Monday, January 21, 2013

One Week To Launch

Okay folks, today is one week to launch.  

"Launch" is when I submit my posterior to a sharp medical instrument  which will take twelve chunks of flesh out of my prostate gland.  You women have the probes to the vag, we men have to undergo the Prostate Thing.  Yes folks, I am getting the biopsy procedure.  

Regular followers of this blog know that I was scheduled last year (December 28th to be exact) for a biopsy of my prostate because my PSA scores are consistently above 4.0 which is the so-called danger zone for prostate cancer.  

My prostate score spiked at 8.4 the summer of 2012 and settled down to just over 4.0 (4.4, 4.8) during the fall months when I had blood tests done again.

I was going to get the biopsy procedure last year until I started to hear that maybe this procedure really wasn't necessary.  Since then I've heard arguments on both sides which I won't go into here but suffice it to say, none of the alternatives are pleasant.  

Two months ago I began having frequent episodes of having to pee.  I went back to my urologist.  He said before he did anything else he highly suggested that I get this procedure.  Although he couldn't feel anything on my prostate (always a fun thing having another man's digit up my anus), he was some other "concerns."  So I thought "What the hell?  Let's get this over with once and for all."  

All of last year I've had this hanging over my head.  I've heard stories about guys who didn't get the procedure and now have prostate cancer that has spread to their bones.  Remember, I did tell you there are no easy alternatives.  Then I heard a story of a friend of Bill's who had the procedure, underwent fifteen weeks of radiation, and his PSA levels are still up.  Well, that's NOT encouraging.  

Last year at a Christmas dinner, when I was going to get the procedure, the boyfriend of a friend of mine told me he had prostate cancer and had his prostate removed.  I asked him "How's that going?"  He told me "Well, I have to wear Depends (I could see them bulging through his pants) but I don't have cancer."  Uh huh. 

Christmas Dinner  - it was her boyfriend who is not pictured in this picture

Then there was the other guy a friend of mine told me about.  He had his prostate removed and is now impotent. He can't get an erection so he inserts a "device" in his penis prior to having sexual intercourse with his wife.  Talking about interuptus coitus.  

Then there was the friend I talked to who also had his prostate removed but he wasn't bothered that he couldn't get a hard on anymore.  He said "My kids are grown now, I'm not having any more kids."  Well........OKAY.  In my case it's not "the kids" but I do have a few favorite videos I've downloaded from Clothed Men/Nude Men that I like to watch occasionally.  I can't see the point in watching them if I'm a eunuch.  

But then I would like to live a little longer.  I would prefer not to die in excruciating pain like the man who hired me at Girard Bank lo these many years ago (1965).  Last year his brother called me to tell me his brother died in a nursing home.  His prostate cancer had spread.  I just could not imagine that vibrant man in a nursing home being eaten up by cancer.  

With my late friend back in healthier days - 1986
Well, anyway, not to get too far off the subject and dwell on sad memories, this biopsy thing has been hanging over my head for over a year now.  I'm getting it done.  

Part of the problem is that I can't take aspirin for two weeks before the procedure.  It's been one week since I stopped taking my daily regimen of baby aspirin (89 mg).  Everyday I have a mild headache.  I don't know if this is all in my mind or real but I'm not comfortable.

Also, I have a problem with the procedure itself.  Put aside it is very demeaning and embarrassing (I'm sort of used to that by now), it is a very invasive procedure.  To get to my prostate gland the doctor has to go through my colon.  That's why I have to take an antibiotic (Ciprol) the night before and the day after.  I had to stop taking aspirin so my blood would thicken and I wouldn't bleed too much.

My neighbor had this procedure last month and was peeing clots of blood for a day. 

Ever since I almost lost my life to an unnecessary hernia operation and contacted a staph infection when I was 17 years old, I've been afraid of hospitals, the great infection centers.  It took the doctors three operations and six months of me in and out of hospitals to clear up that infection.  It wasn't until seven years later when my doctor told my Mother he didn't expect me to survive.  It's a wonder I did because when they first took me into the hospital when my incision open all infected, they put me in the contagion ward with all the other infectious diseases like cholera and meningitis.  In fact, the first night I was there, a 13 year old boy died who was on the other side of the panel in the ward (no separate rooms for us infected patients) died.  

Chester County Hospital, West Chester, PA
The hospital where I was born in 1941 and where I almost checked out in 1959
One more week to go.  One more week of this low grade headache.  One more week of trying to think about something else other than that appointment I have 8:30 am Monday morning, January 28th, 2013.  

I hope to God this isn't the beginning of getting on that Medical Treadmill.

A happy post tomorrow, I promise.  I had to get this one off my chest.

The last picture I have of my friend (on the right).  Somehow very prophetic.  


  1. oh man. no easy alternatives, are there? hopefully you will be OK when the spo-a-rama-lama-ding-dong happens in 60 days (but who's counting?)!

    1. That's right Anne Marie, no easy alternatives. However I WILL BE THERE AT THE SPO-A-THON in March! Very much looking forward to meeting all my blogger friend and especially seeing you meet Dr. Spo and Someone!


  2. Ron,

    I think you're already on that medical treadmill.


    1. I think I am too Lar. I got to get off.

  3. Anonymous9:08 PM

    Ron, I will be thinking of you....I'm guessing your headache is stress and not the baby wishes that all goes quickly and well! Lynne

    1. Lynne,

      I just want to get over this. Even if they don't find any evidence of cancer and I still have a high PSA score, that will just have to be. I'm not going to get a biopsy every six months.


  4. Anonymous9:54 PM

    I could go on and on about this...

    I do pray that everything turns out OK. There are lots of alternatives apart from yanking it all out. I hope you find the best of those.

    Peace <3

    1. Jay,

      We're a long way from "yanking it out." Ouch.


  5. Anonymous10:42 PM

    Ron: We'll pray that everything comes out OK.

    1. Thank you Sean. I just want to get off this treadmill.


    2. Anonymous11:46 PM

      I understand. Hang in there.

  6. Sending good thoughts your way, Ron.


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