Hi Don! Not to make things any more frustrating or confusing than they already are, BUT, the endorectal MRI was completely wrong in my father's case. The test showed negative lymph node involvement and my dad did in fact have lymph node involvment.
Once again, this is why I feel so strongly about being your own advocate. Once the cancer has spread, none of the tests are 100% accurate. I don't even think they are 70% accurate. Anyways, I wish we would have inquired about the accuracy of the endorectal MRI, because it was not a very pleasant experience for my dad and we were absolutely devastated by the news of lymph node involvement after his surgery. We were told there was not lymph node involvement following the MRI. Maybe it was our bad for not knowing, or maybe like most people we were hoping for the best.
I think the MRI's are good for decisions regarding nerve sparing and such, but I know my dad would not have done the MRI knowing what we know now. Actually, we told him he was getting an MRI and he didn't realize what kind of MRI We can laugh about it now, but you should have seen his face when he came out of the room. We wanted to run for the hills. My dad has both a temper and an amazing sense of humor.
Anyways, Tony's situation is somewhat similar to ours and he has been an incredible resource. Maybe it is just because we are eternal optimists and research like crazy. Regardless, you have received a lot of great advice and I wish you the best in your treatment, whatever that may be.
P.S. You have AMAZING grammar! (I'm studying for the GMAT, so I notice these random things )