How I got to here. Part One, from PSA to the Urologist

Last time I told you where I am – prostate cancer about to under go treatment.  Now for a little background.  Well maybe a lot of background.  Today I’ll just focus on the facts in the case.  I’ve had a million different emotional reactions to this which I’ll cover in other posts. I have put some little thought in how I’ll present the information (emphasis on little) and I’ve decided that what I really want to do is to give you a day by day description of what is happening to me.

Yeah, like that’s going to happen.

More likely you’ll only hear from me every two or three days.

And here are a couple of tips for reading my blog:

  • The longer and better edited the posts the better I feel.
  • Short posts mean I am not feeling well.
  • Bad jokes in the post mean I am in pain.
  • No posts mean I am totally depressed and have likely run out of chocolate.

Hum – where did these three pieces of chocolate come from – er two pieces of chocolate…

Moving on.

This whole thing started because I am far too conscious of my health.  I get all the health screenings I am supposed to, try to eat right, take my meds, treat what is wrong and exercise – some, a little, okay I don’t get enough exercise.  On the whole I am in good but not great health.

A year ago I watched as a blood relative of mine went through prostate cancer.  He had to have his removed and I’ll tell you that wasn’t easy.  He’s recovered well but still I know the problems he went through.

Fast forward to August and my annual physical.  I turned 51 last year and the doctor was going over the list of screening tests I needed.  She ask if I had any concerns and I mentioned the things I usually stress over – my gout, blood pressure, hemorrhoids and the fear that I’ll suddenly have a massive stroke and be rendered a complete vegetable.  Then I mentioned about my mother having cancer and this prostate cancer thing came up.

So my doctor told me I could get a PSA test done but she suggested that I have two – one now and one in three months.  After all there are a number of things that can cause a hight PSA reading and we don’t want to take action on just one test.  It felt like the right thing to do so off to the blood lab I go.

So November rolls around (I am sure it means something when I start many paragraphs with ‘so’ but I haven’t figured out what) and my tendonitis was flaring up so I went to see my doc hoping for some good drugs to cure my elbow.  Turns out the cure for tendonitis is rest, no drugs.  I also got the results of my PSA test – high, it was a little on the high side.

Then I got a reminder that I need to get another test to confirm. Okay.  Blood tests I can do.  After all I looked it up on the internet and the PSA test is known to be problematic.  There are a million things that can raise the PSA level and it’s prone to false positives.  Right?  I mean the test was wrong, I knew that, so a second test would just prove it.

It’s never a good thing when your doctor calls and says, “can you come by the hospital today?”  Your brain kind of takes a left turn and you drive into a parked car.  Well I wasn’t driving at the time she called but I did almost walk into a wall.

Turns out that the PSA test was higher and she wanted to refer me to a urologist – the prostate doctor.  There were instructions I needed to get because the next step was a prostate exam.

That is when I cried.

That is when I knew that I had something.

That is when my fears started.

That is when denial failed to protect me.

That is when I told my wife, “I don’t want to do this.  I don’t want my life to go this way.”

This is where I end the story for tonight.

Before the tears prevent me from writing further.

About Andrew Reynolds

Born in California Did the school thing studying electronics, computers, release engineering and literary criticism. I work in the high tech world doing software release engineering Then I got prostate cancer Now I am a blogger and work in my wood shop doing scroll saw work and marquetry.
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5 Responses to How I got to here. Part One, from PSA to the Urologist

  1. YAPCaB says:

    My denial didn’t fail me at this point in my process. In fact it was stronger than ever. I hadn’t asked to get a PSA test done, my doc just did it. My research on PSA tests coupled with my background in statistics convinced me the whole thing was a waste of time. Eventually the docs convinced me I was nuts to not get a biopsy and that’s when the denial had to end…

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  2. Marvin Tanner says:

    Andrew,
    I went through something like you are. I had an elevated PSA. I was referws to a urologist. He did a biopsy–very painful for me. It turned out negative. My PSA is now in the high normal range. Now my doctor says I amd too old to do PSA screening tests. So, for me Idon’t worry any more. I will kwwp you in my prayers.

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    • Andrew says:

      I’m working a whole post about the biopsy – as you know not a fun procedure. I recall my first reaction, “You’re going to stick what where?”

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  3. Sue Foyle says:

    Andrew – Thank you for sharing your journey, even though it must be very difficult. I’m sending lots of prayers your & Heather’s way.

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  4. Molly says:

    (((Andrew))) We love you. We’re here for you.

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