smc64, i think you are thinking the right approaches this. and I understand too with your wife being gone, mine is a very qualified nurse, and we shared in the research and decision for myself. the only point i think might be misunderstood (perhaps by me), is that you might be perfectly correct in thinking how low level your pc is at this point, and that's the only place i see a real gamble. your comment on your last dre, all 7 of my previous ones including right up to my dx were smooth, and syptoms, many men here, myself included, were in good general shape/health with no other sympton ahead of time, if you look at my pre surgery stats, had a pretty serious cancer going on that i would have known about other then having psa done since age 50 just because i was told that men should. some mens gleasons go down after surgery, but a larger percentage actually go up, as my dr said, until they have the entire gland to run through pathology, anything thing done ahead a time is like a "best estimate". one reason surgery was considered the"gold standard" is because it gave the best opportunity to see the best scope and range of the cancer. my interest to you, is not pushing my solution, or any other solution, but just don't want you or any other man with any pc dx to underestimate what it can do on its on.
Age 56, 56 at DX, PSA 7/7 5.8, 7/8 12.3, 9/8 14.9, 10/8 16.4
3rd Biopsy 9-2008 Positive 7 of 7 cores positive, 40 - 90%, G 4+3 & 3+4
Open RP surgery 11/14/8, Non-nerve sparing, 4 days hospital, staples out 11/24/8, Catheter out on 12/15/8. Stopped flowing, new catheter put in 12/16/08, Catheter out 12/29/08. Emergency room put in Catheter # day 45, 1/5/9 - Cath #3 out, dr. did cycloscope, saw potential blockage, put in Catheter #4, 1/13/9 - removed blockage, put in Cath #5, 1/19/9 -out
Post-surgery Pathlogy Report:Gleason 3+4=7, pT2c, 42 grams, tumor 20%, Contained in capsular, clear margins, clear lymph nodes
First PSA Post Surgery Scheduled now for 2/9/9