If you have been following this cancer blog, you will note that it has been 9 years since my surgery. I normally get an annual physical and blood test. Every year since my prostatectomy the reading has been less than zero or undetectible. This year, it was at .6. Obviously I was concerned that the cancer had spread. If you have read my previous posts, you will note that following the surgery I had 30 rounds of beam radiation. This was recommended because the cancer had spread outside the gland into the seminal vesicles.
I visited my new urologist today and had a new blood test. This test was .8 but the Doc said its just a number and a low one at that. I like this new doc. He told me that this is expected after so many years and that something else will kill me first. That took a lot of pressure off as I thought I would only have a few years left. (Well, I will if something else gets me first.)
Apparently, my treatment plan was well executed by the good docs at Hartford Hospital, Dr. Laudone and Dr. Salner. My new Doc, Dr. Sliwinski says a rise after two years is not so good, a rise after four years is still not good but a rise after six and eight years is actually not so bad. He told me he had an 81 year old come in with numbers in the 3,000 and he still lived another three years. (For reference, at this writing, I’m 71.)
So what’s next? I’m to have a CT scan computerized tomography to look for spread. Actually, he’d like to do a PET scan (full-body positron emission tomography (PET) scan using Choline C-11 Injection. However, due to restrictions by Medicare, he has to do the CT scan first. The CT scan will require swallowing the chalk junk. I was offered several flavors and chose the berry one. (YUM) Once we see what the spread is, we can do hormone therapy if needed. So, stay tuned.
In summary, I have received a lot of great comments on this blog by those who are dealing with this nasty disease. It has been a catharsis for me to write this and hopefully it will help others who may be concerned that their life is over. Yes, I have had other friends where it was not caught in time and they passed. I recommend the PSA test to guys over 50 who have a history of it in their family.