Does it ever get any easy ?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 83
   Posted 2/8/2011 1:42 PM (GMT -6)   
    Had my first six month PSA check last week [10 months post surgery] and I have to say I was sweating bullets a week or two before the exam. In a lot of ways it was harder than the first after surgery report and of course the nurse put me in the room where I had my biopsy, not the regular exam room, which had me thinking up all sorts of fun things.
    My question is does it get easier I mean I know I'm always going to be looking over my shoulders and so far I count myself as very lucky but as time hopefully goes by do you tend to handle it better?
   10 month .01                                               Thanks Guys  Tim
58 yrs.
PSA 6.94 12/10
Bio. 8 of 12 cores pos. 2/1
Gleason 3+4=7
Da Vinci 4/14
Tumor volume 9%
Extraprostatic extension- within margins
Margins clear
T2c NO Mx
PSA. 6wks. surgery .01
PSA. 4 1/2 months .01

Ed C. (Old67)
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 2461
   Posted 2/8/2011 2:39 PM (GMT -6)   
For me, after 2 years, I still get anxious the week before the test. I used to get nervous a whole month before at the test. Some friends of mine who have had a better pathology report than mine, tell me that they stopped worrying about after 2 years of "undetectable".
Age: 67 at Dx on 12/30/08 PSA 3.8
2 cores out of 12 were positive Gleason (4+4)
Davinci surgery 2/9/09 Gleason 4+4 EPE,
Margins clear, nerve bundles removed
Prostate weighed 57 grams 10-20% involved
all PSA tests since (2, 5, 8, 11, 15, 18, 21 months) undetectable
Latest PSA test (21 months) <.008 ?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 1011
   Posted 2/8/2011 3:01 PM (GMT -6)   
I get nervous a couple of days before the test results come in the mail. And I've got to tell you that opening that envolpe is a real issue for me. It has gotten a bit better over time.
Dx PCa Dec 2008 at 56, PSA 3.4
Biopsy: T1c, Geason 7 (3+4) - 8 cores, 4 positive, 30% of all 4 cores.
Robotic Surgery March 2009 Hartford Hospital, Dr Wagner
Pathology Report: T2c, Geason 8, organ confined, negitive margins, lymph nodes negitive - tumor volume 9%, nerves spared, no negitive side effects of surgery.
PSA's < .01, .01, .07, .28, .50. HT 5/10. IMRT 9/10.
PSA's post HT .01, < .01

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 89
   Posted 2/8/2011 3:10 PM (GMT -6)   

For me, I had become somewhat jaded to the fact that I had "had" cancer. From 1998 until 2002, my PSAs were routinely under 1.7. I went about 4 years without my annual physical and PSA. Then in July 2006, I went back for a physical and my PSA was up to 2.4. I still waited a year and my PSA was up to 2.7. By November 2007, it was 3.0.

The term "looking over your shoulder" doesn't have to carry a negative connotation. Had I adopted that attitude, my diagnosis of re-occurence would have come sooner and possibly a different course of treatment, as well.

Diagnosed @ age 46 - September 1997
PSA 5 / Gleason 3+3
Seed Implant - January 1998 @ Trident Hospital, SC
PSA 2.4 - July 2007
PSA 2.7 - July 2008
PSA 3.0 - November 2008
Diagnosed @ age 57 - December 2007
Gleason 4+3
Salvage Prostatectomy & Colostomy - March 2008 @ MSKCC, NY
Suprapubic cathether installed - July 2008 @ Cleveland Clinic, OH
Urethral-Rectal Fistula Repair - August 2008 @   Cleveland Clinic, OH
PSA < .03 - Aug 2008
Penile catheter removed October 2008
Suprapubic catheter removed December 2008
Colostomy Reversal - January 2009 @ Cleveland Clinic
Urethral stricture removed - January 2009 @ Cleveland Clinic
(Total incontinence - 4 diapers & 6 - 8 pads per 24 hour period)
PSA < .03 - Jan 2009
AUS implant - May 2009 @ Cleveland Clinic
PSA < .03 - May 2009
AUS activated - July 2009
(Wearing a light pad daily.)
PSA < .03 - July 2009
Penile Implant - December 2009 @ Cleveland Clinic
PSA < .03 - December 2009
Penile Implant activated - February 2010
PSA < .01 - April 2010 

Steve n Dallas
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 4849
   Posted 2/8/2011 3:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Since there isn't a gosh darn thing I can do but deal with the results I don't sweat the small stuff.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 2243
   Posted 2/8/2011 3:28 PM (GMT -6)   
The most positive comment that I can make is that most of the time I do not think about it, until it's that time again.
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
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
Started IMRT Jan. 2010 72gys
7month post SRT PSA .2

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 3887
   Posted 2/8/2011 3:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Now you have me anxious. I will have my first PSA, since I completed my radiation, in March. I don't have a clue as to what to expect, so how will I know whether it is good or bad? I am hoping my PSA is less than half of my pretreatment PSA. I hope that is a realistic expectation.

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 144
   Posted 2/8/2011 4:54 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm trying the technique of "defensive pessimism"
I'm convinced I'm doomed. if not by this then something else
Since there is no hope, I can ignore anxiety and get on with life :-)
Age at diagnosis 48
Gleason 3+3
Pre-Surgery PSA 5.1, 5.7
Cores Positive: 10 of 12 up to 40%
Treatment: open Surgery Dec 2010

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 598
   Posted 2/8/2011 5:09 PM (GMT -6)   
For me, it is something I just don't think about or worry about. With your numbers, your chances of recurrance seem low. I have to say I go into the office fully expecting things to be fine - if it crosses my mind "what if..." I figure I'll deal with it when it happens. Till then, life is too short to sweat this stuff.
Founder, Erectile Dysfunction Foundation and creator of The site for erectile dysfunction.

46 at Diagnosis.
Davinci at 47.
Doing fine.

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 29
   Posted 2/8/2011 5:22 PM (GMT -6)   
I worry for about 2 weeks before I get the test results.

Not much I can do about it.

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 314
   Posted 2/8/2011 5:23 PM (GMT -6)   

Try to take one thing at a time.

For example, right now I'm focusing on finishing this post.


Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 69
   Posted 2/8/2011 5:26 PM (GMT -6)   
i sure hope it gets easier, six flags can't touch this roller coaster. went for my third post rt test today and will get results next tuesday.  seems i usually do fine until the week of test and the week after waiting for results. sure helps to chat with others experiencing the same ride. good luck.

Elite Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25393
   Posted 2/8/2011 5:38 PM (GMT -6)   
I have honestly passed the point of fearing any PSA test. When I decided to skip my last post-SRT test in November, so that I could enjoy the holiday season for the first time in 3 years, it completely changed my thinking.

According to my logic, I have used up both curative cards with open Surgery and SRT. The last indicator was that the PSA was rising again. I am 2 weeks out from having my PSA checked, and with a 6 month gap (the longest since I was dx) there is no telling what is going on. My doctors believe there will be a continual and noticable rise. I expect that myself.

It might sound odd, but I have no apprehension, worry, or fear about this upcoming test. I have used my cards, and whatever it will be, will be at this point forward (unless something new and amazing is discovered on the curative front).

I am fully resigned to accept whatever it is. Can't fully explain, but that is how I feel. I am calmer now, then in any of the many previous PSA test waiting periods.

To me, not saying anyone has to agree in the slightest, but with cancers in particular, you do what you can do, and the rest of it, you have to deal with whatever cards you are dealt in the bigger picture of things. If you keep trying to blame yourself or someone else (i.e. doctors, treatments, etc) or if you keep hoping on some magic cure or miracle, I think a person is setting themselves up for a big disapointment in the end.

For many, there are cures for their PC, and for others, there simply isn't. All the good eating, dieting, supplements, etc, exercise and wishful thinking isn't going to change what is meant to be. Again, not asking anyone to agree or disagree, just stating a personal opinion.

David in SC

Post Edited (Purgatory) : 2/8/2011 3:41:36 PM (GMT-7)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 1268
   Posted 2/8/2011 5:51 PM (GMT -6)   
I've developed a support group who have been very good with my pre-psa anxiety ... JimBeam, Jack Daniels, Jose Cuevo and Associates.
PSA 2007 - 2.8; 11/24/2008 - 7.6; PCa Dx 2/11/09; age at Dx 62; RLP 4/20/09

Biopsy - Invasive moderately differentiated prostatic andenocarconoma; G 3+3=6; PT2C; No evidence of Seminal Vesicle or Extraprostatic Involvement; Margins clear; Tumor identified in sections from prostatic apex. 70 gram prostate. Continent after removal of cath.

ED - Trimix works well; levitra @ 90%
PSA - 7/31/09 <0.06; 12/1/09 <0.06; 3/29/10 <0.06; 8/4/10 <0.06

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 789
   Posted 2/8/2011 7:07 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm with David, I am way past worrying about it, my PSA has risen from 0.5 to 0.7 in 3.5+ years, other than that, I can do all the things I did before the operation, I am seeing my Urologist today for a routine 6 month appointment, to give you an idea how I feel, I have damaged my medial meniscus in my knee, and may not be able to play lawn bowls for the rest of the season, NOW THAT IS A WORRY!!

Regards Mal.
age 67 PSA 5.8 DRE slightly firm Rt
Biopsy 2nd July 07 5 out of 12 positive
Gleason 3+4=7 right side tumour adenocarcinoma stage T2a
RP on 30th July,

Post op Pathology, tumour stage T3a 4+3=7, microcsopic evidence of capsular penetration, seminal vessels, bladder neck,are free of tumour, lymph nodes clear, no evidence of metastatic malignancy, tumour does not extend to the apical margins.

Post op PSA 0.5 26th Sept. Totally dry since catheter removed
PSA 23rd Oct.0.5 seeing Radiation Onocologist 31st Oct.
Started radiation treatment on 5th Dec, to continue until 24 Jan. 08.
Finished treatment, next PSA on 30th April.
PSA from 30th April 08, until now range- 0.5 to 0.6, I am now 70

Elite Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25393
   Posted 2/8/2011 8:41 PM (GMT -6)   
Mal, hope they can get your knee squared away, no point ruining your fun!
Age: 58, 56 dx, PSA: 7/07 5.8, 10/08 16.3
3rd Biopsy: 9/08 7 of 7 Positive, 40-90%, Gleason 4+3
open RP: 11/08, on catheters for 101 days
Path Rpt: Gleason 3+4, pT2c, 42g, 20% cancer, 1 pos marg
Incont & ED: None
Post Surgery PSA: 2/09 .05,5/09 .1, 6/09 .11. 8/09 .16
Post SRT PSA: 1/10 .12, 4/8 .04, 8/6 .06 11/10 Not taking it
Latest: 6 Corr Surgeries to Bladder Neck, SP Catheter since 10/1/9, SRT 39 Sess/72 gy ended 11/09, 21 Catheters, Ileal Conduit Surgery 9/23/10

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 3994
   Posted 2/8/2011 8:48 PM (GMT -6)   
JNF -- i'm more than five months past my last IGRT dose.  i had my last 3-month shot of lupron on sept 14.  i went to the uro for PSA results today....tho i could have called last week and gotten it.  my PSA was undetectable but my testosterone count is 6.  everything was pretty much as expected and i didn't really worry this time. 
age: 55
PSA on 12/09: 6.8
gleason 3+4 = 7
received 3rd and last lupron shot 9/14/10
2/8 PSA undetectable. T= 6

Post Edited (F8) : 2/8/2011 6:55:39 PM (GMT-7)

Ralph Alfalfa
Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 469
   Posted 2/8/2011 8:49 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, Timm.  Hopefully it will get easier for you.  I went through RT 9 mos. post RP. I sweat out the Psa tests for the first 12 months, and they all came back .1, except for the 12 month which came back <.1 which indicated that it was trending downward.  So from now on, no more worrying.  The doc said he'd see me in one year.  A very nice reprieve from Psa anxiety.  Hope the same for you.

gold horse
Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 360
   Posted 2/8/2011 9:48 PM (GMT -6)   

Timm we are human,after almost six years of 0.04 I still get nerves whe I call the doc

office for my result. yeah

PSA 6/05=0.04,0.04,0.04,6/06,0.04,0.04,0.04,6/07,0.04,0.04,0.04,6/08,0.04,0.04,1/09

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 377
   Posted 2/8/2011 10:51 PM (GMT -6)   
I am one of those gleason 6 guys who could of done AS, or some form of radiation, or form of surgery which I did. Everybody says gleason 6's dont escape the capsule, right? I should have had my 2 year post psa in December but I changed jobs and my health insurance got all screwed up until now. Going back in 3 weeks for final psa before i find a local urologist for annual psas. I had surgery out of town because nobody did robotic nearly 3 years ago in my town. I wanted a better outcome, alas I am still doing trimix for ED. I guess going out of town didnt really help. As my signature shows SUPPOSEDLY  I had very little prostate ca compared to others. If my psa starts to rise i am gong to be super pissed, all the way to the radiation oncologist, what can u do..........
My age= 52 when this all happened.
PSA went from 1.9 to 2.85 in one year, biopsy ordered,
Second biopsy on 08/14/08 found 2/12 cores positive for CA on R side, 1 core=5%CA, other core=25% CA, Gleason score= 6 both cores,
Bilateral nerve sparing robotic surgery on 09/11/08, pathological stage T2A,
No signs of spread, organ confined,
5 0's in a row, still use trimix for ED

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 3887
   Posted 2/9/2011 4:44 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Ed, great info.

My oncologist says the PSA will be very low, perhaps 0.10. I will know in a month.

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 83
   Posted 2/10/2011 2:35 AM (GMT -6)   
Great stuff
              As always, Thanks and good luck to all or you.- Tim 

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 504
   Posted 2/10/2011 3:47 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Timm,

I have to say I am not a worried at all with waiting for test results

My Blood test was in Mid January and I met with the Uro just this week and got the results <.001. So far 4 for 4 of <.001's see you in 12 months was the Uro's parting words.

I figure there is nothing I can do to change it , its out of my hands, live life and deal with anything that comes up after it comes up

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 1152
   Posted 2/10/2011 8:39 AM (GMT -6)   
Our uro only wants to see Paul at the 12 month mark, 6 months from now. Time flies.

We are on a 2 month PSA testing regime as Paul's PSA rose slightly between the 6 week and 3 month mark. Our primary care physician and our reading on the internet showed that this was the best course of action for Paul.

However this does mean more PSA anxiety. Next test is next week with the results coming in the first week of March. Paul doesn't seem to get anxious at all - me on the other hand, I start getting anxious a few days before we get the results and on the day we get the results I am usually very anxious.

I think I will start being less anxious about the next PSA test results if Paul's PSA stabalizes or reduces this time around.
Hope you find a way through your anxiety.

Husband's age: 52. Sydney Australia.
Family history: Mat. grandfather died of PC at 72. Mat. uncle died of PC at 60. He has hereditary PC.
PSA: Aug07 - 2.5|Feb08 - 1.7|Oct09 - 3.67 (free PSA 27%)|Feb10 - 4.03 (free PSA 31%) |Jun10 - 2.69. DRE normal.
Biopsy 28Apr10: negative for a diagnosis of PC however 3 focal ASAPs “atypical, suspicious but not diagnostic” for PC. Review of biopsy by experienced pathologist, 1/12 core: 10% 3+3 (left transitional), 1/12 core: ASAP (left apex)
Nerve sparing RP, 20Aug10 with Dr Stricker. Post-op path: 3+4 (ISUP 2005). Neg (margins, seminal vesicles, extraprostatic extension). Multifocal, with main involvement in the fibro-muscular zone. T2C.
Post RP PSA,
Lab 1: Sep10 – 0.02|Nov10 – 0.03|Dec10 – 0.03
Lab 2: Nov 10 - 0.01|Dec10 – 0.01

Post Edited (An38) : 2/10/2011 6:55:16 AM (GMT-7)

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