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Unlike normal blog postings handling Choices, Ethics, and Consequences - my subjects as a professional motivational speaker - it appeared appropriate today to mention my total recovery from prostate cancer hoping that it may assist others who are faced with choices on prostate cancer treatment.
Finding I had prostate cancer at the age of 47 was nearly a mishap and certainly not something that in any way I expected. I had no symptoms - none whatsoever. In layman's terms, everything appeared to work fine. The discovery of prostate cancer was quite unexpected. It appears I had actually gone to my doctor just asking for a pill (propecia - a drug to decrease loss of hair). She required I have a blood test, as this drug would have a result on my PSA. Frankly, all that was greek to me ... as I didn't understand exactly what PSA was and had never had it inspected. I hated needles - had constantly stated I was allergic to them - for this reason I prevented being stuck as much as I could. On this day in November 2004 I chose to take the plunge - have my blood checked - and get the prescription.
Two days later on I got a call while from town saying that all the laboratory work was great other than that my PSA was a bit raised - it was 4.58 and for someone my age that was high. My physician referred me to a Urologist. The appointment was set.
Obviously I had some concern, but after all, all the plumbing appear to work great and I had no signs, so undoubtedly there was no problem. The Urologist's examination was routine - in truth he stated he thought I had nothing to fret about as he felt nothing abnormal. However, to be on the safe side he schedule a biopsy. Being afraid of needles (and a biopsy is the ultimate needle) I asked if it would injure. His reaction, "The majority of guys do not really feel a thing." That was a lie! Looking back, I would have asked for excellent drugs as that was the most unpleasant experience I can remember.
Numerous days following the biopsy I received the outcomes. Prostate Cancer! I had a Gleason rating of 6 and 30% of one side of my prostate was cancerous. My heart sank as I received the news. How could I, a 47 years of age healthy male, without any other medical problems have prostate cancer? And, how amazing that it was captured by a simple test that my well versed female medical professional required. Recalling, her diligence conserved my life.
My local physician youtube.com/watch?v=vu16gNYY28s wished to set up surgical treatment instantly. He stated I had four alternatives: (1) Radical prostotectemy (conventional surgery); (2) Radiation; (3) Hormone treatment and/or (4) View and wait. Once again, he suggested surgery. My immediate question was how many of the surgical treatments that he was recommending did he do weekly or month-to-month. The number was low. In the back of my mind I believed, "Hum, perhaps I require someone who isn't so surgery pleased and who does this fragile removal frequently." I resembled learning how to play golf - I would choose to learn from someone who plays daily than find out from a weekend hacker. Possibly that analogy seems severe, however after all the choice made would have long lasting and profound results.
Following the conference with the Urologist, and after informing my household (who believed I was joking), I spent a long time in research. First thing I discovered - based on my medical diagnosis - I had time to think about carefully my alternatives. Not that nothing should be done, however I didn't have to hurry into any hasty decisions. Prostate cancer normally is sluggish in it's development. CARE - do not utilize my experience as a crutch to avoid treatment (I saw my father-in-law pass away from issues from prostate cancer), rather, look for qualified medical aid in making your treatment decisions.
Enjoy and wait. Well for several months I did simply that.