I spoke with my prostate surgeon two days ago and have since been processing what he shared with me, as it’s the classic good news / bad news report that you really never want to hear. And part of my way of dealing with it was to go down the the Tidal Basin in DC, and partake of the lovely cherry blossoms, which are currently at peak color (taking photos to use for later reference as the basis of watercolor paintings is my own special version of self-medicating).
The good news — The definitive pathology report reveals that my prostate cancer had a Gleason score of 6 out of 10, which is excellent. You can read more here, but it basically confirms that the cancer isn’t as aggressive as they previously thought (my medical team believed it would be graded with an intermediate or semi-aggressive Gleason score of 7-to-8, because that was what the biopsy report from last November indicated).
He’s also pleased with my rate of recovery so far, which remains on-target with my return date to work of Monday, April 23rd.
The bad news — The definitive pathology report also reveals that — even though it visually looked at the end of procedure like the cancer hadn’t spread — the pathologists determined that the cancer did breach the wall of the prostate.
And that’s all we know at present. We don’t know how much or how far it has metastasized from the prostate yet.
The surgeon has sent the tissue out for DNA sequencing, to better determine the exact specifics of the cancer in question and what detailed behavior to expect from it. That — along with another PSA test within the next four weeks — will also determine what my follow-up protocol should be, when he meets with me to discuss my path forward at the 7-week mark… whether I should go with long-term monitoring, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or some combination of them.
The surgeon says that when I reach 3-months from the date of the prostate surgery, I should be recovered to the point where I feel close to being normal again, which means I’ll be ready for whatever follow-up protocol needs to be started.
It looks like I have lots of self-medicating yet in my future.