During my decennial check-up with my GP Dr. Neaville, I had a blood test.
The results came back from the lab, and Dr. Neaville told me that my PSA level was on the high side at 3.5. “What does PSA stand for?” I asked, “and how bad is 3.5?”
Dr. Neaville made an appointment for me to see urologist Dr. Hunter Brown. The first thing Dr. Brown did was take another blood test so that he could check my current PSA level. It had jumped to 17.65 – so I had to face the possibility that I might have prostate cancer
. Dr. Brown scheduled a image-guided biopsy of my prostate.
So I had this short procedure, during which Dr. Brown took several tissue samples from my prostate. Later, Dr. Brown called to confirm that I did have prostate cancer. Now I had to decide how I wanted to treat my prostate cancer. Without going into more detail than I need to, I consulted with Dr. Brown and also with Dr. Allgood and Dr. Lynch, both radiation oncologists.
Below is something I found that really explains it in humorous, but pretty damn accurate terms, the many options for prostate treatment I researched and was consulted on.
Prostate cancer is similar to finding a cockroach in the middle of your kitchen table. You panic, knowing that where there is one there are probably more and they do multiply. You call several exterminators.
- The surgeon recommends removal. He’ll use a chain saw and remove the kitchen from the rest of the house and repair the plumbing as best he can with what remains.
- The external beam radiation exterminator (my choice) wants to stand out side the kitchen and blast away with a twelve gauge shot gun hoping he will miss the plumbing.
- The seed implant exterminator is really slick. He just wants to drill holes in the wall and toss in grenades.
- The cryosurgery exterminator wants to drill holes in the walls and pump in liquid nitrogen, hoping he doesn’t freeze the plumbing.
- The hormone guys.. well they just want to pump in sleeping gas. Knowing all too well that in a couple of years the cockroaches will wake up pissed off and hungry.
- Chemotherapy boys will offer to poison everything in the kitchen and will promise you that if you eat the poison they will give you an antidote which may or may not work.
- The alternative medicine people will give you a bit of eye of newt and toe of frog plus a couple of other exotic ingredients and hope to hell that chases the cockroaches away.
- The watchful waiting folks, some of whom are not real sure that there was a cockroach and some of whom think it may have been just an old bachelor ‘roach with no kids that they saw.
- The active surveillance men are a little different – they set up their equipment color dopplers, infra-red cameras – ready to pounce on those pesky cockroaches if they ever show themselves again.
Now if there is only the one cockroach the odds are good – you can get rid of the infestation. However if the little bugger laid eggs elsewhere or more of his buddies are lurking about in other places… well you get the picture. In any case, life in the kitchen will never be the same. One of these days an exterminator will come along who just swats the cockroach and puts out poison bait for the others!! You’ll never know he was there. Until then good luck on your choice of exterminators, and low or non-existent PSA’s to you all.
And remember – love your wife, grow a beard, get a dog, use your daughter’s jeep to pull your boat and don’t take life too seriously.
I added that last part.