Jul 25, 2012 - 5:47 pm
I'm 55 years old and received my diagnosis of prostate cancer on July the 13th (Friday). It's just a date, but how ironic! Let me give a little background that has led me to where I am today.
In April of 2011, my gastro Doctor diagnosed me with a condition known as GAVE (gastric antral vascular ectasia) aka "watermelon stomach" after being transported to the ER. This is where the vessels of the stomach come to the surface and look like stripes on a watermelon and bleed. I was severely anemic, received a blood transfusion (2 units of PRBC) and was referred to Texas Oncology to see a Hematologist/Oncologist. I received an iron infusion and have been to Methodist hospital in Dallas twice in the past year for argon/laser cauterization procedures to stop the bleeding and have shown no signs of recurrance. However, my blood "numbers" continue to drop and my immune system is not up to par.
I had a PSA of 4.2 July of 2011 and had prostate biopsies done which came back negative. But I developed sepsis within 24 hours of the biopsies and spent 7 days in ICU. What an adventure that was!
This past May, my PSA was 8 and my Urologist prescribed 3 weeks of Cipro to see if it was due to an infection of the prostate as my DRE didn't show any significant enlargment or sign of a tumor. After a second PSA coming back now at 9.2 in that 3 week period % free PSA of 4, biopsies were again taken.
And on Friday the 13th of July, we were given the diagnosis of prostate cancer, Gleason score of 9. My Urologist feels it's aggressive due to the high Gleason and that I went from nothing a year ago to this now.
I had a CT without and with contrasts and a bone scan last Wednesday, and we now await the results of those. I see my Urologist on July 31st, next Tuesday.
He discussed all of the treatment options that are available for all stages of prostate cancer and said we'd look at developing a treatment plan after these recent tests and our next visit. One thing that we are grateful for is he is a good man and doctor, with a gentle manner. He talked "TO" us, not "AT" us, like we were in our living room having the discussion.
I just don't know which direction to run. Frankly, I'm scared as hell. I've read where a Gleason score of 9 is in all likelihood an indication that the cancer is outside the capsule, and the pro surgery and con surgery opinions, as well as the radiation and hormone therapy treatments, and it is all very difficult to put it together.
I'm trying to wrap my mind around all of this and it's tough..