Prostate Cancer – A story of survivors

It all started simply enough. I was in surgery for local doctors for a checkup. Just normal things, the heart and blood pressure and general health.

The doctor took my blood pressure and seemed happy with the result. He asked about my health in general and said, “Have you ever had a PSA blood test to check your prostate?” The issue has sent my mind in a direction that had not even considered a health problem, and a tentative “no” was the reply.

The doctor explained that he had PSA prostate specific antigen is a blood test that can help diagnose prostate cancer.

“Well, I think it might be a good idea,” she replied, and began writing a form and handed it to me. The form was a request to the local clinic Clinpath pathology at the medical center to have a blood sample.

I arrived early to the clinic in the morning on Saturday. Three people had already arrived and were waiting for the doors open. At eight o’clock the doors were open and the three quickly made the collection of blood, apparently determined to get that little distraction out of the way to deal with the day’s activities.

A log book was signed just to make sure that no one jumped the queue. After about fifteen minutes, I was asked to submit my form and after the nurse was his routine. I had to spell my name and the status of my birthday, which was repeated back to me. The label was placed in a small tube, which had obviously been a mix somewhere and it was now routine in all clinics to follow this procedure.

After watching the preliminaries, the nurse, and then turned his attention to the task at hand. It opened a new syringe from the pack and asked me to prefer the arm and blood drawn. Having established this, then gave his arm a few taps to find the vein and left the amount of blood needed. The nurse quickly clean the area with an alcohol cotton placed on the site of the needle, and apply protective tape. Then he asked me to repeat my name and date of birth and made sure that the information was correct label attached to a tube of blood was free to go.

I made another appointment at the reception to see the doctor in a week. While waiting for the pathology laboratory had tested the sample and the result is returned to the doctor. The news was not what I expecting.The doctor explained that PSA stands for prostate specific antigen and is a protein that is secreted into the ejaculate of a healthy prostate. In a healthy prostate only small amount is allowed to enter the bloodstream, however, if the cancer is found more PSA is able to seep into the bloodstream and a high protein level may indicate the presence of cancer. They said the blood tests showed high levels of PSA and the scale that the medical use as a guide to see a urologist. Then he wrote a reference letter and thank him after I left.
The letter was one of Dr. Stapleton at Calvary Hospital. I went home and made the appointment. I had to wait three weeks.

Calvary Hospital is one of the oldest in the state was established in 1900 by the Sisters of the Society of Mary. In May 2006, the hospital is known as the Little Company of primary health care and is now a center of intensive care in a hospital of 180 beds.

The urologist

Urologist’s consulting room was one of the many rooms that ran a long corridor. It is typical of the waiting rooms of doctors. There were two men and the women sit, waiting their turn for appointments. The normal diet books and magazines are available to fill the time, and two receptionists were busy with daily activities to answer the phone, appointments and collection of patient records. This routine was interrupted by the occasional appearance of urologists to escort the last patient to go home and call the next patient.

My first impression of Dr. Stapleton was good. He was a man in his forties, average height, adjusting future, with gray hair. He seemed to have a pleasant personality, and moved by the way, as if time is important.

One by one, patients have had a turn and went and finally the doctor came and called my name.

We shook hands and took me in his conference room and sat down. My first impression seemed confirmed.He opened a file on the table seemed to be my medical history. The file is looked thin. ‘I asked about the events that led to my appointment with him, and wrote notes as he spoke.

So the urologist, and a similar company described how the PSA blood test was the first step is to alert doctors about prostate cancer, and then calmly told me that we do a physical exam of the prostate. He asked me to lay on a bed nearby. As he put on a pair of latex gloves that includes fleeing from office. I thought if I could go to the front door of the hospital, they gave me for free. I felt like a rabbit caught in headlights. I did not ask for a second opinion or ask you to check your work.

Clothing and back in my common sense, and once on your desktop as a school villain, the urologist said I had an enlarged prostate, but it was normal for men to have aged .. He asked me if I had difficulty urinating or any other problem that there was, and was a surprise to me, even in their offices. He said it was a silent murderer among men who helped incredibly with my thoughts more and more anxious.

The urologist told me that the infection can also cause the prostate to register on the Richter scale over the prostate or something or the name, and prescribed a course of antibiotics and write a reference for another blood test in three months.

I said thank you very much and was taken back to the receptionist who arranged a new appointment with the urologist and have separated the money for the nomination fled the hospital.

I wondered on my way back to work right number felt that day and if you avoid talking at the table.

Life returned to normal for the next three months and I dutifully took my course of antibiotics, and the time he returned to the local clinic for another blood blow.

My next appointment followed the procedure of the first visit, and at that meeting the urologist told me that PSA levels have increased and I was going to send a prostate biopsy.

I felt a bit relieved that there were new fears of another trip to the bed, and thought to put on rubber gloves again cause some concern in my mind.

Therefore, another appointment was made at this time to the biopsy. I was told it would take place in the hospital and I would be in the aesthetics and sleep when it’s done. For this, I was a little more grateful that I did not want to witness a crowd to a tube where the sun does not shine to the prostate gland.

I arrived at the agreed time and informed the receptionist and told to sit in the waiting general. A steady stream of people coming and going and there was the usual waiting time.

Finally, my name was called and accompanied me in a taxi and asked to undress and put on a white hospital gown., And let my clothes and personal belongings in a paper bag.

For what seemed like ages, I had problems with the dress in this small room. At first I could not understand how to speak, and at one point he had in the back forward. When I saw the dress opened and I quickly realized that the last thing the hospital needed was someone who flees the hospital screaming and in shock .. When you hit the ground and put her hands on the dress slipped off my shoulders with a mind of its own, and a breeze on the back told me that all was well. If I went out like someone was going to die laughing and I do not want to be responsible for the premature death of a person ..

It is with great relief that I found a couple of links and quickly tried to link the decency to dress so some prevailed. Finally, I came timidly, of course half of the hospitals would be waiting anxiously to see if he had died in the closet.

I sat with the others who had experienced the same procedure, thinking that women find it much easier than men. I sat there, trying to keep calm, but my blood pressure went up.

Finally, I called and was escorted into the operating room and asked to lie on the bed, which was carried out with a few awkward indignity, the bed was higher than normal. Do not remember much after that. I do not particularly want to know, but I suspect that was hung like a chicken and a probe placed inside my rectum guided by a camera. The probe is a small piece of prostate tissue that is sent to a pathologist for analysis and the results sent to the urologist.

When I awoke I was in a room and stood by me when the analgesic effects of blur. He then asked me to dress and report to the receptionist for more appointments with the urologist. I left the hospital she had been raped by a gang of marauders drvers camel.

The verdict

I made the necessary appointment to see a urologist the following week and has followed the same waiting room have been summoned by the urologist. We said hello again, shook hands and sat outside his office.

The urologist said he had received the statement of the test condition and no nonsense style usual, announced the news. He had prostate cancer. The news surprised me, but now had my full attention

Then the doctor tried to reassure me that he was far from a death sentence and there was much to the world of medicine could do. At this point, described the various treatments that were available to me.

One option was surgery to remove the prostate.He described to me as if the cancer was contained within the prostate, would take place what is called “A radical prostatectomy nerve”

He went on to explain that this was to remove the prostate, which is the central business district of AA Mans sexual function and involves removing the ability to produce sperm and the sperm and cutting and joining of the urinary tract, and nerves associated . Erections after surgery would be back in the majoritory of cases in the fullness of time. There would be some urinary incontinence for a while, but could improve with pelvic floor exercises, and finally stopped completely in most cases.

Other options include radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or “seeding” of the prostate procedure radioisotopes are planted in the field of prostate cancer.

He went on to explain that specializes in open surgery in which enter through the lower abdomen to remove the prostate. He said it was their specialty and their success rate is high. I was somewhat relieved. It was the first sign of a good news that day.

He asked me to stop, looking for options, or get a second opinion if necessary and inform the

Meanwhile, I sent a bone scan and CT. I left the hospital in a little foggy, but somehow conveyed the news to my supervisor at work who was concerned about the results. I also called my wife. I do not remember the way back.

The appointment of a bone scan and CT scan was scheduled for two weeks and in the meantime, I’ve read all the literature, the urologist had given me. Do not take me long to decide on the “nerve prostatectomy” operation. It seemed at once that if prostate removed can be no doubt as to the form of cancer are still present.

It was not until I sat in the waiting room for my bone scan it suddenly occurred to me that the reason he had the bone and CT was to eliminate the possibility that the cancer has spread to bones or other parts of my body. The thought froze me. What if? I thought.

A bone scan is a screening test to find the nuclear abnormalities in the bone.

I must have been deep in thought, because I heard my name. It was not until somewhere in the distance, I heard my name and looked up to see a nurse with a clipboard and a look of astonishment. I told him my name and was placed in a room nurse. He then asked me to lie on a table and remain there until the table has slipped under the scanner. There was no request to remove all clothing and put the dreaded white coat.

The digitization process in just a few minutes and I was free to go. I returned to the waiting room eager to breeze through the following tests and return to work. Now I know why they call these rooms waiting rooms.

Finally, after about 40 minutes my name was called and I followed the nurse is already thinking about training to work. My hopes were dashed when I was in a small box and asked me to undress and put on the dreaded white gown and wait in a small room adjacent to the cell. Reluntantly I went through the same process as before but this time was a little wiser and got out after only a few minutes to dress and appearance touch of humor began to return.

Why? I just had to take my clothes off for a scan and not the other? I resigned myself to the fact that they were different analysis and the methods needed. I finally had the scan and clothing, took off quickly got into the car and returned to work with stories of pain to the hospital routine.

My next appointment with the urologist was scheduled for next week. Again I went through the routines of the waiting room, sometimes reading, sometimes by just looking at the daily activities of the clerks, but the waiting time. This routine is broken occasionally by the appearance of Dr. Stapleton escorting his last patient and call the receptionist to the next.

After what seemed like hours appeared Dr. Stapleton and called my name. We shook hands again and followed him in his office and sat down.

For the first time the seriousness of the situation really hit me. I had heard that the bone cancer has its own fearsome reputation, and two of my friends had died after battling the disease. I could sense the growing anxiety in me, and my heart rate seems to increase with every thought. I felt like a prisoner before a judge, and awaits his verdict. Would it be the beginning of the end of my life? I prepared for the verdict.

“Well Ian,” the urologist said: “I have good news. There is no evidence of cancer outside the prostate” The news took a few seconds to overwhelm me. I nodded in silence in recognition of the seriousness of what could have caused the tears of relief in place. I had dodged a bullet. The stay was granted.

The discussion quickly turned into my decision about treatment. I decided to trust me with his skills and said he would have surgery to remove the prostate. He seemed please with the decision.

The operation was scheduled for July this year. I had to wait two months.

Meanwhile, the men face in the operation is encouraged with their wives or partners to participate in a night of information prior to that of men against prostate surgery, and what to expect after surgery. That was to be held in the hospital. My wife and I arrived about 15 minutes before the scheduled start and waited in the lobby of the hospital.
After 5 minutes waiting in the lobby nearly deserted another couple arrived and greeted us and we confirmed that we were there for the same reasons ..

We were distracted by a cat in women in their 20s who appeared on the scene, carrying several large bags. The woman came to our little meeting and introduced herself as Sharon, apologized for being late, and asked us to follow.

We quickly followed Sharon in a hallway, and through an open courtyard in an old building in the dark.

Sharon stood in the doorway and looked around a set of keys in one of their bags and after several attempts to find the right and open the door. Once the lights were on, we were led into a large room, of course, used for meetings and seminars. “It must have been created for me,” Sharon said she cleared the bags. “Where is the laptop and a projector?” Somewhere there was a communication problem, and nothing had prepared. Sharon was doing it voluntarily, and had come straight from his shift at the hospital. I felt bad for her, but without cursing his bad luck, she is in a very professional manner, as if it used to be bumps in the road, and asked the group to the house while she went and pursued a computer and a projector.

Meanwhile, small groups began to find their way to the meeting. Sharon returned with the implementation of laptop and projector and hardware necessary to deal with, without fuss or bother.

The bags had today gave its secrets. He took an assortment of medical paraphernalia and put on the table next door. My enthusiasm for the evening entertainment began to take a DIVE.IS began to realize that they had become very familiar to me in the coming months.

Finally, the meeting was called to order and introduced himself and told Sharon to be in the afternoon the latest information for a while as she was pregnant and expecting her first child and given to another colleague. I was relieved that an experienced person giving the seminar.

For the next hour Sharon explained the purpose of the meeting. The man said he had no idea what to expect when they reach a hospital for prostate surgery Sharon had asked the hospital to start a briefing.
For the next hour gave us an idea of ​​what to expect of our operations. The room fell silent as the reality of what is going to get explained.

The central business district of the system of sexual plumbing man spoke as if we were talking about the weather. Sharon explained that as a urology nurse is concerned that she had seen it all. Nothing can shock. Catheters, catheter bags, drainage bags overnight, the tubes, and an assortment of incontinence pads of all sizes were in order. Demonstration followed demonstration, the question was followed by questions and new events. My mind was racing and I could feel the tension in the room as a group of men met for the first time with the disturbing fact that they were about to find.

After about one and a half of the meeting ended and progressive groups left the building and dissolved in silence. Outside, the darkness and the cold air, it reflects the mood.

The week passed quickly into the routine of work and home, but the red circle around July 14 in the calendar of the kitchen was a constant reminder of the hospital to come.

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