Foreword: Previously I told of the day I found that I had prostate cancer. I have decided to take you along with me on my journey to try and conquer the disease so that if you are a male or have a spouse or close friend who is a male, you may better understand what they are experiencing and can help your loved one with their journey through the disease.
It was an ordinary day. Sitting in the examination room at Ann B. Barshinger Cancer Institute waiting for Dr. Romito to make a visit with Carol and me. I did some research on Dr. Romito after my last visit to my urologist and found Dr. Romito to be Dr. Roseann Romito, radiation oncologist. She treats cancer and other diseases with radiation or high-energy X-rays. She went to medical school at George Washington University School of Medicine and interned at Walter Reed Army Medical Center as well as having done her residency at the same location. Extremely well certified to be talking to me about my prognosis of prostate cancer. But, I'm not totally sold on radiation ... yet! She entered and introduced herself and began to tell me about herself and how she can help me. She explained to me about the Gleason numbers on my biopsy and how serious my cancer was. Seems I have been diagnosed at a very early stage and one of my choices could be just watchful waiting and doing nothing except returning to my urologist in six months to be tested once again by biopsy. Seems I heard the same thing from my urologist a short time ago. She did tell me that she did not do surgery, but my urologist, Dr. Seiber, did perform surgery on the prostate. Her mission was to try and eradicate my cancer through radiation therapy. One of the other doctors at the Barshinger Cancer Institute could treat me using the CyberKnife, but she doesn't treat patients with the high-dose radiation associated with the CyberKnife. She said that if I were her brother, she would never recommend the higher dose treatments. If, after I talked once again with my urologist, I chose the lower level radiation I would need to have a colonoscopy to be sure my colon was healthy enough for the treatments. After that I could begin 43 treatments; five days a week with weekends off so my body could rest. The difference with the CyberKnife is that it only takes 5 treatments, but with an extremely higher dose of radiation. Side effects for the 43 treatments would be loose bowels as well as being tired. Could also do damage to the colon, damage to the bladder, damage to the .....etc. Once you start, you really need to finish to make it worth while. So, what to do? I will wait until my visit next week with Dr. Seiber and make my decision at that time. So far I feel I am still in control of my life since I caught the disease in an early stage and the fact that prostate cancer is a very slow growing cancer, at least in most people. But ....! I have also sought out those who I know who have had prostate cancer and asked what they choose for treatment and why. Did they seek a major cancer institute because they are better? What were their results? Do they still have a good quality of life. I am telling you this so you may have one more person that has gone through the procedure if and when you would ever have prostate cancer or have a relative that would have the disease. More to follow as my journey unfolds. It was an ordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.