[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.