I intend to be totally honest: I am 63 years old, I have health issues that have been documented: heart conditions, cirrosiss; and most recently: prostate cancer.
I feel very comfortable claiming that with medications, I am under control. I don't lead a super active life, but I feel good and I am very happy at this station in my life.
Chris and I have two, two year old labs, brothers from the same litter, that need to run every day, and we make sure that happens.
I developed prostate cancer that metastasized to many bones in my body long before I had any idea that I even had prostate cancer, and I have to place that blame squarely on my primary healthcare team.
I have had annual physicals for years, which included the "finger up the ass" to determine the health of the prostate. Passed with flying colors every year.
I didn't know enough to request a PSA test. They are the detectives, I'm the patient. (To me this is huge. Their ears should have perked up like a German Shepherd). They asked pertinent questions that should have alerted them to suggest a PSA test because of my age.
"How many times are you peeing at night?"
"maybe 3 or 4 times"
" How's your erection?"
" ( They asked if I wanted an Rx for viagra, and I told them I was getting Cealis online.)
These conversations were in years past.
All of that will be explained shortly, but I feel it's necessary to say this: I can accept being done in from cancer.
What I can not tolerate is owing as much as I do to the various health care facillities that have taken care of me over the years, and have that lingering as my postmortem, not to mention the on-going treatments I am receiving.
I have never ignored them, but after a certain amount of time they are compelled to send your debt off to collections. My mission is to pay everybody.
With all of my medical situations over the past years, I have had a total of 34 blood draws administered by TriCore Labortories.
Not until January of 2017, when my provider was concerned about my Vitamin D level, did my PSA # show up. I suspect I would have been wracked with cancer in my bones before I knew that I had cancer, had it not been for that pesky Vitamin D.
I was refered to a board certified urologist, had a biopsy, and when it came back totally shitty, he said: "You know, this did not occur over night".
Most men with no signs of prostate cancer have PSA levels of under 4 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) of blood. The chance of having prostate cancer goes up as the PSA level goes up.
Men with a PSA level between 4 and 10 have about a 1 in 4 chance of having prostate cancer. If the PSA is more than 10, the chance of having prostate cancer is over 50%. Mine came in at 731!
For many years, the Urological Association of America (UAA) has denounced the PSA test because tests can return false positives and result in unnecessary medical procedures for men.
Then this spring, they reversed their advice:
Presentations from the 2017 AUA Annual Meeting:
The American Urological Association (AUA) and the Urology Care Foundation believe that the decision to perform early detection for prostate cancer should be made in the context of a detailed conversation between an asymptomatic man and his physician, and recommend that men ages 55 to 69 at average risk for prostate cancer should talk with their doctors about being tested. Screening for men outside this age range is not recommended as a routine; however, those men with significant risk factors (family history, race) should discuss early detection with their physicians.
That's my age group
If a provider wants the PSA # for one of his/her patients, it obviously can be discoverd as easily as requesting Vitamin D levels.
My providers, I am convinced, is genuinely concerned about their patient's well being, as they were with mine.
My oncologist's opinion is that I have 4-5 years to live. That's fine, I can accomplish a lot in 5 years.
I am not going to belabor this point because I am here requesting monetary help. I want to pay off my extensive medical bills, some of which accrued from other health issues that I mentioned.
And finally, I don't want to burden my wife for the rest of her life with the mess I leave behind. Just send me away in a helium baloon.