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Today my urologist, Doctor Bruce Kletscher, told me that a recent Biopsy indicated that I have cancer of the prostate (a six on the Gleason Scale). He will be discussing the options for treatment with me on May 9th and did say that it was caught in time and that it is curable.

One thing I always remember dreading in life was that some day I might be told I have cancer. When that became a reallity I had an initial adrenalin shock that lasted about fifteen minutes and then I had to think about this cancer that I know I have. The easy thing to do would be to start crying "WHY ME!" and "IT ISN'T FAIR!" and of course those thoughts may have entered my mind, but not for long, for my faith rules. That is, I'm a Christian and being a Christian means that I live my life with Jesus and I am in the process of becoming more like him. My natural tendency is to embrace the fear of death, but with Him all things are possible. If I die I die. That condition is secondary to the plan at hand. Like Paul said in the Bible, "...To die is gain, to live is Christ". Everything that happens, happens for a reason and God has a purpose for all of the events in my life. Now if I choose to cling to fear and anxiety about my cancer, what I'm really doing is arguing with God about what his plans are; I'm puting myself, my emotions and my importance first, like a toddler who throws a fit when he wants his way. The positive approach should be something like this: "OK, I've got this cancer Lord, how do You want me to deal with it?" If this is your attitude from the heart, He will point you in the direction you need to go. By remaining in the self-indulgent "woe-is-me" mode you are blocking out the good things God wants for you. You are not going to help anyone God wants you to help. I would like to help any man who has this cancer and would like to know how I am dealing with it and what has helped me and maybe what to expect when he doesn't know. That is the reason I'm keeping this journal and I have every intention of posting it on the web at some time in the future in order that men who want to know about this desease called prostate cancer might benifit. And if that be the case I give the glory to God who directs me in this manner.

Of course there are scary things that happen to me, but if God is for me, who can be against me? I don't want to die right now and I don't want this cancer, but since I have it, it is my firm belief that God wants me to use it in my life. Don't misunderstand, I definitely want this cancer to be cured and there are many things I would like to do with my family and friends. I'M GOING TO DO MY PART TO FIX WHAT NEEDS FIXIN. The apostle Paul asked God to remove the thorn in his side and when God told him that His Grace would suffice, Paul moved on with his service to God.

I must say at this point in my life when I look back and think of all the heroes that I have had; the ones I consider heroes now are not the same at all. Anytime I want to light the candles on my pitty-party cake, I must remember to look around the world and see that there are Christians all over the world in far worse environments and circumstances than I can imagine being in, yet their delight is in the presence of the Lord. I don't have to look too far right here in the good old USA to see Christians who, from a worldly perspective, have every reason to be dejected. Yet despite their maladies they are filled with joy in Jesus. One such comes to my mind: Joni Earicson Tada. Despite her Quadraplegia, her love of Jesus is astounding. She speaks volumes.

Text that you see in this color indicates copy that was entered at a later date than that reflected by the date in the left column. I realized I made some errors but wanted the original entry to remain in tact but also want to be as accurate as possible.
2003-04-30 When I told Briana, she was sad, but did not overreact. Sarah just asked, "Do you have cancer?" Candice cried and said that I "didn't deserve to have cancer" I told her that I wasn't dead. Emily just sort of had a shrugging attitude.

2003-04-30 Janet was her usual compassionate self and said that she would be there to help me through it. Brother Steve and Debbie were encouraging with positive "you've got to fight this thing" words. Julie refused to believe me when I first told her. She kept thinking I was joking with her. Son Steve very sad to hear, but was able to joke with me, as was brother Steve.

OK! I'm going to do my best at describing the biopsy procedure. The brochure they sent me in the mail to read before the big event read like this. "You'll lie on your side. A tubelike probe barely bigger than a thumb is covered with a condom. Your doctor gently inserts the probe into your rectum. The probe emits sound waves, creating an image of your prostate on a video screen. Your doctor views the image, looking at the size, shape, and structure of your prostate. The small tip of the biopsy needle is inserted through your rectum into your prostate. One or more tissue samples are taken from the prostate (this is only slightly uncomfortable). [yeah, right, one or more? Try twelve] Your tissue samples are sent to a lab for evaluation." I am greatful though because the cancer was only found on two of the samples, which means that any lesser amount of sampling may have turned up nothing. OK, I guess comfortable is a relative thing. It's a stinging pinching type of pain.

But what the brochure did not describe is the kind of things I was going to experience after the procedure. Oh sure, they say you may see blood in your urine for a few days and in your semen for up to three weeks, but what they don't tell you is that the blood wants to clot up and when it does it's not any fun coming out the final passage ways of the urinary tract. I can only describe this as passing one and a half inch leeches.

This was my experience and I understand that not all men go through this extreme and it was only for a day that it was most uncomfortable. Stupid me, I go ahead and go on the field trip with daughter Briana to the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art for an Ansel Adams exhibit the day after the biopsy. I should have gone home when I still had the chance. Before boarding the bus to Scottsdale from Cactus Highschool in Glendale I had the urgency to urinate, so I slipped into the restroom while waiting for more students to show up at the flagpole. I had to go but nothing was coming out, when suddenly this big old clumpy bloody thing that resembled a leech came squeezing out the end of my penis. Kind of scared me. I reasoned this must be the worst of it and decided to go ahead on the trip. Wrong! More of the same at the museum, except now I had managed to get some blood on my pants and in an attempt to wash it off I totaly soaked my front. Wow, real cool. Finally later on that night some regular flow came back and the worst was over.

This thing started more than a year ago when Doctor Dubnow said PSA was a little high and to check it again in six months. I spaced it out and didn't check until eight months. PSA was even higher and he said to check it again in three months at annual physical in February.[PSA is prostate-specific antigen, an enzyme made by the prostate. Levels of PSA can be checked with a simple blood test; elevated amounts of PSA in the bloodstream can signal cancer.]

Annual physical yielded too much rise in PSA(now at 5.8). So he referred me to Dr. Kletscher.

Dr. Kletscher gave me another more comparative PSA test that indicates what your cancer risk is. It was a 5.4, but was in the cancer risk area. [This is the "Free" PSA test. It is PSA that is chemically bound to proteins in the bloodstream. If a man has an elevated PSA and most of the PSA is "free," then the elevation is probably due to BPH (enlarged prostate) and not cancer.]

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