Pathology, Certainty and Uncertainty

Today is 8 days past surgery: I saw the surgeon and had the loathsome catheter removed! I am feeling less connected and more human.

I'm not going to do many (and perhaps not another) blog posts on prostate cancer, but this is what is ahead for me:
  • Recovering urinary continence &
  • Recovery of sexual function.
The first is a virtual certainty and the second is a probability. Both will take time. For the second, I am to see a sex specialist in about 3 months (not a woman of the night!)

We received the pathology report today and it was good and not so good: The good: No evidence of cancer in the lymph nodes  or seminal vesicles. The not so good is that there was evidence of cancer on the surface of the prostate and that the cancer was more aggressive (Gleason score of 9) than first thought.

The marker for spread of the cancer is the PSA score. I am to have lab work in 3 months and see the surgeon. If there is cancer, radiation is the future course.

On the certainties of life: I am reminded of all the death in the book of Genesis (form of "So all the days of Mahalalel were eight hundred and ninety-five years; and he died." - Genesis 5:17). Someday my story will be "So all the days of Jim were ???? years; and he died. " Thanks Adam ("For as in Adam all die!" - 1 Corinthians 15:22)

On life's uncertainties: when will I die? how will I die? (My choice is to be the second recorded man to die of a meteor strike! Or the first as the former is now disputed!)

On certainties: I know these things:

  • God is eternal: I Timothy 1:17, "Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever"
  • Jesus is God: John 10:30, "I and My Father are one"
  • He rose from the grave: Matthew 28:6, "He is not here; for He is risen, as He said"
  • And as Adam brought death, Christ brings life! 1 Corinthians 15:22, "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive" and 1 John 5:11, "And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son" and Romans 6:23, "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord"
Some Minnesotans (and many other people of the North) participate in ice plunges (something on my bucket list!). I liken receiving a cancer diagnosis (as I did 2 months ago) to an ice plunge: Wow that focused my attention! Cancer = BAD NEWS!

Being "preachy" now: Men are sinners and sin leads to death! Sin & Death = BAD NEWS! Good news is the Gospel (the word itself [εὐαγγέλιον] literally means "good news"). Concluding with my key verse: "This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief" (I Timothy 1:15)

Image source

Update on 1/24/2017: Prostate cancer strikes many, kills few
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in American men: Incidence: One in seven men will be diagnosed with the cancer in their lifetimes, with the average age of diagnosis being 66. For 2017, officials estimate that 161,360 new cases will be diagnosed.

Death rate: Survival rates are relatively high: 26,730 deaths from prostate cancer are predicted in the U.S. in 2017. Nearly 3 million U.S. men diagnosed with prostate cancer are living today.

Treatment: Standard treatments include prostate removal surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Elderly men with Stage One cancers might opt to do nothing because the risks of treatment can outweigh the risks of a slow-growing cancer. Mayo Clinic is among the centers nationally testing proton beam therapy.

Survival: The relative survival rate from prostate cancer is almost 100 percent five years after diagnosis, and 95 percent 15 years after diagnosis — meaning that men with the cancer are almost as likely to live for those durations as men without the cancer. Survival declines with severity. A Stage Four cancer, which has spread to other organs, comes with a relative five-year survival rate of 28 percent.

Survivors: Former senator and presidential candidate Robert Dole, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, actor Robert De Niro, former New York Yankees manager Joe Torre.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Any anonymous comments with links will be rejected. Please do not comment off-topic