Friday, March 30, 2018

Well, it didn't hurt as badly as I thought

The results from the 3-22-2018 biopsy are in.

Before I tell you just what happened (what the biopsy revealed, that is) on the eve of the eighth anniversary of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act becoming law, here's a confession:

The whole procedure took only 45 minutes, wasn't as painful as I'd first imagined the biopsy would be.  

A little after 8:30 AM, Cynthia (the nurse on duty at Omaha's Urology Center) had me fill out another form, then instructed me to strip down (I could keep my T-shirt on if I wanted to...and it stayed on my back), then gave me a surgical gown to put on.

She then had me lie down on my left side on the inject an anesthetic into my hind end. (I didn't even want to see the needle. After all, it and the syringe housing the needle added up to the length of my arm.) 

That turned out to be the worst part of the procedure.

Next, Dr. Michael Kroeger came into the procedure room to team up with Cynthia. 

They joined forces to put a probe into my rectum in order to take twelve pictures of my prostate, all to find out if there was any trace of cancer in it. (I got through that phase of the procedure by counting to twelve with each click of the probe.)

And by a little after 9:15 AM, I was out of there...and ready to spend the rest of the day at home.

No strenuous exercising or heavy lifting for another 24 hours (and that meant a trip to the supermarket was out)...I finished taking the antibiotic Michael prescribed (one tablet before the biopsy and the other three afterwards)...and I got plenty of opportunities to watch some NCAA Division 1 men's basketball tournament games.

Finally got the word this past Tuesday (and, knowing my luck, it came while I was still at my factory job).

The results of the biopsy trace of prostate cancer at all.

Next time I meet up with the Urology Center staff will be Monday, 10-1-2018, at 8:45 AM, for a blood test.
All I can say is: We'll see what happens next, now that the biopsy is...behind me.


Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Forty long days...and forty long nights

It all started on the morning of 2-10-2018.

I woke up that Saturday with a dull pain in my left shoulder.

Taking a page from legendary middle-distance runner Glenn Cunningham (whose mom and dad massaged his legs when he was a little boy who'd survived a schoolhouse fire), I thought that massaging my left shoulder would help out. If not that, then letting the shower water hit that shoulder would take the pain away. 

No dice.

So I started taking ibuprofen. (It helped a little...but not nearly enough.)

The following Monday, I called my doctor and made an appointment...and it was going to double as a checkup.

And so, on 2-22-2018, I was on the receiving end of a checkup for the first time in...70 months.

Yeah, I know. It was MY fault I stayed away.

In April 2012, my previous checkup showed that I needed to improve my cholesterol score- or else I'd have to get put on a prescription medicine to lower that cholesterol. So...I traded my beloved snack cakes for cereal bars, and I started eating less beef and less pork while going for more chicken and more turkey.

Well, the February 2018 results demonstrated that my cholesterol was where it needed to be.

The bad news was my 10.4 PSA. (A 4.9 PSA is considered healthy.)

Next thing I knew, I was given an appointment to Omaha's Urology Center (111 S. 90th St., 68114). 

I reported there on 3-5-2018...and ended up finding out, through the center's own lab tests, that the doctors and nurses had me at 1-in-3 to 1-in-2 odds of developing prostate cancer.

Result: Tomorrow at 8:30 AM, I've got to undergo a biopsy.

The biopsy will take place at the Urology Center's surgery facility (105 S. 90th St., 68114). Once that procedure's finished, I'll know in five to seven days whether I've got the Big C.

At least prostate cancer's treatable.  

Meanwhile, my left shoulder had been getting better, thanks to Diclofenac sodium tablets (two 75-MG pills a day...and they've got to be taken with food).

I had to stop taking Diclofenac on order to get ready for tomorrow's biopsy. (And I can't wait to get back on the pills again, 'cause my left shoulder's feeling the pain again!) 

Here's hoping everything goes fine tomorrow. (Don't worry...I'll fight to get a checkup every year from now on.)

And here's hoping all the very best for you, too.