My Journey and Cure of Prostate Cancer

For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13

Month: July 2016

Met my neighbor and long walk with my dog Tilly!

[I]t turns out that one of my neighbors is a PC survivor. I started thinking about this on my walk with my dog Tilly today.IMG_0281 I had a wide variety of thoughts while on the walk. For example, my site to being with, my site is to be “my prostate cancer journey and CURE, not “Hi, my name is Brian Tinsley and I have prostate cancer. Rather, hi, I am Brian Tinsley and a Prostate Cancer survivor and advocate for getting your PSA checked!!!! When I got back from my walk, I went out and stocked up my 2 bird feeders (squirrel proof). They are almost 20ft up in the air and I also had been having a few rats in my yard trying to get to the seeds. IMG_0282So, I put out 2 traps and got 4 in 2 days. I haven’t seen any since and that was 2 weeks ago. I also put a few trays to catch the majority of the seeds which seems to work pretty darn good. My wife and son leave tomorrow for Disney Land for 5 days and it will be my son who is 17 first plane ride. Oh yah….. I haven’t been on a plane in 20+ years! OK… Gotta run to Ikea…. as my daughter is moving out very soon 🙁 Yikes…………. I am going to really miss her around. Luckily we are keeping all her stuff so she can come back anytime.

Wait a minute…… Why did I start this blog?

[I]’ve got to admit, yesterday I started getting very depressed. As with the entire reason that I started my it was that when I was originally diagnosed with my AD condition, I could not find any POSITIVE information out there. I would read only things about “how long would I live” and/or things like mortality rates and nothing but negative information and more of a doom and gloom outlook. So, I pick up myself up and set out to create my AD site to help others have “hope?

My goal with this site is to do the same thing as I did with my prior site and focus on all the positive information about Prostate Cancer that I can and share it to bring HOPE back to the diagnosis.

It’s amazing the thoughts and tangents your mind can take you on when you have been diagnosed with prostate cancer and for that matter any disease that can take your life. However, it’s amazing to think that we don’t really think we could run out and get hit by a buss? Where I am going with this is that we

should try and live each day as it’s our last and BE THANKFUL FOR GODS BLESSINGS

and get on with putting one foot in front of the other and getting on with the day when have been granted. I don’t want to let this get my down or depressed and I let that happen to me yesterday evening and I was still thinking about it this morning. I started doubting my decision about the nerve sparing radical prostatectomy and did I make the right decision. Is there something out there that shows which decision is the best? Which has the longest life expectancy choice? Am I making a mistake and not going with the Proton Therapy route? Would I be up for another battle with Blue Cross to fight it as I’ve heard about a person here locally fighting with BC about the treatment and lost. I even emailed the CEO of BC and told him and their executive complaint staff I was originally considering it.

The depression that can come and go is tough. Especially when reading and researching. But..Back to the goal of the site, find POSITIVE information and share!!!.

I must got back to the CROSS and realize that my logo caption, “I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH JESUS CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENS ME” is my modo. Whenever I get scared, I constant say that verse over and over and over. It’s helps me regain my strength and fortitude to keep going.

Here’s a couple of REALLY GOOD VERSES.

Proverbs 3:5-6New International Version (NIV)

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.[a]

Psalm 56:3-4New International Version (NIV)

3 When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
4 In God, whose word I praise—
in God I trust and am not afraid.
What can mere mortals do to me?

OK.. I am going to get off the couch now, watching the Tennis Channel, which I watch all the time, and take my dog Tilly for a walk. I am going to play tennis tomorrow for the first time in a week and pull myself out of my mini depression and get moving forward! I have the Washington State Open coming up this week. So, need to get some practice in! LOL!

God Bless,
Brian 🙂

July 29th, 2016-I still have prostate cancer

[I]t’s been since the 26th that I got my bone/ct scans and had Dr. Corman tell me that my cancer (aggressive Gleason 8 on 3 out of 12 cores) had not spread outside my prostate. I think even today, I am still looking back at that date and the initial date, which I honest have forgot (but have a close guess) that he called me to tell me that I had Prostate Caner.

Since the 26th, I have received many inquires as to how I am doing and comments of people praying for me both friends, coworkers, tennis buddies, family and probably others out there I have no idea about 🙂 I appreciate the prayers so much. GOD’s plan for me is to keep moving forward and get beyond this. The interesting thing is that I have an aorticdissection survivor on my site that submitted his AD story and it turns out that he’s got PC and has had the same operation that I am going to have. He emailed me and it was a great surprise to hear from him. Also, I have found a great Youtube documentary series here. This is a step by step great resource and I have watched all his videos and he even responded back…. A great and well done documentary!

I had also been driving myself crazy watching videos and reading stories. I sent back the PC book about the guy who had the PC cancer and was treated at LoMalinda via Proton Therapy. I decided I needed to make my decision and stick with it and not look back. There appears to be side affects with every route you go. But….. I am hopeful and based on Dr. Corman’s skills to have a great positive outcome.

Going to start back with some tennis on Sunday and start getting prepared for my official surgery date of 9/23/16 as that was the date for me. He’s busy!

Take care,
Brian 🙂

My Decision on Treatment and Why

[W]ell, there’s a ton of choices out there for Prostate Cancer. However, what is the right choice is completely up to you and based on your level of cancer. In my case, with 3 of the 12 cores coming back for “highly aggressive” and a Gleason score of 9, then changed to 8, it’s still considered aggressive. So, I made the decision today to move forward with the nerve sparing radical prostatectomy. So, Virginia Mason is now supposed to call me to coordinate the surgery date, it’s going to be around 8/24 or 8/26. I will most likely miss a week of work then work from home or half days.

I am a bit nervous about the process as would be expected. However, I have an uncle and a couple of tennis buddies that have had the same surgery. I still can’t believe the relief I feel from not having had it spread into my bones. That waiting and relief I got from Dr. Corman and the tests, I almost feel that I got a third chance at life again. I am taking it day by day for sure!

More tomorrow. 7/28/2016

I managed to get confirmation from Dr. Ben Starnes at the U of W and Dr. Gabe A. at the U of W, both department heads of Vascular and Thoracic Surgery as well as Dr. Allen Stewart at Cedars. All of them agreed I should be good to go for surgery.
God Bless,
Brian 🙂

Guess What…. I now have Prostate Cancer

[O]K… GOD’s Plan for me just recently changed. As I approach my 13 year anniversary from my AD on 8/22/2016. I know have been dealt a new situation. I was scheduled for my left hip to be replaced on 4/4/2016. For some reason, my hip surgeon said I had to have a physical w/in 30 days of the surgery for my hip replacement. Another issue was that for some strange reason, my doctor who’s also on my tennis team ordered a PSA test.

I had never had one before nor did I even know what it was. I had the DRE’s before, but I was not on a yearly physical route. Well, I got the call from Dr. Steve, “Brian…. everything looks good and then the BUT………………….. you have a high PSA of 5.  WTF did that mean? Well, being an internet junkie I began to investigate. In the meantime, I went to a local urologist office in Edmunds Washington, Sound Urological Associates. I never even got seen by a Urologist, rather the PA. Who was a  gal to top it off and she gave me the DRE. It lasted about 30 second and I hurt for a week!

Then she also ordered a Free PSA test that came back PSA of 4.7, but… FREE PSA of 8.6% and under 10% was bad! So, back to the internet and Blue Cross Escalations…………………. My research told me that the 3T multiparametric Pelvic MRI woudl reveal the more aggressive cancer. So, after two appeals with Blue Cross, they denied it and I am still paying the $1400.00 for the test I paid for myself. That revealed a score of 2 and that it didn’t require a MRI guided or fusion biopsy. So, I was trying to get the MRI done originally at Overlake Hospital. Why? When I searched for 3T, overlake was the only place that came up. I met with the Urologist there, he did a PSA and said my PSA was 8.0 and my DRE he said my prostate felt large. I thought he was full of shit from the word go! Stay away from Overlake Urology! It turned out my prostate was not enlarged at all! The biopsy revealed it. More about that in a bit.

So… I hooked up with Virginia Mason, Dr. John Corman. This guy is top notch. He said we need a Biopsy and he got my MRI from Seattle Radiologist and also said I needed a Fusion Biopsy. I thought WTF again and that I dreaded the Biopsy (TRUS) so bad, not I will not only get 12 needles, but more from the Fusion guided one. It turns out that when VM called to schedule both of them, the said Seattle Radiologist had read the report wrong and that it was a PRA2 not a PRA3 and Fegus Cokely at Oregon Health and Sciences agreed with VM’s interpretation as well.

So… when I called back, they said the Biopsy ONLY would be required. I had read so much about all the pain associated that I had psyched myself out. But.. Dr. Corman was great.. The entire process took under 15 minutes and the pain wasn’t bad at all. So…………………..that phone call you dread to get after a biopsy. “Brian, Dr. Corman here, I got your biopsy results and, You have Prostate Cancer, and moreover, you have 3 out of 12 of your samples that are a Gleason 9.

Meaning, you have AGGRESSIVE Prostate Cancer.” I said, “I need to catch my breath and then he said, you need to get down here and get a Bone and CT scan so we can make sure the “aggressive cancer” has not spread to your bones or lymph nodes.  Another PANIC button… What does early stages of aggressive PC exhibit? So, I started freeking myself out that my shoulder hurt that there was some blood in my urine (Actually left over from biopsy and common) and that my lymph nodes in my arm pits started to hurt and that it HAD spread. Once you get that You have “cancer” of any kind, it’s not a good call.

So, yesterday was the longest and most stressful day of my life. I had to be at Virginia Mason at 0700 for the Bone Scan IV and then onto the CT scan, where not only was it contrast via the IV, it was 2 full bottles of the worst tasting crap ever. I had to hold my nose to get it down!  So, I had my CT scan and then back upstairs for the Body Scan which was scary as I felt trapped and had to have a trial run and turn my head to the side so I could see out.

Then, we had 2 hours to kill and wait for the three doctors appointments. At 2pm was Dr. John Corman, at 3:30pm was the Radiologist/Oncologist and finally at 4:20pm the Oncologist. Let me tell you spending a day at the hospital is depressing and it makes you REALLY appreciate what you have. But.. for me, I was doing OK UNTIL my 2pm appointment, as I and my wife and parents walked in and sat down, we began to pray and Dr. Corman walked in. My BP which was taken just prior to his arrival shot up to 194/65. I was about to pass out. He said, ” your Bone and CT scan reveal nothing has spread outside of the prostate. And… to top it off, we looked at the biopsy and are lowering the Gleason from 9 to 8. Which is still considered in the most aggressive, but I considered it a slice of good news. It’s bad enough getting the call you have Aggressive Prostate Cancer, but.. waiting to hear you might have Aggressive PC spread all over your body is just about enough to knock you out! Or send your BP straight up! Which is what happened to me with anxiety. However, the GOOD LORD and the PRAYERS from everyone help me and my own faith, have really helped me see the value of my life. I literally felt like my life started over yesterday.

Now, I have to decided what I am going to do. Thank goodness for Dr. Corman and the other 2 doctors I saw and my relationship with Dr. Liang and his connection to Dr. Gill at Stanford. All of the agreed the Radical Prostitecomy via the Divinci machine is the way to go. Virginia Mason has the highest success rate treating prostate cancer in the NW. And… Dr. Corman said that he was going to check with the Vascular department about my existing AD condition. Dr. Catherine Otto at the U of w thinks I should have a cardiac anesthesiologist there as a precautionary measure. Dr. Liang says because my AD has been stable for 13 years, it’s not necessary. But. I told Dr. Corman I would feel better if there was one.

Now…….down another rabbit hole…… Proton Therapy… We have the Seattle Caner Care Alliance in our back yard in Seattle and of course they are using that Proton Therapy to treat PC. But… after my own studying and my input form others, I want the darn thing out as it’s the thing producing the cancer to begin with. So, I have made my decision to stick with VM and Dr. Corman.  He’s apparently done almost 1000+ of these surgeries. VM is top notch I must say… Very impressed with that place!

So, I let the Prostate Coordinator know that I wanted to move forward and she said Peter from scheduling would get me in around 8/24 or 8/26 as you have to wait 6 weeks after the biopsy to do the surgery.

God Bless,

Brian 🙂

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