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Frightened and alone

User
Posted 23 May 2019 at 22:15

Had my gall bladder removed a few weeks ago and couldn't pee afterwards. One thing has led to another but in a nutshell PSA came back as 6.2, GP sent me to urologist, urologist sent me for MRI, hospital want to do a biopsy tomorrow. All this has happened very suddenly and I feel frightened and vulnerable. Nervous about the biopsy, frightened about the possibility of infection afterwards and very scared and confused about what the future may hold if the biopsy shows the presence of cancer.

User
Posted 24 May 2019 at 02:21

Hi Tim,

Welcome to this forum though sorry for the reason that brings you here, Your nervous apprehension is experienced by probably everybody to some extent concerning both tests and possible treatment for cancer should this be the prognosis when all tests and scans have been done. You don't say whether you are having a template biopsy ,usually done under anesthesia or the TRUS one where cores are taken from the Prostate through the rectum. There is a greater risk of infection from the latter but even if you were one of the unlucky minority to have one this can be dealt with by antibiotics. There is very little pain; it feels like being flicked quite lightly with a rubber band.

If you are diagnosed with PCa, your cancer journey will to a large extent depend on how aggressive and advanced your cancer is and your treatment will be tailored accordingly. Where PCa is diagnosed, treatment aims to be curative where possible but otherwise to further restrain what is generally a slowly developing disease. Try not to panic, even if you do have PCa and this has still to be established, there are various treatments that can be given which are becoming increasingly effective.

If you should be diagnosed with PCa, I think it helps to learn more about this disease and possible treatments and I would suggest you download or obtain a hard copy of the 'Toolkit' available from the publications dept of this charity.

Anyway, let us know how you get on and if you post details of a prognosis under your Profile, as many here do, it helps us have a better idea of how an individual is affected and to post more meaningful replies.

Edited by member 24 May 2019 at 12:18  | Reason: Not specified

Barry
User
Posted 24 May 2019 at 07:34
We’ve all been there, Tim, and you’re NOT alone - we’re all here to offer support. The first thing to say is don’t assume it’s cancer - there are many conditions that can result in raised PSA, but looking at cells under a microscope is the only way to find out, hence the biopsy. Even if it does turn out to be prostate cancer, don’t worry about it too much. It’s a very treatable condition, and localised PCa (where the cancer hasn’t spread outside the prostate) is vanishingly unlikely to kill you - the overwhelming majority of men die with it, not from it.

As Barry suggests, download the information about PCa and its treatment from this site. If you have any medical questions, give the PCUK nurses a ring on the Freephone number at the top of the page - they’re very helpful.

Don’t worry about the biopsy. Presumably it’s a TRUS biopsy you’re having? Believe me, the anticipation is far worse than the event! In terms of unpleasantness, I’d put it roughly on a par with having a filling at the dentist. There’s the same scratch as local anaesthetic is injected (it’s the same anaesthetic that dentists use) and then just vibration as the spring-activated sampler is used. You’ll have blood in your urine for a week or so after, and in your semen for perhaps 2-3 months. Nothing to worry about.

Hope the biopsy goes well and don’t hesitate to ask if you have more questions or concerns.

Very best wishes,

Chris

User
Posted 24 May 2019 at 07:51

I'll reiterate that the procedure is not painful, just a bit uncomfortable. The anticipation of it is much worse. Wishing you all the best for today, and let us know how it went afterwards.

Actually, I would say that none of the diagnostic procedures I've had have been painful, and I've had most of them (because my PSA is significantly higher than the level of disease they found, they kept looking for more).

By the way, don't be alarmed when you next see your semen. It will look like something that the make-up artists on Holby City would be truly proud of. That's absolutely normal. Again, that's not at all painful.

User
Posted 11 Jun 2019 at 20:18

Got the result of my recent biopsy today. Not the news I wanted to hear. Early T3, 7 on the Gleason scale. Off to see the surgeon at Bradford on Thursday. I never expected to live for ever but at the moment I feel that I'm on a downward slope but I suppose that getting to 68 with only mainly self-inflicted ailments so far, isn't bad going. Very confused and apprehensive about what to do next.

User
Posted 11 Jun 2019 at 21:26

Sorry to hear that, Tim but, as I said in my previous reply to you, please don’t feel that you have to go through this alone. This community is here to support you.

Do you know if your G7 is “3+4” or “4+3”?

Best wishes,

Chris

 

User
Posted 12 Jun 2019 at 05:44
3+4. In the booklet the nurse gave me she has indicated that the cancer is early stage 3. After a fairly sleepless night I've concluded that irrespective of whatever my ongoing treatment is, there inevitably must be consequences for the future and whatever those consequences are will determine my future actions.
User
Posted 12 Jun 2019 at 07:28
That’s good, 3+4 is a lot better than 4+3.

Yes, I’m afraid that whatever treatment you opt for, the results will be life-changing. There’s no escaping that fact. It would be worth seeing both a surgeon and an oncologist so you can hear the options for both surgical and radiation-based treatment.

Best wishes,

Chris

User
Posted 12 Jun 2019 at 07:55
I'm seeing both, but either way I'm in a tunnel with no light at the end of it. Try as I night, I can't raise even one positive thought. I'm on a slide that's only going to get steeper.
User
Posted 12 Jun 2019 at 08:19
Well there is the first bit of light "you are seeing both" that means your cancer is at a stage where you have options. Use this site and your doctor's advice to chose the right options for you.

User
Posted 12 Jun 2019 at 09:27

As Chris has said treatment is necessary and none of the treatments are without effects.

But treatment could cure you and let you live a long, happy life albeit changed somewhat.

It is getting your head around these changes and the fact you have cancer that is the most difficult aspect.

A chat with one of the PCUK specialist nurses and/or a visit to a Maggie’s centre would help you see your way forward as well as support here.

 

Ido4

User
Posted 12 Jun 2019 at 10:48
The light at the end of the tunnel, Tim, is that once the treatment is complete the odds are excellent that you'll be free of cancer and can expect a normal life expectancy. It is a hell of a shock to be diagnosed with cancer - believe me, I know that from my own personal experience. In my case, what I found to be enormously helpful was being diagnosed an anti-anxiety drug called Sertraline by my GP. It helped me tremendously.

This may seem impossible to believe at the moment, but the knowledge that you do have cancer eventually becomes "the new you" and you'll start enjoying life again. Just take it a day at a time until the worst of the shock wears off, and you'll get through it.

As Ido4 says, the PCUK specialist nurses are very helpful. I would suggest giving them a ring on the Freephone number at the top of the page and having a chat.

Best wishes,

Chris

User
Posted 12 Jun 2019 at 11:34
Sorry Chris, my response probably seems like an over reaction but it comes after spending 11 days in hospital in Feb with pancreatitis brought on by gall stones blocking my bile ducts. While in hospital I got jaundice. A couple of weeks later I was called in to have my gall bladder removed but was sent home again with having the op. Got called back again 6 weeks ago and they removed it but found that I couldn't pee afterwards. Spent Easter with a catheter in. Still retaining too much fluid when it was removed which has prompted tests leading to the cancer diagnosis yesterday.

Add to this that we are due to move house within the next 4 weeks, the sale of which has fallen through on three previous occasions due to the chain breaking down.

We're booked to go to visit our son and grandsons in Sweden in early August which is now looking unlikely.

Apart from this my life is wonderful.

User
Posted 12 Jun 2019 at 12:37

You're not over-reacting at all, Tim. You've had a terrible shock and the things you've gone through recently must make it seem all the worse. I can completely empathise - when I was diagnosed with prostate cancer last May, subsequent tests also showed that I had completely independent kidney cancer AND an aneurysm in my splenic artery that I could have dropped dead from at any time, so you certainly don't need to convince me just how bloody awful you must be feeling right now. All I can say is that I've been there, I know how you're feeling, and you will get through it, hard though that probably is to believe at this moment. I really would go and see your GP and ask for medication to help with the anxiety you must be feeling; it really does help.

Best wishes,

Chris

Edited by member 12 Jun 2019 at 12:38  | Reason: Not specified

 
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