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Monday, March 6, 2017

The "Yesterday .... All My Troubles Seemed So Far Away! : Part VI - The Waiting Is Over!" Story

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 Dr. Seiber's office waiting for him to open the door and rush in with his face brightening the room.  On the wall is a rack which holds reading material on many topics; prostate cancer included.  I grabbed a pamphlet that screamed across the top of it: "ABOUT 1 IN EVERY 7 MEN WILL GET PROSTATE CANCER DURING HIS LIFETIME."  I had read that more than once before, but it still draws attention when you see it.  The pamphlet is telling you to get the facts and talk to your doctor about your risks.  Seems that your chances of getting prostate cancer are pretty great when you think of it.  Inside the cover are topics such as: What is the prostate?; What is cancer?; What role does testosterone play?; Who is at risk for prostate cancer?; What are the symptoms?; What is the survival rate?  Wow, that one really got my attention so I began to read it.  Seems that during the past 25 years, overall five-year survival rates for all stages of prostate cancer combined have increased from 68% to nearly 100%.  Also tells that a few of the reasons for this astonishing rate increase is due to increase in public awareness and early detection.  Hey, I'm giving you the public awareness part, now its your turn to do the early detection part.  There are two initial tests that help diagnose prostate cancer.  One is called the PSA while the other is a biopsy.  PSA stands for Prostate-specific antigen which is a substance made by cells in the prostate gland and is measured by a number.  Levels under 4 are usually considered safe while the chance of having prostate cancer increases as your level ascends.  If your level is too elevated, your doctor may have you get a biopsy in which a needle is used to remove a small amount of prostate tissue.  That tissue is examined to see if it has cancer cells in it.  If so, you have prostate cancer.  I had my biopsy, my second in about 10 years, in September and it told me I had cancer.  As you have read earlier, I chose to have Cryosurgery, or freezing my prostate, after talking with a radiologist, having a gene test and then discussing my options with my doctor, Dr. Seiber.  He gave me a phone number of a patient who had the surgery and I am certain I have chosen the correct procedure for me.  Before I entered his office today, I arrived early for a ultrasound of my prostate.  Well, the door swung open and in rushed Dr. Seiber.  Got right to the point and told me the Firmagon that I had been given by injection over the past two months has reduced the size of my prostate by 1/3. I am now ready for my procedure.  I must prepare by taking Dulcolax tablets and a Fleet enema to empty me of any food.  My procedure is scheduled for this afternoon and I took Cipro, an antibiotic, a few times on Sunday and then again this morning.  Light food last evening and liquids only on this morning.  I must be at the hospital at noon for a 2:00 PM procedure.  Originally it was scheduled for the morning, which I prefer since I could have gone home the same day, but was changed to the afternoon, requiring I stay the night.  I will leave with a catheter inserted which I will have for at least 10 days, since the freezing of the prostate will cause swelling and it will take time for the swelling to go down enough that I can urinate on my own.  All three of my back surgeries have been with a catheter due to the anesthesia, so I know what to expect.  Not happy about it, but I have no choice.  So for now I am anxious, and as you might imagine, thinking of all the things that may happen to me.  I always do that, and have always been surprised when nothing has happened.  Here's hoping the same is true this time.  Wish me luck and say a prayer for me.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.

1 comment:

  1. hi Larry Hope everything went well and you are feeling OK.
    Love from St Maarten