Saw the oncologist today and got my next Lupron shot. My PSA was at 12.5. It’s been about 3 months and 1 week since my last Lupron shot. At that time my PSA was 17.1. The 12.5 was close enough to 17.1 that my oncologist wants me to be “off” Lupron for at most two months, instead of the three we originally planned.
The drug manufacturer sells the Lupron I’m getting as one month’s worth of the drug. That’s not quite how it works out from a side effect standpoint. I find the first week after the shot is mostly free of side effects. The hot flashes, shivers, nausea, and depression start in the second week and grow in intensity until the sixth week. Then the side effects ease over the next two weeks, returning me to a largely side effect free state by the start of the ninth week.
I can’t say I’m happy about losing a full month free of side effects, but I am thankful that Lupron exists and I can take it on any schedule.
The week leading up to this shot wasn’t much fun. Anticipating the PSA results and thinking about the side effects, soon to return, was more stressful than I thought it would be. I also caught myself wondering how many more shots I’ll be able to take before my cancer becomes resistant to them. Lupron (and/or Casodex) fails, on average, after a couple years of continuous use. I’ve never taken either of them continuously for more than two months, and they don’t have much data for intermittent use, so we don’t really know where I stand. There’s a case to be made that I’ve been on one or the other for a year and three months, but it can also be interpreted as little as nine months. I just have to wait and see.