Fuck the C-word.

My husband has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. So, there’s that. I know it is hard to hear but I have decided there is no way to slip that delicately into casual conversation or ease it into a post.

In this post my goal is to just give you the details as we know them and the promise to return often to tell more of our story. A lot has happened between and during each step below. We encourage you to share this journey with us and feel free to ask questions; we welcome the chance to share what we know. Knowledge is power.

It begins:

  • Mike had a blood test that showed elevated PSA levels – moderate but not off the charts.
  • Then a second blood test – slightly higher PSA, hmmmmm, we need “next steps”, which means a biopsy.
  • A prostate biopsy is a minimally invasive, 20 minute, office procedure. Mike calls bullshit on that statement. He was on the business end of having 12 core samples taken from his prostate. He was awake for this procedure. He says “Minimally invasive my ass!” Literally.

The results:

  • They found indications of cancer in the 12 core samples. In each instance of cancer that they found they ranked the severity from 1 low to 5 high. The majority of what they found was at stage 3 but there were some occurrences  of stage four giving Mike a Gleason score of 3 + 4 = 7 which is better than a 4 + 3 = 7 as that would mean the majority was 4 with lesser amounts having 3. So, that’s a win for our team.
  • Statistically he is young for this stage of prostate cancer and to do nothing is not an option. The choices are either radiation or surgery.

The options and final decision.

Surgery pros:

  • It is done, one fell swoop. Remove the prostate.
  • They remove the surrounding lymph nodes and test them as well.
  • They get a visual of what is going on inside you and can take additional tissues samples if there is any indication the cancer was not contained to the prostate.
  • Afterwards you have an expected PSA level of zero and testing routines to detect additional cancer or reoccurrence. If not, prostate cancer cells are on the loose.

Surgery cons:

  • Very invasive. One or two day hospital stay.
  • Catheter for two weeks. (Mike is thrilled about that one!)
  • Six weeks off work. (Did I mention Mike just started a new job at the end of January?!? No sick leave, no FMLA coverage.)
  • All the normal risks of surgery.

Radiation pros:

  • Less invasive.
  • Equally as effective as surgery.

Radiation cons:

  • Treatment is 5 days a week for 9 weeks. I love my husband, but ya’all know that he is NOT a patient, long-haul kind of guy.
  • If not successful it makes surgery a more difficult process.
  • Ongoing benchmarks and testing are more difficult. PSA levels can fluctuate, therefore, not being a good indicator of additional cancer or reoccurrence. It can create many false positive situations.

The decision.

Oregon Urology and OHSU (more on their role in a future post) agree that Mike, as a younger, healthier man would be better served by surgery and we agree. Radiation is a better choice for someone older or whose health would be compromised by an invasive surgery.

Yesterday we met with the surgeon we selected, Dr. Kollmorgan with Oregon Urology Institute. We feel very fortunate to have him. He has done over 600 prostate removals and will be assisted by another physician who is just as skilled as he is. Mike is scheduled for surgery at RiverBend Hospital on April 5th.

The game is on.

NFQ*

*Never Fucking Quit. You will see this a lot in my blog and on Facebook… both in my posts and in many of my friends’ posts… in honor of our friend and the fiercest cancer fighter ever, Chris Olafson. It was his mantra and we carry it on in his memory.

 

 

19 thoughts on “Fuck the C-word.”

  1. Yourcwriting is clear and crisp and yet all the emotion comes through. Wishing you and Mike the absolute smoothest journey. NFQ

  2. Hey you,just a little note to let you know I am thinking of you,balling my fucking eyes ,I hate fucking can cer,and I don’t know your husband but I am praying for him,he will be fine,I am so sorry you are going thru all of this,How I lost Josh,he was too far but he gave a hell of a fight, worst 2 years of my life, still fighting with the fucking pain. But you be strong,and make sure you take care of yourself , you have a lot exactly me 6 year’s ago. Wanted you to know , I am here if any questions that might help.love and prayers to you and Mike.

  3. Love NFQ! You’ve got this! We are holding you guys in our hearts and sending positive thoughts for a smooth recovery. Thanks for sharing. Take Care, Carrie and Dana

  4. My heart is with you both Jeanneine! With what medicine can do these days he will be in good hands through the process and many options, plus he’s got you at home to support him!! Yes, with surgery there are risks, but you can get it all, and monitor from there! My Dad has been fighting prostate cancer for 2 years now and unfortunately surgery wasn’t an option, his had spread to bone throughout his body, so it has been hormone therapy and “man-o-pause”….yes that shit is real! You both got this and my thoughts are with you! Stephanie

  5. Sorry, Jeanneine! You keeping fighting girl! Your positive attitude will help Mike and the rest of your family/friends. Sending prayers to all of you!

  6. Love you Jan!!
    N
    F
    Q
    That shit doesn’t stand a chance against you two!! Give each other a Big Hug!! ❤💜💚❤

  7. NFQ …I love your strength, honesty and courage in dealing with the terrifying reality in front of you both. You’ll be in our thoughts and prayers through this new but sucky chapter in your life. We want to help if we can. Thanks for reminding me of whats truly important in life. You got this! ❤️

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