Keith Throop

Featured, Survivor

Back in early November 2021, I underwent a transrectal biopsy for prostate cancer that led to complications. After about three days, I was in the emergency room with acute prostatitis and sepsis. (Sepsis and Surgery) Apparently, the usual antibiotics they had given at the time of the procedure (Cipro) failed to work. I spent four days in the hospital and went home feeling much better and taking a different antibiotic (Augmentin). However, after about three more days, I was back in the emergency room again with acute prostatitis and sepsis. This time I spent six days in the hospital, during which time they discovered that E. coli had gotten into my bloodstream, and they diagnosed me with bacteremia. They inserted a PICC line, and I then underwent six weeks of daily infusions of Rocephin at the hospital. In the end, by the grace of God, I dodged the same bullet twice, you might say, and I am thankful to be alive.

Meanwhile, my biopsy result had shown that I had high grade prostate cancer (Gleason 4+5=9) that appeared to have gotten outside the prostate and into the peripheral nerves at the very least. Unfortunately, we could not do anything about the cancer until I finished the course of Rocephin and there was certainty that the bacteremia had been eradicated. The V.A. sent me to the another hospital, where there were specialists in high grade, high risk prostate cancer such as mine. I met with a team of specialists on Wednesday, January 5, and my wife and I chose the surgical option for treatment. The surgery confirmed that I have stage 3 cancer.

There were a couple of effects through all of this that I hadn’t expected. The first effect was significant lack of sleep. I went for a number of months in which I rarely got more than an hour of sleep at any one time. Thankfully, that period is over, and I have been sleeping much better over the last few weeks.

The second effect was significant brain fog and memory issues, which I am still experiencing, although it appears to be slowly getting better. At first, it was so bad that I thought I might be getting early onset dementia. My primary care physician at the V.A. tells me that a number of the things I’ve experienced could have impacted my brain and caused these symptoms, including sepsis (which I endured twice). I am also currently scheduled for a battery of tests for my heart due to concerns that I might have had some damage.

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