Good morning. I have been reading the YANA site for the past few months. My PSA has historically been around 1.7. Early this year it jumped to 2.8. My doctor referred me to a urologist. I have a very STRONG family history. Numerous DREs found nothing. The urologist did a biopsy which found a small trace of Gleason 6 in 1 of 12 samples. My next PSA was 1.7. I felt great. I just had the three month follow up PSA and it jumped to 5.2. I guess that if I said that I was afraid it would be an understatement. I am looking for advise and opinions. Also looking for someone to talk to. I am glad that I finally joined YANA.
Time for an update. In January my PSA had jumped to 2.8 from historically around 1.7. My doctor was alarmed because of family history. The urologist did a 12 needle biopsy and found one core of 5% Gleason. My initial reaction was "get the darn thing out". However after speaking with a radiologist and a surgeon I settled on Active Surveillance. It was probably the surgeon who really swayed me. He told me that AS was what he would suggest. In April I had a follow up PSA and DRE. I call the DREs Poke and Hope. The doc pokes and I hope. The PSA was down to 1.7 and the DREs have always been negative. I felt great. I went in late August for my three month PSA. The number was 5.2. I was shocked and afraid. My appointment with the urologist was still two weeks away. When my appointment finally rolled around he did the DRE and fortunately it was negative. He told me, "cancer does not behave this way". It was about this time that I really started reaching out to some YANA members for support. I emailed Harry, Frank and Peter. Their stories seemed to be similar to mine and they all sounded extremely positive. They all responded within 24 hours and they all made me feel better. I reread their emails many times and have the messages filed in my YANA folder. My first lesson; the people on the YANA site are amazing. They are the greatest and my gratitude is endless
After the 5.2 PSA, the urologist wanted a two month follow up. In late September I went for the blood test for an October 4th appointment. PSA was down to 1.6 and the DRE was normal. Everything was great.
My second lesson is that PSA is a strange thing. I think that for certain men the PSA test is a must. High risk demographics, family history and us geezers should be checked. However it seems to be more of a "flag" than an absolute. This year alone mine has been 2.8, 1.7, 5.2 and 1.6. For me the DRE is the real deal if you have a good doctor.
My third lesson came from Harry. You have to know your body. He is so correct. Right before my blood test that came back with the 5.2 PSA Debbie and I had gone on two road trips and driven over 4500 miles within three weeks. She is convinced that I developed some type of infection.
I am still a rookie when it comes to this whole thing. However, it is time that I started giving back. If I can help anyone with advice or support I will do my best. Thanks Harry, Frank and Peter. For now, all is good.
Well fellow warriors, and those who are nearest and dearest to us, I figured it was time for an update to my story. It has been a year since my first biopsy and the diagnosis of one of twelve samples with a small amount of Gleason Six. My PSA continues to hover around 1.6 to 1.9 and all of the DRES have been negative. I received the results of my yearly biopsy a little less than a week ago. Again, one needle out of twelve with less than 5% of Gleason Six. I still cannot refer to this as Prostate Cancer. Scares me to death. The day I went for my results I told Debbie that I would go by myself. Well I did, but as soon as I walked into the waiting room, there was my beautiful lady waiting for me. No man is an island. I felt so loved. I guess I realized how much we all really need people. The YANA website and the people who are so involved are the same way. Last summer my PSA jumped to 5.2 and I guess I was a little bonkers. I reached out to Frank, Harry and Shadetree and they were all a calming influence. Turns out that Deb and I had been on a couple of long road trips and I am sure that had an influence. The next PSA was 1.6.
I chose AS as a treatment method because of the research I did and also, in a large part, because of YANA. Too bad I met so many of you guys on this site and not the golf course. I am happy with my choice of AS but I will not hesitate if anything looks goofy. If I ever need more it probably will be robotic surgery. As so many of you say, "Life is good".
Time for a little update. I just went through another PSA test and the usual "Poke and Hope" (DRE). The PSA came back at 1.6 and the DRE was negative. My doctor also sent biopsy samples in for genetic testing and the results came back "Very Low Risk". He said that I had a one percent or less chance of the darn thing killing me within the next ten years. I could not have hoped for anything better. The doctor said that we could cut back my visits to once every six months. However, I am going for a little shorter time frame for awhile. Probably every four to five months.
When I was originally diagnosed I just wanted to have surgery and be done with it. Fortunately the surgeon that I went to see said that I was a perfect case for AS. My urologist also agreed. The honesty of these two doctors really impressed me and convinced me to stay calm and think things through. I am so glad that I did. The anxiety is still there as I get closer to the next PSA and DRE. However, my problems are minor compared to some. Debbie and I just got back from Minneapolis, Niagara Falls and Toronto. Life seems amazing. Think things through guys. There are many options. YANA is a GREAT resource. Thank you.
Just got back this morning from my latest visit to the Doc. PSA is at 1.8. Up a little from five months ago but it seems to bounce around between 1.6 and 1.9 and my doctor is not concerned. The DRE was completely normal and as I mentioned in my last update my doctor had sent a biopsy sample for the Oncotype genetic test and it came back, in my doctor's words, as amazingly unaggressive. I asked about a biopsy as my last on was almost a year ago. Doctor said there was no need for one as things seem to be going just fine. I am getting ready to retire and I mentioned to him that I was considering starting a prostate support group as there is very little in El Paso. My doctor is starting a group and he asked me to join him and some others. I look forward to helping others as so many people on the YANA site have helped me.
When I was originally diagnosed, almost two years ago, the doctor told me that this would never kill me. Nevertheless there were some very dark days. I am slowly learning how to deal with things. It is a process and Debbie is my strength. If I can help anybody I am more than willing. I am SO lucky.
Terry's e-mail address is: terry6408 AT sbcglobal.net (replace "AT" with "@")