Thursday, July 28, 2011

Nine Days, and Great News

The great news is that S's prostate cancer is Stage 1. This is the least aggressive cancer stage. And it hasn's spread outside his prostate! Phew!

We reviewed treatment options with the urologist. (Wouldn't it have been totally awesome if my water had broken in his office? I mean, I feel like that's the one situation he's just not prepared to deal with. Alas, Lentil is firmly entrenched and showing no signs of moving out of her comfortable digs.)

He's a surgeon, and specializes in robotic surgery, so not surprisingly, that's what he recommends. However, it sounds like there's a bit higher risk of side effects (impotence and incontinence), and the results are the same as with radiation until 12-15 years out... after which there's a 1-2% higher chance per year of recurrence with radiation. I think that S and I both agree that 12-15 years from now can take care of itself... who knows what the medical knowledge will be at that point? Versus better odds of peeing and screwing now... definitely!

The next step will be to meet with the radiation oncologist to hear more about that option, since the urologist preferred to skim over that and let a specialist present that information.

The only thing I'm less than thrilled about is that although he didn't particularly recommend "active surveillance"  (the watch and wait approach), and indeed said he would prefer to start treatment within 6-8 weeks... he also made it clear that the cure rates wouldn't vary by waiting a while. So S is thinking that he wants to put this off for a while. He's thinking months, but I know him all too well, and I'm afraid that months could become years. If he does choose the active surveillance option, he's supposed to have a biopsy and a prostate exam every six months... but I'm afraid that since S thinks he's not really choosing that, just putting off the decision, that he can avoid the biopsy (which he hated) and exam. I'm scared of that outcome.

But I think for today he wants to just celebrate that the cancer hasn't spread, and is not aggressive, and I don't want to interfere with that. Poor guy hasn't slept or eaten much in the past week. But I also don't want him to put off making a decision, or at least, doing more research, for very long. Yet neither do I want to become the nagging mother figure, harassing him about making a decision. That was a huge reason for our breakup in the first place -- I refuse to do that (except I guess I might have to for my own child.)

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