Monday, August 17, 2009

Prostate Cancer

Before I left town on my last vacation my urologist had me drop by his office one night for a "minor procedure." It was to biopsy my prostate.

My PSA readings (a blood test) had been varying for years but recently, in the last year, they had been consistently hovering above the number generally recognized to be worrisome by the medical profession.

He took his samples (you don't even want to know about how he gets them, suffice it to say you have zero dignity during the procedure) and I went, gaily, off to the beach.

Well, last Thursday I had my follow-up with him. His face a mask of concern, he told me that it was cancer. 60% of the samples were infused with cancer cells over 90% of their surfaces.

I have no idea how others handle this, but I do know how one person I know handled it -- my ex had prostate cancer and had his prostate removed in 1991. They filleted him like a fish to do it. Afterwards he had to inject his penis with a syringe full of something in order to get a half-assed erection. He did not take it well. Sex was a lot... everything to him. I might as well have been a hole in the mattress, for all the (BITTER, PARTY OF ONE)... but I digress.

Not that I'm exactly worried about that. I haven't had sex with another human being in ... a decade? Two? Well, it's been a long time, and nobody is beating my door down and, to be honest, I have been deliberately NOT looking lustfully at anyone since 1984 or so.

So I'm not really worried about that.

No... it's the pain I fear. I remember how much pain the ex was in. It was bad.

My RN friends assure me that the pain is much more manageable and bearable than the gastric bypass was last year.

That's good news, I suppose.

But what about AFTER the removal? What then? Will I have to have chemo? Radiation? Will I be incontinent for the the rest of my life? Or even a month?

There's a new machine, Da Vinci by name, which is a surgeon-controlled robotic octopus which, according to the hype, does all of it's work through one teeny hole in your gut and which does NOT damage, the way old-fashioned surgery does, the delicate nerve bundle which surrounds the prostate and which contributes to a male's intense joy at the moment of ecstacy.

Shit. Look, I'm scared. It's cancer and I'm scared. I wasn't scared at quadruple-bypass surgery or bilateral endarterectomies or even gastric bypass -- but this time I'm scared.

I need help. Gods, yours and anyone else's who is willing.

Oh, and yes, I plan to not drink over it.


cd0103 said...

Is your doctor recommending surgery?
My husband just had Cryo-ablation and it wasn't too bad, according to him.

JoyZeeBoy said...

First of all, I hope your husband is doing well.

As for me, Wednesday will tell the tale, with scans of my pelvis, abdomen and a complete bone scan.

Only then will my urologist start making recommendations.

~ Sil in Corea said...

My prayers and hopes are with you. Seriously, I have seen what I call 'the healing power of the universe' mend some pretty horrific wounds through the sincere prayers of a group of people in Maine. I pray with a group here in Korea, today. You will be on our prayer list.
Lots of Love and Hugs, ~ Sil

susankra said...

Just seeing this Ron. I'm here for any research you need on treatments, options, etc. Just let me know. An you will remain in my healing prayers and thoughts.

Hugs for the fear and love and support and anything else you need.

Susan (technoinformationgoddess)

JoyZeeBoy said...

Thanks to you both so much.

I'm okay. I've pretty much decided that, come what may, I'm going to find a moderne surgeon who uses the DaVinci. I know what happens when they do it the old way, and I'm not going to have that happen to me.

However, the down side is I might have to have chemo after. But that's always a risk with it, so why not hold out for the best?

Anyway, prayers are exactly what I need right now and I can't think of anyone I'd rather get them from than you both.

So, thank you. From the bottom of my heart.



Mike in Texas said...

So sorry you're going through this, Ron.

You may be presented with a bewildering number of choices to make after it gets thorougly studies and staged.

I'll be thinking of you and awaiting new of what your treatment course will be.

JoyZeeBoy said...

Miguel! Que pasa, Amigo?

Thank you. It means so much to me to have good folks like you in my corner.

Yeah, it sucks, but thank God I've had tons of practice ("DOCTORS? SURGERY? ANESTHESIA?"). Bring 'em on. I'm not scared -- mostly.

It's yet another medical adventure. I should write a book about all of them.

I'll post more about it, as I go from doctor to dilemma, and back.

Mike in Texas said...

There's too much going on these days in regard to the house we can't sell. Had a contract on it, and then it fell through. We've just about decided to rent it out for a few years until the market situation has improved.

susankra said...

Mike - who is "we?" Have I missed something?


JoyZeeBoy said...

Ouch. Sorry to hear it, Mike.

Mike in Texas said...

Susan, "we" are myself and my partner of 38 years, Ed.

susankra said...

Of course. I was thinking you were the OTHER Mike in Texas - sorry for the confusion (which was all mine).

And sorry for the housing troubles!


Mike in Texas said...

Oh ... that's funny. Maybe we should return to calling him HOC.

JoyZeeBoy said...

I may have stopped calling him "The HOC" but I certainly never stopped thinking of him as "The HOC."

He was, is and shall remain, The HOC.

Just the way I love him!