Lawrie is 70 years old. In early 2005 he had a PSA test (his first), with a reading of 11.0. Lawrie was referred to a urologist who performed a prostate biopsy. His Gleason score was 7. Lawrie was provided with a range of options, and decided upon a radical prostatectomy which was had later that year.
His 3-month post-surgery review showed a PSA reading of 0.04. A course of radiotherapy was taken with the hope that it would clear up any cancer cells around the area where the prostate was removed. The PSA count went down, but it was still detectable and continued to gradually increase. In February 2009 it had jumped from previously 5.5 to now showing 8.5. Lawrie’s urologist suggested a course of hormone treatment to slow the progress of the cancer cells. He began a course of Lucrin which consisted of two injections, four months apart.
After the first Lucrin injection Lawrie’s PSA reading went down to 0.01, and after the second injection it was undetectable. However over the next two years it continued to gradually increase until by February 2011 it was back to 6.0. Another course of Lucrin was followed, with the same results, and a return to 7.0 in June 2013. This was followed by a third course of Lucrin.
Some side effects that Lawrie has experienced in taking Lucrin have included some weight gain, hot flushes and mild lethargy. He has worked off the weight gain, and kept active with daily walks and several games of golf each week. To counteract the possibility of osteoporosis Lawrie takes Vitamin D3 and Calcium tablets each morning, and spends lots of time in the sun. He is satisfied with his Lucrin treatment.
One possible side-effect to radiation therapy can be damage to the bladder and/or urethra. Quite some time after his radiation treatment, Lawrie noticed that there was evidence of bleeding when he passed urine. One day he passed small clots. Scar tissue had formed in the urethra.
One morning early in 2012 Lawrie’s urethra completely blocked up, and he had a rushed car ride to the hospital emergency in a lot of pain. Doctors were unable to successfully insert a catheter, and Lawrie’s urologist was called and a cystoscopy was performed to open the urethra. Whilst successful, this resulted in incontinence. Pelvic floor exercises and support from the McKellar Incontinence Department were to no avail. The insertion of a Urethral Sling in March 2013 made no difference.
In March 2014 Lawrie had a procedure to insert an Artificial Sphincter. This has been a total success, and he is now completely dry. The wearing of pads has been finally eliminated. Lawrie now wishes that he had pursued the option of the Artificial Sphincter much earlier.
In 1989 Lawrie was diagnosed with Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. He underwent chemotherapy, and made a full recovery. After his prostatectomy in 2005 Lawrie was depressed, and had trouble coming to terms with having cancer again. A friend told him about the Geelong Prostate Support Group. The first meeting he attended was a Godsend – he realized things weren’t as bad as they had seemed.
Lawrie has been supported throughout his journey by his wife Dawn. She always joins other partners at the Partners’ Group get-togethers. Dawn and Lawrie are grateful for the support and friendship they have received from everyone in the Geelong PSG.