DiagnosisNormally, my website just covers my musical activities, but I thought as I've had a bit of a life-changing diagnosis I may as well say something about it.
This is probably more for my benefit than anyone else, but if you find it an interesting read do let me know.
5 March 2018
This is a catch up.
I was very lucky to have picked up the diagnosis. I went for a wellman check-up at the Docs, who discovered I had high cholesterol. They decided on a 'clean' blood test and the doc said I could be checked for other things as well, including PSA. I agreed, but almost as soon as I had, a horrid feeling came over me. You see, I'm one of those men who should know better. Father had Prostate Cancer and I had been having symptoms - reduced urine flow, testicular pain and not much happening on the ejaculation front.
My PSA was 18, somewhat over the 4 or less they expect. The good old finger up the behind, seemed to raise suspicions, so off I went for an MRI, shortly to be followed by a biopsy. I think having the MRI first is a good idea as it gives the doctor undertaking the biopsy a good idea of where to test.
The MRI was fine, as I don't suffer from claustrophobia, but it is a bit enclosed if you are the nervous type.
I wasn't looking forward to the biopsy, but to be honest it was the needle in the leg giving me antibiotics that hurt more than biopsy itself - which in truth is more discomfort than painful. Anyway 16 needle samples later and I was back out in reception, Felt a little dizzy for about 5 mins, but that wore off. Took me half-an-hour to pee (which you need to do) and then I was off to the cafe for a fatty fry up. (Bad idea really as healthy eating is preferred)
Before I got my results, the hospital had already booked me in for a CT scan and a Bone Scan, so I had a sense all was not good news.
They work out your Prostate Cancer on two fronts. The Gleason Score tells you how aggressive the little bugger is and how likely it is to spread. The score ranges from 6 to 10. Mine was a 9. The grade is an indication of where it is and how much there is. This goes up to 4 and mine was 3B. Out of the 16 needles, 14 of them came back with Cancer cells.
So I had advanced, but at that moment, localised. The CT scan came back clear, so nothing on the organs, but it did show up a spot on my spine. Shit, that possibly changed everything. If it has spread, then the treatment isn't curative - I suppose they keep you alive for as long as possible. I had a couple of further days to wait for confirmation of the bone scan. The spot on my spine was just degenerative, because I'm on old devil (at 56)
It's funny how your perspective on life changes when you know that, although you won't depart this earth tomorrow, there is a sort-of timescale attached to your life.
Had it been bad news, then I was going for a trial at Guys, where they remove the prostate (not normally done when the Cancer has spread) and see if that makes further treatment on the remaining Cancer any easier.
Anyway, I didn't have to think too much about that.
Having met the surgeon, my gut reaction was to go for the radical prostatectomy with the DaVinci surgical robot.
I did visit the Oncologist to look at the alternative - 6 months of hormone treatment and 40 radio therapy sessions - and my mind remained the same.
I'll be in for this on 23 March 2018. Telling People