The Futility of Worrying About Cancer

The Futility of Worrying About Cancer

Living & Loving with Prostate Cancer This was my sixth year of post-surgery PSA testing. Usually I take the test and have no problem waiting for my test results. For the past five years it was a peaceful, easy time. And for five years, my test results showed undetectable levels of PSA. For the first time since I was diagnosed with prostate cancer, I experienced an unwelcome encounter with resistance this year. I wanted to skip my PSA test. There was no rational reason for my strong desire to throw out my lab slip and let a year or more go by before taking an ultra-sensitive PSA test. I suspect my resistance reflected my desire to return to my pre-cancer life. I wanted to pretend there was no reason to live under the cloud of possible relapse. I discussed my resistance with my wife and the men who follow me on Facebook. It didn't take me long to realize that nothing good would come from skipping my yearly PSA test. So last week I took my lab slip and had my blood drawn. After the test, as I was walking to my car, I had an unwelcome encounter with worry. Here was the conversation: Worry: Over the years you’ve celebrated your undetectable PSA lab results, but there’s really nothing to c
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Rick Redner received his master’s degree in social work from Michigan State University. He has spent many years working as a medical and psychiatric social worker He is the author of the award winning book I Left My Prostate in San Francisco-Where's Yours? His second book Everything You Never Wanted to Know About Erectile Dysfunction and Penile Implants won the Beverly Hills International Book Awards in Men's Health in 2016. Additionally, the book was a winner in the 2017 IAN Book of the Year Awards.

3 comments

  1. Richard says:

    Good for you. As you know from my updates that I’ve had PSA numbers ever since my prostatectomy 14 years ago. 12 of those years Lupron would knock them back down to almost zero. Late last year after a hip replacement and new areas of concern in my neck/lower vertebrae and new pain in pelvis where hip was done a lot of new pain. Original lesion on that femur found in 2012 probably cause of new metastasis in femur and pelvis and PSA shot up! A little disappointed, but I’ve stayed up on latest treatments and my oncologist felt I’d respond to Xtandi. Very first dose took away almost all pain and am back to living as usual. I know this too will fail at some time, but have faith and believe I can beat this with all the new treatments soon to be available. Yes, get your yearly PSA’s and know if they change you now have an arsenal at your disposal. Again, thank you and your wife for being a voice for us.

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