As I mentioned in the last chapter, the Pluvicto treatment itself was over in no time. It’s a fascinating if not daunting process though. There is always a team of at least three people in the room during the treatment; a radiation oncologist, a registered nurse, and a chemist. There is lots of communication back and forth between these three individuals throughout the treatment. All three must agree on each step before that step can take place. At the end of the treatment, the syringe is inspected to make sure that 99%+ of the toxic nectar made it into the patient.
I found it to be ironic, bordering on comical. It was such a struggle to get approved for the treatment and to access it and in a matter of a few minutes, it was over. I can’t say I felt anything at all during the injection. It didn’t burn, and I didn’t feel hot or cold, or anything unusual for that matter. I continue to marvel at the fact that liquid that fits in a medium-sized syringe could cost $45,000 per treatment, but I also recognize that the price has nothing to do with the liquid, but the years and years of research that went into developing the treatment. I give thanks every day for the scientists, medical professionals, and clinical trial participants that make treatment advances possible.
Now home, I began my three days of “quarantine.” Prior to starting treatment, I was called in for a briefing on the need to maintain distance from people – and especially babies and pregnant women – for a period of about three days following treatment. Patients are strongly encouraged to use a separate bathroom since you will be “hot” and as such, need to maintain at least six feet of distance from other people to protect them from the radiation.
I am now 10 years deep into near continuous treatment for advanced prostate cancer. My (now 60-year-old) body has been cut on, irradiated, and deprived of essential hormones that regulate health and quality of life. Through surgery, multiple courses of radiation, seven years of hormone-altering drugs, chemotherapy and radiotherapy that requires that you not even been around people for days at a time, I feel fine. I do feel tired at times (but I am now an out-of-shape 60-year-old who doesn’t eat or sleep well) but other than that, I rarely either notice - or choose to pay attention to - anything other than feeling fine. It amazes me, what the body can tolerate and either heal from, or compensate for.
But as for the side effects stemming from this new treatment, I woke on the morning of Saturday, April 22nd, 2023, the day following treatment, feeling nauseous and with a low-grade headache. As they say in the movies, these things were foretold to me. I took one Zofran and two Tylenol and within hours, I felt completely back to normal. This is going to be fine, I thought.
Until next time,