This periodic report reflects a complex process that will probably take some time to clarify. The upswing in my PSA score, that began when I was traveling a lot in the fall, became dramatic in December, reaching 47 in the latest test. My urinary symptoms have followed the PSA score, with slower flow and more urgency. Basically this means the prostate is more swollen now.

In response I have resumed the monthly hormone therapy (Lupron) shots that I did for 8 months at the very start in 2010-2011. Lupron blocks production of testosterone, whereas Casodex blocks reception. I have been taking Casodex all along, occasionally backing off for short periods or alternating days. Lupron is more forceful than Casodex, however they both have side effects: Lupron is more noticeable, with a reduction in coordination and general strength/energy level, whereas Casodex is more subtle and less definable. Obviously I would prefer to not have to do either, but they are relatively benign. Once again I appreciate how so much of our experience of the world is mediated by hormones. One side effect of the hormone therapy has been a renewed imbalance with the female hormones, leading to chest sensitivity that I experienced last year. That discomfort was effectively managed by amendments at the time and I am hopeful the same approach will work again.

Meanwhile I had a setback with my naturopathic strategies of anti-cancer herbs and foods, in that unnamed insurance companies have acted against my doctor, to stop blood testing for background landscape and metabolic indicators. The whole concept of changing the environment is made precise by testing, however testing is seen to be not cost-effective. Now I am at least temporarily unable to get blood tests except for PSA. Of course the insurance companies have no problems funding surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, at exponentially higher costs. As I have written before, having cancer is inevitably politicizing. It is maddening to have direct contact with such a corrupt and morally bankrupt sector of the modern world. In this situation, the treatment plan is now not in the hands of the patient, or even the doctor, it is in the hands of anonymous corporate interests. For the time being I will just continue with the protocols developed earlier when testing was allowed because I think the same principles still apply.

Also in the news, there may be a new treatment that is appropriate, in which a tiny catheter is inserted into the femoral artery and moved up to mechanically block arterial blood flow to the prostate. In theory this low-risk outpatient procedure would reduce prostate swelling temporarily. However the treatment is corporate-approved for BPH swelling, not necessarily cancer swelling. I will find out about this in the coming weeks.

My overall feeling is quite optimistic, based on the imaging results of the summer that showed the cancer continuing to retreat until now it is just inside the prostate, as far as I know. I am more focused on therapeutic strategies including more exercise and top-quality food to maintain my weight. I feel well and continue to enjoy normal activities including being productive at work and play. I have cancelled several 2015 travel plans out of superstition that it was all the travel in the fall this year that was a factor in this current scenario. I am beginning to associate the fall season with downturns, and will be more careful in the falls seasons going forward.

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