What follows is a basic timeline on my train trip and where I’m at up to today’s date.
11/7/2013 – Got back from a fantastic vacation with the love of my life to San Francisco 2 days ago and today am in my primary care Dr’s off because my PSA has been rising for the last year. A year and a half ago, 1.5. 6 months ago 2.5. Right before we left for SF, 4.9. I see Dr. Stonecipher, who Ive been a patient of for over 10 years now….solid, smart, kind and the best doctor I’ve ever had. He performs every man’s favorite test, the digital rectal exam (DRE). He feels a nodule in the upper right of my prostate and we discuss prostate cancer He expresses concern and refers me to a urologist for further testing. Dr. Bob explains this will likely lead to a biopsy. I leave stunned, petrified and in a total daze.11/19, 2013 – I see Dr. Eric Gielser, a well seasoned urologist I was referred to by a friend who has had need to see a urologist. My friend explained that Gielser was a “gentle” urologist with a soft touch. This is very important because I don’t like having anything messed with medically below the waist and I’ve been catheterized once in my life which was one of the worst experiences I’ve ever had. Giesler does a DRE and thinks the nodule Dr. Bob felt is an internal hemorrhoid. But he does state he’s not sure and is concerned about the rapid rise in PSA and the “asymmetry” of the gland. He thinks I may need an MRI and, possibly, a biopsy but wants to rule out infection. I’m sent to a lab to give a semen sample. What I find out about myself the morning I am to give the sample is that I’d have made a lousy porn star…..ejaculating on command/for a test is just not my thing. I need lust and/or love not just a cup.11/21/2013 – The lab report comes back positive for an enteroccous infection and I’m prescribed a month long course of antibiotics. Yes, a month. Seems that prostatic infections are notoriously hard to treat. Word from Giesler is that we’ll treat the infection and then, after a few weeks for the PSA to settle, retest PSA and decide where to go from there. I am not handling the prospect of prostate cancer well. Anything to dull the thought is welcome.12/19/13 – I'm All but freaked out, stressed and not sleeping well, I see Dr. Bob with a huge lsit of questions about the situation. I’m almost done with the antibiotics and have become someone with a huge amount of knowledge about PC, it’s treatment and the life changing side effects. Dr. Bob, the wonderful guy he is, listens to and answers all my questions and does another DRE at my request to see of the asymmetry has gone away. It has not and the bottom line of what he says is, that with every test, PSA, FreePSA, multiple DREs, the fact that I took finasteride (in studies, men who take this drug for hair loss have been shown to have a lower overall incidence of PC, but if they get it, it tends to be a very aggressive PC) all point to a not very good direction. He writes me an RX for anti-anxiety meds, something I have to use care to have a good relationship with.1/12/14 – As if worrying about prostate cancer weren’t enough, I’ve had pain and discomfort in what feels like the prostate (i.e. low abdomen just behind pubic bone as well as perineal pain and urethral pain. I decide to go again to the urologist and as Giesler is not available, I see a partner of his. He asks questions and does a DRE (am I almost getting used to this?) and gives a diagnosis of Levatar muscle spams, or Levatar Syndrome. The Levatar muscle is one that lines the base of the pelvis and if you are stressed (ummmm I have been, just a little), you can react with spasm there just like a person might in their back or neck. Non-narcotic painkillers and a muscle relaxer are prescribed and I can rest easy that it’s not the prostate involved, just the same general area.1/20/14 – With muscle relaxers, the Levetar muscle seems to have calmed down a bit but I’m not pain free, just better. Now I’m in the home stretch to the PSA test on January 31. I’ve been taking a ridiculously expensive natural supplement for men with prostate issue that has various natural ingredients (i.e. saw palmettos, zinc, bee pollen, stinging nettle, etc) and eating fish and veggies. I want to do everything I can to make sure that the reading is an accurate one and not elevated due to infection, recent ejaculation, poor food choices or anything else I can control. I am not feeling good about the test that is to come in a few days. Not at all…….