Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Dodging Bullets And Living Lucky

I waited a day to post this until I had a chance to talk to Veronica about the news from my Urologist appointment. She is currently in Toronto Canada on a business trip and I spoke to her last night.
Yesterday I had my first consultation with my new Urologist.
I liked this Urologist and felt very comfortable talking to him.
The Urologist had all of my previous PSA test results along with a lot of other background medical information on me.
This Urologist ran a urine test which came back clean.
He also did an extensive DRE (Digital Rectal Exam) and believe it or not, he could feel no nodule anywhere in, around or near my prostate. Recently another Urologist and my Family doctor had felt a very small nodule on the right side of my prostate.
Had I stuck with that other Urologist, I would have been having a prostate biopsy by this time.
Sometimes it really pays to have a 3rd or 4th opinion about things, especially when it comes to your health issues.
Because my PSA test numbers had been jumping up over a relatively short period of time, I was put on Cipro, an antibiotic, because family doctor felt that I might have a prostate infection.
This Urologist agreed to that line of treatment.
So where I am at right now is that I will finish taking the Cipro...about 2 more weeks worth at 2x a day and then return to my family doctor for another followup PSA test.
Everyone will confer and hopefully that will be the end to this recent scare.
The only missing piece of the puzzle is the findings from an MRI that I recently had done due to the pain in my right hip and right upper leg. In the MRI findings, there was some mention of my prostate and something was written about prostate concern and having some followup on what was seen on that MRI. Neither this Urologist nor I had the actual findings present during this visit, so he will be obtaining those results.
Although I vaguely remember that something about my prostate was mentioned in those MRI findings, I could not remember in what context those concerns were stated.
Hopefully it won't be anything to worry about and upon doing this next PSA test, my PSA levels will have dropped down to a more normal level and Veronica and I can put an end to this chapter of medical issues.
I consider myself a very lucky person right now.
I have had 3 cancer scares in the last 3-4 years or so.
The first was when I was still smoking cigarettes and a pre-cancerous growth was found on my tongue. I had a biopsy and then after the results, had a portion of my tongue removed. I wrote extensive blog entries as I was going through that rather scary and painful period of time.
The next time was right before Veronica and I went on our Baltic Capitals cruise last year.
I had got an X-Ray done on my right leg and hip...once again due to pain that I was feeling in that area on a daily basis.
I received a telephone call from my family doctor back in Virginia. He was the one that requested the X-ray be done on my leg.
That doctor called and told me that I needed to get with my Oncologist in the near future because the radiologist that had read my hip/leg x-rays felt that I might have bone cancer. These were the words that my doctor was using.
Veronica and I ended up going on our cruise vacation thinking that I might have bone cancer.
Upon returning home from our vacation, I visited my Oncologist and was told that I did not have bone cancer and what the Radiologist had seen on the x-rays was actually the Mast Cell Disease that I had already been diagnosed with a couple of years prior. The Mast Cekll Disease has somewhat of an appearance as bone cancer on the x-rays. My Mast Cell Disease is actually in my bone marrow. This is also why I was seeing an Oncologist to begin with.
And of course the latest scare is with my prostate.
All of these worries and near misses on such medical issues can sure wear a person out..medically, physically and emotionally. And that is not even beginning to mention what loved ones go through during all of this. It can make things tough on everybody.
From where I am sitting, dodging bullets and living lucky are real understatements.
Time to count my blessings.
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