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Me and my Prostate Cancer
I went to my follow up appointment about my recently discovered Prostate Cancer. I got to listen to all the information you could ever want to hear about the prostate and the type of cancer I have. They couldn’t have done more without putting me in a theater, showing a short film and feeding me popcorn. I appreciate the doctors bringing me into their decision making process.
I traveled across town to the Atlanta VA hospital. It’s one of the best run VA hospitals I have ever seen. Add the fact that it sits next to Emory Hospital (from where they borrow doctors), it’s a perfect place for me to be treated. I can’t get regular insurance with my recent medical history. I was with Blue Cross, but they dropped me. My wife worked at a church and when she left, Blue Cross used this as a chance to get me off their books. (I was on her policy) I found out that churches are exempt from supplying Cobra and insurance companies are not required to maintain coverage. Since then, I have been using the VA and my backup plan and I have been very happy with their care.
OK, I have Prostate cancer. It’s not going away, but it’s very slow growing. They gave it a Gleason (not Jackie) score of 3. That puts it in the middle of a “1” to “5” scale. “5” being the worst. It’s only on one side and fully contained within the prostate. These evaluations are based on the biopsy they took in early January and are subject to change if I have surgery. There are side effects with all the types of treatments available, but all treatments have a 95% to 98% effective rate of totally removing the cancer.
At this stage I feel confident that I will get through this with only little pain and discomfort. I do have a high pain threshold, so don’t read too much into the pain level. I expect I will go with surgery, that way they can best see inside and assure me that they got it all (remember 98%). I will have to monitor the various tests for the rest of my life to make sure it doesn’t come back.
The one test that they use is called a PSA (prostate-specific antigen) test. Cancer cells are by nature unstable and die very fast, but replacement cells grow fast too. When the cancer cell dies it leave behind this antigen and it can be measured in a blood workup. The amount should be 0. When it is detected, the next determination is how much is it going up since the last test. I read somewhere that all men will get Prostate Cancer, if they live long enough. If you are getting older and or have a family history for prostate cancer, make sure your doctor is screening you for this type of cancer.
What can you do to make it harder for the cancer to take hold, or if you have it, lesson the effect? Help the immune system. Eat right, get plenty of exercise and control the amount of alcohol you drink. The exact amounts of these recommendations can be determined by your doctor or health advisor. There are many web sites that list the best types of food to eat. You only get this body for a short while, so it’s up to you to take care of it. Unfortunately, it begins to fail you before you are done with it. Take the best care of it, starting when you are young and it will last longer and be stronger.
Thanks for all the prayers. Who better to treat medical problems than the creator?

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:hugs: I'm glad to see you're so upbeat about your treatment (or sound like it, anyway). Don't discount faith and a good outlook as an important part of your treatment too. Hope does much more than we give it credit for!

You're in our thoughts. ♥

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