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Author Topic: Prostate Awareness  (Read 4815 times)

Ric Gillespie

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Prostate Awareness
« on: October 09, 2016, 08:08:28 AM »

I’ve been quiet for the past few days because I was in the hospital for major surgery.  In July, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer.  On October 5th my prostate was surgically removed using the latest laparoscopic/robotic technique.  The expectation is that the cancer is gone and any side effects will be minimal.  The recovery is no picnic but I should be good as new in a few weeks. 
I had not said anything about this to anyone beyond family and close friends, fearing that it would be perceived as weakness or looking for sympathy. Now that it’s done I realize that the responsible thing to do is to share my experience in the hope that other men, and the women who love them, will take the steps necessary to defeat this deadly, but easy to cure if caught early, form of cancer.
The best advice I can give is to monitor your PSA and listen to your primary care physician if he/she recommends that you see a urologist.  Denial is SO easy.  “My PSA isn’t that high.  My doctor is an alarmist or is just covering his butt.  Asking a urologist if you need treatment is like asking a barber if you need a haircut. It can wait. ” 
No, it can’t. Been there. Done that.  I put off seeing a urologist for at least a year after it was suggested. There is a history of prostate cancer in my family, so I always figured I’d have to deal with it some day – but not yet. “I feel fine and I have things to do.”  If dying isn’t one of them, go see the urologist.  If he recommends a biopsy, have the biopsy.  Even if the biopsy comes back positive, he/she may want to simply monitor based on your age, your family history, your general health, and the particular type of prostate cancer it is (they range from slow-growing to aggressive). 
In my case, my urologist felt I should take action.  “You’re 68 and healthy as a horse.  You don’t want this killing you when you’re 80.”  My options were surgical removal of the prostate or radiation – both work extremely well – but radiation requires a considerable time investment.  I elected for surgery.  It’s a two and a half hour procedure under general anesthesia.  I had the surgery in the morning, stayed in the hospital that night, and came home the next day.  I’ll wear a catheter for at least six days and I won’t be doing any heavy lifting for a while.  Considering the alternative, it’s well worth the bother
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Prostate Awareness
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2016, 09:46:58 AM »

Thanks for the encouragement, Ric.


I hope you continue to recover swiftly and completely.

LTM,

           Marty
           TIGHAR #2359A
 
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Prostate Awareness
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2016, 10:06:45 AM »

I hope you continue to recover swiftly and completely.

Thanks Marty.  I'm in good hands (Pat's) and my urologist has a vested interest in getting me back up to speed. He's an enthusiastic TIGHAR member!
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Prostate Awareness
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2016, 10:34:20 AM »

 ;D
LTM,

           Marty
           TIGHAR #2359A
 
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Prostate Awareness
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2016, 10:39:27 AM »

Maybe I'll ask him to put together a TIGHAR Field School in Abdominal Surgery.
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Greg Daspit

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Re: Prostate Awareness
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2016, 05:13:04 PM »

Get well soon Ric
3971R
 
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Friend Weller

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Re: Prostate Awareness
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2016, 07:31:41 AM »

Best wishes for a speedy recovery, my friend.
Friend
TIGHAR 3086V
 
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Prostate Awareness
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2016, 07:33:15 AM »

Best wishes for a speedy recovery, my friend.

There is nothing more important than friends, Friend.
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Alfred Hendrickson

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Re: Prostate Awareness
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2016, 08:58:16 AM »

There is prostate cancer in my family, too, so I watch my PSA pretty closely.

Best wishes, Ric, for a speedy recovery. And thanks for sharing your story.
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Prostate Awareness
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2016, 09:02:42 AM »

I've already heard from one 60 year-old TIGHAR member who has scheduled his first full physical in 12 years in response to my posting.  I feel pretty good about that.
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