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#6 - GO TO INDEX FOR EARLIER LETTERS
men need enlightening, not frightening ||January
21, 2012 |
was one of the three of us who set up the YANA site. His wife Kerry learned how
to set up the site and designed it: Gregg did the research and I wrote the words.
He passed away very quietly and peacefully early on December 21, 2011 after a
long struggle to return to better health. In the end his body had no more to give,
and he had done his dash.
Gregg was diagnosed in 1991 so made it to the
20 year mark - and still gave prostate cancer the slip in the end. His PSA was
at normal levels at his last test but in the end the cumulation of living became
too much for his body and he bore out Willet Whitmore's epigram:
old is invariably fatal while prostate cancer is only sometimes so.
- real or induced?
is very little posted about emotional issues on prostate cancer sites on the Internet.
I believe this is mainly due to our cultural issues. Depression is a particularly
loaded word in our culture. Many associate it, however wrongly, with a sign of
weakness and excessive emotion. I don't, at least when I am not depressed. Although
it was more than fifteen years from my diagnosis, I felt I was headed towards
the dark pit of depression in December 2011 and I thought it might be helpful
if I shared my experience. I have put it on the site at DEPRESSION
I am not saying that everyone
can deal with the factors that cause their depression as easily as I have managed
to deal with mine. I have had many years of practice. But I do believe that recognising
that there are issues, recognising that some of these can be dealt with, recognising
that it is not a weakness, recognising that if you can't handle it yourself, you
should get appropriate professional help will get you over the line and back in
the sunshine which is a feature of most of our lives after the shock of diagnosis
and therapy has worn off.
In one of my earlier (pre-prostate cancer) episodes
of depression I was seriously suicidal. My wife Anthea has a way of dealing with
things in fairly plain and simple language. She said to me "If you had a broken
bone you'd go to a doctor. Your mind is broken - go to a doctor and get it fixed."
I did go and I did get it fixed - and more importantly acquired the tools that
helped me deal with my cancer diagnosis years later and, I think, helped me help
of our Yana men recently posted this message on a Mailing List::
I'm getting close to two years post surgery with clean (undetectable) PSA. My
surgery was March 15, 2010 and my next PSA test is January 17. Am I the only one
that at this point still begins to fret about a month before the test? I've heard
it called PSA Anxiety.
Although a well known prostate cancer activist
once took me to task for even mentioning PSA Anxiety, denying there was
such an issue, it is a concern, even among men who have been following
their (low) PSA numbers for years. I do not usually get too anxious myself now
that I have passed my main target survival date of fifteen years, but three years
after diagnosis I wrote a short piece I titled WITHOUT HOPE which I believe sums up the position
fairly well, based on what other prostate cancer men tell me.
One of the
replies on the Mailing List was a person who posts as A.Black, saying:
pretty normal to be concerned. At the same time note that even if you experience
PSA progression it does not automatically mean that you will also experience recurrence
and even if you experience recurrence it does not automatically mean that you
will experience metastasis and even if you experience metastasis something else
may get you sooner.
He referred to a page on his website - The Palpable
Prostate which you should add to your Bookmarks. This is an excellent site
for the man who wants to get a better understanding of th complexities of the
disease with many references to scientific papers and studies. The one that A.Black
was specifically referring to was Biochemical PSA Recurrence.
As a personal
observation, based on the updates submitted by Yana men and posts to Mailing Lists,
I believe that there has been some signficant (and unannounced) change to PSA
tests, perhaps by a major manufacturer, perhaps by many. I say that because I
cannot recall any time over the past fifteen years when there have been so many
"upblips" in PSA numbers in men who have had stable results, often for many years.
One pathology lab has admitted that the new tests they are using increases a PSA
count by 'up to fifteen percent' - that's quite a scary jump for some folk. Anyone
with even a twinge of PSA Anxiety should find A.Black's page of interest.
to those of you who sent in updates in response to the last E-Letter. If you're
due for an update and haven't sent one in yet, please just take a few minutes
to go to UP DATE YOUR STORY and send it in. There are
many July 2010 updates outstanding.
The holidays have impacted, as we thought
they would on the development of the YANA-3 project although Mark Freedkin has managed to get some of the
work done despite his other commitments.
It seems likely that the current
target date for system testing - the end of January will be extended to mid-February.
Links - including a FaceBook one
is a new publication from National Comprehensive Cancer Network dealing with prostate
cancer - NCCN
Guidelines for Patients There is a good deal of sound information in this
publication, which is in its second edition.