A dear friend of mine was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer with a Gleason score of 6 (3+3) and a PSA of 6. By pure coincidence Dr. Easy performed my buddy's biopsy, and true to form recommended robotic surgery as he did for me.. Longtime readers of this journal may recall the entry regarding my appointment with Dr. Easy (see: A Definitive Diagnosis).
My friend and I had a wide ranging telephone conversation during which we discussed the value of (1) Bob Marckini's book, "You Can Beat Prostate Cancer,"(2) the need to conduct one's own research in general and (3) the increased risk of surgery as we grow older. My friend turns 70 next month.
A follow up email appears below:
"I cannot over emphasize the importance of research at this point. Not only will it enhance your chances of making a good decision for yourself, but it will enable you to ask good questions as you encounter various practitioners along the way. For upcoming meetings with practitioners as a matter of routine I prepare a list of (written) questions to which I want answers-- although I let the session evolve based on the purpose of the appointment. I think it is important to hear the guy/gal out before steering the discussion. Toward the end of our meeting I raise my questions if they have not already been addressed.
FYI Following my diagnosis I placed great emphasis on survival, i.e., extending my existence. Over time, when I realized I might be around a while longer, my priority changed to preserving my quality of life."
My friend's regrettable diagnosis provided this opportunity to summarize a few of the important lessons I learned during my tumultuous journey. I thought it may be of interest to those of you who have been tracking my progress