Thursday 13 April 2023

Rog T Cancer Blog - The PSA test results are in and .....

 So today, I received the results of my latest PSA Test. The previous one in October 2022 had been 6.6 and seen a small decrease, so I was feeling fairly good about it all. That was until I had an MRI scan in mid March. The news wasn't what I hoped. It seemed that a small area had turned malignent. UCH, who are responsible for my care scheduled a PSA test and I received the numbers this morning. It was not what I was hoping for at all. It is now 10.3, an almost 50% increase on last October. It is clear now that things are starting to move in a direction that I am not particularly comfortable with. 

But, I have to be pleased that this has been detected at an early stage and hopefully, the treatment options will be ones that are not too disruptive, life changing or unpleasant. In life, we all have challenges, we all have crosses to bear and I genuinely believe that eevn in the most dire of situations, there are postives we can take out of them. When I was diagnosed in 2011, I made various lifestyle changes. I believe these have given me an enormous benefit. I have taken far better care of myself over the last 12 years. I also became aware of the need to manage my mental health and not get down. Writing this blog has been a big part of that. It has been good to meet people who tell me it has helped.

On a practical note, there are all manner of things which such things make you do. We sorted our wills out before I had treatment in 2016. I will also be sorting out a lasting power of attourney, in the event something bad happens. This is unlikely, but for anyone of 60 or above, it is a sensible step. No one is immortal and it is always sensible to have your affairs in order. My life is not in immediate danger, I am not being over dramatic, just doing what I always do when news is not how I want. I do a quick audit of everything and make sure that the house is in order. More sensible people than me do this as a matter of course anyway, I need a kick in the backside.

I always think of something my father said to me. He said "In life, we always have choices. Sometimes none of the options are pleasant, but when you choose the least unpleasant, thank the Lord that the most unpleasant isn't your only option". I'm going to have a rather unpleasant procedure (a prostate biopsy) and I'm going to most likely have an unpleasant medical follow up procedure (yet to be determined). Not great, but if I'd not had that PSA test in 2011, I'd have learned some time in 2017-18, when I started to observe symptoms. At that point, the cancer would have spread and my options would have been very limited. 

That is why I always urge every man over 50 to get checked. I wrote this song with the False Dots on the subject.

---- About this feature
For those of you who are regular readers and have read the previous posts on Cancer, there's what this is all about. I write this blog because knowledge is power and if you know what you are dealing with, you have more weapons in the locker to fight it. It is a personal view, I'm not medically qualified. This is for the sole purpose of information for those who are interested.This is the latest installment in my occasional series about how I'm adjusting to living with a big C in my life.  For those of you who aren't, here's a quick summary. I'm 59 years old and in October 2011 I  had a prostate biopsy following two "slightly high" PSA tests - 2.8 & 4.1. The biopsy took ten tissue samples and one of these showed a "low grade cancer" which gave me a 3+3 on the Gleason scale. I was put on a program of active monitoring.  In early February, I got the results of the a PSA test - down to 3.5 and an MRI scan which found absolutely nothing, two more tests in 2012 were at 3.5 and 3.9, in 2013 my test was 4.0, Jan 2014 was 3.8, August 2014 was 4.0,  February 2015 it was  up to 5.5  and my latest in August 2015 was down again at 4.6. In October 2015 I had a transperinial Prostate biopsy, that revealed higher grade cancer and my Gleason score was raised to 3+4 (Small mass + more aggressive cancer). On 22nd Jan 2016 I had HIFU (Hi Intensity Focused Ultrasound) treatment at UCHL). My post procedure PSA in May was 4.0 which was down, followed by 3.7 in August, and 3.5 in October  which means that the direction is positive . However in January the follow up MRI revealed "something unusual which requires investigation" After a follow up biopsy, it appeared this was nothing to worry about. My two most recent PSA tests were Ok (3.7 and 4.6) and an MRI scan in March was very positive. A  PSA in October 2019 was 4.6, so stable and good news, the last in May 2020 was 5.45 a small rise, so worrying, however after a review against the most recent MRI, it was decided that this was fine. My two latest ones in February 2022 was 6.7 and October 2022 was 6.6 was stable. My MRI in March 2022 showed 'a change' so I am now awaiting a biopsy. I had a biobsy in late March which also showed a marked increase to 10.3.
 I've no symptoms apart from needing to wee quite regularly and sadly for a few people, if I'm gonna die soon, it won't be from Prostate cancer. Got the picture?

1 comment:

Carole Cregeen said...

We thank God that you’ve been so sensible over this. You’ve obviously learned from your father who spoke such good sense.
See you in July.
Love, Carole and Peter.