Does the waiting for results get easier?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 91
   Posted 6/25/2008 10:49 AM (GMT -6)   
I just got back from having the blood draw for my first post-op PSA. They told me it would take a "couple days" to get the results. You would think that since I have been through the "waiting for results" process so many times over the past several months- initial biopsy, post-surgical biopsy, etc. - that I would be used to this process. Yet, I'm still on "pins and needles" waiting for the phone to ring.

Does this waiting process get easier over time or will I just have to live with "periods of anxiety" into the future??
Husband and father of two (current ages 4 and 6).
Age when diagnosed: 47 (current)
Biopsy showed cancer only on left side.
Pre-surgery PSA: 13.7
Pre-surgery Gleason: 4+3=7
Pre-surgery Staging: T2
CT Scan, Bone Scan, PET Scan: Clear
Robotic Surgery on May 28, 2008, at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis.
Right nerve bundle spared; left bundle removed.
Catheter for 8 days with infrequent "stress" leaking since. Now use one or two pads during the day and none at night.
Gleason: 4+3=7
some perineural invasion noted.
no lymph node involvement.
margins clear.

James C.
Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 4462
   Posted 6/25/2008 10:54 AM (GMT -6)   
Each one gets easier for me.  As you build a string of good results, you can see that the danger is receding with each one and can begin to relax. 

James C.
Co-Moderator- Prostate Cancer Forum

Age 61
4/19/07 PSA 7.6, referred to Urologist, recheck 6.7
7/11/07 Biopsy- 16 core samples, size of gland around 76 cc. Staging pT2c
7/17/07 Path report: 3 of 16 PCa, 5% involved, left lobe , GS 3/3:6.
9/24/07 (open) Retropubic Radical Prostatectomy performed
9/26/07 Post-op Path Report: GS 3+3=6 Staging pT2c, 110gms, margins clear
10/15/07 ED- begin 50mg Viagra and Vacurect pump nightly, Fully continent
1/14/08 Caverject started/stopped, aching. 2/24/08 .5ml Bimix started-success
5/7/08 ED- Viagra, pump, no response- Trimix .075ml continues
Post Surgery PSA's:  3 mts-0, 6 mts.-0

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 219
   Posted 6/25/2008 11:22 AM (GMT -6)   

Everyone is different. It seems for awhile we all adjust our life cycles around our testing or proceedures. Mine is every three weeks. Others are every 6 months or every year. It will get easier as time goes on. I don't know how to make it any easier or tell you what to do, other than to reach down deep within yourself and find that place of peace. We will keep you in our thoughts and prayers. Remember that the numbers will get better with time.

Peace and love,


Age: 55 ( still alive at 55)
PSA 43 7/2005
Biopsy 12/14 Gleason 7 & 9
Divinci 9/2005 - spread to bladder
HT - 10/2005 (Eligard every 6 months)
RT - 10/2005 (38 treatments)
PSA 0.12 to 1.9 2/2007
Bone Scan and CT 4/2007 Bone mets
Casodex 4/2007
Zometa infusions 4/2007
PSA 4.8 8/2007
PSA 6.34 12/2007
Radiation (15 treatments) started on bone mets 12/2007
PSA 6.72 1/2008
PSA 8.23 2/2008 - Starting prednisone for 30 days
PSA 14 2-29-2008 - start chemo on 3/12
PSA 12.82 3/1/2008 round one chemo
PSA 12.24 4/2/2008 round two chemo 
PSA 10.86 4/24/2008 round three chemo
PSA 10.4 5/15/2008 round four chemo - increase dosage next month
PSA 12.98 6/5/2008 round five chemo
"I will persist without exception - I will find a way where there is no way"

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 264
   Posted 6/25/2008 2:06 PM (GMT -6)   
I had blood drawn this morning and this time I'm going stir crazy.  The nurse always calls about 4 or 5 hours after I leave there with the results.  I never used to worry about them after about six months of good readings but my previous PSA was .7 up from .2 where it had been for over a year.  So I think while everyone is different the circumstances also play a part.  As it has already been stated get you a string of good results and it should ease a lot.  I must admit I'm sure glad I get mine back the same day.  Hang in there.
Prostate Cancer, Removed by Da Vincie Robotic
in Aug. 2006 
Poorly Differentiated Adenocarcinoma involving Left and Right Lobes involving 80% of the Specimens
Gleason 4+4=8
Pathologic Stage T2C No Mx
Age at Diag. 51
1 year PSA .02
DES Stent Placement on 12/31/07

Roger G
Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 150
   Posted 6/25/2008 2:57 PM (GMT -6)   

Go with the advice these gentlemen are giving. I was in the same boat you are in now all of 8 months ago. After a few the waiting get's easier... and the next thing you know your approaching your one year anniversay.


“Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn't really get you anywhere.”
Age: 43 (2008)
DRE Small Ridge on prostate, PSA 1.5
07/2007: Diagnosed cancer, T2c, Gleason 3+4=7
09/2007: Laparoscopic prostectomy @ Hamilton General, 4 hrs.
              Both nerve bundles spared
              Pathology Report: Tumor confined w/in prostate
              T2c, Gleason is 3+3=6
              Went home with JP drain
10/2007: Made return trip to hospital.  All urine was comming out JP drain.
10/2007: Catheter removed. Next to no leakage
11/2007: 1st PSA <.003 :)
              ED: Started Viagra, no response yet.
12/2007: Had confidence to go padless!!!!!
12/2007: ED:  Stopped Viagra as it's causing hemroid problems.
01/2008: 2nd PSA <.003 :)
              ED: next to no response.
04/2008: 3nd PSA <.003 :)
              ED: next to no response.  Changed the Viagra prescription.

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 82
   Posted 6/25/2008 4:08 PM (GMT -6)   
Yeah, the first couple psa tests after surgery were worse than waiting for the biopsy results. I was convinced, in my feeble mind, that they were stalling 'cause the results were bad. I was a wreck. The first test after surgery I couldn't stand the wait any longer and I called the hospital and the nurse said, "Yeah, I have your results but I can't give them to you. You have to wait for the doctor to call you." Then I was TOTALLY covinced that my life was ending and she just didn't want to be the one to spring the news. I called my regular doctor and begged him to get the results. He called me back within 10 minutes. <0.1 undetectable. They have been that way for nearly 3 years now. Whew!

The point is, the first wait was the worst, the subsequent ones get gradually easier but the apprehension will probably never dissappear entirely. Just rejoice in the "undetectables" when you get them!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 1219
   Posted 6/25/2008 6:29 PM (GMT -6)   
I think my husband would say the first one is the hardest. This is normal...I wish you peace and a zero.

Husband Diagnosed 11/17/05 Age: 63 PSA: 7.96 No Symptoms
2/09/06: LRP - Post Pathology - Gleason 4+3 Stage T2b NO MX
3 mo. PSA: 11.8 Stage T3a
6 mo. PSA: 18.8 Stage IV Systemic w/ distant lymph node involvement
Start HT - Lupron 3 mo. shots
12/06/06: PSA 0.8
03/07/07: PSA 0.3
PSA - Undetectable since 6/07/07

Link to journey:

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1132
   Posted 6/25/2008 7:00 PM (GMT -6)   
i had surgery on 5/9 and have had 2 post surgery psa's. one at 4 weeks and the other at 6 weeks. i was scared waiting on both. thank goodness my doctor's office can check the psa. i receive the results before i leave. i hope it gets better because i can't live my life on 3 month intervals waiting on test results. we all have come a long way and should be proud of the progress and hope all is for the best. i am trying not to worry. this is hard to do when it seems like my hobby is to worry about something..
Age 48
occupation accountant
PSA increased from 2.6 to 3.5 in one year
biopsy march 2008 - cancer present gleason 7
decision - surgery (robotic)
surgery may 9, 2008 - houston, tx
pathology report -gleason 8
margins clear
4 week and 6 week PSA .04 (undetectible)
continence ok during day - 1 pad
night time different story
kegel's twice a day 20 reps

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1015
   Posted 6/25/2008 7:42 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi Kark60,

As has been said, the first PSA is the worst.  When you have follow-up PSAs that are "good," you build up more confidence and fear is lessened.

Having said that, for my most recent (4th) PSA, I started worrying when my doctor didn't come into the room right away for my appointment.  I was the first patient, I could see her at the nurses desk before I went into the exam room.  So I expected her in the room right away.  She came in 10-15 minutes later, so my mind was wandering durng the wait.  When she came in, she didn't say anything at all about the PSA and discussed some of my other post-op challenges with me to see how I was doing.  A few minutes later, I finally asked about the PSA and she said "Yes... your PSA is great."  What a relief!

Since PCa is not like other cancers where you are pronounced "cured" after a short period such as 3-5 years.  I think we will all have the normal fears when we get the tests, but it does occupy less and less of your daily worries.

Barry ~ (a.k.a. "Idaho") - Prostate Cancer Forum Moderator


Da Vinci Surgery July 31, 2007… 54 on surgery day
PSA 4.3  Gleason 3+3=6  T2a  Confined to Prostate

1st PSA  09/11/2007  <0.04 (undetectable)

2nd PSA 12/10/2007  <0.04

3rd PSA  03/17/2008  <0.04

4th PSA  06/17/2008  <0.04

My web site:

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 741
   Posted 6/25/2008 8:02 PM (GMT -6)   

It has become easier for me, but I was never really nuts about the waiting.  Anxious yes, but not crazy.  Less and less as time passes.  I put some effort into it, however.



August of 2006, PSA up to 4.2 from 2.7 one year ago. 
October free and total PSA 12% free and 5.0 total.
A month, or so later, 4.7.
Late in the year decide on Image Guided IMRT.
Begin 43 treatments on January 23, 2007 and finish on March 23.
Four month post treatment PSA is 1.9.
Seven month PSA is 0.8.

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 187
   Posted 6/25/2008 8:43 PM (GMT -6)   

I suffer big time PSA anxiety every time I go in....I'm on an every six month check, and I start to feel the butterflies about a month ahead.   I get the draw done a couple of days ahead of my visit so I can hear the result directly from my doctor.  I'm being treated for high blood pressure and its always really high when a I go in....  But that wonderful sense of relief when they give you the undectable reading is hard to beat.

I think we've all learned from our cancer experineces to not take the good in our life for granted.   PSA recurrence is not a death sentence...especially first go round after primary treatment where there's still a good shot of it being still localized or residual disease.  Having exhausted local treatment, I know a PSA recurrence for me at this time points more toward systematic disease... which probably is not curable -- BUT not neccessarily terminal either!

This thing IS going to be fully curable some day.... even if we get systematic recurrence, I'd be willing to bet that there are  many on this board who will live to see the day where we'll see that cure in action!   Keep the faith, borthers, keep the faith!  

Age 47 - pre-surgery PSA 39
Open Radical Prostatectomy 6/9/2006
Pathological Stage T3a, Positive Surgical Margin
Gleason 3+4
PSA rose to .24 in November of 2006
6 month hormone therapy initiated December 1. 2006
36 sessions of IMRT Ended Feb 1, 2007
PSA as of May 25, 2007 undetectable
PSA as of November 29, 2007 undetectable
PSA as of May 14, 2008 undetectable
Next PSA November of 2008

FLHW(David E)
Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 201
   Posted 6/25/2008 8:48 PM (GMT -6)   
It never got easier for me! I use to start calling after 48 hours.
Luckily, now I got to a University Hospital (Kansas) and get PSA results in thirty minutes!!!
Dx'd 2/18/05
PSA 219, bone mets, lymph node involvement
Gleason Score: 7
Current (6-9-08)
PSA: 52.02
Taxotere + Prednisone + Atrasentan
[started June 9th]
Clinical Trial:
Personal Blog:

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 75
   Posted 6/25/2008 9:08 PM (GMT -6)   
My husband gets pains when he's getting close to his next Lupron shot and that freaked us out in the beginning. But getting great results and time certainly took away most of the anxiety. Furthermore, his primary doctor keeps a close eye on the PSA and sometimes includes when we have other blood work done so we're regularly updated. I guess the anxiety will increase once the numbers start going up. Dutchy
Dutchy's husband
Diagnosis: 7/6: PSA 1,946, multiple bone metastases in thoracic, lumbar spine, pelvis, bilateral ribs and proximal left tibia, 2 weeks Casodex (50 mg)

Treatment: 3 monthly Lupron injection (22.5 mg) + Zometa (4 mg IV). Added daily Casodex (50 mg) in September 2007.

25/06: PSA 407
20/08: PSA 3,7
29/09: PSA 0.7
14/10: PSA 0.17
18/12: PSA < 0.003
15/03: PSA <0.003
15/05: PSA <0.003

May 2008: diagnosed with advanced colon cancer

M. Kat
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 715
   Posted 6/26/2008 6:32 AM (GMT -6)   
The first year was the hardest and now that we're almost at the 2nd year mark, we still wonder what the results will be, but don't worry as much. But we do breath a sigh of relief when the results come back <0.1. I wish you a lifetime of zeroes!
Husband Jeff 56 years old diagnosed July 27, 2006
PSA 6.5, 2 positive areas in biopsy, Gleason 3+3=6
Radical Retropubic Prostatectomy August 30, 2006
pathology report - all clear - cancer gone
1st post-surgery PSA test <0.1, 2nd post-surgery PSA test <0.1, 3rd PSA <0.1
no more pads Oct 12, 2006
first "real" erection with use of pump 12/16/06
3/07 - occasional dribbles and erections with Cialis and pump
8/07 - 1 yr PSA <0.1
9/1/07 - achieved erection with Viagra - no pump!
3/08 - 18 mo PSA <0.1
tried Levitra - works much better than Viagra - fewer side affects

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