Monday, October 19, 2009

Frustration... and initial leanings on treatment options

At first, I was so new to the whole prostate cancer issue that I soaked up almost all the information I could find.  And I thought I might be missing some critical information, but wasn't quite sure.

But I used all the web sites I could find.  And there are a lot of websites.  And a lot of opinions.  And a lot of treatment options.  I began getting frustrated with almost all of them, because while I could find out about surgical techniques, for example, I couldn't find a lot of data to help choose surgery over radiation.  I hope that makes sense.  Neither could I find information to help choose radiation over surgery. Or seed implants over the other two. Or even if choosing one meant being locked out of the other.

My doctor had referred to some large studies that he said indicated the two directions - surgery and radiation - had about the same success rates in the long run, but I couldn't even find those studies to verify his information.  It's not that I distrusted him, I just wanted to know.

My initial leaning was to do surgery.  Here's why:  My family has a history of "silent" cancers... things that show up suddenly and have had (seemingly) nothing indicating they were there. I thought that I should cut this cancer out, and that way I would be able to use radiation (if need be) on another occasion.

Odd thinking?  Maybe.  It's what I thought though.  And I wasn't wild about surgery... so I needed... I REALLY needed data to help me get to positive thinking.  Everyone was telling me I needed to be positive about beating this, but I hadn't gotten that far yet.  Why?  Because I was afraid.

I was afraid of becoming impotent from the surgery. I was afraid of becoming incontinent.  I was afraid of the recuperation period and all that might mean. A friend said he had done the surgery and was just fine in all areas ... after about a year.  A year of being impotent and/or incontinent loomed like an eternity to me right then.  And I was supposed to be positive???

I'm sorry to say I was a bit short with people I love at this juncture. I hope they forgive me.

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