Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
TR5tar

Your Car or Your Health!

Recommended Posts

Interesting thread, I wish I'd read it earlier.

A problem with the old 'waterworks' and a subsequent conversation with my Brother (6 years younger and diagnosed with PC 18 months ago) just after Christmas, led me to consult my GP.  He gave me the 'finger' and informed me that my Prostate was enlarged but soft and smooth.  He arranged a blood test but due to the DRE, I had to wait 2 weeks for things to settle down. PSA result early February prompted the Surgery to contact me to make an appointment to see the GP again.  The earliest appointment available was 3 weeks (25th Feb).  The next day, prompted by SWMBO I called in at the Surgery and asked if I could have a copy of the results and was told, yes of course.  The sheet gave the reading 6.2 and the instruction 'urgent GP appointment'.  I queried the definition of 'urgent' but was told it effectively meant 'next available', unless I wanted to phone at 08:00 each morning to see if there were any cancellations.

So currently I'm in limbo, waiting to discuss the next steps with a GP.  Annoyingly, I have private healthcare (through my employer) but I need a GP referral to a Consultant, to kick things off.

I'll keep you posted.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/12/2019 at 3:31 PM, Nick Jones said:

Good luck with that.  Took Tamsulosin briefly before my op.  Side effects were quite unpleasant so I preferred to go without!

Very nasty stuff

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Chris,

don't panic. GP surgeries tend to be a bit useless from time to time.

Your GP will almost certainly send you for another PSA test to confirm what may be happening.

It will almost certainly be a little higher. The GP should then send you to see the Urology consultant. Once on the NHS conveyor belt things tend to move much faster.

I'm going through this at the mo'. My PSA reading in late October last year was 7.7. One month later it was 9.2

 

Where abouts are you.  Some parts of the UK NHS are better than others.

 

Roger

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As Roger says, while your concern is completely understandable, there is no need for panic or extreme urgency.  Your GP may offer you another PSA test or refer you directly to urology, NHS or private.  You can influence this if you wish to.

The correct next step IMO would be an MRI, and, if that shows anything "of interest" a biopsy.  That is not an especially high PSA number though and it may well be that you simply have an inflammation, though your brothers history is definitely significant and should be mentioned to your GP.

You might want to keep the private route in reserve as, in my experience, the NHS was very thorough and efficient in the diagnosis stage and my "private" experience and the subsequent crash back into the NHS system was not entirely to be recommended.  Getting back in to the NHS system properly is harder than getting out of it and should you get to the stage of needing treatment and follow-up, my observation is the NHS is rather better at the aftercare and follow-up side.  Obviously local variations......

As for local GP surgeries..... the level of dysfunction in many (certainly the large majority in this area) is really quite shocking, due in large part to a catastrophic shortage of employed GPs.   So do keep on at them and don't assume that things will happen as they should.  Also beware the locum GP - sense of responsibility can be limited!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Chris,

Nick mentions MRI and Biopsy ( not to be confused with autopsy - that comes later:blink:)

Enjoy the MRI. Do not have the headphones with music. Have headphones but   listen to the magnets - very very musical Don;t tap your feet.

The Biopsy sounds a little frightening - It is not painful or uncomfortable. I asked the lady doctor if she had her eyes closed when doing it and she said yes. There's modesty for you.

 

Roger

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, RogerH said:

It is not painful or uncomfortable

:huh:

20 minutes ago, RogerH said:

listen to the magnets - very very musical

Agree, though not perhaps if you like chamber music or light classical :biggrin:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had the TRUS biopsy and the little probe they use contains the Ultrasonic probe to see where things are and the various hammers and chisels to take lumps out of you.

It all went in and out very easily and totally pain free. But when I  got home I was knackered.

 

Today I had a bone scan with the SPECT machine and glad to say they found my bones and nothing else to worry about.

I used to do a great deal of radiography at British Airways so had a very interesting chat with the CT radiographer at the hospital.

The CT machine is very clever but my machine was very big.

 

Roger  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for the messages of support and advice, it means a lot.

Rest assured I'm not the panicking type and I'm lucky, to some extent, in that my brother has recently been through the process so I have a good idea of the right pathway to a proper diagnosis.  In my brother's case, he had the MRI, the output of which was then used as a 'road map' to locate the best place to take the biopsy from.

Anyway, I'll post an update when I have some new news.

Cheers

Chris

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Chris W said:

  In my brother's case, he had the MRI, the output of which was then used as a 'road map' to locate the best place to take the biopsy from.

That is the right way round. Amazingly, the concept of a guided biopsy is only recently become standard protocol. My poor father had two template biopsies without finding any cancer (in spite of 4 figure PSA!), then finally an MRI and guided biopsy, which did find something.  So if they want to give you a biopsy first you should definitely question it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You need the MRI to show that there is something to actually go for.

In itself the MRI can't guide the Biopsy probe to the exact spot but it tells the Radiologist where to aim the biopsy probe at.

The probes ultrsaonic imager then does the rest. 

Very very clever stuff.

 

Roger

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And if the blighter has to be removed, with luck you will have access to a da Vinci machine.

Another very, very clever piece of kit.

All of which is producing good outcomes for so many men.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Da Vinci machine is clever kit.  The business end was developed with US DoD tax Dollars for remote controlled battlefield surgery.  Apparently eventually abandoned due to worries over guaranteeing necessary communications speed and integrity -  which is not a problem when the control console and sharp end are hardwired together.....

Clever stuff in the right hands.  Sew the skin back on a grape anyone....?

There are videos of full robotic RPs on there too.... but you know.... even now.... I just don't need to look.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, Nick Jones said:

There are videos of full robotic RPs on there too.... but you know.... even now.... I just don't need to look.....

When I left the hospital after my RP I was given a DVD of the operation i.e. a copy of what the surgeon saw throughout.

I have never watched it and am unlikely to do so (especially as it is nearly 4 hours long). So I have filed it (in the Horror section) with a couple of DVDs of MRI scans I have had over the years!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When this thread started, I read it- but I must say I didn't think a whole lot about it.

Well- how the tables turn huh?

I am facing a little bit of tough time. I can't say I have had any trouble with the prostate, but a couple of weeks ago I was diagnosed with cancer of the salivary glands.  Quite rare apparently- but then, I am not the kind to go for any of your run-of-the-mill cancers. No no,! 

I am 36 and I was a pack a day smoker for around 6 years, but quit cold well over 10 years ago- it is hard to say whether the cancer was a direct result of the smoking or not- I partied pretty hard in my 20s with all manner of things. According to my surgeon, glandular, breast and skin cancers are all very closely related. Being that breast cancer runs in the family, genes may well be the root of the problem.

For months I had felt quite tired- but then, I work bloody hard so was never particularly surprised. Rarely do I take weekends or holidays. Never taken a sick day. Just thought I was run down- until I had a series of lymph nodes pop up which was quite unusual for me. 

Usual story- went to the gp, checked bloods and swabs for everything else. Came back with a slight case of strep throat so was assumed that that was the culprit. Lymphs would swell and disappear over the next couple of months until I was bothered enough to seek a second opinion (or at least some antibiotics!)

Second gp was somewhat more interested. Performed a biopsy of a node on site. Received a call a week later from a concerned surgeon wanting to see me in the office immediately- which I must stress is a fairly uncomfortable request and would not wish upon anyone! 

Stage bloody four already! Well, listen chaps, this is no plea for sympathy. I will survive, as I am as determined as I am stubborn and hairy. Which is quite.

I just have too much on the go at the moment with a toddler, another on the way, huge projects at work and a hundred unfinished projects in the garage. Its bloody stupid, but it did occur to me in the hospital recieving my diagnosis that the Herald has been in too many parts for the last 15 years or so, and I frankly, have too much sunk into it not to see it finished. Funny how the mind works at times of stress.

I guess the moral is- I wish that I had spent more time pursuing the cause of my fatigue. Worked less, played more so that I could sufficiently identify it as a problem. Above all, I wish I hadn't dedicated the year to paying off the student loan!

But, we live and learn.

In case I dont, I will be posting as much as I can on the research and modifications I have made on small chassis stuff in the hope that the knowledge may help others to finish their projects.  It may seem silly to some, but I do genuinely feel that I have as much reason to get through this for the sake of my family as I do to see my lifes work come to fruition in a running car. Read that as you will. Must be a guy thing right?

Look anyway, just riffing here, perhaps it should be treated as some kind of public service to post short messages in car threads every other week or so- just unobtrusive comments- suggesting that anyone who feels under the weather get checked out. There is such an enormous wealth of information and support for breast cancer awareness etc, it would be nice to find a way to get guys inspired (or at the very least pestered) enough about their health to do something about it. 

I'll keep you posted

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rustbuckit,

Enormous sympathy with you.   Please go on telling us how you are doing, and what you are doing.   Talking helps, and I know this from experience.

But talking to us here may not be as good as talking face to face.    That may not be easy for you, "stubborn and hairy", especially talking to your loved ones.    There will be somewhere near you, an organisation that is devoted to supporting people facing cancer.  MacMillan is nationwide. but there are many local organisations - your GP will know of them.   Please take a moment from your busy life to find out, and then make time to see them.     They can and will help, I promise.

Thinking of you.

John   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh man...…  that is very poor luck...… especially at just 36. 

What treatment are they proposing?  Might be worth finding out about trials, there are some interesting and sometimes very effective things happening in the immunotherapy field, though not sure how much in head/neck cancers.  Your oncologists should know and definitely worth asking them about trials.  I would say that engaging with them, questioning and taking interest is a positive thing.

Feel free to start your own thread to document if you want to......

Best wishes

Nick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rustbuckit,   Terribly bad luck, it is very rare. My instinct would be to back off the rushed lifestyle, minimise stress, it will help your immune defenses. The breast cancer link could be useful.  It is known: https://www.ascopost.com/News/18679  There is a sizeabel literature on raised vitamin D3 helping with breast cancer, so ask your specialist oncologist if the same could apply to saliv glands. Peter

PS  I take lots, and can supply papers showing safety etc.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Really sorry to hear that rustbuckit and sage advice above. Also I am a big believer in the value of a positive attitude. Deploy that determination and stubbornness in overcoming the disease. 

As for the broader issue of men addressing their health, that's a big tanker to turn. Publicity and discussing it openly wherever is obviously the way to go. My friends are probably heavily sick of hearing me discuss what I think they should do to alert themselves to issues. But there is a big cultural resistance to overcome. One small step is to invest in a personal MoT every year. Not cheap, but in comparison with what we spend on maintaining our cars and adverse consequences, it's peanuts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am sorry to read this rustbuckit. Best of wishes, and please reach out if you need help.

 

Best wishes

Nick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you all guys, your thoughts are very much appreciated.

I am still awaiting any real movement on this I am afraid. This limbo is an arduous torture.  I had to really fight to get an oncologist to see me this afternoon for some answers- hopefully a treatment plan. It has only been in this period of waiting that the symptoms have really kicked off. Beginning to lose a lot of mobility in my neck, etc. 

Sold a 1200 coupe on the weekend- quite happy to see it go though. Off to a mate to get restored- he will do a good job. Still have the project car and associated parts- wont be letting that escape in a hurry.

John, the Macmillan website has been very helpful. The NZ model of how cancer is treated is really based on the NHS, so the information Macmillans provides is spot on. Finding it very useful.

Nick, I had to look up immunotherapy- and I really like the look of it. Just makes sense really doesn't it. I'll ask the oncologist today how that is as an option for my predicament - if it is a possibility, I'd bet that a combination of surgery, radiation and immunotherapy would give pretty good results  - hell, I'm no oncologist, but sense is sense right?

Peter C, interesting about the D3 -yes  breast, prostate, skin and gland cancers are all very similar. I am a big believer in 'if it doesn't hurt, do it' , so I will talk to the Onc whether I might be able to pilfer an intravenous dose of both D3 and C (which I have also been recommended)

 The only thing I am not willing to try just yet is anything THC related- not that I haven't heard stories of its effectiveness (I certainly dont suffer any moral implications), but I have read that it can interfere with some chemo drugs and I need options at this stage. 

Miles A, I think the personal MOT idea is not only a good one, but a very saleable one. That is the kind of thing that could be bought as a gift for a loved one. It would be nice to see a government initiative to jump on that idea and make it a 'thing'. 

The most helpful thing I have done in the last few weeks was see a counselor. Nice German chap, got along like a house on fire.

I really didn't feel like I had reason to see one- but I am really damn glad I did.

It is nice to be able to speak freely to somebody quite removed from yourself. It was good to be able to talk through all the things I really cant discuss with my close family yet- now is a time to keep them positive. I especially cannot talk through all things with my wife- that sounds terrible- but my wife is heavily pregnant and these hormones and topics are at odds with each other. I'd really rather protect her from undue stress at this point- For the sake of both herself AND myself.  

Thank you all again, I'll give the oncologist a good dressing down about this period I have had to wait, and will keep you updated. Cheers, 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are in NZ..... or UK? Both in your profile, but above reads like NZ?

Either way it sounds like you need action now.....

Counselling? Sounds like you have a pretty compelling reason for counselling to me - especially if you can’t talk about it with your wife.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Even in the much-vaunted NHS, in my experience one often has to push, challenge and cajole to get the appropriate service/treatment.

Don't be afraid to do so - your body, your health.

Miles

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...