I Have Prostate Cancer

And yet, I am really OK with it…seriously.

So I hadn’t been to a doctor in 14 years and figured it might be a good idea. Did bunches of tests for all sorts of things and basically, came out pretty good…have high cholesterol so got some pills for that, but other than that, all is pretty good considering 14 years had passed - oh, and then there is that prostate cancer thing. I will admit, the biopsy part of the test was not a lot of chuckles. The next time a woman tells me a mammogram is uncomfortable, I can up the ante on that story!

The good news is they caught it really early…my Gleason score is 7 which is apparently borderline…8, 9, or 10 would have been a bit more serious.

Still, cancer is cancer so I start radiation next week…there are lots of options for treatment, but this is the least invasive. The treatment I chose is 15 minutes, five days a week, for eight weeks…basically just sit there and get zapped, which is pretty much what I did in bars every night in my youth. Oh, and I get free tattoos! Well, two microscopic points so they can calculate the exact location for radiation. I am going to ask if I can get more intricate tattoos done, as long as they are going to do them…I was thinking of some tribal motif.

The prognosis for men who have treatment is very good - excellent, in fact. I really have no fear, nor am I nervous. Yeah, 15 minutes a day is inconvenient for the next 8 weeks (there were other options, so this was my choice), but considering what might have happened had I waited longer, I won’t complain.

So that is it in a nutshell, so to speak.

And guys, if you are over 45 and haven’t been tested, go! It is a simple blood test and then, if the test comes back funky, another simple test. Lots of treatments available, especially in early stages, and putting off this test could be a matter of being alive to vote in the next election, or not.

So go get tested!

At any rate, I will check back in with a follow up.

Ugh…damn sorry to hear that, DMark. You certainly seem to be optimistic about it though, so I’ll go along with you on that and look forward to hearing about your impending clean bill of health.

I’m sorry to hear about this. My prayers are with you.


Best of luck to you, DMark.

Fingers crossed for your good health.

Sorry to hear about that DMark.. Good luck to you. I’m glad to hear they caught it early!

I think it’s great you went to the doctor. For you and your family. My Grandad had it and refused to see a doctor. By the time he did it was too late.

Hey, DMark, good luck, I’m sure it will work out well.

I had the exact same thing a little more than five years ago, and as was on an anti-coagulant, they ruled out both surgery and the seed implants.

I can tell you, it is not bad compared to some other procedures (and yeah, the biopsy was surely no fun!). The tattooing was no problem, and my treatments ran about 20 minutes each, also for eight weeks. They made a molded plastic thingy of my ass, so when I laid down on it, was always in the same place and could not squirm around. :smiley:

Pretty cool deal technically. There are three laser beams that are up on the walls, and they projected beams right towards me. They moved me around so the beams exactly hit the tattoo marks, and then was in position perfectly.

This is after they do MRIs and ultrasound of the prostate, so they know exactly where the cancer is and what it looks like.

The “shaped beam” therapy is light-years ahead of what they used to do, which destroyed a lot of the surrounding tissue, as this gets just the tumor itself.

My PSAs since then have been running 0.1 to 0.3, so it’s obviously OK so far.

FYI, I was in pretty good shape when I started, as exercise strenuously daily, and the doc said that helped a lot. The first four weeks were not bad at all. Was a little tired, but no problem. The last four weeks did leave me feeling really exhausted all the time, so much so that could not even climb the local mountain.

However, I did not have any of the other possible symptoms, so can’t complain. Once it was done, I was back to normal in a couple of weeks, unlike those who have the surgery.

So, good luck, am sure you will tolerate the treatment all right, then you’ll be a cancer survivor!

I second your suggestion to all men 40 or over to get PSAs at least annually.

I went for a check up last month for my 48th birthday, and when I asked about a PSA test, as several older colleagues have prostate cancer and/or very elevated PSAs) the doc said not to bother if I wasn’t having symptoms and the plumbing was operating correctly. He went on to say that unless prostate cancer is really aggressive, therapeutically it’s really up in the air whether it’s best to treat it or leave it alone (which was kind of surprising).

Damn, that sucks-I’m so sorry. Best of luck to you.

Klondike Geoff, did you get to keep your plastic ass? :wink:

DMark, good on you to get in there. Hubby just had his PSA (age 35) and I just had my first mammogram at 38.

Would it be in poor taste to do some kind of a humorous tattoo in Sharpie ink for the first time they go to mark the target? :wink:

I’m in awe of your upbeat attitude and your thoughts turned to the welfare of others.

I hope things turn out well.

Sorry to hear your news. May whatever gods there be, be with you. Sending supporting thoughts your way.

Hee! My uncle went through the same thing a few years ago, and is doing fine. I’m glad to see you’re keeping a positive outlook and a sense of humour! My unc has been the same; while we were all worrying ourselves and flitting around all concerned he was like “Hey! I’m fine!”. He’d only bring it up jokingly to get out of helping at family dinners: “Oh, did you say dishes? Sorry, cancer, my doc says no washing dishes for me”.

You better!

I’m so sorry to hear that, but glad you have a good attitude about it.

I’m extremely sorry to hear this. It must be a little scary, evn though you know the prognosis is very good.

A friend’s dad in his sixties had the full invasive operation last year, and it pissed him off (no pun intended) for a couple of months, but pulled through just fine. Your treatment sounds much more sophisticated than his.

My very best wishes to you, and you’ll be in my thoughts.

Good luck, DMark. My father, who is 62, went through the same thing about three years ago, and he’s cancer-free and healthy as a horse now. Here’s hoping it’s that simple for you.

Good vibes to you! Cancer is no walk in the park, but you caught it early enough. Chances are pretty good you’ll be just fine, if a little put out for a while. Make sure to keep a closer eye on this kind of thing in the future, as I’m sure you will - that stuff can sneak back up on you. And great advice to other men, don’t be bashful, get that stuff checked out regularly. Women, too, don’t fear the pap!

My father hates going to the doctor until things are obviously wrong. A few years ago he suddenly had a huge lump under his chin and on his throat. Turned out it was his thyroid, and it was cancer. Though we were all pretty scared, worried that he’d waited too long, they yanked his thyroid out and he had radiation treatments for some time. Mostly he was just tired. He got a lot of sleep. But today, he is cancer-free. He goes in for his yearly checkups now, just to make sure. It hasn’t returned. But if it does, he’ll smack it down.

We’re living in a great day and age for this kind of thing. There is much to be optimistic about. Keep that positive attitude, take it easy on yourself during the treatments, and come through cancer free, okay? :slight_smile: I’ll be thinking of you.

I was tempted to take it, but could not for the life of me think what to do with it, other than leaving it on the living room cocktail table so people could ask what the hell that was!

I forgot to mention one thing that amused me. For many years every time I went to the dentist, they carefully covered up my neither regions with a lead apron to protect it from the X-rays.

So, what do they do to me? Shoot gazillions of roentgens of radiation at the same spot. Oh well… :smiley:

So, dMark, you can see there will be a lots of interesting stories you can tell.

You’re in my thoughts and prayers.

Sorry to hear it, Dmark. I’ll keep a good thought for you, and hope it all comes out alright.