Just wondering....

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Elite Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25393
   Posted 2/22/2011 10:32 PM (GMT -6)   
Now I await for tests results, after a total of 5 tubes of blood was taken today by two doctor's offices.
This will be my first Vit D level test ever, curious about that (not wanting to start another Vit D war here), as I am a person that has spent a lifetime of avoiding the sun on purpose, I never sun bathe or tan, etc, and I hate milk and most all dairy products except certain mild cheeses.  Wonder what kind of number I will get there.
The "T" test was drawn too, never had one, don't know what to expect there.  I am 58 years old, and never had a trace of ED prior to getting PC, or since.  Wonder it that means the "T" number is high.  Not something I know anything about.  Doctor wanted it as a baseline now, in case its proven that the SRT has failed.
  • I know my GP is going to push for a colonoscopy, never had one before.  I am a bit leary with all I have been through, not afraid of the test, but wondering what's the point?  When I had my most recent surgery performed, the surgeon had to cut my colon apart, literally, and take out a 15" section to make the "conduit" that became my new stoma.  I wonder if when it was apart, if both open ends were looked at, perhaps negating the need for a colon test.  Again, don't know about such things.  In any event, I almost wouldn't want to know at this point in my life, 4 times dealing with a dangerous cancer is quite enough for me.

David in SC

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 7269
   Posted 2/22/2011 10:38 PM (GMT -6)   
Your feelings are totally understandable. Good luck

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 1267
   Posted 2/22/2011 10:42 PM (GMT -6)   
David, not much I can add, nothing actually, to what Mel has said, except I remain in awe of what a mighty warrior you are.

Sheldon AKA Sleepless
Age 67 in Apil '09 at news of 4 of 12 cores positive T2B and Gleason 3 + 3 and 5% to 25% PSA 1.5
Re-read of slides in June said Gleason 3 + 4 same four cores 5% to 15%
June 29 daVinci prostatectomy, Dr. Eric Estey, at Royal Alexandra Hospital Edmonton one night stay
From "knock out" to wake up in recovery less than two hours.  Actual surgery 70 minutes
Flew home to Winnipeg on July 3 after 5 nights in Ramada Inn  ---  perfect recovery spot!
Catheter out July 9
Final pathology is 3 + 4 Gleason 7, clear margins, clear nodes, T2C, sugeron says report is "excellent"
Oct 1st 09 -- dry at night, during day some stress issues.
Oct 31st padless 24/7 
First post op PSA Sept 09  less than 0.02
PSA on Oct 23, 2009 less than 0.02
PSA on Jan 8, 2010  less than 0.02
PSA on April 9, 2010 less than 0.02 
PSA on July 9, 2010 (one year) less than 0.02

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 1211
   Posted 2/22/2011 11:10 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi David. I had a colonoscopy in 2003 and the prep for it was not pleasant, but the actual procedure isn't all that bad. I discussed with my Dr about another one to see how much damage the radiation has cause, but he advised against it. He thinks the danger of causing a perforation doesn't warrant another one at this time. Sure hope that all your tests come back ok. Especially the PSA test. Keeping my fingers x'd for you.

Born 1936
PSA 7.9, Gleason Score 3+4=7, 2 of 8 positive
open RP Nov 06, T3a, Gleasons 3+4=7, Seminal vesicles and lymph nodes clear
Catheter out 15 Dec 06, Dry since 11 Feb 07
All PSA tests in 2007 (4) <.04
PSA tests in 2008: Mar.=.04; Jun.=.05; Sept.=.08; at SRT Start=0.1,
Salvage RT completed (33 days-66Gy) 19 Dec 08
PSA: in Jan 09 =.05, all tests to date (Jan 11) <.04

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 7078
   Posted 2/23/2011 12:54 AM (GMT -6)   
I would expect them to wait at least a year before a colonoscopy.
I've had one (it was clean), but a younger guy (early 40's) in the colo-rectal guy's office had a bad result - the doc said he was up for a colostomy bag. He and wife left in tears and a huge argument over not getting it checked before. I'll put up with the test when I'm next due.
Not pretty, but I've had worse done to me.
Your vitamin D will be low - mine was. I have to avoid exposure because of a lifetime of antibiotics. At least the pill is cheap and often on sale "buy one - get one free" at Kroger and Walgreens, plus the coupon for a dollar or two off from the Sunday paper.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 7269
   Posted 2/23/2011 2:19 AM (GMT -6)   
I've had many colonoscopies. Yeah, the prep is yucky.
I usually started it late afternoon or early evening. I just took the mental tack that it would be all over by noon the next day. The procedure itself is no problem (= sedation).
My last one was in 3/2008 so I don't need one for 10 years from that point (clean result).
But given your situation, you need to be leery and really question the necessity of this. In other words, how much extra risky is it for you? (Possibly not at all, but I'd ask both the GI doctor and your urologist and even a radiology person).

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 789
   Posted 2/23/2011 3:16 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi David, the colonoscopy itself is a breeze, as you are out to it, the prep is a bit of a ordeal but all in all, the peace of mind of an all clear result is worth it.

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

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 1858
   Posted 2/23/2011 4:31 AM (GMT -6)   
David, as the others have said, the colonoscopy is virtually nothing ------ but the prep to clear the bowel is a rotten ghastly process. You will be able to s*it through the eye of a needle when you take it. There is a virtual colonoscopy available. The bowel undergoes the same prep but the screen is from the outside. I am not sure if it is done by MRI or what, nor if it is a s good as an actual physical inspection. I do a yearly fecal blood test which screens for microscopic blood in the faeces ------ this has actually been responsible for saving quite a few lives and bowels as it can pick up any problems very early in the piece. It is prone to a positive result though resulting in a colonoscopy if the person is susceptible to hemorrhoids. On the vitamin D front, you actually don't need a lot of sun exposure to generate enough in your body ------- 10 mins a day if my memory serves me right.

Steve n Dallas
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 4848
   Posted 2/23/2011 5:34 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm long over due for my first colonoscopy...
I keep hearing that only really stupid people die from colon cancer since it so easy to prevent.... I've been living in the ignorance is bliss catagory.. aka - not wanting to hear bad news..

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 1804
   Posted 2/23/2011 6:40 AM (GMT -6)   
David, first and foremost, I do hope your PSA and T level results are good.

Dealing with a Vitamin D deficiency is pretty easy to do...pop 1,000 or 2,000 I.U.s of D each day. My MD checks my levels every year...two yeas ago, my level was 28 (current thinking is it should be at 30 or higher). She put me on a supplement and it went up to 30 as of last April. She also told me an interesting thing: she's seeing more and more children with low Vit D levels due to lack of sun exposure. Her advice to parents is: let your children get some sun on their face and hands (apparently this is where the body absorbs the Vit D from the sun best) for 15 minutes, then apply sunscreen. I too have avoided over exposure to the sun due to having skin cancer (basel cell) about 6 years ago. Odd thing was the BCC was on my right shoulder - an area that doesn't get that much sun - but I've had funky (non-cancerous) things removed from face. So, my make-up now has sunscreen in it. Personally I hate wearing sunscreen...can't stand the smell or the feel of it.

Colonoscopy...I've had two of them and each time noncancerous polyps were found. My dad has adenocarcinoma of the small intestine (rare, according to my gastro) so regular colonoscopies are a must for me. The test is a piece of cake as you are put under general anesthesia. The prep - as others have said - is yucky - but good for a quick 4 or 5 pound weight loss (LOL)! BillyMac hit it on the head...you will be able to ***** through a needle! It's an important test and one that everyone over 50 should have on a regular basis.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 831
   Posted 2/23/2011 6:52 AM (GMT -6)   
I was told by my sister-inlaw who is a surgeon that most of the time they do look around when they have someone cut open.  For that exact reason. To see if anything is strange. However, they also just try to concentrate on the job at hand.  So, I would get the colonoscopy if it is offered.  I've done one and it is nothing.  It will give you piece of mind if anything...

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 7078
   Posted 2/23/2011 8:35 AM (GMT -6)   
Virtual colonoscopy has a downside - if they see any polyps, they can't do anything - you then have to get the real one.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 966
   Posted 2/23/2011 8:37 AM (GMT -6)   
David here is hoping for a good psa test for you.

The T levels I would expect to be normal for your age and health. The colonoscopy while maybe recommended by your GP, keep in mind he doesn't have the final say so on this. It is up to your gastrologist to make that call. And with your prior surgeries and radiation treatment, I would doubt very seriously it will be recommended unless there were other markers that would suggest checking. It is routinely performed on patients that would not be affected by the procedure. I don't think that you fall in that catagory anymore.

Just my 2 cents worth.
You are beating back cancer, so hold your head up with dignity


Robotic Surgery Sept 2008
PSA increasing since January 2009
Current PSA .44 (29 months)
PSA Doubling time approx. 6 months
Clinical Trial - SRT begins 3/01/11

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 131
   Posted 2/23/2011 8:41 AM (GMT -6)   
Dave: My comments mirror the others on the prep part of the colonoscopy. In your case you do want someone who truly understands your surgical history and can assure you that he/she can do the colonoscopy with little risk of perforating your bowel. They have to gently snake past scar tissue and the like to get a good look at the "landscape" but in turn not damage you in any way. I had my first one done at 50 yrs old and the drug they used to put me to sleep was great. I believe it was Versed. No side effects and as promised it felt like I had just taken a restful nap.

So make sure the GI person you use is really good, not just conveniently located.

Mike S.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 112
   Posted 2/23/2011 9:40 AM (GMT -6)   
Dear David,

Ask for the pills and drink lots of water with it. Or, you can drink a litre? Of this disgusting liquid.I could not drink it without throwing up. Get the pills as they go down a lot easier, if you dont have trouble swallowing

Ed C. (Old67)
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 2460
   Posted 2/23/2011 9:56 AM (GMT -6)   
I totally understand the anxiety that comes with testing. I wish you the best. You have endured a lot.
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 (2 years) <.008 ?

Elite Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25393
   Posted 2/23/2011 11:36 AM (GMT -6)   
Gee, so many good answers and so much good advice. Don't know where to start.

Actually, on the colonsocopy subject, going to start Monday on that with my Uro/Surgeon, see if he agrees that either he has already looked during the last surgery, or if he thinks with my radiation damage that it might make it more risky. My GP, wouldn't have as intimate knowledge aboout my current situation as the Uro would.

On the Vit D reading, just making my GP happy on that one, he likes to root around for issues, cant imagine why. I may be dead wrong, but I am expecting it to be at least in the normal range, without ever having taken any vitamins for it.
The "T" reading, I can only guess, that in the normal aging process it goes down over time, thus decreasing the desire level, but after almost 37 years of marriage to the same person, doesn't show up that way.  Not that I have any intentions of pursuing HT, but  I suppose a good base line is needed to guage things by.
On the PSA pending number, no real anxiety there, there really hasn't and isn't currently.  I have resigned myself to the fact that in all likelihood, it has risen a good chunk in the past 6 months.  It would fit the pattern of where my journey has been going, and it would mirror what my doctors are thinking.  Don't think of my attitude on this as "giving up", its more of being deeply realisitic about bigger picture of things.
Thanks for all the good answers.
David in SC

Post Edited (Purgatory) : 2/23/2011 9:42:06 AM (GMT-7)

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