Advice from Jack Jennings:
I'M MAD AS HELL!
(In response to my post of 1/28/00.)
I've been diagnosed with prostate cancer and I'M MAD AS HELL!
I remember this feeling, as well as, "WHY ME? I didn't do anything to
deserve this!," along with, "How can ANYBODY understand this
Although the first two feelings are quite common with many of us, the
is a very special frustration reserved exclusively for those who decide
become involved in making the decision of WHAT treatment to have,
and BY WHOM.
There is a way to avoid this: just put all of these decisions in the
hands of some doctor and do what he/she suggests.
I started out with this intention.. My urologist told me that I was a
candidate for an RP. He told me that I should consider other options,
suggested that I go on a Casodex/Lupron regime to "buy me time" while I
made up my mind. He did remark that no other treatment works as well
RP and quoted Dr. Walsh's statistics as if they were his.
I took the
Casodex pill and thought that it might be interesting to find out how
drug, when used along with Lupron, could stop my PCa from growing. I
the poop sheet that came with the Casodex, then went to the FDA web
investigate Lupron. One phrase in the FDA document jumped right off
screen, "Approved for the palliative treatment of terminal prostate
Was there something this doctor wasn't telling me. I knew what
meant, as well as "terminal" and went ballistic! It was too late
call the doctor so I sat up that night reading everything I could find
the net. Over the next few days I hardly slept at all. Then off to the
bookstore, to the library, back to the Web. My fiancee told me in no
uncertain terms that she wanted me to get the BEST treatment possible,
yes, she was still going to marry me, even with impotence and
as definite possibilities.
It didn't take long to find the best surgeon, Dr. Patrick Walsh, only a
three hour drive down to Baltimore. Reading his research papers
that is results were exactly those that my urologist had quoted. I
my urologist must be pretty good? Then I found out that Walsh did not
take patients like me with a Gleason 7. A quick read of Korda's book,
Man to Man revealed that the side effects of RP, even when performed
Dr. Walsh, were not inconsequential, as my urologist indicated.
To say I lost faith in this urologist quickly would be an
I called his office an told his office that I had stopped taking the
Casodex and although I did want to consult with the doctor on my
visit, I did not want the Lupron shot yet since I had just started
researching treatment alternatives and had found out that Dr. Walsh
not take any patients who had had Lupron.
Fifteen minutes later I received
call from the doctor's nurse. She told me that I had made a "very
decision, that I was "putting my life at risk" and a lot of other stuff
that I had never expected to hear from a medical "professional." When
of this, my "step-daughter-to-be" Jeanie (a registered nurse) was
I never did figure out if the nurse was sleeping with the urologist or
she was angry at the huge amount of money they were missing for the
Robert, for the next month I had all the feelings you expressed in
post and then some. Even with the advantages of a formal education in
science and academic research, I often found myself, with a medical
dictionary held open with my left hand while groping to find some
in the abstruse language of some phrase in some medical paper that I
pinning down with my right!
Now looking back on this very hellish portion of MY life, I can tell
that FOR ME, it WAS all worth it. Two years after treatment my PSA is
(just got the news today), my sex life is great, and I don't wet my
I can't guarantee that it will work out the same for you but the
alternative is to stop what you are doing that is causing you all this
and just asking your doctor to schedule you for whatever treatment he
thinks is best. After a rather confrontational consultation with that
urologist, he sheepishly confided to the lovely lady Sharon that most
just want to be told what to do.
It's your choice!
Jack in Sicklerville, NJ
[name used with permission]
|This information is provided for educational purposes only and does not replace or amend professional medical advice. Unless otherwise stated and credited, the content of Phoenix5 (P5) is by and the opinion of and copyright © 2000 Robert Vaughn Young. All Rights Reserved. P5 is at <http://www.phoenix5.org>. P5's policy regarding privacy and right to reprint are at <www.phoenix5.org/infopolicy>.