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Re: Introduce Yourself and Ongoing Support

Re: Introduce Yourself and Ongoing Support

Posted by Suzyqtoday on Feb 1, 2019 3:02 pm

In October 2018 my husband who is 66 had an appointment with a urologist due to a high PSA reading.  It was a bit confusing because blood tests at two different labs gave two different numbers.  First blood test was 19.  Second test was 13.  He was given a three month recall preceded by another blood test.  The follow up test had a reading of 21.8.

The doctor is concerned and fast tracking a biopsy, CT and MRI.  There is some positive that currently my husband does not have any of the usual prostrate cancer symptoms.

We were given all the information booklets on being diagnosed with prostate cancer.
One of our concerns is telling our family.  Do we tell our son and daughter that he has cancer or do we wait until the biopsy?  I know how stressed we are waiting for the information that fills in the blanks.  I definitely felt that the doctor us expecting to find cancer.
Any suggestions on talking to our grown kids would be appreciated.

Re: Re: Introduce Yourself and Ongoing Support

Posted by Aly on Feb 1, 2019 6:03 pm

 Hi Suzyqtoday‍ ,

I understand, waiting is the worst as it allows one's mind to wander to the darkest corners. Do you have a timeline on when the biopsy will be done? I am going to link Cancer.ca's advice to telling family members and friends here . This is a difficult choice, personally I would wait until I was aware of the staging and/or treatment plan so I could explain that during the talk and get it done in one go - but that is just me. On the other side, I understand that it is sometimes better to get people in the loop early.

Re: Re: Introduce Yourself and Ongoing Support

Posted by WesT on Feb 1, 2019 6:58 pm

Suzyqtoday‍ Welcome but I wish it was under better circumstances.

Telling people, as Aly‍ said, is difficult.  I am a prostate cancer survivor and although I do not have children, I was reluctant to tell people before and immediately after my diagnosis.  I did however tell my immediate family and close inner circle after the biopsy. My wife, mother and a close friend were aware of my PSA numbers and that I was getting further tests but that was it.

If I had children I would want to let them know that I is being tested, assuming they wouldn't get overly stressed or emotional about it.  They will want to know at some point for sure.  Hopefully they will be supportive and gain an understanding of what he may have to go through and be part of the process all the way along.  When you do tell them, expect any reaction.  That one word evokes strong emotions in people.  Just remember that the success rate of Prostate Cancer treat is very high compared to some other forms, so be positive!

Please keep us informed of his progress and if you have any specific questions about Prostate cancer or need some support please feel free to post the question here or more specifically in the Prostate Cancer forum.  There are a number of us around here that have gone through different procedures.

Also here are some resources I compiled during my journey which are helpful.  Educate yourself if you can so you can make the right choices.

All the best in the coming weeks

Re: Re: Introduce Yourself and Ongoing Support

Posted by Cynthia Mac on Feb 2, 2019 9:25 am

Suzyqtoday‍ , Aly and Wes have given you great advice - my father had prostate cancer nearly 20 years ago, so I can look at this more from your kids’ perspective.

You know your kids, and their personalities, best. As WesT‍ , says, if you know they won’t get stressed out by knowing that he’s going through the testing, you can tell them now, and, since you don’t fully know what is going on and the information you have to date has some inconsistencies, you can go Aly‍ ‘s route and wait until you know for sure. 

One thing I want to add to Wes’ comment, “That one word evokes strong emotions in people,” in addition to his advice about being positive, is to include a comment about cancer being much different today than it was “back in the day.” It’s not so much that cancer itself is different, but that so many advancements have been made in the medications and treatment regimens. (If you need to tell them that at all - at this point, you may not, based on today’s information.)

As Wes says, the success rate for prostate cancer is very high, compared to many others: Dad will be 80 this year.

I hope all goes well with your upcoming procedures.

Re: Re: Introduce Yourself and Ongoing Support

Posted by Charles on Feb 3, 2019 6:45 pm

. . . .  Do we tell our son and daughter that he has cancer or do we wait until the biopsy?


That's easy:

. . . Until you get the biopsy result, YOU DON'T KNOW THAT HE HAS CANCER, and you shouldn't assume it.

BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia) can produce PSA's as high as your dad's PSA.

If the biopsy result _does_ show cancer, and your kids are normal adults who aren't prone to hysteria:

. . . I'd suggest telling them.

You _might_ want to wait until you have some ideas about a treatment plan.  But, as others have pointed out, PCa has a pretty high "cure rate",   So there's a lot of difference between:

. . . "Dad has prostate cancer, and we're going to deal with it"
. . . "Dad is going to die."

Don't take the disease lightly.  There are some prostate cancers that are fast-moving, and life-threatening, and if he has one of those, early treatment is important.

.     Charles

PS -- I was diagnosed in 2007, had surgery, and didn't need any further treatment.  I'm still here, PSA undetectable.  I've gotten good at dealing with ED and mild incontinence.

Re: Re: Introduce Yourself and Ongoing Support

Posted by Aly on Feb 8, 2019 1:37 pm

Hey Suzyqtoday‍ , just checking in. When is the biopsy scheduled? Any news?

Re: Re: Introduce Yourself and Ongoing Support

Posted by Suzyqtoday on Feb 8, 2019 9:48 pm

Hi Aly‍ ,  we got the notices in the mail this week.  My husband C had a CT scan on Feb 22, the biopsy is March 5 and the bone scan will be March 29.

I know it is good news that the tests have bern scheduled si quickly but at the same time it is stressful knowing he has bern fast tracked.  Double edged information.

We are both working on being positive but it is a scary place to be.  Thank you for checking in.  I really appreciate it.


Re: Re: Introduce Yourself and Ongoing Support

Posted by Cynthia Mac on Feb 9, 2019 7:30 am

Suzyqtoday‍ , did your doctor say this was fast tracking? The timing sounds quite normal-paced to me. When Dad was going through his tests last year (well, late 2017), it was 6 weeks from the time his GP found the spot on his lung until his surgery. I say this more to reassure you than anything.

To add to this, Dad is also a prostate cancer survivor. His surgery for that happened about 16 years ago. 

This period of “limbo” is a difficult part of the process. I’ve learned that it’s almost a relief when the doctor gives you an “action plan.” During the wait for Dad’s results, I had several chats with myself to the effect that this is all unfolding as it should and that there are people working behind the scenes to arrange appointments and get him well. 

Thanks for giving us an update!

Re: Re: Introduce Yourself and Ongoing Support

Posted by Suzyqtoday on Feb 9, 2019 12:28 pm

The doctor did indicate that he was requesting the tests to be fast tracked.  I am not sure which one of the three he mentioned having a wait time of 4 months in our area.  It might have been the bone scan.

I appreciate your thoughts on this and I do know my husband has a good doctor.  That helps a lot.