Thursday, July 10, 2008

Small Setback and Great News!

I made it back from my Tuesday appointment and had a small setback and also received some great news from the final pathology report. First, I had a cystography done at the radiology department to see if I had any leaks from the surgery. (Meaning where they reconnected the uretha tube after removing the prostate) I basically laid down on a flat table while they put the scanner over my abdomen. Then they used my foli catheter to inject some type of contrast into my bladder. They did this until my bladder filled up while watching the monitor for leaks. Unfortunately they found a small leak during the test. This was a small setback because I was not allowed to have the catheter removed until I was healed. I was so looking forward to having it removed today. The doctor said I had to wear it another week. That was a real downer because of the discomfort it has caused. I was also there to talk with the doctor about my final pathology report. This is the final dissection of the entire prostate after its removed to determine the extent of the cancer along with final staging. I soon forgot about the minor setback as the doctor told us that the final report showed no signs of cancer outside of the prostate which meant that I was considered cancer free, a true survivor. When Peggy and I heard these words we both grinned at each other from ear to ear, but of course Peggy wanted the documented proof before we left the office. We both thanked God and nothing else mattered at this point. All those prayers were answered and I am so thankful. Its so hard to describe how this felt thinking back on all the emotional highs and lows we have been through over the past few months, but I have a renewed outlook on life and appreciate every moment. Its a subtle reminder of how short and precious life truly is.

I wanted to post the actual verbiage from the final pathology report for those of you who might be going through this as a comparative:

Gleason Score: 3+3 = 6
Tumor involves the right posterior lobe
Percent of prostate gland involved by tumor = <5%>
Extraprostatic extension: Absent
Margins: Specimens margins free of tumor
Angiolymphatic invasion: Absent
Seminal vesicle invasion: Absent
Pathologic staging: pT2a NX MX
pT2a: Organ confined, Unilateral, involving one-half of 1 lobe or less

To get more information please go to the following links:

Information on Gleason Score:
http://www.phoenix5.org/glossary/Gleason_Score.html

Information on Stages/Staging of Prostate Cancer:
http://www.phoenix5.org/staging.html

In the coming weeks I will be going to appointments that include removal of the catheter, and then rehab appointments for incontinence and male sexual function. These updates will not be as detailed, but I will post along with my first PSA test at my 3 months appointment. This is important in follow-up monitoring. Thanks again for all the thoughts and prayers over the past few months, it has been uplifting to know how many people care and appreciate each of you!

Thanks!
Darren

5 comments:

Joey said...

Darren - that is great news about the cancer indeed! Keep up the speedy recovery!!

Brandy said...

Hi Darren,
I am so relieved to here how well you are doing. (another prayer answered) Your friends at MCSB are praying for you, Peggy and Tyler. I'll check back with you soon.

Love and God Bless,
Brandy

Darren Ritch said...

Thanks Joey and Brandy!

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