Bruce



Personal data - diagnosis

Personal data

Visible name: Bruce
Ctry: Australia
State/Province: Victoria
Year of birth: 1968
Age: 50
Occupation: Marketing
Hobbies: Kung fu, camping
My Website:

Data at initial diagnosis

Date: 30.08.2009
Age at diagnosis: 40
PSA: 4.10
Biopsied? Yes
TUR-P? No
Gleason Score: 3 + 3 = 6
TNM-Stages: t 1 c
Remark:

Maximum measured prostate volume

Date: 30.08.2009
PSA: 4.10
Volume in ml or cm³:

Postoperative pathological data

Date: 15.02.2010
Gleason Score:
pTNM-classification:
Margins:
p-L-V-P-G-Findings:
See stories of:

Prostate cancer treatments

** PSA level at the start of the treatment
from to PSA** Type Clinic City
30.08.09 15.02.10 4.10 Watchful Waiting
15.02.10 15.02.10 0.10 DaVinci Greenslopes Hospital Brisbane
16.02.10 30.08.11 0.01 Active Surveillance



Drugs

NEM = Nutritional supplement
from to Medication Quantity / unit of time
Quantity per D / M / Y etc.


PSA-History    ng/ml    logarithmic

PSA-History    ng/ml    linear

PSA doubling times in years

Doubling time is greater than previous period.
Doubling time is smaller than previous period.
* Calculated backwards for 1, 2, 4 and 8 periods.

Limit = 3 years


Calculation of doubling times in days

Doubling time in years:
Doubling time in days:
Date PSA 1* 2* 4* 8*
30.08.09 3.50
30.09.09 4.10 0.37
30.05.10 0.00
30.08.10 0.00
30.03.11 0.00
30.08.11 0.00
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
Date PSA 1* 2* 4* 8*
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           

My Story

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Last PSA from

Personal stories

       
08.09.2011 0.00 30.08.11
I am extremely fit and healthy and have always looked after myself. I exercise regularly, eat organic food, and go to acupuncturist and chiropractor for general health. Was quite a shock when I got the news that I had prostate cancer.
Genetics suck!

All of my uncles have had prostate dramas, but in their 70s. I decided to start much earlier at age 40.

Every year I get a full physical and blood test done by my GP. This time, as I had turned 40, he included a PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) test for the first time. The result came back at 3.6. I did the test again 3 months later and it came back at 4.1. As a rising PSA score was not a good thing, off to the specialist I went.

The Urologist had the largest hands I have ever seen (more like a hairless gorilla). Knowing full well that the finger up the bum was coming, I remarked "Mate, how did you get into this profession with hands like a gorilla?". Thankfully he had a good sense of humour and pissed himself laughing. No discount on the consultation though - still $150.

Off I went to get a biopsy at a private hospital. I arrived at 12pm. Filled in a couple of forms and sat in waiting room number one.

Ten minutes later I was escorted to waiting room number two. You pick up the magazine to have a look through it but you're really looking at everyone else saying to yourself "...I wonder what†™s wrong with him?". When you notice everyone looking back at you with the same quizzical expression on their faces you get on with reading the mag.

30 minutes later off to waiting room three I went. This was bigger than waiting room one and had fewer people.

30 minutes later I was chaperoned by a nice nurse into (yes, you guessed it) waiting room FOUR! This waiting room contained the bed I was going to get the procedure done on. Took my gear off and put on those lovely paper undies - you know, the ones that have no obvious back or front that look like nappies and do nothing to secure the position of your manhood. I got into bed and watch a bit of telly (Batman was on - the classic old 'Holy Crap' Batman series). I thought to myself, "I wish I had some Bat prostate fixer spray." I'll bet Batman never had prostate trouble at 40.

30 minutes later I was wheeled around to (yes, it's coming, no joke) WAITING ROOM FIVE! This was a small room directly off the theatre where the only thing in direct view was a large clock. By the way, 45 minutes is 2,700 ticks of the second hand.

I eventually got wheeled in to theatre where there was a cast of thousands (well, so it seemed) ready to look up my butt. I got the pre-op injection from the anaesthetist who said †œthis is like having three beers at once.† Then he started to give me the full gear to send me under. I have had a number of ops and probes and like to start to tell the anaesthetist a good joke while he is injecting the anaesthetic knowing full well I won't be able to finish the joke and he will have to ensure I live through it to tell him the rest.

Next thing I know is I am in recovery. It was all painless really. A little bit of healing discomfort for a week after, but that's about it. I usually am very nauseous after anaesthetic, but I told the anaesthetist before I went in so he said he would give me a "special cocktail". It worked. No nausea, but I did hiccup every 5 seconds for 6 hours straight the next day. In a vain attempt to get rid of them, my wife kept trying to scare me all day by jumping out of cupboards.

Two of 16 core samples from the biopsy were positive. I got the call from the specialist while I was on the bus on the way home from work. It's not every day someone tells you you've got cancer.

I was pretty shocked and my wife was away on a well deserved break so I decided not to tell her until she returned later that week. During this period, I went in to get bone scan and CT scan to see if the cancer had metastasised (they only had two waiting rooms so I had a word to them about the lack of facilities). The Radiologist told me there-and-then that the scan was clear (which was good of him - but he did tell me my right shoulder was stuffed {too much cricket} and I only had one Kidney {a congenital defect}). Oh joy.

When in the post-screening waiting room, they came back and said they wanted to do another CT scan. I thought to myself, "Well that's it, they've found something and I'm stuffed". They scanned me again and I went back to the waiting room. I finally got called to collect the report and paid. The report and images were sealed in an envelope with 'To be open ONLY by the referring specialist.' I said, "yeah, right", opened and read it in front of the staff member.

Thankfully, nothing found. I went out to the car and pumped both hands in the air and screamed "YES!". I'd had a small win.

Next day, my wife came home and I was nervous all day about telling her. I told her, "I have cancer" with a tear in my eye and she was floored with disbelief. I then started telling other members of my family - same reaction by all.

I saw the specialist again the following week (the gorilla hand man) and took my wife with me. We talked through the options and decided on surgery. Trouble is that I couldn†™t get in for six months. He was one of the best though, with 1,400 traditional prostate removals and 70 robotic prostate removals under his belt. Given my PSA and Gleason Score, theoretically it was ok to wait the 6 months as prostate cancer is one of the slower growing ones (although to be honest the theory of it didn†™t make me feel much better about having that thing inside me).
Of the treatment options of removal, radiation or hormone therapy, I opted for removal by RALP (Robot Assisted Laproscopic Surgery). I wanted the best treatment and professionals I could get to try to limit the downside of the operation so I coughed up $30,000 to get it done privately ($22k back on my health fund). The robot alone cost me nearly $5,000 to hire it for four hours! Expensive, yes. But what price do you put on your health?

Interestingly, almost all of the health staff I had contact with all of the way through said the same thing to me: †œYou†™re too young to have prostate cancer aren†™t you?†

When I thought back over the preceding 8 days, I pretty rapidly moved through the 5 stages of grief.

DENIAL: in shock. Can't believe this. I am strong and healthy.

ANGER: Pissed off. Not fair. I look after myself. Why me? Sneering at all of the fat bastards on the street sucking down smokes and coffee for breakfast.

BARGAINING: Just let it be in the prostate only. All I want is a long life.

DEPRESSION: I am probably going to die earlier than I thought I would. How long will this thing be over my head?

ACCEPTANCE: I have this thing. From all that I have now read, it seems most people deal with it and just get on with their lives.


At least I still had my sense of humour.

In Feb 2010, I had my prostate removed. The pro is it got rid of the offending item. The cons were the incontinence and erectile dysfunction that came with it.
The operation went well. But the following two weeks were not pleasant. It took me seven days to go #2 and it was like passing a pine cone! I did my pelvic floor exercises so well up to the operation, that the day after I got the catheter out, despite have a bursting bladder, I couldn†™t pee. I had to rush myself back to the hospital to release it and another damn catheter in. Catheters are not painful, just really annoying!

A week later, I got the catheter out again and it was ok. It took about 2 months for me to get my continence back. I had to conduct some interviews for work not long after the operation. Even though I was wearing an incontinence pad, I remember sitting there peeing my pants all day while looking the people I was interviewing right in the eye. With such a poker faced forged in battle, I am now a master poker player!

One thing I did notice is that all of the incontinence pads out there have all got girlie names like Depend and Whisper. They needed some manly names like Black Thunder and The Block to appease guys like me!

It turns out that the tumour was right on the wall of the prostate about to move into the surrounding tissue. Was nerve-wracking waiting for my first PSA test 3 months after the op. This was the test to tell me whether or not I still had the cancer in me or not.
It was <0.01 (basically no trace), which was a huge relief!

Getting my †˜old fella†™ back up has been more of a challenge. After 18 months, I am now at about 85% I reckon, but still not hard enough to do the job. I have been taking Cialis †“ it helps, but still not quite enough. But it†™s improving, so hopefully back to full steam in another 6-12 months. The wife†™s been really good about it all. I have substituted sex for back massages and foot rubs†“ so she has been pretty content with that †“ for now (I even bought a proper massage table so I could do a good job).

I just had my 18 month PSA test and still <0.01. Really good news. Hopefully I am now clear and can get on with life (although you can never really be sure you are free of cancer once you†™ve had it). One thing I have done is completely change my situation.

I left the job I hated and started my own business. I am now doing what I really enjoy doing, earning more money than before and only work half as much to help keep my stress level down.
I started Tai Chi (am have become an instructor) and will stay strong and healthy to give my body the best opportunity to recover and stay free of this insidious disease.
Life†™s too short to be doing things you don†™t love to do.

All up, it was surely a difficult time, but I have come out of it well, in a stronger position than when I started and now look forward to getting up each day.

And I am only in the position I am today because I got regular checkups done at my GP †“ something that most blokes don†™t do. Now more and more younger men are being diagnosed with prostate cancer. It†™s no longer a disease only for old buggers.

So fellas, pull your fingers out and go and get checked †“ especially if you†™re over 35. A PSA test is easy and it†™s usually free.

And if you ever have to see a urologist, don†™t forget to ask for his glove size first. If he†™s extra, extra large, then make sure he†™s the very best to offset what†™s coming your way!