First an elaboration on how I got here.
Remembrance Day 11 November 2009 my cancer was confirmed.
In 2006 (I was 51) I twisted my GP Wai Lee NG’s (Prospect | SA | AU) arm to be tested for prostate cancer. My PSA level was about a 2…all good.
My next test 3 years later returned a PSA level of 6.9. So off to the urologist Darren Foreman of South Terrace Urology (Adelaide | SA | AU) I went. Finger up the bum confirmed an enlarged prostate (not unusual for my age) and a lump (not desired at any age).
The next week I had the biopsy. My urologist uses an interesting contraption inserted via the rectum. It uses ultrasound so he can see where to go, injects the local anaesthetic and takes the samples. By sample 8 I had had enough, by sample 12 it should have been over…but he took 1 more…or I can’t count! A few days later there was blood in my ejaculate…nothing in my urine or bowel movements. All this was normal.
2 of the 12 samples from the biopsy had cancerous cells. The Gleason score was 7 or 8.
More tests followed, MRI, CT scan and a bone scan. The MRI showed the cancer clearly up against one side of my prostate with some haziness adjacent indicating it may have burst out or this was just clotting & bruising from the recent biopsy. The CT scan showed the same. The bone scan came up with 3 hot spots, 2 in the bottom left rib & 1 in my right shin. The CT scan showed nothing in the same rib.
Darren Foreman suggested as I was a young bloke (54 is young…yay!) that surgery (particularly robotically assisted radical prostatectomy) would be the best option and referred me to a surgeon within his practice.
The surgeon Peter Sutherland is a guru with the da Vinci robot. He dismissed the hot spots on the bone scan as I had no other indicators of spread of the cancer. Arthritis and damaged bones show up as hot spots also. Surgery was set for 11 March 2010.
I researched the robot vs open cut mining and surgery vs radiation therapy. I could not get my head around the radiation. Surgery just seemed so clean. So I went back to my GP Wai Lee NG who set my mind at ease by saying that if he were in my shoes he would do whatever Peter Sutherland recommended without question.
So all that was left now was to wait! Three months!