Wednesday, January 4, 2012

PSA Test


My brother (52) has had a rough go of it since his prostate cancer surgery last month.  He's been back to the hospital three times with bleeding and a post-operative infection.  He now seems to be doing better, finally.

It is too early to tell if he will still have the ability to get an erection or have orgasms.  We would never discuss such things but I probably would be able to find out from our father.

Fourteen years ago, our father also had prostate cancer which was treated successfully   Both of these events place me in the "high risk" category.

After much parental nagging, I had my first-ever PSA test recently (I'm 49).  Yesterday evening, my doctor phoned with the news that my PSA result was 6.9.   At this point, I kind of tuned out of what she was saying. It went something like this;   anything above 4.0 warrants further investigation, so she wants to me take the PSA test again....blah, blah, blah..... also wants to test for "free PSA versus bound PSA" blah, blah,  blah ....  must phone to book an appointment for a digital exam.... blah, blah, blah.... will consider a scan test of some kind......blah blah.

I know that the PSA tests are quite variable and not the greatest predictor of prostate cancer.  However,  I've had various worrisome signs and symptoms over the past several months.   I just attributed these to being a middle-aged man but now, I'm not so sure.   I just have a really bad feeling about this.

I've already had my life-threatening bout with cancer 29 years ago and have been dealing with the after-effects ever since.  Been there, done that... many biopsies, numerous major surgeries,  countless diagnostic tests, several recurrences, radiation and chemotherapy treatments, +100 appointments in cancer clinics.   Believe me, the worst part is that I know the drill all too well!

Just the thought of heading down that route again is tremendously discouraging. 

How many more challenges must I deal with?  I didn't sleep at all last night and now am having difficulty hauling my sorry ass out of bed.  Somehow, taking a few nekkid self-pics and writing this post cheered me up a bit.  (Is that fucked up or what?)  Thanks for the distraction, my dear online friends!    My daughter is coming over to go skiing with me and both my daughter and son will be here for several days.  I need to get my ass in gear ASAP.

One positive note:  the possibility of having prostate cancer has strengthened my resolve to get my ads posted on a few online gay hookup sites ASAP ..... I better start having regular sex with men while I still can.

24 comments:

  1. Hey buddy, you have a strong circle of support so whatever news you get, whatever happens, we're here and ready to shoulder whatever part of the stress and struggle we can. It's ALWAYS better to know than not, because then you can deal with it. Take a breath, and do what you have to do to determine what you are dealing with. Worst case scenario, you go back to battle with something you faced and beat before. Best case scenario, you've worried for nothing. Keep us posted and reach out as you need to...we're here!

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  2. Bummer...and with a bum like that you should be able to all the sex you want.

    As for the other thing, just positive thoughts for you and your family. I know it's something scary that you want to spare them but I hope you speak with your kids so they can give you the love and support you deserve and need.

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  3. So sad. Based on your own and your family's experience you know far more and are able to 'fill in the blanks' in ways that are unimaginable to me. Know, however, that you have touched many of us with your stories. Although we can't change the specific facts and knowns and unknowns of your circumstances, know that the cloud of witness that will walk through this with you is large and growing.

    With hopes for the peace and centeredness to think through everything that you need to in the days to come.

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  4. anne marie in phillyJanuary 4, 2012 at 10:16 PM

    {{{{{hugs}}}}} to my buddybear! YOU WILL SURVIVE AND CONQUER! nice arse shots too!

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  5. Chin up Buddy... Things are probably not what they may seem no matter your family history. The view of PSA results in the medical community are changing - basically on a daily basis. Don't assume. Great Ass by the way!
    H

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  6. Arrgh! Here's hoping for the best!

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  7. Thanks for all your support, everyone! Maybe I am worrying about this prematurely (it`s something I rarely do) if it weren`t for my really worrisome symptoms.... old man `peeing problems`, basically.

    Idleeyes: Thank you for commenting when it is something important that really matters, when I need support the most. I will always love you for it!

    To those who complimented my ass: thank you! I rather like those pics especially the last one ... it`s a bit of a `peek` shot, more so than I`ve ever posted before. I think I`ll use it for my online profile on a hookup site.

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  8. Thoughts are with you....

    +++ Chip

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  9. Well, if you are looking to have as much sex as you can while you can, let me know where the line starts. I agree with the others, you have the inner strength to beat this IF it comes to that. As for the old man peeing, I have been making jokes about that for years. After MANY years of getting up in the same house to the same bathroom, I conked my head good on the door even. Don't ignore, but until you get further news, don't fret too much. It isn't going to help and will just ruin the disposition. We are all here for you and love you.
    Kevin

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  10. While you clearly have family history, there is wide spread consensus that the PSA shouldn't be used for screenings - at least as much as they are. There is a lot of new articles and literature on this in the last 6 months. You might want to search these out, but that PSA number might be indicative of nothing when it comes to course of treatment.

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  11. Kevin: thank you for the support and for the funny peeing story.

    Thank you, Blobby. Yes, many doctors are now refusing to do PSA tests; mine did only because of my family history. The digital test (which I haven`t yet had) generally tells them much more.

    I understand, however, that the test of the ratio of `bound`versus `free` PSA is much more useful.

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  12. I agree you need to get out there and quit denying us sex. Go Buddy, spread your .......wings.

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  13. Posting nekkid pics is always the appropriate course of action in times like this. Well done!

    I know you are freaking out about the number. Does it help for me to tell you to take a breath? I didn't think so. Just get the further testing done so you can get the good news I know is coming and put this episode behind you.

    And speaking of behinds... :-)

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  14. Buddy,I will pray for you and yor family.Dont worry everything will go well ...and for the pics above...I first thought it was a male Model bum and body...then I realised its you..WOW!!You really have a hot body and hot bum!!

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  15. I'm feeling very optimistic for you. As you know, one questionable test does not mean you have cancer. Let's see what a more reliable diagnosis says. In the meantime, enjoy skiing with the kids!

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  16. Nobody likes alarms like your doctor provided and considering your family history you are wise not to ignore your doctor. My fingers (or should I say it with my Boston accent and type "fingahs") are crossed for you.

    I agree with Cubby who wrote "Just get the further testing done so you can get the good news..." Sending you positive thoughts and a virtual hug ((( )))) all the way from Boston.

    BosGuy

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  17. 58 bi/gay/married with teenaged daughters (but still married and torn about how this all going to work out). I have had high PSAs 8-12 for the past 4 years. I have had two negative biopsies. Last December the PSA went from 9-12 in a year, bad. The rate of increase is more problematic than the actual number as I also have a very large prostrate (BPH). I read a book called "The Invasion of the Prostate Snatchers) - a completely hokey title, but it is by an oncologist who specializes in this and a survivor. I most highly recommend it. I lost weight, worked out and reformed my diet- boosting my immune system. A 3 month retest had the PSA decline by two points. It is however time for a new test and I am quite worried again. Anyways hang in there bro.

    Denis

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  18. Hi Denis, thank you very much for sharing. It was the most valuable contribution I`ve received so far on the topic. What a great story! I`ll look for that book.

    Best of luck with your own journey as well.... yes, it`s a difficult situation as I know all to well. Having older kids does make it a bit easier, I think.

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  19. January 6th I was scheduled for a biopsy of my prostate gland. My last two PSA scores were 8.4 then 5.1. I decided not to "go down that route" and I cancelled my prostate biopsy. Am I concerned? Of course I am. But at age 70, I will probably die of something else even if I do have prostate cancer. I almost died when I was 17 years old as a result of a staph infection I got in the hospital from an unnecessary hernia operation. I know what the downward spiral can be. My family has a history of colon cancer. My cousin and uncle who decided NOT to have colonoscopies are dead now. I have a colonoscopy every four years. One before least I had two benign polyps. The last one (last year), I was clean. I will continue to have colonoscopies but I am forgoing putting myself into the trap of more problems with side effects from a procedure that is questionable at best for detecting prostate cancer. What tipped me over the edge for deciding not to have a prostate biopsy was what happened to the boyfried (he's my age) of one of my friends at Christmas dinner. He had his prostate removed. He now wears Depends and will the rest of his life. I didn't ask him if he could get a hard on but I assume he couldn't. But he did say "I don't have prostate cancer anymore." That's a high price to pay. I'm not totally comfortable with my decision but I'm more comfortable with it than if I had decided to go ahead with the biopsy. Good luck in whatever you decide to do. I will continue to follow your blog.

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  20. Ron: thank you for taking the time to tell your story here. Yes, my doctor and I will consider seriously our next move. I've only had one PSA test in my life and it wasn't particularly high.

    I am just 49 and am not prepared to accept the severe side-effects of full-blown surgery, should that be suggested. There are many other options, as you pointed out.

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  21. Heavens! I go away for a few days and all this happens.....
    So far it has all been said already, so I can only add to the chorus line of hopes and please keep us posted.

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  22. Take a look at this just released article:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/06/us-psa-screening-idUSTRE8051XB20120106

    read the article, not the headline, which is a little misleading. Yes, deaths are not down, but diagnosis are increased. But it's an interesting piece.

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