Today is my 58th birthday. Next month, it will be 2 years since I got my dreaded PC diagnosis after going through 3 biopsies spread over the previous 18 months. It's been a long almost 2 years so far. I can honestly say, I drastically underestimated the power of PC, not only in my body, but in my mind and heart as well.
When I was first dx, I thought I would just grab the bull by the horn, learn about, pick a treatment, do it, recover, and simply get on with my life. That formula worked for all the other medical emergencies in my life, including 3 bouts of an ultra rare/dangerous cancer, its associated 5 surgeries and 35 sessions of neck and throat radiation. That was all 10 years ago in my life. Then PC came to me.
It was screening that has saved me so far. No argument there. My GP is a good doctor been taking care of me for nearly 15 years, and had been with me through all my previous medical crisises. It was him, that talked me into including PSA screening at my physical at age 50. Didn't matter to me, just another box he checked off on the blood work paperwork. Until then, never had given a single though in my life about prostates, PSA, prostate cancer, etc. I was fortunate, always had a strong stream, never had to wake up at night to pee, never had any UTI's or other infections, and could hold a good pee for hours on end if needed. Just nothing I ever thought about, just took that for granite.
Here I am, on July 13th, sitting here in moderate pain, 11 days after the last surgery-procedure. Just sitting in a restuarant with my wife and mother for a birthday brunch for an hour has triggered a lot of pain. Plus it was the first time in 3 days that I had put on the leg bag and been in a car.
I would have never dreamed, that since that fateful dx, I would have had open PC surgery, 6 corrective surgeries, 39 radiation treatments, and be on my 19th catheter, having now spent well over a year of on-cath time. It truly is what it is, but who could have ever guessed.
I dont think of any of us as having an easy time. Same horrible bastar# of a cancer, different battles on different days. And I think we have all learned from one another, and have learned tolerance too, which is important.
In the almost 2 years I have been here, I have seen a change in thinking, an improvement, an evolution if you like that word, and thats a good thing, HW is a dynamic place, never stale, always changing. And everytime you think you had enough, and perhaps its time to move on, another line of new brothers/sisters shows up on the doorstep. And I can't speak for anyone else, I just can't make myself turn my back on them. I remember my own ignorance of this disease, I remember my own fears and horrors of having cancer again, so the best thing to do, is to reach out and welcome our new friends, into this world that none of us would every choose, and try to make it easier as they make their own rite of passage through the cruelty of PC. Just my take.
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 cath #6 - 41 days, 8/9 2nd corr surgery, 8/9 cath #7 - 38 days, mapped 9/9, 10/1 - 3rd corr. surgery - SP cath, 10/5 - 11/27 IMRT SRT 39 sess/72 gys ,cath #8 33 days, Cath #9 35 days, Cath #10 43 days, 1/19 - Corr Surgery #4, Caths #11 and #12 ,Cath #11 - 21 days, Cath #12 - 41 days, 3/2- Corr Surgery #5, Cath #13 - 4 days, Cath #14- 27 days, Cath #15 - 26 days, Cath #16 - 31 days, Cath #17 - 39 days, 7/2 - Corr Surgery #6, 7/2 - Caths #18 & #19