There is SO much that has happened over the last few days, that I will separate everything into two blogs because this one needs a bloggette all of its own.
If you have been reading this all the way through, you will know that our lovely neighbour came last Thursday to take Ady’s blood for his post op PSA test. I then need to ring on Monday afternoon to get the results ready to take with us when we see the oncologist on Tuesday afternoon.
Well, our super, smashing, great, lovely wonderful GP got the results through on Friday afternoon. Instead of thinking to himself ‘hmm, they can find that out on Monday when they ring cos I am a busy man with lots of patients to deal with’, he took the trouble to ring Ady. He said “I thought I would let you have a nice relaxed weekend and let you know that your PSA results are back and that they have come in at under 0.1” Ady being Ady, rang me and told me what was said, and asked me if that was a good thing *rolls eyes and sighs*...blimey has he not learnt anything throughout this whole saga??
I told him that yes, it is a bloody good thing, and something I don’t think anyone has expected at all. It means that at the moment, the cancer is undetectable. I then told him off for not concentrating in lessons with consultants and when I am reading bits to him from my bible (Patrick Walsh’ guide to surviving prostate cancer, not the Lords bible...I’ve read that one before and he dies in the end....jus’ sayin’).
Anyway, Ady said his job is to be the patient with cancer and my job, as High Command, is to understand it all and organise everything. To be fair to him, he does listen really, but I think sometimes, it can be very overwhelming when you actually have the cancer doing its thing in your body and you are trying to understand it all, whereas I can emotionally remove myself from the situation while I am trying to understand it all. I think that that is the key when you are googling, reading and listening to information, to remove yourself emotionally so you can listen to ALL that is being said or written...the good and the bad....
I am not saying that I am detached emotionally from the whole thing...far from it...this is one hell of a nightmare ride, but I try and approach meetings with the medics with a more detached and business like mind, if you know what I mean. There is no point wailing all over the floor in desperation and panic, and taking nothing in apart from words like ‘cancer’, ‘it’s spread’, ‘stage 3b and ‘oncologist’...I like to have my folders, charts, lists and nonograms with me. A girl guide is always prepared!
So, when you join the Prostate Cancer Club, the main aim is to try and get your PSA count to an undetectable level or <0.1. Once you are there, you can then join the zero club. But be careful, cos you can get chucked out at any time!
Some people are in the Zero Club for years and some for a few months. Some never get to join the zero club at all. The non zero clubbers spend their lives battling to get their PSA as low as they can to keep the cancer at a contained level. I will talk more about that if we get chucked out of the club.
I really do hope that we stay in this club for years and years. Generally, men who have had surgery and the cancer is contained at stage 1 or 2, with no seminal vesicle involvement, extra capsular extension or positive margins, tend to enjoy life with the zero club brigade.
In Ady’s case, he had a high starting PSA, seminal vesicule involvement, positive margins and extra capsular extension. We are very well aware, that our affiliation to the zero club may be short lived as he is at high risk of recurrence. It also may not!
Have the remaining cancer cells been destroyed by the trauma of the surgery?
Can the remaining cancer cells survive without being fed by the prostate gland?
Have they matured enough to survive on their own?
Are there micromets hiding in his bones somewhere, not creating PSA yet and undetectable by scans?
Is the cancer lying dormant, ready to become active in years , months or weeks?
Or has all the cancer gone?
I have lots of questions for the Oncologist tomorrow when we discuss if radiation is the way forward, but for now, I saw this quote which I think is very apt.
“Be happy for this moment. This moment in your life” – Omar Khayyam