Sunday, June 8, 2008

The Results

The morning of Thursday May 29th seemed like just another ordinary day, it was another beautiful Florida morning, the birds were singing and the sun was already shining. I did not realize that on this day my life was about to change forever. My wife took the day off to go with me to my appointment at 11am to find out the results of my biopsy, we both were a little nervous about the possibility but were very optimistic about the results. She drove me to the appointment and we arrived right on time. Time stood still as my appointment time was 11am, but the doctor was running late and I could hear every second tick of the clock on the wall as we waited. We were finally called back around 12pm and waited for 20 more minutes. When Dr. Parekattil came in along with his Nurse Practitioner, Lisa, my heart began to race. After a quick hello, the doctor said the words that nobody ever wants to hear in their lifetime. He said my biopsy came back with a positive result for prostate cancer. Needless to say at this point, I was doing everything I could to not let me emotions explode, I was also doing my best not to make eye contact with my wife because I knew I would lose it. My wife said I turned ghost white after he told me the results. The doctor was just as shocked with my results as we were. It seems that I am an anomaly, being 41 years old, PSA level in the normal range, with a semi-firm prostate with a few nodules and no prior history of prostate cancer in my family. I am not sure if I heard everything the doctor said after hearing the words that you have prostate cancer, but he did explain several treatment options, including hormone therapy, radiation seeds, newer therapies and robotic radical prostatectomy. My actual pathology report came back showing out of the 12 biopsies that 2 of the quadrants both on the right of my prostate came back positive for cancer and I had a Gleason score of 6 (See link below for information on Gleason Score). A Gleason score of 6 was better news for me as it wasn't in aggressive category, it was in the intermediate category. Also, my staging score was between a T2 and T2a according to my doctor (See link to below for information on stage/staging system). I asked my doctor what he recommended at this point with the clinical data and my age and in his opinion he said based on my age that the best option was to have the robotic prostatectomy because he felt like we have caught the cancer in an early stage and he wanted to see me around for another 40 years. He did say that he may be a little bias toward surgery because he is a very experienced surgeon, but said that based on the clinical's and my age that he really felt that it would be the best long term result. At this stage I asked about pros and cons of surgery and when he told me of the bladder control issues and male erection issues for a period of time, I began to fell very sick to my stomach. By the time the appointment was over the doctor spent over an hour and a half with me and my wife which meant a lot. I told him I needed time to think about everything and talk with my family and prayer and we scheduled another appointment for the following Tuesday. This gave me 5 days to absorb, talk to my family, do my homework and pray about my options, and if I wasn't comfortable at that point I could delay. This is a day I will never forget in my life, the day that changed it forever. Its off to do my homework which we will discuss in my next blog.

A Primer on Prostate Cancer:

Information on Gleason Score:

Information on Stages/Staging of Prostate Cancer:

American Cancer Society

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