Telling business clients about illness/surgery?

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April6th
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 264
   Posted 5/18/2010 8:51 AM (GMT -6)   
I own a small business based out of my home. My clients and suppliers are scattered across the U.S. (and a few international too). I design and sell sports apparel and right now is our busiest time of year.

I plan to close my business a few days before my prostate surgery (which is June 1st) and keep it closed while I recover. I plan to return to work once I can sit comfortably for 4 hrs/day and answer emails, make phone calls and do light deskwork. Since, I work at home, it is easy for me to rest whenever needed during the day. I have an employee who will do any lifting or anything that requires a lot of mobility.

I have to notify some of my clients and suppliers with an email that I will be closed---it would be really bad if I closed with no notice. Although I am not close friends with any of them, I am on a friendly basis with all of them and am certain some will inquire as to why I am closing in my industry's (summer sports apparel) busiest time of year (it doesn't make sense under normal circumstances). My business closing in June makes as much sense as Macys closing in December.

I plan to tell any who inquire that I am having minor hernia surgery and that the surgery is relatively simple but I have to close for a while to recover since I can't do any lifting (we ship lots of items) and that I need to rest and recover before returning to work. I want to give more info than just saying "a personal matter" or "health issues" because that would just raise more questions. I just want to provide a plausible explanation of why I am closing that doesn't cause them undue concern.

I have a circle of family, friends and two employees that I have told about my prostate cancer and that is all I care to know about it.

Is it a big deal to lie like this? I don't want to deal with the responses from clients and suppliers if I tell them I have prostate cancer. I don't want to plant the seed of uncertainty in their minds about my future health. Is this an OK thing to do?

Dan
Here are some of my stats:
Age:54
Father diagnosed with PC at age 72 - wasn't contained to prostate when found in 1992.
My PSA rose from 3.2 to 5.1 over the course of 1.5 years with Free PSA at 25% for the last two tests.
DRE showed no evidence of tumor but Uro thought my prostate was a little large for someone my age
PCa diagnosed 4/6/10 after biopsy on 4/1/10
1 out of 12 biopsy samples was positive with 5% of biopsy sample cancerous
Gleason 3+4
Da Vinci surgery scheduled for 6/1/10

Post Edited (April6th) : 5/18/2010 8:03:35 AM (GMT-6)


Casey59
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 3172
   Posted 5/18/2010 9:05 AM (GMT -6)   
Dan,
 
This is a real sensitive, personal area, and so you will likely get lots of opinions on this.
 
Consider this...if you were female and having surgery on reproductive parts, you wouldn't describe the details either.  What would a woman write in a similar situation?  A sentence something like this might be appropriate:  "I am taking a brief time off from work to address and recover from an important health concern.  I would like to thank you in advance for your best wishes.  We will be unavailable only for a short time (2 weeks), and look forward to returning to full service by mid-June."
 
Personally, I wouldn't lie.  Some customers might ask you, on an individual level, after your email is sent which you may choose to answer one-on-one, others will have the courtesy to not ask.
 
 
Totally different thought...
You have a tiny amount of cancer found.  Why not postpone surgery 3 months, and get off-peak?  You have no need to rush.
 
 

Post Edited (Casey59) : 5/18/2010 8:17:18 AM (GMT-6)


April6th
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 264
   Posted 5/18/2010 9:28 AM (GMT -6)   
"Totally different thought...
You have a tiny amount of cancer found. Why not postpone surgery 3 months?"

Yes, my biopsy found only a tiny amount and most likely waiting a few months would be OK from a medical standpoint and certainly better financially from a business standpoint, but a lot of things were factored into my decision to have my surgery June 1st.

Probably the most important was that I wanted the surgery sooner for peace of mind. It would be a bigger burden for me and my wife and family to think about the uncertainty of my surgery and cancer for another 3 months. What if my cancer is regraded to a higher gleason after surgery--I probably would have regretted waiting. Or what if there was a bit of cancer on the margin that the biopsy didn't catch. These are probably unlikely events but still.....

From a practical standpoint, my family and I have events and travel scheduled for the fall-and my surgery and recovery would be more disruptive from that perspective.

It really boiled down to money and I am prepared to take the financial hit of closing my business during the peak time for the mental well being of me and my family.

Thanks for suggesting it though.

Dan
Here are some of my stats:
Age:54
Father diagnosed with PC at age 72 - wasn't contained to prostate when found in 1992.
My PSA rose from 3.2 to 5.1 over the course of 1.5 years with Free PSA at 25% for the last two tests.
DRE showed no evidence of tumor but Uro thought my prostate was a little large for someone my age
PCa diagnosed 4/6/10 after biopsy on 4/1/10
1 out of 12 biopsy samples was positive with 5% of biopsy sample cancerous
Gleason 3+4
Da Vinci surgery scheduled for 6/1/10


Worried Guy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 3743
   Posted 5/18/2010 9:29 AM (GMT -6)   
Dan,

Welcome to HW. You are a man after my own heart.
That is basically what I did.
I avoided telling anyone at work that I was having the surgery. Most thought I was going on vacation. When I had to explain the absence, I only told a few guys that I was having surgery down there. I sorta kinda implied that it was a stricture of some kind. "You don't want to know. " or "A urologist once told me there are two kinds of bicycle riders: those that have urethral strictures and those that will have them." That kind of stuff. I agree saying it's personal only raises more questions.

I truly believe it forced me to be more normal quicker. Like the way the hospital makes you get out of bed early and start walking.
With business meetings I stop drinking at least 2 hours before. I go to the bathroom 30 minutes before the meeting, pee, change a pad, and I can outlast anyone in the room.

I'm with Casey. What is the rush? 1/12, 5%, Free PSA 25%. You can wait, but maybe you want to get it over with. I can understand that.
In the meantime, kegel, get your house and office in order and empty that prostate. Kegel some more.

Good luck!
Jeff

Edited by me. I see that you were writing a response while I was writing. Now I understand why you want it now.
Married 34 years, DX Age 56. First routine PSA test on April 8, 09: 17.8. Start 2 weeks of Cipro to rule out protatitis. May '09 PSA: 22.6, 3 weeks later: PSA: 23.2.
Biopsy 6/10/09: 7/12 scores positive, 20%-70%, Gleason 6=3+3. Bone and C/T scans neg.
RP DaVinci -7/21/2009 @ Univ of Roch Medical Center
Left nerve gone, right partial spared.
Catheter removed - 7/31/2009 Pathology report received:
Gleason 3+4=7, Tumor size: 2.5 x 1.8 cm, location: both lobes and apex.
Extraprostatic extension present; Perineural invasion: present, extensive.
No Malignancy in Seminal Vesicle, vasa deferentia, lymph nodes 0/13
Prostate mass 56 grams. Pathologic Stage: pT3aN0MX
Post Surgery Status:
Potency - 12/11 5 months, Still no activity, zip. Using pump daily since 11/11. No effect with 20 mg of Cialis or 100 mg of Viagra. Shots next See Uro 1/22/10 Trimix #1. Try 0.08- 25%, 0.12-25%, 2/26/10 try 0.16 First Success! 90%.
Incontinence - 8/20 4 full pads per day
.. 9/7 3-4 full pads per day. Try controlling fluids.
12/11/09 5 months: 3 pads per day, 400-450ml/day
02/26/10 7 months: 3 pads but leak is now 320 ml (5 day avg.)
03/22/10 8 months: 3 pads per day, 280 ml/day (5 day avg.) PT says all muscles are tight and working properly. There must be another issue. Uro mtg 4/23. Did I waste 9 months? Mtg 5/22.
Post Surgery PSA - 9/3 6 weeks - 0.05; 10/13 3 months - 0.04, 1/14 6 months - 0.05, 4/14 9 months - 0.04 and <0.01 with ECLIA.

Post Edited (Worried Guy) : 5/18/2010 9:01:26 AM (GMT-6)


BB_Fan
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 1011
   Posted 5/18/2010 9:47 AM (GMT -6)   
Dan, I also told very few of my business contacts about my surgery, and I don't think you should be concerned about telling a story. Simply saying your having minor surgery ought to be enough(although it is clearly not minor). Regarding your decision to have surgery now, you may be making a wise decision. As you can see from my signiture. I had a gleason 7 at biospy (3+4), but was actually an 8 based upon pathology report. I was and am a little upset that I waited 3.5 months to have surgery thinking that I was (3+4). Good luck. BB
Dx with PC Dec 2008 at 56, PSA 3.4, Biopsy: T1c, Geason 7 (3+4)

Robotic Surgery March 2009 Hartford Hospital, Dr Wagner
Pathology Report: T2c, Geason 8, organ confined, negitive margins, lymph nodes negitive
nerves spared, no negitive side effects of surgery

One night in hospital, back to work in 3 weeks

psa Junl 09 <.01
psa Oct 09 <.01
psa Jan 10 .07 re-test one week later .05
psa Mar 10 .28 re-test two weeks later .31
Aril 10 MRI and Bone Scan show lesion on lower spine, no SRT


April6th
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 264
   Posted 5/18/2010 9:54 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks guys for the responses.

Dan
Here are some of my stats:
Age:54
Father diagnosed with PC at age 72 - wasn't contained to prostate when found in 1992.
My PSA rose from 3.2 to 5.1 over the course of 1.5 years with Free PSA at 25% for the last two tests.
DRE showed no evidence of tumor but Uro thought my prostate was a little large for someone my age
PCa diagnosed 4/6/10 after biopsy on 4/1/10
1 out of 12 biopsy samples was positive with 5% of biopsy sample cancerous
Gleason 3+4
Da Vinci surgery scheduled for 6/1/10


Purgatory
Elite Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25393
   Posted 5/18/2010 9:55 AM (GMT -6)   
Dan, the trouble with the initial lie, is that one lie begets another. Recoveries from prostate surgery, whether it be robotic or open, vary so very much, despite the best of plans. Then you have to worry about what are you going to say to the original lie if your recovery hits a snag or complications which delay things even more? (not trying to take the moral card here, just the practical one).

Any prostate surgery is magor to the body, and if you are f ortunate, and your body responds well and the surgeon does a good job, hopefully your recovery will go well and on your sense of schedule.

We are all diffferent, I have been an open book about my PC, right from the start. There are those that understand and care, and those that don't. The ones that don't, I dismiss anyway.

Good business is about honesty, not just dependability and availability. Not judging in any sense of the word, I just think you might want to re-think your game plan if you have time.

I wish you well in your upcoming surgery.

David in SC
Age: 57, 56 dx, PSA: 7/07 5.8, 7/08 12.3, 9/08 14.5, 10/08 16.3
3rd Biopsy: 9/08 - 7/7 Positive, 40-90% Cancer, Gleason 4+3
Open RP: 11/08, Rht nerves saved, 4 days in hospt, on catheters for 63 days, 5th one out 1/09
Path Rpt: Gleason 3+4, pT2c, 42g, 20% cancer, 1 pos margin
Incontinence:  1 Month     ED:  Non issue at any point post surgery, no problem post SRT
Post Surgery  PSA: 2/09 .05,5/09 .1, 6/09 .11. 8/09 .16
Post SRT PSA: 1/10 .12, 4/8 .04, next one:  July
Latest: 7/9 met 2 rad. oncl, 7/9 cath #6 - blockage, 8/9 2nd corr surgery, 8/9 cath #7 out 38 days, 9/9 - met 3rd rad. oncl., mapped  9/9, 10/1 - 3rd corr. surgery - SP cath/hard dialation, 10/5 - 11/27 IMRT SRT 39 sess/72 gys ,cath #8 33 days, Cath #9 35 days, 12/7 - Cath #10 43 days, 1/19 - Corr Surgery #4,  Caths #11 and #12  same time, 2/8-Cath #11 out - 21 days, 3/2- Cath #12 out - 41 days, 3/2- Corr Surgery #5, 3/6 Cath #13 out - 4 days, Cath #14- 27 days, Cath #15 - 26 days, Cath #16 - 4/23 put in


Tudpock18
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 4278
   Posted 5/18/2010 10:24 AM (GMT -6)   

Dan:

My experience is that lying to one's business asssociates is rarely a good approach.  If they later find out the truth then you are forever branded a liar and may ask, "What else is he lying about?".  Like David, my prostate cancer was an open book and opened up numerous helpful conversations...every man who has not had PCa is interested because they all fear getting it.  However, if you are not comfortable with that openness I would think something like Casey's response is appropriate.  Then you can be open with those whom you choose and be coy with the others.  But you won't be a liar.

Re your concern about your cancer being upgraded later, you can minimize that possibility by having your original slides read by a PCa pathology expert, e.g. Epstein at Hopkins or Bostwick Labs.  Also, I assume you reviewed all options for your cancer treatment.  With brachytherapy, for example, you probably would not have to close the office at all...you would just be out for a day.

Tudpock (Jim)


Age 62, Gleason 3 + 4 = 7, T1C, PSA 4.2, 2 of 16 cores cancerous, 27cc
Brachytherapy December 9, 2008.  73 Iodine-125 seeds.  Procedure went great, catheter out before I went home, only minor discomfort.  Regular activities resumed, everything continues to function normally as of 4/10/10.  6 month PSA 1.4 and now 1 year PSA at 1.0.  My docs are "delighted"!

60Michael
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 2243
   Posted 5/18/2010 10:29 AM (GMT -6)   
Dan
I just told clients that I was closed due to recovering from surgery. Simple but true, but I have no judgement on what route that you chose for yourself. Take care and hope all goes well.
Michael
Dx with PCA 12/08 2 out of 12 cores positive 4.5 psa
59 yo when diagnosed, 61 yo 2010
Robotic surgery 5/09 Atlanta, Ga
Catheter out after 10 days
Gleason upgraded to 3+5, volume less than 10%
2 pads per day, 1 depends but getting better,
 started ED tx 7/17, slow go
Post op dx of neuropathy
T2C left lateral and left posterior margins involved
3 months psa.01, 6 month psa.4, 6 1/2 month psa.5 on 11/28/10
Starting IMRT on 1/18/10, Completed 39 tx at 70 gys on 3/12/10
6 week Post IMRT PSA .44 a drop from .5 but maybe more
Great family and friends
Michael


tatt2man
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 2845
   Posted 5/18/2010 10:33 AM (GMT -6)   
Dan:
Wishing you all the best for your upcoming surgery, peace of mind, and continued business success.

As mentioned previously, one "white lie" begats another and you can easily lose tract of who was told what.

An alternative is to tell your associates, clients, whomever, that you are having surgery June 1 ( plain and simple) and you will be doing as best you can to fulfill their needs while you recuperate.
And depending on how well you know them, and if they ask - it will up to you whether or not to expand on the truth.

On a personal note - some of my regular art clients were made aware of my prostate cancer surgery due to some changes in my charity donations - and my gardening clients (selected ones) were very receptive due to restriction of lifting and such at the garden centre. I have share many wonderful cancer survivor stories from my clients - who want to share their triumphs, as well as give me hope and encouragement on my own survival.

Whatever course you choose - you have my support.

hugs
BRONSON
.................
Age: 54 - gay - with common-law spouse of 13 years, Steve - 60
PSA: 04/2007- 1.68 - 08/2009 - 3.46 - 10/2009 - 3.86
Confirmation of Prostate Cancer: October 16, 2009 - 6 of 12 cancerous samples , Gleason 7 (4+3)
Doctor: Dr. Mohamed Elharram -Urologist / Surgeon - Peterborough Regional Health Centre
Radical Prostatectomy Operation: November 18, 2009 , home - November 21, 2009
Post Surgery Biopsy: pT3a- gleason 7 - extraprostatic extension - perineural invasion - prostate weight - 34.1gm -
ED Prescription: Jan 8/2010 - started daily 5mg cialis - girth back to normal -but not much length - will go for trimix in April when I see doc
Incontinence: Feb 2010- 3-5 pads/1-2 clothes changes/day- March 3, 2010 - week 14 after surgery -finally seeing improvement - March 29- incontinence better - 1-2 pads a day - one pad at night
location: Peteborough, Ontario, Canada
Post Surgery-PSA: - April 8, 2010 - 0.05 - I am in the ZERO CLUB - hooorah!
Next PSA - October 8, 2010 - TBA -
............


John T
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 4269
   Posted 5/18/2010 10:59 AM (GMT -6)   
I agree with Casey and Tud; don't lie; but only go into details if asked. There are also other options. As Tud suggested Brachytherapy would put you out one day and is just as effective or more than surgery with much less side affects. You could also hire a temporary person to do everything while you direct them. You could still talk to clients on the phone after a few days. Also this risk of waiting is very small; approaching zero in your case. Immediate Surgery seems to be an extreme decision with your stats and in your case.
JohnT

64 years old.

PSA rising for 10 years to 40, free psa 10-15. Had 5 urologists, 12 biopsies and MRIS all neg. Doctors DXed BPH and continue to get biopsies yearly. 13th biopsy positive in 10-08, 2 cores of 25, G6 less than 5%. Scheduled for surgery as recommended by Urological Oncologist.

2nd Opinion from Dr Sholtz, a Prostate Oncologist, said DX wrong, pathology shows indolant cancer, but psa history indicates large cancer or metastasis. Futher tests and Color Doppler confirmed large transition zone tumor that 13 biopsies and MRIS missed. G7, 4+3, approx 16mmX18mm.

Combidex MRI in Holland eliminated lymphnode mets. Casodex and Proscar reduced psa to 0.6 and prostate from 60mm to 32mm. Changed diet, no meat and dairy. All staging tests indicate that tumor is local and non agressive. (PAP, PCA3, MRIS, Color Doppler, Combidex, tumor reaction to diet and Casodex, and tumor location in transition zone). Surgery a poor option because tumor is located next to the urethea and positive margin is very likely; permanent incontenance is also high probability with surgery.

Seed implants on 5-19-09, 3 hours door to door, no pain, minor side affects are frequency and urgency; very controlable with Flowmax and lasted 4 weeks. Daily activities resumed day after implants with no restrictions. Gold markers implanted with seeds to guide IMRT.

25 treatments of IMRT 6 weeks after seed implants. No side affects at all.

PSA at end of treatment 0.02 mostly the result of Casodex. When I stop Casodex next week expect PSA to rise. Next PSA in November. Treatments and side affects have greatly exceeded my expectations. Glad to have this 11 year journey finally conclude.

JohnT


English Alf
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 2218
   Posted 5/18/2010 11:34 AM (GMT -6)   
Telling people about having cancer is, to my mind, as emotionally and practically complex as it gets. I've found it to be harder than telling someone about a death. (It's not as clear and certain as a death)

I agree that it is probably not worth tangling things up with a lie, but a simple version of the truth should suffice in business areas. And as has been hinted about adapting the truth in the future to explain anything else that may arise is easier than adapting a lie.

And in a way it is all part of increasing awareness, although with a very personal twist.

All the best with what you decide.

Alfred
Age at Dx 48 No Family history of Prostate Cancer
Married 25 years, and I cannot thank my wife enough for her support.
April 2009: PSA 8.6 DRE: negative. Tumour in 2 out of 12 cores. Gleason 3+3.
RALP (nerve-sparing) at AVL-NKI Hospital Amsterdam on 29th July 2009. Stay 1 night.
Partial erections on while catheter still in. Catheter out on 6th Aug 2009.
Dry at night after catheter came out
Post-op Gleason 3+4. Tumour mainly in left near neck of bladder.
Left Seminal Vesicle invaded, (=T3b!)
no perineraul invasion, no vascular invasion. clear margins,
Erection 100% on 15th Aug 2009, but lots of leaking
Stopped wearing pads on 21st Sept 2009
Pre-op style intercourse on 24th Oct 2009 !! No use of tablets, jabs, VED etc.
Nov 17th 2009 PSA = 0.1
Mar 17th 2010 PSA = 0.4!!! referred to radiation therapist
April 13th 2010 CT scan.
April 28th 2010 Started Radiation Therapy (66Gy - 33 sessions)


April6th
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 264
   Posted 5/18/2010 11:34 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for input, I have been given some things to think about.

I will probably play it differently depending on who makes the inquiry (I may not get any inquiries as to the specific reason I am closing anyways so I may not have to do anything). But if I get an inquiry from my contact at a Chinese factory I deal with or an inquiry from somebody I don't know there is no way I am going to tell them anything but a vague reason at most, but if it is somebody I have dealt with regularly for 8 years, I may tell them it is surgery for prostate cancer with a short explanation on high cure rates etc to ease their mind and to be sure they know I am not on my death bed. Making a preconceived decision on how to deal with it probably is not wise.

Although I appreciate the input about the treatments other than surgery, my decision for surgery was not based on the financial impact. I can deal with that. If the best case scenario happens with my Da Vinci surgery and I can return to work in a limited capacity in 3-4 days after surgery, everything is in place to ramp back up without me having to lift anything heavier than a pen, , push anything bigger than a computer mouse or work longer than 1-2 hours without a break.

Dan
Here are some of my stats:
Age:54
Father diagnosed with PC at age 72 - wasn't contained to prostate when found in 1992.
My PSA rose from 3.2 to 5.1 over the course of 1.5 years with Free PSA at 25% for the last two tests.
DRE showed no evidence of tumor but Uro thought my prostate was a little large for someone my age
PCa diagnosed 4/6/10 after biopsy on 4/1/10
1 out of 12 biopsy samples was positive with 5% of biopsy sample cancerous
Gleason 3+4
Da Vinci surgery scheduled for 6/1/10


April6th
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 264
   Posted 5/18/2010 11:38 AM (GMT -6)   
The only problem I have with telling a simple version of the truth such as "I am having abdominal surgery" or similar, is that it is vague enough to raise doubts about what is really wrong with me and may raise more questions and create more uncertainty. Hopefully nobody will even inquire.

Dan
Here are some of my stats:
Age:54
Father diagnosed with PC at age 72 - wasn't contained to prostate when found in 1992.
My PSA rose from 3.2 to 5.1 over the course of 1.5 years with Free PSA at 25% for the last two tests.
DRE showed no evidence of tumor but Uro thought my prostate was a little large for someone my age
PCa diagnosed 4/6/10 after biopsy on 4/1/10
1 out of 12 biopsy samples was positive with 5% of biopsy sample cancerous
Gleason 3+4
Da Vinci surgery scheduled for 6/1/10


Purgatory
Elite Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25393
   Posted 5/18/2010 12:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Dan, I hear you, but you can't go to the bank on thinking that after 3-4 days you will be up to being back to work, home based or not. Prostate removal surgery, whether it be robotic like you are wanting, or open like I had, is still a major and complex operation. For your sake and peace of mind, I sincerely hope it goes by the book, you get it done, you get over the worse of it quickly, and of course, that you don't have major side effects to deal with. But in your planning, you need to be thinking about Plan B, if Plan A doesnt go by the book.

We respect every man's treatment choice here, as it is your life we are talking about, but if you wanted the least invasive way with your numbers, then I would have to agree with the "seeded" brothers, that would be the way to go. I wanted that for myself, but my numbers and PSA velocity took it out of my choice column.

This site, and you know this if you have been reading any length of time, is filled mostly with men that had surgery (both methods), and are still dealing with long term incontinence, ED issues regardless of whether nerves were spared or not, or weird lingering stricture issues like me, almost 18 months out. We have men here, that literally went to the best surgeons in the country at the best possible hopspitals, yet it did not spare them from side issues or even recurrance.

You are fortunate, in that you haven't used up your first treatment cure yet. So now is definitely the time for all due dillegence as they say in the business world.

David in SC
Age: 57, 56 dx, PSA: 7/07 5.8, 7/08 12.3, 9/08 14.5, 10/08 16.3
3rd Biopsy: 9/08 - 7/7 Positive, 40-90% Cancer, Gleason 4+3
Open RP: 11/08, Rht nerves saved, 4 days in hospt, on catheters for 63 days, 5th one out 1/09
Path Rpt: Gleason 3+4, pT2c, 42g, 20% cancer, 1 pos margin
Incontinence:  1 Month     ED:  Non issue at any point post surgery, no problem post SRT
Post Surgery  PSA: 2/09 .05,5/09 .1, 6/09 .11. 8/09 .16
Post SRT PSA: 1/10 .12, 4/8 .04, next one:  July
Latest: 7/9 met 2 rad. oncl, 7/9 cath #6 - blockage, 8/9 2nd corr surgery, 8/9 cath #7 out 38 days, 9/9 - met 3rd rad. oncl., mapped  9/9, 10/1 - 3rd corr. surgery - SP cath/hard dialation, 10/5 - 11/27 IMRT SRT 39 sess/72 gys ,cath #8 33 days, Cath #9 35 days, 12/7 - Cath #10 43 days, 1/19 - Corr Surgery #4,  Caths #11 and #12  same time, 2/8-Cath #11 out - 21 days, 3/2- Cath #12 out - 41 days, 3/2- Corr Surgery #5, 3/6 Cath #13 out - 4 days, Cath #14- 27 days, Cath #15 - 26 days, Cath #16 - 4/23 put in


Jim is sick
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 118
   Posted 5/18/2010 12:09 PM (GMT -6)   
My opinion is a little different. It's nobody's business how you manage your health, or your treatment for your illnesses. Period! Do you think this will impact your ability to support your customers, now, or in the future? If the answer is no, then why tell them anything? You have (I'm assuming) invested a great deal in your business in both time and money. It's likely that none of your customers have had anything to do with any success beyond some purchases. You don't owe them anything.

I am a business owner like you. I did tell many of my associates of my condition. Only the ones I have worked with for the past 15 years. For the most part all of them responded with support and well wishes. I wish I had not told one for sure. They demanded to know if "this" was going to cause any problems... You find out who your friends really are.

Take the time off. Tell them you're going fishing. Whatever. You have enough to freak out about. You don't need these worries on top of everything else. Put you at the top of the list, not them.
48, Caucasian, 5' 8", 200lb, general good health.
PSA: 8-7-09 3.22, 11-13-09 4.25.
Biopsy: 32 cores. 3 cores reveal PCa, 10%, Gleason 3+3=6, T1C.
Diagnosed: 2-12-10.
Current Treatment: Active Surveillance, next appointment Oct. 2010. 
Preferred Treatment: I just want someone to harvest my immune cells, genetically engineer them to fight my prostate cancer, and then infuse them back into my body...


JoeFL
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 420
   Posted 5/18/2010 1:12 PM (GMT -6)   
Dan,
 
Here is another vote for using a general statement that you will be having "some necessary surgery that will sideline you for some time". You can then make a judgement call on who to tell about the PC and how much you want to share. If I were a long time customer, I would want to know.
 
I predict that you are going to be surprised by most of the people you tell...as I was. I found that almost everyone I told had a family member, friend, co-worker, etc. that had been (or was being) treated for PC. They felt bad for me but they also seemed to know that PC is often very slow growing and very treatable with high success rates. This may not be as big an issue for others as you think.
 
That said, it has to be your call in the end. Best wishes on the upcoming surgery.
 
Joe67

Age -67 PSA - 4.5

Biopsy  (9/4/09) - Positive in 5 of 8 cores. In those 5 cores, 5 of 11 samples were positive. Gleason 3+3=6. Stage – T1C  Ct and Bone scans negative.

 

BT performed on 12/11/09. 84 seeds of Palladium 103. Surgery at 7:30 - Home at 12:30 same day with no catheter. Blood in urine for a week. Side effects as expected -  some burning, frequency, urgency.   Resumed daily  1 ½ mile walk after 3 days. 

 

BT followed with 25 IGRT treatments beginning Feb 15 (4500 Gy's). After third week, experienced some fatigue. Now 3 weeks from last treatment - energy level returning. Burning and urgency is improved.

 


compiler
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 7270
   Posted 5/18/2010 1:56 PM (GMT -6)   

tHIS IS a very interesting post. First of all, I think you are overthinking here and making it far too complicated, especially where you plan to say one thing to one client and another thing to another. I would suggest you just say you are going to have a "surgical procedure" and leave it at that. I predict nobody will come out and ask. They may seek an answer by saying something like "I hope everything is okay," etc.

 

In my case, I teach at a University and most of the members in my Department (Math/Science) are guys. I also had to talk with HR and tell the Dean what is going. I just created a somewhat lengthy email, giving all the details, and sent it to my Department. I felt I was helping myself by not having to make up some BS, and also helping others as I included information about PSA testing (and the PCA-3 test). I figured I did some educating!

 

I also let my students know, as I had to leave mid-term (and if I let the teachers know, word would certainly get out). I think it worked out just fine with no communication complications.

 

Mel


63 years old . PSA-- 3/08--2.90; 8/09--4.01; 11/09--4.19 (Free PSA 24%),  after 45 days on cipro! DREs have always been normal. PCA-3 was about 75 (way above the 35 threshold). That led to:

Biopsy on 11/30/09. 5 out of 12 cores positive. Gleason 4+3. 2 cores were 3+3 (one 5% and the other 30%) on one side. On  other side:2 cores are 4+3 (5%)--1 core 3+4 (30%) no peri-neural invasion. prostate is 45 grams. Stage: T1C.  

Surgery with Dr. Menon at Ford Hospital, 1/26/10. He says all looked good. Spared nerves. Unfortunately: Pathology Report: G 4+3 (65%-35%). Cancer in 15% of gland. Lymph Nodes: Clear.  Perineural Invasion: yes. Seminal Vessical Involvement: No.  Extraprostatic Extension: yes.  Positive Margin: Yes-- focal-- 1 spot .5mm. Final Weight is 52.7 gms.  (Second opinion from Jon Epstein at Hopkins confirmed these results)

 Incontinence: joined that club-- definite leaks—1 pad/day. Night is dry, was  using 1 pad at night for security, but pretty much dispensed with that most nights. Update: no pads at night. No pads while at home, but still very uncomfortable. Use 1 pad for out-of-house activities. Suddenly got MUCH better on 3/10/10, almost overnight. Still some urgency but no pads about 90% of the time.  As of 3/12/10--completely continent! Uh...OH. As of about 3/16/10 problems with constant urgency although no pads needed--feels like an infection but none showing in urine.

Update: since late March all is well in that area. I would say 99.9% continent (a spurt here and there, maybe 5 spurts per week).

First post-op PSA on 3/10/10--DRUM ROLL: 0.01 Next PSA in mid-June.


compiler
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 7270
   Posted 5/18/2010 2:03 PM (GMT -6)   

I meant to add one other comment. If a  lot of your work is computer based, get and use a netbook. I bought a netbook a year ago (we take that on trips) and it came in quite handy.

 

Mel


63 years old . PSA-- 3/08--2.90; 8/09--4.01; 11/09--4.19 (Free PSA 24%),  after 45 days on cipro! DREs have always been normal. PCA-3 was about 75 (way above the 35 threshold). That led to:

Biopsy on 11/30/09. 5 out of 12 cores positive. Gleason 4+3. 2 cores were 3+3 (one 5% and the other 30%) on one side. On  other side:2 cores are 4+3 (5%)--1 core 3+4 (30%) no peri-neural invasion. prostate is 45 grams. Stage: T1C.  

Surgery with Dr. Menon at Ford Hospital, 1/26/10. He says all looked good. Spared nerves. Unfortunately: Pathology Report: G 4+3 (65%-35%). Cancer in 15% of gland. Lymph Nodes: Clear.  Perineural Invasion: yes. Seminal Vessical Involvement: No.  Extraprostatic Extension: yes.  Positive Margin: Yes-- focal-- 1 spot .5mm. Final Weight is 52.7 gms.  (Second opinion from Jon Epstein at Hopkins confirmed these results)

 Incontinence: joined that club-- definite leaks—1 pad/day. Night is dry, was  using 1 pad at night for security, but pretty much dispensed with that most nights. Update: no pads at night. No pads while at home, but still very uncomfortable. Use 1 pad for out-of-house activities. Suddenly got MUCH better on 3/10/10, almost overnight. Still some urgency but no pads about 90% of the time.  As of 3/12/10--completely continent! Uh...OH. As of about 3/16/10 problems with constant urgency although no pads needed--feels like an infection but none showing in urine.

Update: since late March all is well in that area. I would say 99.9% continent (a spurt here and there, maybe 5 spurts per week).

First post-op PSA on 3/10/10--DRUM ROLL: 0.01 Next PSA in mid-June.


Cajun Jeff
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 4123
   Posted 5/18/2010 2:52 PM (GMT -6)   
Everyone has there own idea as to what should be said.  I took a completely different responce to my surgery.  Walked in to the Bosses office and said.  Biopsy came back positive.  Going to have surgery will be out for 8 wks.  I suspect all will be fine. 
 
I left his office  met with my staff.  Many are female.  They knew I had a biopsy and they know were.  Told them it was positive and they would have to hold down the office till I got myself back together.
 
The day before I departed work the stall had a good luck party for me. 
 
Sence then 3 of the ladies have called me to tall me that their husbands PSA's are high and htat they were referred to a URO.  They wanted info which I could give them.
 
So you see there are different approaches.  You just need the one that fits your situation.
 
Cajun JEFF
9/08 PSA 5.4 referred to Urologist
9/08 Biopsy: GS 3+4=7 1 positive core in 12 1 pre cancer core
10/08 Nerve-Sparing open radical
Surgery Path Report Downgrade 3+3=6 GS Stage pT2c margins clear

3 month: PSA <0.1
6 month: PSA <0.1
10 month:PSA <0.1
1 year: PSA <0.1
16 month:PSA <0.1

ED - Started Cialis at 3 months, tried all 3, 6 months added pump, 9 months Tried MUSE (YUCK) Bad experience.
1 year mark Found new Urologist visit was at 14th month post surgery
Started Injections, Caverject! (Success)
17 month: ED making improvements : Oral Meds gets me 85%


t-dog
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 154
   Posted 5/18/2010 3:11 PM (GMT -6)   
I mirrored Jeff. Motorsports is gossip central and it didnt take long for the few people who knew what was happening to turn into everybody knowing. But honestly i could care less, everyone i deal with has been very supportive and always ask how i`m doing and i`ve never felt any embarrassment or self consienceness over this deal. Say it loud and with conviction, I`m kickin cancers ***!
Dx at 50 in 12/09 Merry Christmas its cancer....
3 of 12 positive, right side only, psa at dx 2.6 free%14
gleason 3+3=6
routine physical, no symptoms
Da Vinci performed Feb 2k10 by Dr Marc Milsten [hes got mad skills]
99% continent from cath out, mr happy fully functional at 2 weeks out!
path showed same gleeson with no other blips other than one slight margin, organ confined 20% right, 5%left, 34grams
Hernia repair Mar 2k10, hernia was side effect of the surgery
 


JB71
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 206
   Posted 5/18/2010 3:43 PM (GMT -6)   
Having been self employed for 30 some years, I wouldn't tell anyone I was closing, even if only temperary. While your business is down and your clients are in need of something from you, they will find another sourse and not get back with you.

You mentioned you had an employee, why cant he/her make simple replies to emails/phonecalls. You'll be back home in no time and can give instructions from your bed if neccessary.


engineer55
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 121
   Posted 5/18/2010 4:38 PM (GMT -6)   
I am a small time consultant and I did not tell anyone who I do business with, they still do not know , rumors start flying and soon they will have you dead.  I was really only out of taking calls for about 2 days so it was not  a big deal. 
 
Of course the women talk, if I could give any advice it would be to keep your wife quiet, we had people offering us money for the operation etc, all the sudden everyone was an expert, it did not help with the decision process at all.
Dx'ed 5/08 one core 2%  out of 12  3+3 gleason
DREs all negative
PSA was in the 3-4 range then jumped to 7
I have the enlarged prostate, on the order of 100cc.  After taking Avodart for 3 months  my
PSA was cut in half.
I did Active S for a year but concluded that I didn't want a life
of biopsies and Uro meetings.
DaVinci on 6/24/09  UCI Med Center  Dr Ahlering, long surgery based on size and location
Final was 5% one side all clear, but had a huge 90 grm prostate
Now we work on pee control, ok at night but sitting is a big problem.


Worried Guy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 3743
   Posted 5/18/2010 5:50 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey April6
Clearly the responses are different between those of us who are self employed (1099-Misc) and those lucky enough to work for someone else (receiving a W-2).

I did not want any of my clients to think I could not hack it as well as the next guy.
Having PCa does not give you any perceived performance advantage over your competition unless you are applying for the job as Chief Eunuch for the King's Harem.
(In general, W-2ers don't have that issue. They can take sick days. Heck, they even get paid to pee!)

No need to lie, but no need to tell all either. You might be the lucky guy at the short recovery side of the distribution curve.

Good luck
Jeff

Purgatory
Elite Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25393
   Posted 5/18/2010 5:54 PM (GMT -6)   
Engineer55:

I love your line:

"if I could give any advice it would be to keep your wife quiet"

Brother, I have been married to the same woman for 36 years, tell me how you manage to keep her quiet? lol. Hey, over the years, I have tried duct tape, superglue, and drugs that only a Vet can prescribe, but nothing works. Just kidding. Just struck me as funny.

David in SC
Age: 57, 56 dx, PSA: 7/07 5.8, 7/08 12.3, 9/08 14.5, 10/08 16.3
3rd Biopsy: 9/08 - 7/7 Positive, 40-90% Cancer, Gleason 4+3
Open RP: 11/08, Rht nerves saved, 4 days in hospt, on catheters for 63 days, 5th one out 1/09
Path Rpt: Gleason 3+4, pT2c, 42g, 20% cancer, 1 pos margin
Incontinence:  1 Month     ED:  Non issue at any point post surgery, no problem post SRT
Post Surgery  PSA: 2/09 .05,5/09 .1, 6/09 .11. 8/09 .16
Post SRT PSA: 1/10 .12, 4/8 .04, next one:  July
Latest: 7/9 met 2 rad. oncl, 7/9 cath #6 - blockage, 8/9 2nd corr surgery, 8/9 cath #7 out 38 days, 9/9 - met 3rd rad. oncl., mapped  9/9, 10/1 - 3rd corr. surgery - SP cath/hard dialation, 10/5 - 11/27 IMRT SRT 39 sess/72 gys ,cath #8 33 days, Cath #9 35 days, 12/7 - Cath #10 43 days, 1/19 - Corr Surgery #4,  Caths #11 and #12  same time, 2/8-Cath #11 out - 21 days, 3/2- Cath #12 out - 41 days, 3/2- Corr Surgery #5, 3/6 Cath #13 out - 4 days, Cath #14- 27 days, Cath #15 - 26 days, Cath #16 - 4/23 put in

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