the pot means one can draw from that pot when necessary.

Interesting to be included in a study group - a different form of contribution! I totally get using the same restaurant for these occasions. If you were going to the city for a gastronomic tour, that would be a different matter! YAM xx

Karen said...

I know that part of the country well. My partners family homesteaded just off Dwyer Hill Road in part of the now Marlborough Forest. It was a swampy, bug infested place by all accounts. When the hydro towers were coming through they were bought out and happily moved to town. I love driving that way in the summer months. There is a FANTASTIC nursery near Burritts called Rideau Woodland Ramble. I would encourage you to check it out.

Anvilcloud said...

My dad died from prostate cancer, which spread to the bones. Fortunately, he lived a long life. According to me doc, my prostate meds (not for cancer) are said to reduce the risk of prostate cancer by up to 25%. I certainly hope so. My annual PSA tests are good so far.

Oh, and I am reminded that I have to pick up 4 scripts today. 4x4.11. What's the world coming to.

Nancy J said...

Another day over, and safely home. Well done JB, keep up those wonderful low levels. We are off to the ferry crossing, hoping the gale winds arrive later tomorrow,I will rejoice when I see the Marlborough Sounds on the other side!!!My comments might be a bit sparse, depending where I can get internet coverage.But will catch up when I can. Love to you both.XXXX

William Kendall said...

That was a pretty downcast day, as I recall. I haven't been by the General campus of the hospital since last summer, I believe.

Powell River Books said...

That's a huge difference between full price and the senior price. There are some drug discounts here in BC but we don't qualify for them just for being seniors. Some people have drug plans through work. We do have a Medicare drug plan in the States so that's where we go except for any emergency needs locally in Powell River. - Margy

Far Side of Fifty said...

I think you get better health care up there than here in the States. Thank goodness for Senior Discounts when it comes to medications. I hope your husband has many more good years:)