Well, like everyone else, I did not see this coming. Went through all the stages, denial, anger etc. 49 and never been sick a day in my life. Blood tests always fabulous my whole life until the raised PSA, 4.7, 5.6 then down to 4.7 again. Third biopsy found it. Rated 2+3=5 gleason. 11 negative cores, 1 positive core, 5% of core positive. t1c... whatever that is. Negative bone scan.
So I rationalize that this is not the end of the world (and it isn't). I read up and determined that if I have to have this, I'm sittin pretty good cause we found it nice and early.
Then I start talking to doctors, all of which I respect, but it becomes very clear that each one wants to sell me what they've got. If they've entered a field then I am sure they feel good about what they are doing and feel they are giving me good advice. So I harbor no ill will. But medicine is a business, and new customers are always welcome.
After all the reading and talking to people, I feel like I have a pretty good understanding of outcomes for the average patient. The wrinkle is my age which takes me out of the 'average' category. At least I feel like it does. Every doctor has said, "You are unusually young and this is why you should take advantage of the treatment I have to offer."
So I will throw my treatment rationale out there and let everybody punch holes in it, which I am sure will make me want to kick my dog. (I would never do that - I love my dog. I love my prostate too... nevertheless I must kill it!)
My lifestyle/livelyhood would be seriously affected by any period of incontinence or a lengthy recovery time, so I put surgery off to the side immediately. I know many men have had good surgery outcomes and many have not. I am not afraid of surgery, but if the outcome is not good, it could be a really big problem for me. At 49 however, I realize I am a great candidate. My urologist wants to take my prostate out like... yesterday. He's like a kid in a prostate candy store. I'm afraid to turn my back on him as he might knock me out and RP me against my will!
Brachy sounds good. But if I make it to 80 yo, that means I'll have those things floating around inside me for 31 years. I am just uneasy with that... although I have not ruled it out.
Cyberknife... I really don't want to run the risk of frying my other parts for the sake of convenience.
I work and live 10 minutes from Sloan Kettering and they made a very good 'pitch' for IMRT (conformal external radiation)... and hey... It's Sloan Kettering. I'll have to stop in 40 times over 8 weeks, but I can handle that... I think. I realize this is not risk free and can also have some nasty side effects, including incontinence, diminishing potency over time and fatigue during treatment.
It all kinda stinks but I am leaning towards the IMRT at SK. Does anyone feel I've done a poor job packing my parachute? And if you've made it this far, thanks for listening and I hope you are doing well. I realize there are a lot of brave souls out there in much worse circumstances.