afterglo I found your post very upsetting.
You should not be feeling like you're living in a nightmare, or hardly even a bad dream. However, I know exactly how you feel and have every sympathy for you. I found out I had PCa from a telephone message left on our answering machine on the weekend. It took me until Wednesday before I was able to talk to the doctor. Some of the worst days of my life. I figured I was a gonner for sure.
But I'm not gone and I have no intention of going. The Gleason score is an indication of how bad things are and how bad things are likely to be. My score is worse than your husband's, but now, after surgery, when I plug my stats into one of those prediction models they calculate that in 10 years I have a better than 95% chance the cancer won't be back. Tonight we had dinner with several friends. Two of the men have had their prostates out. Two haven't. The two of us who have been eviscerated figured we have far less chance of having prostate cancer in 10 years than the two who haven't. Our cancers have been found and treated. Their's may be lurking and growing.
As you'll learn the Gleason score is made up of two numbers. A pathologist looks at a slide of the biopsy seeking abnormal cells. These are rated from one to five. Anything less than a 3 isn't considered to be cancer according to a urologist oncologist I consulted with. The most common non-normal cells your husband has are threes. The second most common are also threes. Add 'em together and that's the six. He's got prostate cancer alright but he just meets the minimum standards to join the club. Doctors are going to be fighting to treat him. He'll make their track record look excellent. Chances are if he treated his PCa with a weekly massage and meat lovers pizza at Pizza Hut on Friday night he'd be fine in 10 years.
Pretend you're on a four engined plane crossing the Atlantic, 30 minutes out of Paris. An engine conks out. Not good, but hey, the other three are going and even if they start to blow, the two pilots can glide you into Charles De Gaulle for a safe landing. Can things go wrong? Certainly. But, out there over the Atlantic are hundreds of other flights which could have trouble too. At least you know what your problem is, the pilot is trained to deal with it, and you're just 30 minutes from touch down. Those poor folk following in waves of planes behind you might blow two engines three hours out!
Tomorrow the focus of your Thanksgiving should be a real celebration. You may be down an engine, but with a Gleason 6 you've got three others working hard and you've got experts to glide you into a safe landing. I guarantee you on Black Friday if you head to the shopping center you'll pass men with prostate cancer who don't know they have prostate cancer --- and you should be grinning from ear to ear because you know he has PCa, that with a Gleason 6 he has a very treatable cancer and has every chance of being cured. It's the guys who don't know they have it, and aren't going to get treated who should be having nightmares.
I don't want to downplay the fact he has cancer, and that you'll likely decide to treat it. But I do want to help put this into perspective for you. And that perspective is that tomorrow you have much to be thankful for.
Ahead of you you've got some learning to do, and some decisions to make, and probably you'll decide to treat the PCa --- although one of the things you'll learn is that with a Gleason 6 and his low PSA what they call 'watchful waiting' may be a reasonable option. But, that's next week. Tonight, and tomorrow, you really do have something to celebrate and be thankful for!
Sheldon AKA Sleepless
P.S. I'm 67 and I'm making plans for my 100th. I'll put you two on my guest list, if you'll put me on his. Deal?
Age 67 in Apil '09 at news of 4 of 12 cores positive T2B and Gleason 3 + 3 and 5% to 25% PSA 1.5
Re-read of slides in June said Gleason 3 + 4 same four cores 5% to 15%
June 29 daVinci prostatectomy, Dr. Eric Estey, at Royal Alexandra Hospital Edmonton one night stay
Flew home to Winnipeg on July 3 after 5 nights in Ramada Inn --- perfect recovery spot!
Catheter out July 9, so far, so good
Final pathology is 3 + 4 Gleason 7, clear margins, clear nodes, T2C, sugeron says report is "excellent"
First post op PSA Sept 09 less than 0.02
PSA on Oct 23 test again less than 0.02
Oct 1st 09 -- dry at night, during day some stress issues, but better every week.
Feel free to email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org