The news is just about the best we could have hoped for:
Tom has early prostate cancer, stage 1, Gleason score 6, very likely confined to the prostate.
When I told Elisabeth, I said, “Well, this is the second best result we could have hoped for.”
“No,” she insisted. “If you would have told me that they found absolutely NOTHING, I wouldn’t have believed you… not with a PSA of 49 and a palpable mass! I would have said to go right back to the doctor and tell him to figure this out!” That’s our nurse daughter for you!
So it seems that this is the best news we could have hoped for and I can’t even begin to express how relived we are. I think I’m actually a bit more relieved than Tom because I had done enough research to know that a PSA score of 49 and a palpable mass DOES usually indicate advanced cancer that has spread beyond the prostate.
I asked the doctor today what the deal was with Tom’s astronomically high PSA score and he said that he, too, was baffled since even a raging infection doesn’t normally raise it that high.
And get this: it seems that what brought us into the urologist’s office after two trips to the ER probably wasn’t even related to the cancer! It was just a fortuitous (it turns out) event that forced Tom to get checked out. Although he had had a physical 18 months ago with a normal PSA, making an appointment for another physical really wasn’t even on our radar so, had we not been forced into the urologist’s office, we would have never found this cancer at this early stage! Thank goodness, it turns out, for painful and annoying urinary infections that force you to get to a doctor!
Yes, we have some decisions to make (surgery? radiation? other?) and yes, there will be a new normal that includes a cancer diagnosis. But Tom isn’t going anywhere, thank goodness! I love that man more than I can ever express in words and I plan to grow very old with him – just as I promised him I would 31 years ago!