Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A New Battle Arises

I have been deliberately withholding the writing of this entry until I had a little more information to share.
I think that the time might be right to put out there, what is going on here.
Over the last few years I have had my PSA taken at irregular intervals but there was enough of a pattern building to look a little more in depth at what my numbers were trying to tell me.
About 2 or 3 years ago, I remember going to a Urologist and discussing my PSA test scores...Prostate Specific Antigen. For info on what a PSA test is all about, click here.... PSA
Back then my score was around a 3.2 Because this particular Urologist felt that my PSA was higher than what he would have liked to see, he wanted to jump right in and do a Prostate biopsy on me, even though he did a DRE (Digital Rectal Exam) and found nothing.
This sort of brazen devil may care attitude did not set well with me, especially since he was so eagerly wanting to invade MY body parts.
That visit to the doctor really had an effect on the way I looked at a Urologist and the overall taking of PSA tests by yours truly.
So over the next couple of years, I shied away from a majority of PSA test and those much dreaded DREs.
I has a few PSA tests done here and there along the way but anytime a DRE was mentioned, I poo pooed it off as being totally unnecessary.
That is the way it was until I moved here. Once I got hooked up with a very good and talented local doctor, I stated to get my PSA taken at regular intervals. I have probably had more PSA tests done in the last 12 months than I have had over the last 5 years.
One things that was becoming apparent from all of these PSA tests was that my PSA score was on the rise.
A year or two ago it was around a 3.2 or so. I had another one taken about 3 weeks ago and it was a 5.2.
After having that score in the books, I was referred to a local Urologist. This was the first time that I had been to this doctors office. During this visit, he decided that I would go through one of those dreaded DREs.
So with drawers down and me grabbing my old knees, this Urologist went for pay dirt.
After doing what felt like figure 8s and spending just a little more time that what I was comfortable with his finger up my rectum, he withdrew his digit and told me that everything felt normal except...(insert long artistic pause here).......that I had a small hard spot or nodule on the right side of my prostate.
In my lifetime, I have heard this word mentioned a few times but never really had much of an idea what this prostate thing was and what usefulness it served.
Because I am not a doctor and a little tired, I will not bore you with my attempts of describing what the prostate is, what is does nor where it is located. I will provide you a link that can better explain it than I could... The Prostate- What Is It? and for the male readers in the group, you might want to take note of what you are reading because it could be you in the same position that i find myself in and I am not just talking about the position with my drawers down and my hands on my knees.
With the knowledge of what he found inside me and the ever increasing PSA test numbers, this Urologist wanted to do a prostate biopsy on my. What is it with these guys...they all seem so anxious to prod and probe you and take pieces from your body. Its no wonder why I really tried to stay away from them.
I told him that there was no way that I was going to have a biopsy done on my prostate. He wanted to know why and I politely informed him that I had read some horror stories about the pain involved and how it screwed up ones sex life.
He stated something to the effect that wouldn't I want to get it done if it would keep me from dying.
Nice guy...throwing out the death card at me.
We left things in this fashion...that I would get another PSA test done in a couple of weeks and then return to see him and discuss this biopsy thing further. I left knowing that I most likely would not be seeing him again, which is exactly how that will be playing out. I just was not comfortable with this guy.
So I made an appointment with my local family doctor and discussed what had happened and what should I do next.
I really like my family doctor and have complete faith in her. She decided that i should have another PSA test taken and we discussed her doing a DRE on me to confirm what the other Urologist had told me.
When it was all said and done, she did find the smallest of nodules on the right side of my prostate. She said it was extremely small and she wasn't positive that it was a nodule but with my PSA scores where they were, that we should probably figure out some sort of game plan.
First she wanted to give me another PSA test.
I just got a call from her a little while ago and my PSA was up to 6.7....yikes...it was just 5.2 a couple of weks ago. I found it to be an alarmingly quick jump in numbers.
My doctor told me that it could be some type of bacterial infection in my prostate and that she would suggest that I take Cipro and another drug for a period of a month. For information about Cipro
I am hoping that my body will tolerate this drug. I have had some problems in the past with my body able to handle certain medication.
After being on the Cipro for a month, I will have another PSA test performed and see if the Cipro brings the numbers down. Even if it does, there still is the fact that I have this little itty bitty nodule on my prostate.
Trusting my doctor the way I do, she recommended a Urologist that she trusts, that would be able to perform the prostate biopsy on me. Because my doctor trust this doctor, the Urologist was "grandfathered" and included under my umbrella of trustworthiness.
When and if the time comes, I would see this Urologist locally here one time. He only comes to this area once every 2 weeks. I would then travel to his location, about 55 miles away and have the procedure done there and then all followups would be done locally every two weeks.
I haven't even touched on what would happen should the biopsy results show a high Gleason Score. Yes...yet another new word to throw in your vocabulary to impress others. What is a Gleason Score?
I have read some articles on how they perform these prostate biopsies and guys, let me tell you, it is one of those things that while you are reading it you will start to close your legs and butt cheeks together in almost a death grip and you will probably find yourself grimacing at the thought of it while little beads of sweat trickle down from your forehead and down your face. It is one of the EEeewwww!!! and YIKES!!! moments.
Needless to say, I am not looking forward to any of this happening but once again I find myself preparing for battle.
I will let you know how things are going as time goes by but first I must take the meds for 30 days and who knows, maybe everything will totally disappear and my PSA will come back a 1.5 and I won't have to concern myself with having prostate cancer.
Ok...so I did some mind altering drugs before writing that last sentence. You can't really blame me can you?

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