Thursday, December 22, 2016
The "Yesterday .... All My Troubles Seemed So Far Away! : Part I - The Dianosis" Story
It was an ordinary day. Monday, October 3rd, 8:08 PM and I just got the call from Dr. Sieber with the news that my recent prostate biopsy showed I have prostate cancer. How should I react? PANIC!? FEAR!? For some strange reason it didn't affect me that way. I have heard over and over again from several sources that if I live long enough the chances of getting prostate cancer are likely. Did I look at it as a death sentence? Nah! My dad had it and lived for many years after he was diagnosed with it. Died of something else. So, what should I do? I'm going to find out after a visit with Dr. Sieber in a month. Well, for those males that are wondering how it was determined that I have prostate cancer, here is the background information. For years, and I mean many years, I have had a routine physical every year. And … every time I had the physical I had blood drawn for a PSA test. PSA stands for prostate-specific antigen and is a protein produced by cells of the prostate gland. The test measures the level of PSA in a man's blood and is a measuring device to check for any chance of cancer in the prostate. Quite a few years ago I had a high reading so Dr. Sieber ordered a biopsy. I won't kid you, the test was tough. The test showed I didn't have cancer. At that time I had young children and was scared to death. This year on my initial visit to Dr. Sieber, he told me he had good and bad news. The good news was that the kidney stone I had was gone. The bad news was that my PSA level was elevated. He ordered a MRI of my prostate. Piece of cake compared to the biopsy. On a return visit he said the test was inconclusive and his intuition told him I should have a biopsy. He just didn't feel that with my history that he should just let the issue drop. Love the guy for that decision! This time I was sedated so I didn't know what they were doing. The call tonight gave me the results. Went in to his practice the next day for a few more blood tests he wanted and set a time to visit with him to talk about our plan of attack to conquer my prostate cancer. For those males who have a history in their family of prostate cancer or those who have had an elevated PSA, you may want to know what to expect. I have decided to share my story as it progresses in hopes that you can follow my journey as I attempt to conquer this cancer and hope that my story will give you a chance to see what I have chosen to do to prolong my life and rid myself of this cancer. As of now, nothing seems to be a big rush. Well, today is the end of October and I'm back sitting in Dr. Seiber's office once again. My wife has joined me to make sure I hear everything he tells me during my visit. He explains the informational results that I hold in my hand, explaining where in my prostrate I have cancer cells. Three of the dozen test samples show signs of cancer. He goes over several scenarios with me and tells me what he thinks I are my best options. Asks me if I would like to continue in the General Health system that he is a part of and I confirm that at present I do. I have trusted him all my life and they're no sense changing now. He is an accomplished physician with great credentials and a few trial tests to his credit. He explains that I can choose to no nothing at present and wait half a year and have my PSA tested again and perhaps have another biopsy. But, if I care to, he can make an appointment at the nearby Barshinger Cancer Institute so I can talk to a prostate cancer specialist. I choose that route and have a visit with Dr. Romito in a few weeks with a follow up visit with Dr. Seiber a week after that appointment. I also chose to have genetic testing done so I can tell if I happen to have any genes that will give me a clue as to what to expect in the future. It was as simple as giving a sample of my blood for analysis. My wife felt it was necessary so our children can find out what may be in store for them in the future and to plan accordingly. So, for now, I am waiting, but not worrying ... yet! Follow with me as I journey through the health care system, trying to find my way through the many choices available, hoping I make the correct choice; for you see, my life depends on it!! It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.