Oct 14, 2012 - 8:53 pm
I went to MD Anderson this week and met with a surgical urologist and later a radiation specialist. They had my biopsy results and PSA information beforehand and gave me a lot of information to consider. Each doctor made the case for his approach but both reassured me I would get a good result with either approach. Approaches that they said would not be appropriate for me were watchful surveillance and brachytherapy. The entire experience was reassuring. I really felt each doctor took a personal interest in me and wanted me to have all the information i needed to reach the right decision for me. The staff at MDA was also excellent. It just seemed they had a very good understanding of what the patient needed and spelled out things quite clearly. I did not have that sense of confusion that was apparent at my diagnosing urologist's office - are they going to call me, am I supposed to call them, when will the results be ready, why don't they call when promised, who do I ask for additional information, what is the next step?
Later in the week, I visited the oncologist that examines me annually for my Hodgkins Lymphoma followup. As I mentioned before, I hold him in high regard and value his opinion. We went over the biopsy results and the PSA and he asked what the other doctors had told me. I guess you could say he provided an unbiased informed opinion. He is not an expert in prostate cancer but he was clearly knowledgeable about the topic. If nothing else, he helped me think through my options calmly and rationally. I felt a lot better after talking to him.
Yesterday, I downloaded the Guide to Surviving Prostate Cancer book by Dr. Patrick Walsh that was mentioned on this board. It really is quite excellent and informative, I’m glad I heard about it.
Tomorrow I go for my bone scan. I had also planned on a CT scan tomorrow but apparently Aetna has not approved or maybe I should say not yet approved. Just one more annoyance. Looks like I will have to do it late in the week, assuming their approval is forthcoming. I mentioned annoyances. Ha, I am so wound up lately, everything is an annoyance. Yesterday, I was so irritable, I don't know how my fiancee put up with me. I probably should not be driving in Houston traffic in my current state of mind. Some of this may be due to lack of sleep I suppose. Since before the biopsy, after my first visit with the urologist about five weeks ago, my sleep has been minimal. I'm going to have to get some pharmaceutical help if this keeps up much longer.
As of now, assuming the bone scan comes back normal, I am leaning toward the radical prostatectomy approach. Given my age, 55, the Gleason score of 8 and the normal digital rectal exam it seems like the logical choice. My thinking has really changed in one week. One week ago I thought there was no way I would opt for the surgical approach. I’ve got to admit that the whole thing seems very frightening; I try not to think about the actual surgery and recovery period too much at this point.
I’m not sure how long it takes to get the bone scan results, I never asked. Maybe the next day?