Thanks for the support and excellent info everyone!!
Sleepless......you have NO idea how much I appreciate you giving me information regarding Dr. Estey and your experience with him!
Jeffaine.....PLEASE continue with your story in another thread! It's important for us to hear it, and therapeutic for yourself in the telling!!
Our consult with the Radiation oncologist (Dr. H.) on Thursday went extremely well. He spent one and a half hours with us discussing AS and various other modalities, including Brachy.
My husband's young age (longer predicted lifespan) is the ONLY reason I'm worried about
AS....there just isn't enough published data that includes men (in large sample numbers) in his age group. None of the doctors I work with, including "Dr. H." that we spent 1 1/2 hours with last week, are trying to push us in ANY treatment direction....they're just providing us with the information and stats for all the different treatment options, and reassuring us that there's no need to jump into anything immediately.
Dr. H. even said that if my husband (Dairn) opts for treatment right away, he'd probably recommend surgery (he's a little young for Brachy), but that if he really WANTED brachy, he'd be willing to do it. He also said he'd be willing to monitor Dairn's PSA levels if he wants to go the AS route (even if it's just for a short time), and if at any time Dairn decides to change his mind, he can pursue any treatment option he chooses. Dr. H is currently monitoring 4 patients who are roughly the same age as Dairn. He's been doing AS with one of the guys for 4 years, since he was 42, and his PSA has remained quite stable. He's also had a couple of guys who tried AS, but couldn't carry on with it because it caused them too much stress knowing their cancer was "still in there". There has been one patient that progressed a little more quickly than he liked to see, so they immediately proceeded with treatment. The fellow happened to choose surgery, with good results.
The Radiation and Medical oncologists here in Canada are on salaries, so they don't get paid on a per-patient basis. There's absolutely no incentive (at least not monetary) for them to push patients in any direction.
I HAVE to share this with you.....it's pretty funny!! When we were in with Dr. H, he was telling Dairn that he could decide at any point in time to go for treatment rather than continuing with AS. He told him that the majority of patients who stop AS do so because it becomes too stressful to have to go for the PSAs and wonder each time "is this gonna be the 'bad' one?". My husband replied, "So what you're saying is that if I'm so stressed out that I can't get an erection, and I'm wetting myself anyway, what's the point?" LOL!!! DID WE EVER HOOWWWLLLLL!!
The one thing we certainly have going for us is that we have a great relationship, and we are talking about
absolutely EVERYTHING with eachother! We had a bit of a cry out in the hot tub last night.....I guess I started it when I told him how proud I was of him for being so
open and honest, and for how well he's handling things! He's always been able to discuss things with me, but he's usually quite private around other people when it comes to such personal matters. There are a few guys that work for him that he's quite close to, and he told me that when they ask hwo he's doing he discusses his concerns about
quality of life, etc. I'm SOOO happy he has found the strength to talk
it with other men, and develop a little support network for himself!
I think we're definitely going to get the slides reread by a specialist, and I will contact Dr. Estey's office on Monday to see where he suggests having them sent. Dairn IS considering doing AS for at least a while, so our comfort level will be much better if we can get some reassurance prior to taking that route. I'm also going to see whether a color doppler or MRI would be of any value. The other thing we don't know is his level of Free PSA.
Understandably, he's not sleeping very well....thoughts and fears that you're able to keep at bay during the day have a way of invading your brain at night! He hates taking pills of any kind, but I've told him that at the very least, he's going to try taking a Gravol before bed tonight and see if it helps! How many of your wives have become "bossy cows" since your diagnosis??? LOL!!!!
Having said all this, I think Dairn is leaning toward having surgery, but not immediately.
We're looking forward to our upcoming trip!! We're not going to go to Sedona this year, as we went there last year.....BEAUTIFUL place!! When we get back, we have a consult with a very reputable local urologist to discuss
open radical prostatectomy. Also, since there's been sufficient time since the biopsy, Dairn will be able to have another PSA test. The appointment with Dr. Estey is April 12th!!
Thanks again, and I'll keep you posted!!
Post Edited (kuls) : 3/13/2010 10:58:10 AM (GMT-7)