Jan 22, 2022 Latest post:
May 25, 2023
Welcome family and friends! My dad, mom, sister and I will use this site to keep you updated on my dad's treatments and medical status. My dad has always been very open about his cancer, especially to educate others in the hope of saving even just one person's life. We have decided to update you publicly on this site now because we know that you all genuinely care about my dad and we believe so strongly in the power of prayer!!
My dad was first diagnosed with prostate cancer in April of 2013. At this time, he underwent a robotic prostatectomy in the hopes that the cancer was still contained only in the prostate. The surgery went well, but the pathology concluded that his cancer was very aggressive. He was diagnosed as a Gleason 9 (on scale of 1-10, 10 being the worst) and grade 4 (on scale of 1-5, 5 being the worst), with perineural invasion. His PSA remained low for about a year, but began to rise again in mid 2014, which meant that the cancer had spread outside the prostate. My dad then had 39 sessions of external beam radiation to his pelvic region in hopes that the cancer was still limited to the local area surrounding the prostate. Again, we were excited and hopeful that his PSA reached undetectable levels, but with time his PSA began slowly rising again. At this time we were hit with the realization that a cure was unlikely. In 2016 and 2017, dad participated in clinical trials at NIH and Johns Hopkins with no success. In 2018, he began immunotherapy treatment and received 16 infusions of Keytruda. He also began intermittent hormone therapy with injections of Eligard. In early 2020, it became necessary to make the Eligard shots permanent and add an oral androgen inhibitor as well, called Nubeqa. This was to ensure maximum testosterone suppression, which is the fuel for prostate cancer.
In December 2020, my mom and dad retired-- mom, after 19 years of Catholic education and dad, after 35 years in law enforcement. Although they knew they would miss family and friends, they (mostly dad) fulfilled the dream of moving to the south for warmer weather! They were getting settled in to their new home in Florida and enjoying retired life when we received more bad news from the scans my dad had done with his new doctor at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa. These scans revealed that dad has a 4 cm mass on his liver. The biopsy of this mass was confirmed to be metastatic prostatic adenocarcinoma (metastatic prostate cancer). This new finding places him at stage 4b. Prostate cancer metastasizing to the liver and nowhere else is uncommon and, out of all the places prostate cancer can grow, the liver in the hardest to treat. Dad will now begin chemotherapy (Docetaxel) on Friday 1/21. It will be given every three weeks for the next 18 weeks (6 total infusions). Scans will be repeated after the 4th infusion to ensure that the tumor is shrinking.
Although my dad's prognosis is unfavorable, he is still in good spirits and currently feels great! He is not letting this cancer slow him down one bit. He and my mom are in the process of making travel plans for this summer. Anyone who knows my dad, knows what a charismatic person he is and how much light he brings to a room. We hate to see him go through this awful disease, but we know God is on our side.
We are so blessed to have such loving family and tons of wonderful friends. You and our faith will get us through these tough times. As I said before, we believe in the power of prayer, especially in numbers, so please pray!!
Going forward, my dad, mom, sister, or I will post as developments warrant.. In the meantime, feel free to leave comments/words of encouragement! We love you all! Thank you for your support during this challenging time!