I look back in time to 2009 when Tony went in for some routine blood work that revealed an elevated PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) of 4.1. His Dr referred him to a Urologist for further tests and examination. He had no symptoms of any problems with his prostate so this obviously came as a surprise. Antibiotics and then another check of his blood showed an increase in his PSA so he underwent a 12-needle biopsy. No cancer cells were detected. Whew, what a relief! Another PSA 6 months later and there was no change.
Fast forward to March 8th, 2013, Tony went for his blood to be drawn. The next week we were called with the results that his PSA has gone up to 6.8. Another appointment with the Urologist is scheduled. Again, he was having no symptoms of any prostate problems so we were optimistic.
April turned into May and it seemed there was always another appointment to go to. Exam and tests then results, biopsy then results with cancer diagnosis, CT scan then results showing no progression of the cancer to the bones. Thank goodness for that - but there was another diagnosis... atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) in his aorta. He will need to see another doctor for that, but first things first - The cancer. It was detected early and were told that with treatment, he should become cancer free. We talked about the options with his Urologist and also saw an Oncologist about Radiation and the options. We were given a lot of info and I had the internet. We made a decision.
At 58 years old, the best choice for Tony is HIFU. HIFU stands for High Intensity Focused Ultrasound. The problem with this treatment is the cost. Fund raising thoughts go through my head, after all - who plans for something like this? Medical costs so far this year have already exceeded any other year. Those of you that know us may be wondering about insurance. Let me explain. HIFU is an approved treatment in over 30 countries but the US is not one of them. HIFU has been performed for over 21 years on over 12,000 men with great results and little, if any, side effects. No man should have to suffer from incontinence or ED if at all possible. The doctors and nurses that perform this treatment are in the US and travel to specific hospitals in order to treat US patients. It has gone through US clinical studies but the FDA takes it's time on these things. Even his primary care physician says she believes the US is at least 12 years behind in medical procedure approvals. You can check this website http://www.internationalhifu.com/ to learn more about HIFU. And I will be updating my blog frequently.
Anyone that knows Tony knows that he rarely, if ever, asks for help. This is so hard for him, but he realizes that we can't do this on our own. We need financial help. He wants to be around a long time to enjoy life with his loved ones - especially the 4 grandchildren!
We ask for a only a few things: pray if you will, donate if you can, and in the future, help others in need. Another thing, if you need help with something, don't be afraid to ask. We will always help when and if we can!
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