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||Sent out an e-mail to close friends. Here it is:
I'm writing this note to inform you that I was recently diagnosed as having prostate cancer. I had a rise in PSA level and my long time doctor determined that I should see a specialist. I did and the specialist took another PSA test (more detailed and complex scrutiny at a molecular level) that indicated I was at risk for cancer. So a biopsy was in order. The biopsy indicated I do indeed have cancer on both sides of one end of the prostate. The Gleason rating is a 6(3+3). That combined with clinical stage T2B [acutally the clinical stage was T1c because the cancer was not palpable and found with needle biopsy after a rise in PSA.] and a PSA of 5.4 makes me a good candidate for radical prostatectomy. I have done extensive research in the last few weeks and have already asked all the appropriate questions of the doctor and have made my mind up on the treatment I will receive. In my mind there is no need for a second opinion. I don't think the pathologist made a mistake and although the rating system might be somewhat subjective, there is really no question that there are some kind of cancer cells present. [I did have the opinion of two doctors and also I have since come to the knowledge that the gleason scale is much more objective than I firtst reasoned. There are definate differences in the cell structure of the various stages of the gleason scale. The methods of staging are far more exacting than I first believed to be true.] I trust Doctor Dubnow impeccably and know that he would not refer me to a just any specialist. The specialist he referred me to (Dr. Kletscher) will be performing the surgery on June 19. If you are getting this note you are a trusted friend and I want you to know about the challenge I'm facing. What I do not need is advice. I'm receiving that from trusted professionals, but I am asking that you would pray for me, especially on that day. The surgery will be at 7:30 AM. The surgeon performing the procedure is a Christian (not part of my criteria, but very nice to know that I can pray with him before the operation). Pray that all the cancer will be removed, nerves will be spared and there will be no complications. Pray for rapid healing after the procedure and that the urethra (detached from the bladder during the procedure) will heal correctly without excessive scarring.
I'm of fine spirit and got over the initial shock quite quickly and the good news is my doctor said it was caught in time to cure it. All of this has taken place over the last two and a half months. There is no reason to believe the cancer has spread outside the prostate at this point. Surgery will tell. Everyone in my family is doing fine with the facts. God has a perfect plan and I'm part of it. What else can I say. And by the way, I'm keeping a journal of this and will probably post it somewhere in the future.
Thanks in advance for your prayers and support.
Also had a good talk with Shana after work today about life and coping. I told her that I want people to feel comfortable around me. Not afraid to ask about or talk about my condition. Some people are afraid to bring it up. Must be the overwhelming response and association of cancer to death. Again; I'm not dead!
Will post some e-mail responses to the e-mail letter in the future.
Also would like to mention here that Dana at work has been concerned for me from the get-go and has indulged my many ramblings and has been very encouraging to me.
Bought two books over the weekend:
"Dr. Patrick Walsh's guide to Surviving Prostate Cancer" by Patrick C. Walsh, MD
"Prostate & Cancer, A Family Guide to Diagnosis, Treatment & Survival" by Sheldon Marks, MD - This is the same book (newer edition) that Dr Kletscher gave me to read. I'll take it back or give it to him in the hospital. Two words I like in the titles of these books:
||I've been neglecting the journal. Sorry! Last weekend Janet and Candice went to Las Vegas with Derek and his parents. I hustled around on Saturday getting things done so I could go on a hike with Todd and John to Reavis Ranch on Sunday. We did it. Left the house at 5:00 AM and got back 9:30 PM. It was 15 miles out and back. Got some kind of bug bites on my legs and man do they itch.
Last night Briana graduated from Cactus High School and Janet got mad at me for not dropping her off at the entrance and then going and parking the car. Oh well! She's still mad at me, so she probably will not be going with us out of town for the weekend to Big lake area. Me, Briana, Candice, Sarah and Emily will be heading out early in the Morning. Come to think of it, it's already early morning. I'd better get some shut eye. I definitely won't make any entries in the journal until Sunday night. That is if I'm not too tired. Not dwelling as much on cancer as I was last week. Just reading the books.
||Well it's not quite Sunday night, but we did the camping trip to Big Lake and got back a couple of hours ago. Had a great time with the girls. Last night I washed their feet. We did the usual camping things like campfire and marshmellows and short hikes and laying around reading. I finished the Dr. Sheldon Marks book and started the Dr. Patrick Walsh book. The Marks book was excellent and very informative and easy reading written in a format based on questions frequently asked by patients. The book covers a lot of ground from early detection to the newest and most experimental treatments. So far the Walsh book gets into a little more detail and explanation of how things work or don't work. Also the illustrations are excellent. It's almost like a text book. Very good! I believe the two books compliment one another.
Yesterday Candice and I hiked the West Baldy Trail #94. We did about six and a half of the eight miles to the reservation boundary. You can't actually cross the boundary to the summit because it is Apache sacred land and not open to the public. There was a lot of snow on the upper reaches of the trail. kind of freaky considering this is Arizona and it's almost June.
We woke up this morning to the sound of thunder. A small storm rolled through the area and moistened us up some. We left the camp grounds a 7:30 AM.
Stan, I will continue to pray for you. How was the hike? Jan and the kids wimped out. I ended up going to hike the Spring Valley trail. Probably the last time this year for that place. beautiful weather 70 deg at 830 am and 85 at 10 on the way out. Saw seven burros. No guilt involved here, we did miss you at church. Were you out in the hills? The weekend before we were camping and hiking,and probably will be out in the Mogollon this coming weekend.
Take Care, Rob
Stan, you certainly have mine.
Just opened your messsage. Will do on the prayer. Sounds like you have it under control medically. God is good and we will pray for you continuously.
Keep me posted.
God's Best, Greg
I'm happy to pray for you. I will put the 6/19 in my calendar and will make a point of praying for you that morning. If this gives you any comfort, my mother had breast cancer about 19 years ago. Her treatment was a lumpectomy, and follow up radiation. She has had good health ever since. I'm sure you'll be fine.
Take care. Karen
You've got my prayers brother!!! God IS able to do far exceedingly above what we ask or think...and I'm asking and thinking REALLY big for you!!!
Love in Jesus, Joy
I'm praying for you buddy. Kevin Segal
You are so incredible! ...as always in my prayers and thoughts in Christ, Darleen
Stan, Thanks for letting us know, you'll most definitely be in our prayers. Let us know if there's anything we can do.
In Christ, Cristiana & Mike
Stan: Patty and I will indeed pray for you before during and after the procedure. We are convinced that He will bless you. Jesus said that those who confessed Him before men, He would confess before the Father. I will add your name on the prayer list at church (without the specifics).
I had already added you and your family to my prayer list, due to your job situation. We will add this as well. We love you and will continue to lift you up to the Lord. [Randy]
Dear Stan & family,
We were very sobered by your letter as to your condition. We both want you to know that you are in our thoughts and prayers. Please keep us up to date as to what is going on with you. We love, and care about you and your family. Let us know if you will be needing any help as we will be there for you. We were encouraged by your upbeat and positive attitude towards your situation= you are very courageous Stan, God Bless and Keep You.
Love -Kirk & Shelley
Thanks Stan. You'll have my prayers with you. Count on it.
_______________ The Artist Formerly Known as "Olesma"
"Daddee...Daddee...Daddee...Daddee..." - Caleb
You're in our thoughts and prayers. We know the Lord is and will be with you, and is giving you his peace. We are so sorry, but are glad the cancer is caught in time. If there is any way at all that we can help, please give us a phone call. Please let us know if there have been any schedule changes for your surgery, so we can pray accordingly.
Every case is different, but I have a dear friend in CA whose husband had prostate cancer ten years ago, underwent the surgery, and is fine today, so please be encouraged.
Forgive me for not responding to your Email sooner, our kids last couple weeks of the school year were so hectic, and then we went on two trips right after that, I'm still unpacking my suitcase after being home several days, smile! You have been in our thoughts and prayers.
God bless you. Take care and keep in touch. Hugs to you, Janet, and your family from all 4 of us!
Love, Mary & Steve (Tricia & Peter, too!)
|2003-05-29||Decided to go on an even more healthy diet than I've been doing. Started it yesterday. It will consist of more fruits and vegetables (especially those colorful ones high in antioxidants), no red meat, greatLy reduced animal fat (meaning moderate amounts of cheese), more selective fat (like the fat found in fish and certain vegetables and fruit), continued grains and cereal. Will induce more and more effort to eliminate processed foods from the diet. Will make routines of daily healthy eating and plan daily menus and prepare them in advance. Although I have been eating healthy for the last couple of years, I really did not understand all the implications of not doing so. Once I really started reading and researching this cancer thing it becomes very apparent that diet plays a huge role in the growth of cancer cells.
Janet called Dr. Jacque today. I think she might be negative about surgery as an option. I don't know for sure, but wouldn't surprise me at all. Janet made it sound as if she may have been concerned about impotence afterwards. I wonder if she knows of the success rate good Surgeons are having in the realm of nerve sparing surgery.
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