Thursday, April 28, 2011

All In The Day Of A Traveling Patient

Our day started awful early this morning. We were officially up at 5AM. A short time later we were out the door and on our way to a hospital in the Norfolk, VA area...about a 2 hour drive from our place.
On our way, Veronica wanted some good coffee, so we made a pit stop at our local Starbucks.
Unfortunately all I could do was drool at the sight of all of their food goodies that they had on display. There was no coffee nor food goodies on my breakfast menu this particular morning.
This mornings menu consisted of 2 large round cylinders that were full of a chalky liquid.
As it turned out, the chalky liquid contained one of my all time favorite flavorings for liquid chalk....Banana. Did I say one of my all time favorites?  NOT!!!! Chalky liquid no matter how it is flavored.....sucks.
I was able to get the first cylinder down in about a 40 minute period.
I didn't attempt to drink the 2nd cylinder until I was at the hospital awaiting someone to fetch me for my first test...a ultrasound test on my nether regions.
The 2nd cylinder was much tougher to swallow and keep down. Must have been something in that darn banana flavoring...go figure.
Now back briefly to my ultrasound test.
Now here I am...a 55 year old male that is basically butt naked except for one of those cheesy hospital gowns that you can never keep closed no matter what you try to do. They must have given me the "trick gown" because mine had 3 holes the exact same distance apart from each other and they were just big enough to put your arm through. I tried to put my head through the middle hole but it would not fit through and even if I got it through, there was no way I could have got my arms through the other 2 holes. Why 3 holes...I have no idea. I am sure that I could come up with a real witty answer about the use of the 3rd opening in the gown but then I would have to explain how I became such a great contortionist.
If you have a warped sense of humor as I do, you will get it.
All I will say is that Houdini would have been very proud of this garment.
So here I am with the gown on and in walks a rather young and not at all bad looking young lady dressed in the usual ultrasound garb. I should add that this young woman had NOTHING in the looks department on Veronica. Yes dear...I did remember that at times you visit my blog to see what I write. Did you notice what I just wrote about you  2 sentences ago?
Back to my story. It moves rather quickly from here.
The next thing I know, this young medical professional has my gown hiked up, has slathered some not too unpleasant feeling gel on her ultrasound wand and was using said wand to gently but very professionally caress my...hmmm....trying to use some writers diplomacy here.....sorry....that's not going to work here.......Kibbles and Bits.
Yes...I said the K and B words to describe my low riders.
I can hear it now..."Madea...did you hear what that old codger called his precious ones. Kibbles and Bits...now that's one crazy dude".
C'mon folks...we are all grownups here. Life is too short to get all prudish about certain things.
I call them as I see them.
The good news is that nothing completely natural happened during this procedure, that would have further embarrassed myself.
And before I knew it, this young medical tech was throwing me a couple of towels for the cleanup and telling me I could get dressed and go to my next test, which was a CT Scan.
I left that room feeling cheap and dirty with not even the lightest peck on the cheek for my efforts.
I slapped the best smile on my face that I could muster up and headed over for my CT Scan.
Compared to the Ultrasound, the CT Scan would best be described as anti climatic and BORING.
The CT Scan was over in a matter of 5 minutes. And this was the test that I had to force all of that banana flavored chalky liquid down my gullet....a lousy 5 minute test....I want my money back!!
After my fun trip to the hospital, Veronica and I hit the local Sams Club in that area to stock up on a few things. I sure wish we had one of those in our area. I would even be happy with a Super Walmart.
We also hit a grocery store before heading back to the Outer Banks.
On our way home we found a farmers market that was open and we decided to stop there. Got a really good deal on some sweet corn and some cantaloupes.
Once we were closer to home, Veronica decided that she wanted to try to see if a local thrift store had any pants or shirts that she might like.
She has been losing so much weight that we haven't been able to buy a bunch of new clothes at each new smaller size that she reaches. We figured it would be best to see if she could find some clothes that would keep her going until she reached her goal.
We actually had a good time together going up and down the racks looking for pants and jeans and shirts for her.
We found quite a number of items and the really cool thing was that a lot of the clothes were priced at amounts like $2.99 and $3.99. Some of the clothes still had their original tags on them. She got a bunch of stuff for around $40
The only down side was that they had no dressing rooms there to try the clothes on at the store. The good news was that if anything did not fit, we have 7 days to bring them back to the store for a full refund. You can't beat the deals and in this day and age, it would cost us more for the gas to get to this place than it would for a complete closet full of clothes.
One of our last stops was at a local jewelery store called Diamonds And Dunes. The reason for us stopping there is because years ago, while we were visiting Disney World, I purchased a 25th Disney Anniversary womans watch.
Disney only made 5,000 of these so I figured that I would put it away and it might be worth something one of these years.
When I decided to get involved with our local American Cancer Society Relay For Life, which is coming up in a couple of weeks, I decided to raffle the watch off and have the money earned from the raffle donated to the cause.
When I located the watch, the battery had died and I needed to get a new one put in.
I figured that no one is going to give up their hard earned money for a watch that appears not to be working and me saying "it just needs a new battery".
That is the reason for stopping at Diamonds and Dunes.
The owner of the store looked at the watch and decided that they should wait for the man who does all of the watch work.
After I had told them about the watch being raffled for Relay For Life, he told me that there would be no charge for the new battery. What they usually do in this store is nor charge for batteries but request a donation of which goes to a local charity.
So because the watch was being raffled with the proceeds going to the ACS, Diamonds and Dunes was going to put in the battery for free and waive the donation request too.
I thought that this gesture was extremely kind and generous.
You don't see small businesses do things like that very often, especially in today's economy.
I give Diamonds and Dunes a tip of my hat and a hardy "job well done".
If you are ever on the OBX, check them out. They really have some nice looking jewelery.
Their whole upstair display area was almost completely filled with Pandora items.
It was one of the more impressive collections of Pandora items that we have seen in our travels.
I won't find out the results of these tests until I go back to my Oncologist next Thursday.
All in all it was a good day and I think that I will have pleasant dreams tonight.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

My New Friends

Last week while going for a walk, I noticed a couple of deer resting down below the elevated roadway near the point, that sticks out into the bay.
I stood there and watched them for a bit and let them get used to seeing me around. We stood watching each other for several minutes trying to see if we could get the other to blink first.
Of course the deer won.
Today on my walk I noticed 2 deer in the same basic area resting from the afternoon sun.
From where I was standing, the wind was blowing my scent away from them. They just sat there checking me out. I quietly left the area, only to return a few minutes later with Veronica's camera.
I was able to get a couple of photos of them before they got bored of me and decided to find something of more interest to keep them occupied.







And then there are these feathered friends. They hang out around the boat ramp, near the channel that leads out into the bay.

 Here are a few of the crabbers shacks that line the channel that leads out into the bay. Traffic at the boat ramp has already started to pick up as the crabbing season has started around here.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Hopefully A Step In The Right Direction

Veronica and I left early this morning to head to Norfolk, VA for an important Oncology appointment with my original Oncology doctor. He is the doctor that performed the tests that showed that I had Mast Cell Disease in the first place.
Before going to the doctors office, we stopped off at a Super Walmart that they have in that area.
We have a local Walmart where we live but it is a lot more expensive than the ones in Virginia. We can usually save at least 10% by shopping at the Virginia Walmarts.
My doctors appointment was at 11:45. It was really great to see him again. I feel that I get excellent medical care from him and feel extremely comfortable discussing issues with him.
I caught him up on my medical history since it had been a little over a year since I had last seen him.
After a discussion and brief physical exam, we came up with a direction and game plan for me.
Although he did not have any definitive answers as far as what was going on in me, it was decided that this next upcoming Thursday, I will be returning to Virginia and have 2 different test performed.
The first will be an Ultra Sound exam on my Prostate and that general area. About 1/2 hour after that test/exam, I will be having a CT Scan taken of my entire abdominal area.
For that test I was given 2 plastic bottles full of a contrast medium type of chalky liquid. I have to drink one bottle 3 hours before the CT Scan and the 2nd bottle 45 minutes before the start of the CT Scan.
The next day I will call my Oncologist and let him know that the tests were completed and he will contact the reading radiologist and discuss the test findings with him.
I will then return to see my Oncologist on 5/5. We will discuss the findings at that time.
My Oncologist also mentioned that the only real way to know whether or not that the Mast Cell has effected my Prostate or that I have Prostate Cancer, would be to do a Prostate Biopsy.
This most likely will be the next step in getting to the bottom of this issue. I will take the advice of my Oncologist as far as which Urologist he would recommend for this procedure.
I am supposed to continue taking the rest of my Cipro, which I have about 2 1/2 weeks worth left.
As of now, I still have no new knowledge of what is going on inside of me but I still feel better knowing that we have a plan and that I have a doctor that I really feel good about and trust. That alone is a big part of the battle.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Big Day Ahead Of Us Tomorrow

Tomorrow is a big day for Veronica and I. We will get up early and head to our local WalMart for some early morning shopping.
If that isn't enough to get your heart a thumpin then nothing will.
Naw...that's not the exciting part but had you wondering if I had finally lost that last marble I had pigeon holed away up in the old noggin.
Actually...after going to Walmart we will head to Norfolk, VA so that I can get back with my old Oncologist.
It is an important day because I finally feel like I am getting one step closer to some sort of bona fide diagnosis as to what is ailing me.
I realize that there is a good chance that I will need a prostate biopsy but you know what....I am actually looking forward to that too.
Now there goes that last marble!!!
The only reason I am looking forward to it is because if I have a more serious problem down South, the sooner I address the issue, the sooner I get better. So believe it or not, a Prostate Biopsy might be the best thing that could happen to me right now.
Sounds like shear craziness I know but hey, if you have been a constant reader of my blog, you would expect nothing less from me.
I will let everyone know how it goes tomorrow.
I want to Thank Jo for the Jimmy Buffett link on her blog. She had read that Veronica and I were going on May 26th and she had recently been to one of his concerts.
To visit Jo's blog just click here...  Life After Retirement  Thanks again Jo!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Random Thoughts- Opinions & Musings

Recently it seems that I have had an overabundance of time on my hands to do some serious thinking about things, to do some soul searching and to be somewhat retrospective.
I know...I really need to find a hobby to keep myself and my mind busier. Unfortunately that has become one of my problems. My mind has had plenty to be busy with as of lately. Maybe more than what would be socially acceptable health wise.
I have been going to a Chiropractor for a couple of weeks now. Had maybe 4 visits in total.
During one of my earlier visits with him, I provided him a copy of the MRI and results that I had done last October. I also reviewed with him everything that had occurred with my family doctor and the 2 Urologists that I had visited, along my interactions with the local Oncologist that I ended up quiting to see in lieu of going back to my original Oncologist in Norfolk, VA.
My Chiropractor had been doing some very basic manipulations on me because of my other health issues.
He took it upon himself to contact a local radiologist so that they could discuss my medical history and maybe get a different viewpoint and opinion on my MRI.
Yesterday my Chiropractor told me that this Radiologist could not rule anything out, bone cancer, prostate cancer or metastatic disease.
I have been hearing these words an awful lot lately. Because it is not known exactly what I have at this second, my Chiropractor decided that it would be best for him not to see me until after I had been completely diagnosed. He did not want to take any chances on doing some serious manipulations and increasing blood flow especially when that might aid whatever is going on in my body to possibly spread.
So I left his office feeling once again like I had been punched in the stomach.
It seems like I am on this roller coaster that keeps going up and down. One day I am told one thing and feel there is light at the end of the tunnel and another day that light gets snuffed out or I feel that I am getting mentally and emtionally beat down with the latest round of bad news.
I think that it is important for me to know and have a name attached to whatever it is that is causing me these medical issues.
It is hard to fight a battle with an unknown entity. Just give it a name so that I can deal with it head on.
Because of the way that I have been feeling, I made an earlier appointment with my old Oncologist.
I had an appointment scheduled for 5/26...which is also the day of the Jimmy Buffett concert but now I also have an appointment to see him this upcoming Friday.
I felt that it was in my best interest to see my Oncologist as soon as possible in order that I can get done whatever additional tests that will be in store for me, so that I will know once and for all what I have.
Right now I feel like I am in a medical no mans land, a type of limbo land and it is not a healthy place for me to be in mentally, physically or emotionally.
In the past, when I have been told that I might have this or I might have that, I have always said that there is no way that I have whatever it was because I feel fine. This  time around I can't honestly say that because I know that something is not right.
I just don't know right now what it is nor how bad it is or what will be needed to fix it. I want to get to that point as soon as possible though.
I want a plan...I want a future...I want to live.
I refuse to bathe in the warm pond of self pity or to feel a victim to whatever I have or that I somehow got a raw deal in life.
I have no room in my life for those types of feelings nor would I want anyone else to have them towards me.
I have got to the point in my life where I am with someone that I truly love dearly and someone that I want to share many more adventures with.
The last 13-14 years have been some of the most challenging in my life but also some of the most rewarding, loving and enriching that I have ever experienced up to this point in time.
Veronica and I have just started to travel to places that years ago, we would have never thought possible no matter how old we got. We have only scratched the surface of travels and experiences that we want to share with each other.

 It seems that the more questionable or bad news that I get on my health, the more I walk and workout.
I have come to the conclusion that I am trying to out walk and out work Death. The faster that I walk or the farther that I walk, the more distance I put between myself and Mr. D
I am always trying to keep 10 steps ahead of him and when I get some possibly bad news, I feel like I am taking a step backwards or that if I don't have my head right, I am relinquishing a little more ground to Mr. D and that I somehow allow him to get a little closer and thus making it easier for me to be in his grasp.
Personally I think that at some point in our lives we all try to cheat Mr. D just a little bit. We all do things to prolong our lives but the reality is that Mr. D always wins....Always!!!  The best we can hope for is to trick him, out walk him, out will him or anything else possible to delay his inevitable visit.
I have even talked to Veronica about what my desires are once Mr D wins..I want to be cremated. I want Veronica to keep a portion of my remains and I want her to scatter some of me on Eagle Lake in Canada and the rest of my ashes to be spread at another very special place for me...Warnemunde Germany.
I know that all of this might come across as me being obsessed with death or rather macabre or morbid. I live in my own world of reality and for me, death is a reality that I must face at some point in time. I would rather try to face on my own terms it as much as possible.
But until that day comes that I finally lose that race, I will continue to keep out walking, out running, out willing Mr D and I will continue to keep him 10 steps behind me....even if my lead is only a temporary one.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

An Amazing Light Show

It was quite the night last night. During the evening hours, we had some really intense storms pass through our area.
You might have heard about the devastation from some of the many tornadoes that swept through the Southeast and Mid Atlantic states.
We actually had a couple of tornado warnings that included our immediate and locally surrounding areas.
Veronica and I grabbed our emergency lantern, her Ipod Touch, a cordless telephone, a cell phone, my wallet, her purse, an envelope containing some emergency funds, a large comforter and headed down into our lower level bathroom, which is the lowest inner most room in our place.
We hung out there for a while, until the warnings had cleared.
I popped in and out of the bathroom to keep an eye on what was happening outside.
We didn't get any hail and less rain that I expected for the intensity of these storms.
What we did get an over abundance of was lightning. I have not seen a light show like that in years and it was truly amazing. Just flash after flash after flash...all blending in with each other.
I think that the last light show that even came close to this more natural one, was back in the late 60s or early 70s when I had been smoking a little something something and had my black light on and the strobe flashing, all while listening to some Black Sabbath. Wooo....what a flashback!!!
I just got back from my morning walk and found just a few tree limbs and some tree bark laying in the street. The only other things I found was a stray lost turtle that I promptly put in the grass and pointed him/her in the right direction to the wet marshlands and a tipped over Porta Jon that the workers use at the new house building site.
Needless to say, I did not tip the Porta Jon to its normal position. They don't pay me enough to do that job.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

All I Want Is A Good Nights Sleep

I had a lousy night last night. I finally fell to sleep but woke up about 5-6 times with this nagging twinge of pain in my right groin and inner thigh area. The pain radiated down toward my knee but didn't quite make it there.
It wasn't the type of pain that you yell ouch about but it was enough of a nagging nuisance to keep waking me up.
I have recently had this happen before but it usually goes away when I change my body position. This time that approach didn't work.
Yesterday evening I went for a 3 mile walk. This isn't something that I normally do but decided to change my routine up a bit. I usually do all of my walking, as far as exercise goes, before dinner time. Maybe it was that change of routine that got my groin and thigh to start chattering to me last night.
In some ways it seemed to be saying "I'm still here and you need to pay attention to me. If you don't, I will keep pestering you until you do".
Because of my fitful nights sleep, I am a little sluggish this morning but will try to go for my walk and see if I can't perk up a bit.

Monday, April 11, 2011

2011 Relay For Life of Outer Banks, NC

The Nags Head, NC TJMaxx store that Veronica is Store Manager of, is a participant in the American Cancer Society 2011 Relay For Life of the Outer Banks, NC. This event is to be held starting on May 14th, 2011 at the First Flight High School in Kill Devil Hills, NC. I have decided to be part of their team and do some walking for a very worthy cause. From what I understand, each team must have at least one team member on the track at all times, including throughout the course of the night. Why?...because Cancer never sleeps! I am looking for people that would be interested in sponsoring me and making a donation for a worthy cause. If anyone out there would like to sponsor me by making a donation, please contact me by email at RickRosenshein@aol.com and I will provide you with information on where to send your donation. Your donation can be in any amount. It does not matter how big or how small your donation might be, because every penny is important in the search for a cure to cancer along with all of the additional programs and services that ACS are involved in and offers to those in need. All types of donations are welcome but checks made out to the American Cancer Society would be the preferred form of donation, if mailing them to me. Once donations are received by me, they are promptly turned over to those in charge of the event. I will send each and every person that sends in a donation, a receipt for tax purposes and for your own records.
If you would feel more comfortable donating directly to the event, please click here......
Donate to the ACS 2011 Relay For Life of The Outer Banks, NC  *Please note that there is a $5.00 minimum donation if doing it this way.
Each one of us knows of at least one person that Cancer has had an impact on. Here is your chance to do something to help out in whatever way you can. It would be my honor and privilege to be sponsored by you and to represent you during this event. I hope to hear from each and everyone of you. Pass this onto your blogging friends also, so that they might have the opportunity to be involved.
I would also love to hear from all of you "Fashionistas" and TJ "Maxxinistas" out there who would like to get involved!!!!
Here is the web site that tells you all about this event... The American Cancer Society 2011 Relay For Life on the Outer Banks, NC
Thank you so much.
Rick Rosenshein

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Medical Update

My back has calmed down enough for me to get back into my weightlifting workouts again. Plus the weather has been nice and warm so instead of riding my recumbent bike for 30 miles, which seems to take forever, I now do a 5 mile walk in the morning and another 3 miles in the afternoon.
As far as my other health issues...I am on my 2nd 30 day dose of Cipro to see if I can get my PSA levels down to a reasonable level. Taking the Cipro everyday is about the only thing that I am certain of as this point in time.
After completing this 30 day period, Veronica and I will be traveling back to Norfolk, an approximate 2 hour drive so that I can go back to my original Oncologist...whom I really trust.
I will donate my usual amount of blood for my Mast Cell Disease testing and also a little extra so that they can check my PSA levels.
We will then go over all of radiological test results including that rather scary MRI one that I posted about.
I have a bad feeling that if my PSA levels don't go down sufficiently, then I am destined to have a Prostate Biopsy done shortly thereafter. This is something that I am dreading.
The day that we head up to Norfolk will be a day that consist of 2 completely opposite halves.
The first half of the day will be dealing with the ever depressing and stressful medical issues.
But when that part of the day is over with, we can switched gears and transition into something much more enjoyable....the Jimmy Buffet concert at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Virgina Beach.
So from the doctors office, we will head to our hotel and relax for a while before getting all gussied up for the concert that Veronica thought she would never see.
Like I said...a day consisting of complete opposites. I refuse to let the 1st half of the day ruin the 2nd half.
As they say in the business...the show must go on.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Reliable Telephone Service Has Been Restored

Yesterday we had a technician from Charter Communications come in and fix our telephone service.
He spent approximately 2 hours in our residence and had to reconfigure what we had in place at that time.
After moving some splitters and a few other things to a different locations, we were back up and running on our telephone service.
It appears that what this tech did ended up fixing our problem. Once again I would like to thank Abby Catron - Social Media Communications Specialist from Town & Country, MO 63017 for all of her attention to our Charter Communication technical issues and for her kindness. Thanks Abby!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Another Followup On Charter Communications Service

On 4/3, I made a blog entry that covered several thoughts. One of them being the problems that were we having with our Charter Internet Service.
A representative from Charter Communications, an Abby Catron - Social Media Communications Specialist from Town & Country, MO 63017 wrote me because she had seen my blog entry.
On a followup email to Abby, I explained a few issues and thoughts that I had concerning Charter Communications.
Abby was kind enough to email me back and gave me a credit for a months worth of internet service to make up for the problems with the internet service that we had experienced.
I wanted to publicly Thank Abby for taking the time to write me and make things right.
Unfortunately it seems that the steps that Charter Communications took forward, well today they took twice as many backwards.
It was already a tough day to begin with...**see earlier blog entry just prior to this one.
After receiving the results from an MRI that I had done, I was pretty well tied up trying to make contact with several medical professionals to discuss the results of that MRI and also to figure out a game plan on what to do next and also make several appointments.
A lot of these calls were long distance, not that this makes much difference in what happened.
Several times while trying to make these calls, I could not get a dial tone on any of the home phones.
After checking off and on during the day, we discovered that our phone service would intermittently shut down.
I was actually in the middle of discussing the MRI results with my Oncologists nurse only to be talking to myself because the phone service shut down.
Over the period of several hours during this already hectic and stressful day, both Veronica and I would check our house phone and noticed that our phone calls were getting redirected to our telephone service mailbox....aka voicemail.
We couldn't get those messages by the usual way....using our home phones because our phone service was out.
We then tried to access our telephone mailbox using our cell phones but we didn't know the access code. We had never needed to access our telephone mailbox with actually using our home phone so we didn't really know what our code was.
Now try to imagine getting some really potentially bad medical results and trying to juggle 3-4 different medical entities while trying to take care of this business on a telephone that worked for 30 seconds and then didn't for minutes at a time. Now add in the fact that we couldn't access our telephone mailbox and then throw in a dash of getting cut of in the middle of a medical discussion after finally being able to get through to someone on our home phone.
Needless to say, I was at wits end and really did not need this added aggravation on top of what was already a tough day.
I ended up calling up a Charter Service personal and told him about the problem.
He ran a few tests and then had me unplug our phone modem, wait a few seconds and plug it back it.
After the modem went through its upload cycle, it appeared to be working. It did not work for long and has been going on and off for several hours since I spoke to that tech...as a matter of fact, it is still down as I write.
The tech that I spoke to said that there was something wrong with our line connection and not getting the right "power"..I think that is the word he used but not positive.
Either way, tomorrow afternoon I have a Charter service personnel arriving to make some type of adjustments so that our telephone will work properly.
Until then I guess I can sit and watch the green "telephone 1" light on my modem box go one and off and dream of possibly better days to come.
One last thing I would like to mention...our contract with Charter Communications ended about a month ago. Silly me...I ended up signing up for a 2 year bundle plan so that I could lock in our payments at a specific rate just in case Charter Communications increased them during that 2 year contract period and because it was cheaper to do a long term plan compared to a short term deal.
And what is worse is that if I back out of the contract, I get penalized a pro rated amount for each month left on that 2 year contract.
I hope that you readers will excuse me now...besides having to try to regroup from today's stressful issues, I now also need to go into the bathroom and remove the lettering from my forehead that spells out "stupid".

WTF - Also Known As Another Day Another Medical Issue

This morning I went to my Chiropractor in an attempt to get my back to feeling better.
I arranged to have a copy of the MRI that I had taken on my hip faxed to him.
When I got there for my appointment, he sat me down and was obviously somewhat confused.
He asked me to go over what tests had been done on me and what doctors I have seen and he wanted it in a chronological order.
I did the best I could to fill him in.
He then discussed the findings that were on the MRI.
I kind of knew what was on there based on what my family doctor had discussed with me.
What I could not remember is if my local Oncologist had discussed these findings with me. As hard as I tried, I could not remember him ever discussing the results of an MRI that he prescribed for me, after I complained about the pain that I was experiencing in my upper right leg and hip.
The first time that I can remember anyone discussing the results with me was when my family doctor talked to me about the findings during an office visit 5 weeks after  the MRI was done.  My family doctor suggested that I go to an Urologist for followup.
I finally got a copy of this report from my Chiropractor and I was rather alarmed at what I read.
I am really perplexed as to why my Oncologist never reviewed the results with me.
Because I was not happy with this Oncologist, even prior to these findings coming to light, I had already made a change so that I could go back and see my old Oncologist that I had been seeing for years, prior to moving to the Outer Banks.
I suppose that it is possible that I somehow "fell through the cracks" after I switched back over to my old Oncologist.
But I would also think that a doctor that sees these types of results,would have at least made telephone contact with me even if I had switch him for a different doctor.
After discussing the MRI findings with my Chiropractor, he promptly faxed the findings to my Oncologist in Virginia and also made a telephone call to them to let them know that the MRI had been faxed to them.
After leaving the Chiropractors office, I went to the Regional Medical Center where I have had all MRIs and X-Rays done since we moved to the Outer Banks.
I will be picking up copies of everything that they have on file for me on Monday.
I will either take those files with me personally or have them shipped overnight to my Oncologists office.
I wanted him to have them before I go to see him, which is this next Thursday. I am hoping that if I get them to him early enough, he can have one of his radiologists read the MRI and X-Rays because they are more experienced with seeing and understanding what Mast Cell Disease looks like on the MRIs and X-Rays.
Other than that, there is not much more that I can do. Unfortunately I might have lost some valuable time depending on the outcome of the Radiologist readings and interpretations of the MRI and X-Rays.
I also just started taking my 30 day supply of Cipro treatment today.
So to say that things are all up in the air and that I have even less answers than I did before, that would be a great understatement.
Good news...I got the ok to start back into my weight lifting workouts as long as I watch the type of movements and lifting that I do, so that I don't further aggravate my lower back.
I will start my weight lifting routine up again tomorrow. It will give me something to keep me busy and to focus on other than all of this other medical stuff. But for today, I think that I will try to relax as much as possible and just let everything sink in.
Below is a copy of the MRI results that I finally got to see. To enlarge it, just click on it:



 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

What To Do

Let me refresh everyones memory about some recent prostate issues that I have been dealing with.
The last time that I discussed my prostate issues and concerns was when my last PSA test came out with a score of 6.7ng/mL This was an elevated level compared to the PSA test that I had prior to this one and I should mention that there was not a long time period that had gone by between those 2 PSA tests.
I also had a DRE...Digital Rectal Exam done by my Urologist and he could find nothing out of the ordinary at all.
Due to the speed that my PSA had elevated to its current level, my Urologist decided that I should be put on Cipro for a month. Cipro is an antibiotic that is used to treat Prostatitis.
Prostatitis is swelling and inflammation of the prostate gland, a walnut-sized gland located directly below the bladder in men.
Prostatitis can be caused by a number of different things. If it's caused by a bacterial infection, it can usually be treated successfully. However, sometimes prostatitis isn't caused by a bacterial infection or a cause is never identified.
After my 30 day treatment period on Cipro, I went back and got another PSA test performed.
I got a telephone call the other day and was given the results of that PSA test.
My PSA level had dropped from a 6.7ng/mL to a 5.2ng/mL.
I was somewhat disappointed that my PSA had not dropped more but after discussing it with my family doctor, it appears that what I had originally expected the Cipro to do was not really realistic and that the drop in numbers that I had was actually good.
So it appeared that the Cipro had an effect on whatever was going on with my prostate.
The next thing to be done was to wait for my Urologist to get a copy of this PSA test and decide what to do next.
Today I got a call from the Urologists' nurse. I was not really prepared for what she had to say. As it turns out, the Urologist wanted to schedule me for a prostate biopsy.

So what is a prostate biopsy and how is it done you might ask. Here is that information straight from a John Hopkins Prostate informational literature that I purchased and downloaded:

   Transrectal Ultrasound and Prostate Biopsy


If the results of a digital rectal exam, PSA test, or both suggest cancer, transrectal ultrasound is performed to determine the size of  the prostate and to identify areas of possible cancer. Ultrasound also is used to direct the needles used for prostate biopsy. A prostate biopsy typically takes about 15 to 20 minutes and is performed on an outpatient basis. Most doctors use a local anesthetic such as lidocaine (Xylocaine) to reduce discomfort during the procedure. ( just wanted to interject that I would not get this procedure done unless they could make me semi-conscious). The ultrasound examination is performed with the man lying on his side. An ultrasound probe (about the size of a finger) is gently inserted 3 to 4 inches into the rectum. The probe emits sound waves that are converted into video images corresponding to the different prostate zones. Small prostate cancers are usually not detectable by ultrasound
examination. Fitted to the ultrasound probe is a biopsy gun with a needle that is fired through the wall of the rectum. The needle extracts small pieces of prostate tissue in less than a second. Ideally, at least 10 to 12 tissue samples (“cores”) are taken from the prostate. A pathologist examines the samples under a microscope to determine whether
cancer is present.
A prostate biopsy usually causes only minor discomfort. Common side effects include minor rectal bleeding; blood in the stool, urine, or semen; and soreness in the biopsied area. All of these side effects disappear with time.

I have had a bone marrow biopsy done in the past and that wasn't something that I would put in the fun category. And then there was the tongue biopsy that showed a precancerous growth and the subsequent cutting out of said growth.....really truly not fun at all...actually downright miserable. I have also had a colonoscopy which when I look back on it...the preparation of the body for that exam was much worse than the exam itself. Of course that is easy for me to say that because I asked them to basically knock me and have me in a semi conscious state and I was "semi" enough that I could not remember a thing after I woke up.
But this prostate biopsy has a different feel to it and I am not getting "good vibes" from the possibility of having to get it done. There are always chances that things can go wrong or the healing process doesn't always go as planned and with my luck the way it is, I am just not sure that I want to take any chances. It really is beginning to be a tough decision...do the prostate biopsy and live with however the results turn out and deal with whatever problems that might result after having it done....or...not worry about it because even if I did have cancer, nothing is being felt on my prostate now so it could be a very slow growing problem...slow enough that I would die from natural causes and old age long before the cancer became any real issue for me to have to deal with.
Definitely a roll of the dice. I guess there is a reason that they call it "craps". 
I was able to talk the Urologist into one more month of being on the Cipro. My logical line of thinking is that if this last month of being on the Cipro dropped my PSA level down 1.5ng/mL then it shows that Cipro had a direct effect on whatever is going on with my prostate issues and it would be possible that after this next 30 days on Cipro, my results could drop another 1.5ng/mL and that would bring my PSA level back down to a more respectable 3.7ng/mL.
And if this newest upcoming round of Cipro has no effect on my PSA levels......
then I am back to making that tough decision again....what to do?????

If anyone out there has gone through the prostate biopsy, please let me know what to expect...both good and/or bad...I need to know both sides of the coin to make a good sound decision.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Mea Culpa

Lately I have been very neglectful in posting any blog entries.
Not sure why but I think laziness would probably be the best answer. I don't really think that anything blog worthy has been going on around here which would also feed into my temporary bout of laziness.
No matter what the excuse might or might not be, I will try to do better in the future.
I am still dealing with a very sore back. I am working on the second week since I threw it out reaching for that darn picture frame that I placed leaning against the wall on the floor.
Since then I have not been able to do any of my weight lifting routine at all.
Instead I am focusing on things I can do with minimal pain such as walking and riding my recumbent bike.
I spoke with my family doctor the other day and she referred me to a woman that does deep tissue massages.
Yesterday I had an appointment to see her and had my first ever massage.
It was different and at times rather painful.
This young Asian woman was great at what she did and found places on my body that I did not realize were all knotted up and tense.
After an hour of "torture" I was released to return home.
She suggested that I go to a Chiropractor to see if he could re-align whatever was out of alignment and hopefully take care of the problem that I have been having in the upper portion of my right leg for the past 8-9 months.
She felt that what was wrong with my leg was a nerve issue rather than a muscular one and that something in my lower back was causing the nerve to be "pinched".
I will call a local Chiropractor tomorrow morning and schedule a day and time to get worked on.
Also yesterday we had someone from Charter Communications to come out and put in a new upgraded modem for our internet service.
Charter has been upgrading their system for some time now and as part of their upgrade, they offer faster internet speeds.
Unfortunately we had an older modem that could not handle the upgrade in speeds and we had to get a new one.
Before getting this new modem, we noticed that we were losing internet connectivity quite often and we were running really slow on the internet too.
I had also been having problems with watching movies via Netflix which utilizes are our wireless setup.
So far so good and we are really moving around a lot faster on the internet now and after testing out Netflix, we are loading up movies rather quickly too.
As much as I dislike Charter Communications, they did a good job this time around.
Related Posts with Thumbnails