Well, it has now been 7 years since the slice and dice.
At 41, being told you have PCa, is a major shock to the system. I'm sure it is a similar shock to other ages also, but this was something not on my radar at the time. I had two young girls ages 4 and 2 and the wife and I were on a schedule for one or two more children. A couple days after the initial consult with the first URO, my lovely wife handed me a pregnancy test strip showing she was preggos with our third.
Long story made short: @ 40 had my first PSA after a questionable DRE from the GP at my yearly physical. 2.8. Said, "... lets wait a year and see where we are." 2011 physical arrives. "...feels a bit odd, let's PSA again... 3.6." Referral to urologist. After a brief consult and DRE he says, "It's almost certainly aggressive since hardly anyone at your age has PCa." I was simply terrified. The thought of leaving a young family behind... ugh, you can imagine. He prescribed an antibiotic and sent me on my way. A couple days later, my wife hands me the pregnancy test. I called the URO after the next day with some questions and feeling scared. He had no time for me, no compassion, and was just very stoic, cold, and distant. He was relieved of duty. I was empowered.
So after mourning my perfect health a bit, I realized that it was the hand that was dealt, that I'd better educate myself, find some people in similar situations for advice, find an expert who could guide me, and to accept that it wasn't going to disappear and that I would seek a lasting cure above all other potential concerns.
Got on the horn with Hopkins later that day, which I'm lucky enough to have about
a 15 minute drive from my home. Was assigned a Dr. for preliminary exam. Went in for exam and another DRE, "Yep, there's a nodule. Let's schedule a biopsy." My wife and I talked for a long while with him, a guy just a couple years older than myself. Everything he said made sense, focused us, and gave us confidence. "There's nothing to worry about
until there's something to worry about
. We have many weapons." A lot of it jived with what I had read and had learned here. Some did not. I trusted him.
I had the biopsy. G6 in all cores on the left and none on the right.
He suggested consults with another URO and a Radiologist... he had/has both credentials, but wanted me to hear other voices. I picked them. We all met a couple days later. All of them said the same thing, "Whatever you choose, the potential cure rate is extremely high." Ok, what's best? "There is no best, both surgery or Radiology will likely cure you."
After talking more with my initial Hopkins uro, he made a lot of sense. "You'll recover from the surgery. I'm very good at what I do. My concern about
radiology at your age is that there is only so much radiation the human body can take over a lifetime. Surgery allows radiology for other things down the road where it might be a necessity. You have time to make whatever decision is best for you. Don't wait a year." I chose surgery.
open Radical Prostatectomy.
Three months later I was on the table. Prostate gone. Catheter implanted. That was the worst part! I'm certain it was designed during the Spanish Inquisition as a torture device. I would have told them anything.
One guy on here called it the "Cabinet Door Knob Locator Device!" Indeed! Utter torture. ( Don't bother to threaten me with jail, just threaten, "We'll put a catheter in..." Sure, what would you like to know? I give up. Just not THAT! ) I kept consoling my member that we would soon be peeing on our own and to be patient and not to push or blow the darn thing out... Horrible. Mercifully, it was removed mostly gently by a beautiful, very experienced, brunette. God bless her. My wife evaluated the process from across the room.
*Edit: G-6 was confirmed on biopsy at Hopkins.*
6 months later, my wife and I welcomed our son into the world.
I stop by on my annual PSA test each year to try to reassure 40-somethings like me when I arrived here. I don't post regularly. Life is mostly back to normal. I never had any incontinence. A tiny dribble here and there early on when I laughed or farted. And it was like a drop... Erections are back to normal mostly. I still use a half of viagra on most occasions. But sometimes I don't. The old fella works and is mostly reliable either way. The viagra is just insurance, mostly. Even the orgasms, minus fluid, is back to normal. Initially, and for a couple years after, there was this weird fluttery sensation inside where the prostate was. It wasn't painful, just odd, not the "traditional."
The kids are now 11, 9, and 6 - soon to be 7. I'm as happy as a pig in poop. I adore them and I get the idea that the feeling is mutual. ;) My wife is aces and I couldn't have asked for a better companion. I'll be 50 this summer and looking back on all this is becoming something close to a foggy day. You remember that it wasn't nice, you wished for it to be over, and waited for the Sun so you could get back to work.
For all the young guys who find your way here, here's my advice: Read extensively here and everywhere. Take advice on questions to ask the experts. Remember that these guys here know a lot but are NOT doctors. Some might sound like it, but KNOW the difference! And above all: To thine own self be true! There is no right or wrong answer in treatment or the timing of it. Find the expert that makes you the most comfortable and confident in conquering the disease and then GO FOR IT!
Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas. I raise my glass in appreciation of what HW provides and to all the guys that are still posting after all these years AND to the ones that aren't as well. Hope everyone has a Happy and healthy New Year.
Post Edited (dude1969) : 12/29/2018 5:10:14 PM (GMT-7)