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Advice from Don Greggs:


(In response to my post of 1/28/00.)


Get a grip! It's not a death sentence and it's better to know.

Lots of guys don't want to know (like some friends of mine). To know is to acknowledge that it's true, not an easy thing to do, I guess.

I was diagnosed (Dx) in 1991, PCa, Bone cancer, docs wanted Orchiectomy (lose the clangers!), and have 2 1/2-3 years to contemplate your demise. One doc re-did tests and said maybe no bone cancer. Well then it was okay, we can operate. I jumped at it with no real thought or knowledge, not that the docs helped (turns out I should never have been operated on).

Okay, RP, 10 days hospitalized, lots of pain/discomfort, but got through okay, impotent since, but continent (thanks for that). The doc never told me the surgery was failed. He left me happy in my ignorance, and 6 1/2 years later wanted radiation. Why now, I asked, when my PSA was much higher shortly after surgery. No response but bullshit so, time to find out what I should have learned before I jumped at surgery. I did, I am, and want to say that you need to do what I didn't, and I and others will help as much as we can. (I was 57 when dx'd and I know exactly where you're coming from.) I am not saying surgery is wrong for you. You don't know that. Neither would I without more info, but it will still be your decision in the end.

You are doing yourself so much good trying to find out the things you need to know. Try again with this uro and if he doesn't have time to discuss your concerns, give him the finger and move on. I'm on my 3rd uro, and am not sure this one is the ticket for me at this point.

And yes, spend more time with your dog and any other thing to space/pace yourself in this effort.

Information overload is still a factor for me and will continue to be, but it's not a reason to quit.

All the best guy,
Don Greggs

[A few hours later, Don wrote again.]


I got to thinking that I may have been a bit tight in the following: "It's not a death sentence and it's better to know." I think that we are all going to die. It's just a question when and how. I want to get knocked off by a beer truck before the PCa gets me :>), a poetic, if violent end. Hopefully from the rear and unwary, :>)

As you listen (read) others' experiences, especially if they are older like myself, you will realize not only that the science of PCa treatment, modality, etc. have changed in the last 10 years rather dramatically. It wasn't to long ago that guys were first diagnosed because of bone pain, no DRE, no PSA, etc. Situations like mine happen even today (to some of my friends) because they "don't want to know" and because some docs are practicing "in the past." It's the more immediately comfortable thing to do as neither the doc nor the patient has to look at any of the developments in the Dx and treatment of the PCa. Ignorance is bliss.

When I told my first uro that I was declining radiation that he suggested 6 years late and that I was reading up on PCa he said "Yeah, and the more you read, the more confused you get." At that very point he was history. What am I chopped liver? Remember 50% of docs graduated in the bottom half of their class! (I know it's a joke, but true.)

All I was trying to say is Yogi Berra's line, "It's not over 'til it's over" and therefore there's things that can be done in the meantime. If you watch this [list] and other sites, there's things happening out there, all promising, maybe one or two will turn out to be the "magic bullet" everybody wants, if not for you and I, for your kids, or whatever.

So, my friend, take the strain. Find the things that make you feel good, do your homework a little or as much as you can at a time, and move on. Pretty soon you'll do like everyone else and try your best to help the next guy who's shaking in his boots.

Don Greggs

[name used with permission]


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