Hi, folks. New guy here.
I don't have much of a story, probably same story as many of you. My back started hurting and I was expecting a disc issue, but SURPRISE! Biopsy's done, PC is present. CT scan done. Bone scan indicated no spreading into them, so that's good.
Appointments now with oncology surgeon and oncology radiologist. I am surprised my urologist didn't send me to an oncologist first, rather than a surgeon and radiologist, but maybe that's the process. Seems out of order to me. But, what do I know.
I'm just learning about what my health insurance will allow, I haven't used it for more than a blister or the flu, so it's new ground. My in-network choices sure are limited. 2nd opinion just means the doc that is in the office next door. They probably all play tennis together on Tuesdays and sail each others yachts on the other days. JK.
I'm single with very little local support (no family here at all), so that part is a little concerning. My dog doesn't drive.
It's easy to say this now, but the thought of (eventually) dying is not as scary as being in prolonged pain and in need of assistance for day-to-day stuff.
Alright...I'm done. Glad I found this site. I feel better already.
I was just asked what my Gleason score was. It's 8.
I met with an oncologist surgeon last week and things crumbled at bit. He corrected my estimation of Gleason 8 to Gleason 9, used the term "advanced" a lot, and "metastasized" PC (this was news) after a very thorough digital exam.
In 2010 I had a series of stomach embolism surgeries and a surgical-hernia repair which all involved using mesh for repairs. He said the surgery scars, bout of sepsis/peritonitis, and the presence of the mesh made me a poor candidate for prostate removal surgery. He'd do it, very clearly said that, but we spent the rest of the appointment talking about my plans and my desires for quality of life. He believes my rectum has been compromised and surgery would have serious risks amounting to bowel incontinence. Not a risk I will take.
I have my first appointment / meet-and-greet with a radiology oncologist tomorrow. Then the 2 of them are meeting Thursday to discuss my case.
I also see my GP tomorrow and hope to get my hydrocodone Rx (moderate back pain) upped to oxy. I'm not in horrible pain, just annoying and I wince a lot, have to use my hands/arms to assist my legs when standing up or getting into a car, for example. Keeps me from sleeping well. I'm of the opinion, screw it, no pain when I can make that happen. My GP has been on-board with my logic so far.
I'd be lying to you and myself if I didn't say I'm scared. The medical team has added a colonoscopy to my process. Yes, I know the procedure itself is not a big deal, just a PITA with the prep, but I've neglected to have one in too many years. I'm coming on 61. The purpose is to check IF the PC has penetrated the colon and while they are there, to check the whole route. If I have other tumors up the small intestine the thought of fighting 2 wars on 2 fronts is terrifying....
It's scheduled for this Monday, Oct 9, 2017, 2 days away. Tomorrow I begin my clear-liquid diet. We'll see. I'll see my urologist the following week to begin hormone therapy.
I see/meet the newly assigned oncologist October 31 to discuss external beam radiation. Halloween. I don't know why I find that apropos, but I do. I guess that it will be a scary day. I wish the available oncologist were someone else. The rest of my team were educated at ivy league med schools, and interned at large, well known hospitals. Yale, Harvard, Boston Med, Beth Israel, Mayo. This oncologist went to Nebraska…. Nebraska. I only associate the Univ of Nebraska with agriculture and football. I'm sure I'm just being a snob, and at least he did his intern at our local cancer center, the best in this state, Oregon Hospital School of Medicine University (OHSU), which I wish were in network. I'm not poor, but couldn't take the expense out of network. Surviving and living under a bridge (homeless) is not an option.
After 3 months of diagnoses, treatments are starting. It's all happening. Fast. The team believes most of the heavy-lifting will be complete by December 31, 2017, which is great for my health insurance out-of-pocket, not that that is driving anything, just some sort of relief at some level.
I'm Gleason 9. T3B, M and N zero. My urologist used the term "dangerous" last time. His face was graven. Appointments have become easier to get as I've been put on the fast track, moving up to the top rungs when possible. Blessings and curses.
Earl's e-mail address is: peter.cancer AT yahoo.com (replace "AT" with "@")