Posted 6/30/2012 8:27 AM (GMT -7)
Thank you all SO much for the warm welcome. I am eternally grateful. :)
And though this experience brings to mind Groucho Marx's line, "I'd never join a club that would have me as a member," judging by first impressions, I've clearly made a wise choice here.
Thanks, Raddad, for the reminder about narrowing the pub dates on web searches. I've even taken to using the DuckDuckgo search engine because Google narrows my search results based on their own parameters. That's been a more recent discovery as I found that treatment options, though they are somewhat static in general, are being refined with time and experience, especially in mitigating the collateral damage of each.
Thanks also to those who have chosen AS in the near term. And though it's just delaying the inevitable, there is solace in the near term that my quality of life is *great* at present, I know that I'll be making a treatment call sooner rather than later. But from where I sit today, I'll never be healthier than I am now. I've adjusted my eating habits (no meat, poultry, dairy, or egg yolks, minimal refined sugar, more fruit, whole grain, and plant-based protein), and I excercise...a lot, alternating running and strength training. Most of this hasn't been a stretch, save for giving up meat and dairy, and finding ways to eat soy products that don't involve stir-fry. That got old *really* fast.
Gleason 6, I found encouragement in reading about your journey. Whichever path I ultimately choose, you've offered an insightful template for "success." I have a wee little prostate -- only 22cc -- which leaves all options open. The consults with my docs have been...mixed. My assigned urologist at Kaiser, though amiable and well-intentioned, is a relative neophyte (150 surgeries). It was apparent that his bias is for surgery. Not to dismiss him entirely, as he offered that AS wasn't a wise choice for me long term due to my age and fitness, but his perspective is narrow and limited to what KP will pay for. Funny, as he spoke those words, I thought to myself, "This puts a serious crimp on my plans to live to be 103." Like I said, "bulletproof."
My second consult was outside the KP system with Dr. Massullo, a radiation oncologist who specializes in IG/IMRT. The perspective gained from his 32 years of work in the field was heartening. He suggested that, at this point, given my diagnosis, I "couldn't go wrong with any of the options, even AS," adding, "Your ultimate choice depends on which side effects you're willing to live with." That sounds familiar. :)
At this point, my wife is staunchly committed to AS. She accompanied me to both consults, and read most of "Invasion," but I suspect that this will need to be my call moving forward. Unless I've missed something, that is as it should be.
Sorry for the long post. I am rarely a man of few words. ;)