Well, today is April 6th, my wife and I celebrate our 35th wedding aniverersery today. Most of her peers have a hard time believing she has been married that long, but they have to know that she had just turned 18 when we married. I was 22, just out of the Navy and back from Nam. Plus her natural red hair makes her look much younger. I am taking her on a weeks's vacation to her beloved hometown of St. Petersburg, Florida a couple of weeks to celebrate.
We both certainly put the "for sickness, as in health" part of our wedding vows to good use over the years. I started out with a near fatal attack of pancreatitis when I was 28 years old, they put me in ICU for 10 days. Within 2 years, I was mostly grey haired completely.
She went through 3 childbirths, the first 2 were all natural, and went well. On the 3rd and final, something terrible went wrong, and they had to do an emergency extraction at the infamous Parkland Memorial in Dallas, Tx. They almost lost her several times during the attempt, but thank goodness, jr. and mother both pulled through.
Next up, was my first case of porocarcinoma, in my scalp. No big deal, they surgically removed it, and that was that. Wrong. A year later, it grew back in the same spot, and in a fast and vicious manner. It was large and ugly, guess they didn't cut enough margin the first time. So the second time, much more involved surgery, and so much was removed, that they had to do major plastic surgery to cover the large gap in my scalp. That was a fun one.
As I was recovering from that, my wife had to have some long overdue corrective foot surgery, to fix something that she was born with. We were a fine pair both recovering from something at the same time.
Two years later, while shaving, I discoverd a large painless lump in the throat, went to the gp, who said it was nothing, who sent me to the surgeon, who said it was nothing, had lumps removed from both sides of my throat. Right side - fine, left side - heavily populated with the deadly porocarcinoma cancer in my lymph nodes.
To be safe, had two more operations to remove suspicious lumps, one in my loin area, and one in my thigh, they were both harmless.
That's when I had my first oncologist, and expert on porocarcinoma, because he had one other patient. Seriously, at that time, only 38 known cases in the U.S. And only 5 cases ever recorded on the scalp. They knew chemo wouldn't work, and they were unsure about radiation, so they blasted me for 35 days of intense radiation. It did a number on me, I was radiated from the center of my chest to just below my eyes.
Two months after the radiation ended, I was hit with severe fatigue (chronic), wouldn't go away, so they put me into 6 months of physical therapy, eventually that helped, but I never fully recovered even to this day, still have side affects.
Next up, my wife contracted severe case of Hepititis C. At that time, the only hope was experimental drugs. I had to give that poor wife of mine a shot in her stomach once a week with this strange combo of drugs. The insurance did pay, thank goodneess, as each weekly treatment cost around $2,000. She recovered, and no sign of a return.
When she was well enough from that, she underwent female surgery, which involved quite a long recovery time.
Next up for me, was a year long bout with Major Clinical Depression (I wonder why). It was a different kind of fight, but still a fight to survive.
And then less then a year later, last August, I got the PCa dx.
And to think, I am only covering the major events, the hospital events. We are both tough birds, and we have helped each other through these medical happenings. I still view my wife as the 18 year old girl I married that had curly red hair down past her waist when we got married.
True love conquers all, even horrible diseases like PC, and breast cancer, and all the other terrible maladies that effect us mere humans. Without the love and strength of my wife of 35 years now, I would have never made it, would have never had the inspiration to overcome these difficulties along the way.
My best to each and every man here, and to their wives, salute.
David in SC
Age 56, 56 at DX, PSA 7/7 5.8, 7/8 12.3,9/8 14.5
3rd Biopsy Sept 08: Positive 7 of 7 cores, 40-90%, Gleason 7, 4+3
Open RP surgery 11/14/8, Right nerves spared, 4 days hospital, staples out 11/24/8, 5th cath out on 1/19/9
Post-surgery Pathlogy Report:Gleason 3+4=7, pT2c, 42 grm, tumor 20%, Contained in capsular, clear margins, clear lymph nodes
First PSA Post Surgery 2/9 .05, 6 month on 5/9