Describing my situation to the Urologist the following day, I was told to have my urine analyzed and PSA taken. I was shock. Why, I ask the Doctor. PSA, Prostate?
I was dumbstruck. My maternal grandfather died from Prostate Cancer and I am too young to have one. I think.
In disbelief and hoping that it was more of an STD without realizing its implication, I went to see our family doctor. I did not tell him about my visit to the Urologist. Off I went to the laboratory to have my blood and urine samples taken. A week after I was told that I was clean.
Then a cousin of mine who was recently widowed visited and noticed the frequency of my visit to the bathroom. She said I better see a Urologist as what I was doing was the same as that of her husband who died from prostate cancer. I smiled and told her that the doctor said it was just a simple UTI and I am taking medicines for it. I was restless after she left. I was afraid. I am afraid that I might not have the mental strength to deal with the Big C.
After much prodding from friends who did not know the real reason, I finally went to have my blood taken for PSA test. If the waiting was nerve-wracking, getting the result was excruciating. To see or not to see.
I looked at the result and it was disheartening. My PSA was way over the acceptable norm. And the pain in my lower back and my left testicle had worsen. Panic time but I did not tell anyone. I do not like people fussing over me.
Altho it was my choice to be on my own, I still felt a tinge of sadness as I walked the long corridors of the Veterans Hospital where my biopsy would be taken. I'd be going alone to an unfamiliar territory. You see, I was never a hospital denizen. Save for the occasional colds, coughs or fever, I've never been a sickly person. Maybe because, I keep telling myself that I should never get sick because I do not want to give those around me additional reason to put me down. The wounds of the cold-shoulder treatment given me when I was growing up might have healed but I it scarred me forever.
The walk going to the minor operating room would be the saddest and scariest walk I've ever taken. I would have loved holding the hands of my Tatay but I was too afraid to ask. What if he refused to take my hand? It was a cruel assumption that I made, a bad thought that I may have perceived wrongly but I was too busy nursing my pain - emotional, physical and imaginary - to have noticed if anyone cared.
I was told that the biopsy will take an hour but it seemed like an eternity. Occasional bleeding further unnerved me. After a week of waiting, the Urologist said that it was not malignant but that I have to watch as the Cancer Q of my genes is not good. Both sides of my grandparents died from cancer and my mom was lucky enough to have survive a stage 3 ovary cancer.
I heave a sigh of relief. What a rude way to be thirty years old.
PROSTATE CANCER IS TO MALE AS BREAST CANCER IS TO FEMALE.
I am taking test annually as my PSA is very volatile. It goes up and down. Altho my doctor said PSA is not the only way to determine prostate problem at least it can be used as a guide for my health problem.
When you are in your 40s and you take a leak more often than the rest, when there is pain in your lower back, when you have coughs and colds and it is taking forever to cure - then go see your doctor for an opinion. It is better to be proactive than to be reactive. It may save you a lot of things - nerves, money, time and most of all, life.