psa angstiety, whats it all about for you?

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logoslidat
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 6084
   Posted 4/26/2011 6:10 PM (GMT -6)   
Just finished reading the thread by DavidG on psa anxiety and it brought this to my mind. What is the fear that is at the root of this anxiety. I, m a positive type of guy and trust me folks it gets to me just like every one else. Its like the joke about sexual self pleasure. Any guy who says he doesn't is full of bologna. My question is what are You anxious about in this regard. As for me it is not fear of dying from it, it is, I just don't want to get involved in the medical system, unless, I really, really have to. This is not a slam against them, I would bestow sainthood on my surgeon, if I could, he is really good in so many ways. Plus I just found out that he is also a urological oncologist. I dont want to make decsiosn on rad, ht, et al. This forum is as close to PCA as I want to get period. hey I know I am not necassarily cured, but will live that way till proven other wise . I don't know it might be a stupid question, but that never stopped me before. Is it fear of dying from it or is it, for lack of a better term, just the general angst and hassels it presents us, in our lives, the complications and stuff lidat. Age of patient, stage of pca, and so many factors will determine the answers to this. Thought it would help us all to learn this from each other. I am being as honest as I can, when I say I do not see my self dying from this, though it certainly could happen, For some reason I just don't see it, no bologna. The odds are against it, 3% or lets go even higher, 15% morbidity rate. If you could, please respond to the thread, not the need for the thread, I f you thinks it's stupid, or somehow crass just don't respond. If we are really reflective about this our answers could surprise our selves. Aloha!
Diagnosed 8/14/09 psa 8.1 66,now 67
2cores 70%, rest 6-7 < 5%
gleason 3+ 3, up to 3+4 @ the dub
RPP U of Wash, Bruce Dalkin,
pathology 4+3, tertiary5, 2 foci
extensive pni, prostate confined,27 nodes removed -, svi - margins -
99%continent@ cath removal. 1% incont@gaspass,sneeze,cough 18 mos, squirt @ running. psa std test reported on paper as 0.0 as of 12/14/10 ed improving

reachout
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 739
   Posted 4/26/2011 7:11 PM (GMT -6)   
logo, thanks for that post, it's right to the point. I didn't think I was the type to get PSA anxiety, and for the better part of a year after my surgery I didn't even think about it. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks, and I'm spending the better part of many days looking up data, papers, reading posts, and generally wasting time that I could spend on much more productive things.

My urologist told me not to worry about my PSA unless and until it hit 0.1. It's at 0.05 now. I can understand why he said that, since there is nothing he could do unless it was high enough to do something about it. And he doesn't want to be dealing with anxiety and head problems, that's for the shrink. So I'm left to deal with my own anxiety.

So why am I so anxious? I don't think it has to do with death -- heck, at my age of 66 I'm not sure I have 15 years ahead of me anyway. Like you, I think it's the hassle of having to go through so much research and doctors to figure out what the heck to do. It's not like a broken leg where they just put a cast on it, or even a heart attack where the fixes are fairly standard. With PC we have to worry about PSA level, doubling time, BCR, radiation, hormones, and even what we eat and drink. It's to the point where I can't even enjoy putting something in my mouth without worrying whether it's good or bad for me. And with PSA, there's always a "but." When the PSA is high, they say not to worry, it may not be cancer spreading. When it's low they say it doesn't mean you're free from cancer. It's a no win situation.

I know this board is not about spirituality, but the only thing that has helped me deal with this is my faith. I pray a lot that God knows why I'm going through this and will turn it to a good purpose.
Age: 66
PSA: 7 tests over 2 years bounced around from 2.6 to 5.6
Biopsy 8 of 12 positive, Gleason 3+4, T2a
DaVinci August 2009, pathology Gleason 4+3, neg margins, T2c
Continent right away, ED
Viagra, Cialis did't work, Trimix works well
Post-surgery PSA:
3, month: undetectable <.1; 6 month: undetectable <.014 (ultrasensitive); 9, 12, 15 month: undetectable <.1; 18 month detectable .05

SubicSquid
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 252
   Posted 4/26/2011 7:17 PM (GMT -6)   
In my case, after having surgery and SRT, I am 9 months out from the radiation.  I have found the night before I see the RO for the 3 month followup and PSA discussion is anxious.  Basically, I am tired of treatment and doctors and hospitals and medicine in general.  The thought of having to go on HT really bothers me.  Wish I could just forget about all of this and relax.  Squid. 

F8
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 3996
   Posted 4/26/2011 7:30 PM (GMT -6)   
i pray, have an extensive support network, exercise ... and take an SSRI.  i have no plans to change anything because i have almost zero anxiety most of the time unlike when i first started this journey.
 
ed
age: 56
PSA on 12/09: 6.8
gleason 3+4 = 7
HT, BT and IGRT
received 3rd and last lupron shot 9/14/10
2/8/11 PSA <.1, T= 6 ng/dl

Arch
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 192
   Posted 4/26/2011 8:39 PM (GMT -6)   
I don't get anxious at all, I'm almost 1 year out from surgery and have been undetectable so far...until I get a PSA blip I won't give it a thought. If PSA ever goes up I'll approach it with a clear mind and make the appropriate choice.
 
I don't mean to sound cavalier but it does me no good and serves no positive outcome to be anxious...I feel lucky to have survived a bad accident and PCa in my lifetime and it makes me appreciate a close family and friends. I savour life more now than ever.
 
r
age 56
PSA 5.5
Biopsy, both lobes PCa
Gleason 3/4=7
open RP May 18, 2010
Pathology: 15% involved, lymph nodes and v. d. clear, margins clear
June 3-10 10-12 pads/day
2 months 8 pads/day
Aug 1, 2010 5-6 pads/day
Aug 20, 2010 3-5 pads per day
Aug 16, 3 month PSA: undetectable
Sept 22, 2 pads a day
Oct 12, PSA 0.03
Dec 1.5 pads a day
ED OK with no drugs Dec 2010

DaSlink
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 713
   Posted 4/26/2011 9:44 PM (GMT -6)   
I have anxiety out the whazoo! Even though my Uro and Rad Onc were not discouraged about my first PSA after surgery(8 weeks 0.26 after 49.8 at surgery),it's driving me nuts! I think it's may be not knowing what my next test will be. Constantly hoping for the magical zero. Maybe because my journey is still rather young, I want to reach the golden ring,and don't know if I will.
Others on here who have not had those magical numbers on their first PSA will understand. We are extremely happy for those that do,and just as jealous! For me it's like wanting the big fishing boat when all I can afford is the blow up version,just isn't good enough.
Most of the time I'm a go with the flow kinda guy, but on some things I'm not and this is some thing that is basically out of my control. I've often said " If it doesn't affect me or my family, I really don't care." and this affect all of the above.
Every minute you fish or ride,adds an hour to your life!

Age 52 Dx age 53 daVinci surgery
prostate volume 32 grams
Biopsy 12 cores with 7 positive
Gleason score of 7
1st PSA 38.7 10/05/2010
2nd PSA 49.9 11/23/2010
CT neg.
BS Negative
RRP on 01/25/2011
PT3a -40% involved
margin involved-Left anterior
lymph nodes -clear
1st post op PSA-0.26-03/16/11

logoslidat
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 6084
   Posted 4/27/2011 10:23 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks all for the replys. Its a tough subject. Subic and Reachout expressed how I feel better than I could. Arch, you don't sound cavalier at all. I,m pretty upbeat and positive, but it does test my faith when the time comes. Da Slink, Im with you on the control thing, maybe Anxiety itself is the issue, whether from cancer or commuting to work. If we talk too long it will inevitably lead to where we cannot go. Again thanks I appreciate your candor, it helps me. Aloha
Diagnosed 8/14/09 psa 8.1 66,now 67
2cores 70%, rest 6-7 < 5%
gleason 3+ 3, up to 3+4 @ the dub
RPP U of Wash, Bruce Dalkin,
pathology 4+3, tertiary5, 2 foci
extensive pni, prostate confined,27 nodes removed -, svi - margins -
99%continent@ cath removal. 1% incont@gaspass,sneeze,cough 18 mos, squirt @ running. psa std test reported on paper as 0.0 as of 12/14/10 ed improving

Steve n Dallas
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 4849
   Posted 4/27/2011 10:40 AM (GMT -6)   
There's a 50/50 chance you're going to get BAD NEWS "AGAIN" on the same darn subject. OUCH.
 
I don't get any anxiety over PSA tests cause it's out of my control.  I know in advance I'll deal whatever life hands me.
 
And since I'm not all the found of lemonade - Bud Lite please.
 

clocknut
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 2680
   Posted 4/27/2011 10:41 AM (GMT -6)   
I like to tell myself that I'm not worried about future PSA tests, but then if I really believed I was finished with prostate cancer, I probably wouldn't be hanging around HW, seeing how other guys in this miserable fraternity are dealing with this doggoned disease.  I have this nagging feeling that eventually my numbers are bound to go up, but I'm trying to be fatalistic about it.  If it happens, it happens, and I'll have to deal with it when it does. 
 
Whatever happens, I had 65 good years, and having just gotten the news yesterday that the 34-year-old son of our long-time friends died suddenly and unexpectedly from an apparent heart attack, leaving a young wife and a 2-year-old son, I'm vividly reminded that tomorrow is never guaranteed, and every day is a blessing we should appreciate to the fullest extent.
 
In the last analysis, the old question hits the nail on the head:  "Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?"
 
 

JoeFL
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 420
   Posted 4/27/2011 2:01 PM (GMT -6)   
No anxiety for me since I finished my treatment. Several reasons for this:
- I feel I made the right choice for myself...so no regrets
- Since I chose radiation, I expect some rise in PSA down the road...known as the bounce...so I don't sweat the tests
- I have come to believe that all forms of treatment bring some level of SEs and I will just have to deal with what comes
- And finally, I feel like I have already been cured of a serious disease before I had PC. Haven't had a drink since Jan 2, 1987....after a long love affair with alcohol. In my mind, I'm way ahead of the game and very thankful for the health I have at this point.

No matter what we do or think, none of us is guaranteed tomorrow. I'm just trying to enjoy today.
Age 68 PSA 4.5 Biopsy 9/4/09 Bostwick Labs 5 of 8 sections (5 of 11 cores) positive-Gleason 3+3=6 Stage T1
BT on 12/11/09 (84 seeds of Palladium 103) Home same day/no catheter. Some burning, frequency, urgency for 6 weeks. No incontinence, mild ED. 25 IGRT sessions ending 3/22/10 - some fatigue until 30 days after last treatment. PSA as of 4/14/11 - 0.1

DaSlink
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 713
   Posted 4/27/2011 3:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Not one of us can add an hour to our life by worrying nono Fishing and riding motorcycles sure will though yeah
Every minute you fish or ride,adds an hour to your life!

Age 52 Dx age 53 daVinci surgery
prostate volume 32 grams
Biopsy 12 cores with 7 positive
Gleason score of 7
1st PSA 38.7 10/05/2010
2nd PSA 49.9 11/23/2010
CT neg.
BS Negative
RRP on 01/25/2011
PT3a -40% involved
margin involved-Left anterior
lymph nodes -clear
1st post op PSA-0.26-03/16/11

logoslidat
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 6084
   Posted 4/27/2011 4:50 PM (GMT -6)   
DaSlink , so, what?, clocknut your straight man. that was great!!!
Diagnosed 8/14/09 psa 8.1 66,now 67
2cores 70%, rest 6-7 < 5%
gleason 3+ 3, up to 3+4 @ the dub
RPP U of Wash, Bruce Dalkin,
pathology 4+3, tertiary5, 2 foci
extensive pni, prostate confined,27 nodes removed -, svi - margins -
99%continent@ cath removal. 1% incont@gaspass,sneeze,cough 18 mos, squirt @ running. psa std test reported on paper as 0.0 as of 12/14/10 ed improving

logoslidat
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 6084
   Posted 4/27/2011 5:02 PM (GMT -6)   
StevenDallas. This is going to be one genteel discussion, its a different twist on the same discussion. If you have the anxiety what is the specific of that anxiety to you individually. We are learning about our brothers in different ways and I find it soothing. Again thanks for partaking,all of us.
Diagnosed 8/14/09 psa 8.1 66,now 67
2cores 70%, rest 6-7 < 5%
gleason 3+ 3, up to 3+4 @ the dub
RPP U of Wash, Bruce Dalkin,
pathology 4+3, tertiary5, 2 foci
extensive pni, prostate confined,27 nodes removed -, svi - margins -
99%continent@ cath removal. 1% incont@gaspass,sneeze,cough 18 mos, squirt @ running. psa std test reported on paper as 0.0 as of 12/14/10 ed improving

compiler
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 7270
   Posted 4/27/2011 5:19 PM (GMT -6)   
This is an interesting thread.
 
However, keep in mind there is a difference between having a good pathology and a string of undetectables vs. having a bad pathology and a rising PSA.
 
We are all at different stages of this journey and hence some situations might be more anxiety-prone.
 
Additionally, it is very clear that we all react differently and handle stress differently.
 
An interesting sub-topic:
 
I have always been a self-starter and yet relaxed and able to handle stress quite well. In fact, I spent many years as a high school administrator and I was the point guy in dealing with obnoxious parents (we had a more genteel terminology for this, but you get the picture). In short, I've always been good at handling difficult situations. I've also been good at thinking ahead and anticipating situations (and having a plan in place to handle those situations).
 
Yet, I have found the current situation hard to handle. I'm sure it's due to that helpless feeling of events overtaking you. There is no clear path to this fight and we are at the mercy of the next PSA test. I might add that I have still been good at anticipating situations pertaining to this PC and having a plan in place.
 
So, my question to all of you is:
 
How good were you at handle high-stress situations in your previous life (ie: before PC) and did you find any differences in handling the PC situation.
PSA-- 3/08--2.90; 8/09--4.01; 11/09--4.19 (PSAf: 24%), PCA3 =75 .Biopsy 11/30/09. Gleason 4+3. Age: 64. Surgery: Dr. Menon @Ford Hospital, 1/26/10. Pathology Report: G 4+3. Nodes: Clear. PNI: yes. SVI: No. EPE: yes. Pos. Margin: Yes-- focal-- 1 spot .5mm. 100% continent by 3/10. ED- yes.. PSA on 3/10/10-: 0.01. PSA on 6/21/10--0.02. 9/21/10--0.06; 1/4/11-0.13,3/1/11--0.27. Now doing SRT

reachout
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 739
   Posted 4/27/2011 5:30 PM (GMT -6)   
Good point. I've handled stress fine up to now because I'm a control freak. Stress gets me going even harder and I usually come out on top. This was especially true in school, where stress helped me get excellent grades.

With PC everything is out of my hands except the type and timing of treatment. But I have little control over how the cancer cells respond. Maybe diet has some effect but it's a long term thing and I'm a short attention span type of guy.

The worst words for me are "failure" as in failed surgery, failed to keep PSA from increasing, failed radiation, etc. That pushes a lot of buttons in me and there is nothing I can do about it.

tigre
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 69
   Posted 4/27/2011 7:15 PM (GMT -6)   
not much anxiety for me anymore. that was not the case early on in this battle. i guess i was naive thinking in 2009 that rp would eliminate this problem. first post op psa was 0.02 which uro said is good but not what we were hoping for. anxiety went from 0 to 10 just that fast. two months later psa was 0.05 followed by rt. i've had three <0.1 results consecutively after rt. both uro and rad. onc agree that for me to be tested every six months instead of every three months is fine now. as time goes by anxiety seems less every day. in my mind i've made all the right decisions and if not, i can't take any back anyway. i guess like most of us i will always be a little anxious around test time though. the most effective tx for anxiety by far for me was deciding to trust my Savior with everything. hopefully i will see no rise ever or at least not for many years but this is not His plan then the only decision will be when to start ht or whatever the best tx at the time will be. once the curative bullets are used everything is pretty clear cut.

logoslidat
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 6084
   Posted 4/28/2011 2:11 AM (GMT -6)   
Compiler, I did try to address your point about string of zeros vs rising psa , when I mentioned, " age, stage of PCA, and so many other factors will determine answers to this. I had a hard time getting my head around it Did,t want to offend anyone. but figured, sure some one with BCR, mets, hi psa after recurrence still rising, seems like a no brainer,ex. " Hey dumbo, { my wifes pet name for me } Im anxious cause I don't want to die, pure and simple" So I started to think, is that really true for sure. An older genteelman, might have a different perspect ive with stage 4, than a younger man. Again the post was not if you have anxiety, but if you do, what is/are the personal specifics of " your " anxiety. I appreciate the candor of those posting on that point and am liking all the posts even if not specific to the thrust of the thread. Appreciate your insight.
Diagnosed 8/14/09 psa 8.1 66,now 67
2cores 70%, rest 6-7 < 5%
gleason 3+ 3, up to 3+4 @ the dub
RPP U of Wash, Bruce Dalkin,
pathology 4+3, tertiary5, 2 foci
extensive pni, prostate confined,27 nodes removed -, svi - margins -
99%continent@ cath removal. 1% incont@gaspass,sneeze,cough 18 mos, squirt @ running. psa std test reported on paper as 0.0 as of 12/14/10 ed improving

DaSlink
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 713
   Posted 4/28/2011 11:15 AM (GMT -6)   
In my former life, I was able to handle stress pretty good. Being in charge of a group of guys, getting material ordered ,scheduling, and getting the job completed on time and within the budget, can be stressful work. Construction work is usually fast paced and quality can not and should not be sacrificed.Peoples lives depend on it. This kind of stress I handled well. Not to say that some times it can over whelm you, but there are things you can do to relieve that kind of stress. I haven't quite figured out a way to relieve PCa stress. If I get my bike back from the shop this week, and it ever quits raining, I can ride. Fishing season is now in full bloom! But the darn honey-do-list is keeping me down.
Every minute you fish or ride,adds an hour to your life!

Age 52 Dx age 53 daVinci surgery
prostate volume 32 grams
Biopsy 12 cores with 7 positive
Gleason score of 7
1st PSA 38.7 10/05/2010
2nd PSA 49.9 11/23/2010
CT neg.
BS Negative
RRP on 01/25/2011
PT3a -40% involved
margin involved-Left anterior
lymph nodes -clear
1st post op PSA-0.26-03/16/11

Ed C. (Old67)
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 2461
   Posted 4/28/2011 11:43 AM (GMT -6)   
I generally get anxious the week of my PSA test. My anxiety stems not from the fear of dying but rather from what the next treatment may be which will obviously affects my quality of life. What I also fear is what will happen if all fails and i live long enough to suffer from bone metastases.
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, 2 years <.008? ) undetectable
27 months: .005

Purgatory
Elite Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25393
   Posted 4/28/2011 11:48 AM (GMT -6)   
" Again the post was not if you have anxiety, but if you do, what is/are the personal specifics of " your " anxiety."

I haven't addressed this thread yet, because I don't really understand what answers you are looking for. You started this thread either the same day, or perhaps the day after, davidg started a thread that almost sounds the same as yours.

I might just be making it more difficult in my mind then what you are really asking. Both threads are about PSA anxiety, so again, trying to understand the difference or the thrust on your thread.

david in sc
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 margin
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, 2/11 1.24, 4/11 3.81
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 9/10

logoslidat
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 6084
   Posted 4/28/2011 4:13 PM (GMT -6)   
The Thread of Davidg and others before always ask the question generally do you suffer from psa anxiety or not , or how do you handle anxiety, etc. My perspective is what is the specific root of your anxiety, if in fact, you do have this anxiety. My thought process is/was that it could be informative for us all to share why specifically we, who are anxious, are in fact anxious. It takes candor and self reflection to answer the thrust of the thread. but feel we could learn more about each other with that information. I may be wrong. I make zero value judgements on anyone who doesn,t want to participate. It could seem like a dumb and crass question , and may be, but am encouraged by all of the posts. Try reread the post again with this , I hope, additional insight. In a sense, answering this post, forces us to look at our own fears and share them, and again I find this personally soothing. Ralph Waldo Emerson once said some to this effect. "Genius " is realizing that our thoughts are others thoughts, and others thoughts are our thoughts. Just hoping we can all share this " Genius " as PCA Brothers
Diagnosed 8/14/09 psa 8.1 66,now 67
2cores 70%, rest 6-7 < 5%
gleason 3+ 3, up to 3+4 @ the dub
RPP U of Wash, Bruce Dalkin,
pathology 4+3, tertiary5, 2 foci
extensive pni, prostate confined,27 nodes removed -, svi - margins -
99%continent@ cath removal. 1% incont@gaspass,sneeze,cough 18 mos, squirt @ running. psa std test reported on paper as 0.0 as of 12/14/10 ed improving
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