Denis is 77 and retired.
He grew up and was educated in Melbourne but moved to Ballarat 27 years ago to take on the position of Business Manager of St Patrick’s College. It was there that he met Patricia whom he later married. After fourteen years at St Patrick’s Denis joined the Catholic Education Office working as a Finance and Administrative consultant.
In 2020 Denis and Patricia moved to Torquay, where some of their family were already living.
Denis was 66 years old when his GP expressed concern about his PSA. In two years it had risen from 3.5 to 5.2. Denis was referred to a urologist and commenced active surveillance. For the next six years blood tests indicated that his PSA was slowly rising and by the seventh year it had risen to 9.5.
Denis discussed his situation with his urologist and was provided with a range of treatment options. One of those treatment options was brachytherapy. Denis was informed that brachytherapy was not available to men with a PSA above 10. He researched all available options and discussed these with family members, his urologist and a radiation oncologist. He decided that brachytherapy was the most appropriate and the least invasive.
In November 2017 Denis attended Epworth Hospital in Richmond overnight and had 92 seeds implanted into his prostate. PSA testing showed a constant decline over the next eight months and by June 2018 it was down to 1.3. However, throughout the rest of that year and early 2019 Denis’ PSA continued to rise. By April 2019 it was 8.6. A scan indicated that the seeds were in fact working in the prostate, but that the cancer had metastasised in the lymph nodes.
Denis was advised that radiation therapy should be undertaken. This was commenced at the Epworth Hospital in Richmond in May 2019, eighteen months after the Brachytherapy. Denis’ radiation treatment involved three fifty-minute sessions in one week.
Two months after radiation Denis’ PSA had risen to 12.3, later fallen to 8.1 but rose again to 28.
In February 2020his urologist decided that Lucrin hormone therapy should be commenced. Denis experienced hot flushes, weight increase and tiredness but within two months his PSA was down to 1.2. It fell further to 0.9.
However, by December 2020 Denis’ PSA had again risen; it was now 55.8 His urologist changed the medication to Eligard and by April 2021 Denis’ PSA had reduced to 6.3. By the middle of 2021 his PSA was on the rise again. His urologist suggested that this rise might be attributed to a faulty batch of Eligard.
Denis’ medication was changed to Zoladex, which brought his PSA down to 12.7. This treatment has him feeling extremely tired and fatigued. The ongoing effectiveness of this medication continues to be monitored.
Denis found out about the Geelong Prostate Support Group from a pamphlet he collected from his urologist’s office. He has attended all meetings since then.
Since moving to Torquay Denis and Patricia have joined Probus and are soon to be inducted. They have commenced playing Mahjong through Probus, and also participate in the Probus dining-out group. Denis and Patricia both value an active life and healthy well-being. They enjoy the outdoors, and so does their dog!