Hello Raymond - My name is Raymond Goyer and this is my story...
May 2017 - I just turned 62. My decision is made… I will retire in a year. Welcome MY fishing days, dinners with friends, reading, etc. I am in good shape; I do not have any hassles in life. However, I am careful with my health, and every year I have a health checkup. As usual, I place a call to my great family doctor for routine blood work.
I meet him in June, and he notices that my PSA level has increased slightly since my last checkup. He has been my doctor for almost 20 years, and he knows me better than anyone. I am often prone to anxiety. He, therefore, suggests that I do a blood test again 6 weeks later. Do not worry, Mr. Goyer, it is just out of caution, he told me.
New appointment. My PSA has increased further. The doc explains to me that this is common given my age. To be sure, he sees that I meet with a urologist. Do not worry he told me… again.
The urologist explains to me that it would be safe to have a biopsy done. Oops! There I find it less funny. Still, while waiting for the results, I try not to think too much about it. I even go so far as to afford a short week in the sun in the Dominican Republic. A little futile exercise I admit... for I am not enjoying the moment so much.
Friday, September 15, 2017, at the urologist's office, the computer mouse moves to the biopsy report. I can hear my heartbeat. The urologist looks at me and I feel him hesitate for a fraction of a second, but he cannot stop the train that is going to pass over my body. Twelve out of 12 samples show traces of cancer. The doc talks to me, I look at him, but I cannot hear anything. I have changed planet. The one you do not want to visit!
With great sensitivity, the urologist offers a new appointment 3 days later, on Monday. He strongly suggests that I come accompanied this time. My sister Francine is therefore coming with me. She will be with me on all subsequent appointments.
The urologist then referred me to a uro-oncologist from the CHUM. Everything happens quickly, and maybe, in the end, it is better that way. It will be a radical prostatectomy (removal of the prostate) he tells me. I feel him in full control, and I surrender to him without hesitation. The operation will take place within 5 or 6 weeks. No way cannot go back to my old planet. I am scared!
I feel small about what is to come, but the captain of the boat, the uro-oncologist has seen others. He can navigate. I feel safe with him. And in addition, I am not alone to face what awaits me: I have the support of my daughter Stéphanie, my parents, my 2 sisters, and my friends.
On November 3, I was taken back to my room with no prostate and fewer lymph nodes. The following weeks will not be easy, but I am well surrounded by my daughter and my sister and her husband, my best friend. I quickly realized that there would be waves and morale would be how I would call it ... a little unstable. Good days and bad days. The moments of waiting for blood test results begin. For about a year my PSA level remains relatively close to zero, which is the desired goal.
This post-surgery year allows me to make an important discovery... the PROCURE organization, which is dedicated to the fight against prostate cancer through research, awareness, information, and support for men with cancer. On several occasions, I call on the dedicated people who are part of it when I have questions. What a great support!
April 2019 - My PSA level "gets a bit excited". My uro-oncologist tells me about hormone therapy. One injection every 4 months. So, another drug name is added to my already large list. The worrisome wave decreases and my PSA returns to an acceptable level.
September 2019 - Hormone therapy does a good job on my testosterone level, but on the PSA side it is a different story. My cancer recurs. Hey captain shall we raise the flag of panic? No, Mr. Goyer, we will rather raise the change in strategy flag, he told me. He has several tools in his bag. We will "switch" to another drug. My medication list is growing, and I can pronounce the names without errors! I am starting to think I could offer my services at the local pharmacy.
Therefore, at the end of September 2019, I start taking an exceptional drug. The doc must apply for authorization from the RAMQ to be able to prescribe it. It is a new generation hormone therapy agent. I am not a specialist but believe it has been prescribed in Canada for a year or two, not much longer. This new generation of hormone therapy is one of the major advances in pharmaceutical research.
This molecule has been part of my life for almost a year now and it has restored my PSA levels to a completely satisfactory level. My uro-oncologist is very happy with the result. And you can surely guess that I share his appreciation. His job, he says, is to control this cancer and help me live a good life surrounded by the people I love.
I will live the rest of my life with this cancer. It will not let me down, unfortunately. Despite the storm that hit me in September 2017, I realize every day that we must remain hopeful because the medical world is developing a panoply of new drugs and new treatments.
My head is full of projects ... You?
Take the time to visit each of our pages on this website, as well as our YouTube channel, in order to get familiar with the disease with our expert lectures, our section on available resources, the support that is offered to you.
Do you have any questions or concerns? Above all, do not hesitate. Contact us at 1 855 899-2873 to discuss with a nurse specializing in uro-oncology. It's simple and free, like all our services.
Written by PROCURE. © All rights reserved - 2020