You check your oil, have you checked your PSA lately?

Discussion in 'The Tiki Bar' started by Gofirstclass, Feb 29, 2020.

  1. Gofirstclass

    Gofirstclass Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 20, 2010
    Tri Cities, WA
    1995 550 Sedan Bridge,
    2010 Boston Whaler 130 Super Sport,
    1981 Boston Whaler 130 Sport,
    CAT 3406C's, 580hp.
    Of all the threads I’ve started on here this is by far the most difficult I’ve written. The reason? I have prostate cancer. Well, actually I have Metastasized Prostate Cancer.

    About 2 months ago a long time friend of mine that I’ve met for coffee every Thursday for the past 25 or so years told me he had prostate cancer and was going to have his prostate removed. I’m 73 and he’s several years younger than I am. He asked me when the last time I had my PSA checked and I couldn’t honestly tell him.

    A quick call to my local VA medical center disclosed that I had my last PSA test done when I was 70. I asked them why they didn’t do it every year when I had my physical done and they hid behind the recommendation of the CDC that says something about not doing them for men over 70. I asked them why and they said they didn’t know, that’s just what the CDC recommends.

    Quite frankly, I feel like they let me down. I assumed (Yeah, I know…) they did that every year as part of my blood work. Had they told me they didn’t routinely screen for PSA after a certain age I’d have requested the test be done.

    So, I had blood drawn and had a PSA test done and the results were sky high. High enough that they rushed through an approval for the VA to pick up the tab for me to see a urologist. I did, they did another PSA test and confirmed the reading and scheduled me for a CT Scan and MRI so they could determine the extent of the spread of the cancer cells.

    So now that we know the cancer cells have spread throughout my body, attaching itself to bones at several locations in this otherwise perfect male specimen, they scheduled me to see an Oncologist.

    So here I sit, writing this thread which took several beers before I could bring myself to do it. I’m facing 6 months of chemo treatments, one every 3 weeks. Nobody is predicting this is going to end my life early, in fact the only thing they are predicting at this point is that at the end of the 6 months they’ll reassess how things are going and likely put me on another type of treatment.

    The odd thing is that I have ZERO symptoms. No pain, no joint stiffness, nothing. I’m sure after I start the chemo I’ll go through the usual nausea, maybe some vomiting, possible hair loss, but nobody can even say that with any certainty.

    The chemo drug(s) are a type of poison designed to kill the cancer cells. That’s the good thing. The bad thing is it’s still a poison and it may wreak havoc on me.

    One thing is for certain: I am NOT going to let this kick my butt either mentally or physically. I look at this as a speed bump. I’m going to get over it then get my life back up to speed. There’s just too damn many things I have yet to accomplish in my life.

    So, back to the question I posed in the title: When was the last time you had your PSA tested? Don’t let them tell you that because you’ve reached a certain age you don’t need your PSA tested. Bull crap. Get it done. Get it done this spring, and preferably before the next time you check the oil in your boat.

    I didn’t write this thread looking for sympathy. That’s now how I roll. I wrote it with the hopes that some of you old farts out there who don’t know when you last had it tested will get your butt in gear and go see your doctor.

    Smooth waters, light winds and fair skies.
  2. joeyleggz

    joeyleggz Active Member

    Jan 15, 2013
    long island
    current boat: 1997 sea ray 330 express cruiser
    twin 454's efi
    God speed my friend, you got this !! and thank you for looking out for us
  3. Steve S

    Steve S Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 5, 2007
    Northern IL.
    2000 400 Sedan Bridge with twin CAT 3116's

    2000 340 Sundancer - SOLD!
    210 Monaco 1987 - SOLD!
    Twin Caterpillar 3116's 350 HP straight drives
    GFC. Blessings for your future.

    They found my cancer during a routine colonoscopy, but I was following the doctors protocol of 6 years. I wondered about the frequency. Like yourself I had no issues either. Mine has not metastasized but did require major surgery and chemo. I made it thru the chemo but have residual peripheral neuropathy in my hands and feet.
    I will add you to my prayers.
  4. Woody

    Woody Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Nov 20, 2007
    N. Wisconsin/Lk Superior
    2005 420DA
    Cummins 6CTA8.3
    You got my best wishes GFC.
  5. Chris-380

    Chris-380 Active Member

    Jan 20, 2019
    Pontoon Beach IL
    380 Sundancer 2000
    454 Horizon w/V drives
    Thank you sharing your very personal story, prayers for you during this fight!

    I get a psa every year, I am 47 and everything right now is where it should be.

    thank god for your friend talking to you about his situation!
  6. RBB

    RBB Active Member

    Dec 18, 2019
    2004 390 MY
    2019 Sea Doo GTX 155
    wish you the best GFC. I for one will call my doctor this week.
    Appreciate your heads up.
  7. mquiet

    mquiet Well-Known Member

    Aug 4, 2009
    North carolina
    1999 480 Sedan Bridge
    Caterpillar 3196
    Sorry to hear, but thank you for the reminder for us all. We all have battles that we fight and some are more difficult than others. The important thing to remember is fight hard and be strong for yourself and others. You never know what tomorrow will bring. Throttles forward and don't look back.
  8. Marc Rainaldo

    Marc Rainaldo Active Member

    Apr 18, 2019
    Sea Ray 500 DA 1994
    Detroit diesel 6v92
    Said to read your story, We wish you and your family strength and all the happiness in the world for the coming time.
  9. JVM225

    JVM225 Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 8, 2008
    Farmingdale, NY
    2002 410 Sundancer, Monaco Edition.
    3126 Cats.
    You’ll come out of this on the other side in better shape because now you’re going to stay on top of things a bit more than you may have in the past.
    That’s a good thing and it will extend your life.
    My urologist checks my PSA every year.
    I see my urologist because of bouts with kidney stones every few years.
    During one of those bouts back in late 2013, I had to go to the emergency room where they did a CT scan for the kidney stones and then admitted me to remove them.
    That CT scan pinpointed the stones and also showed a tumor that turned out to be an aggressive cancer in my stomach.
    I went to a local cancer center, had the tumor removed a few weeks later and have been under the care of my oncologist with medication and regular scans there ever since.
    Basically, that kidney stone probably saved my life.
    Chris-380 likes this.
  10. Craig

    Craig Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Feb 8, 2007
    2006 320 Sundancer
    twin 350 Horizon V drives
    Wishing you well.
  11. Quint4

    Quint4 Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor SILVER Sponsor

    Oct 6, 2006
    S.W. Ohio
    330 Sport Bridge (Sold)
    5.7 MPI 350 Merc Bluewaters
    Great advice and best to you! A close friend (54) has prostate cancer and is having his removed next week. I am due to have my numbers checked, thanks for the bump.
  12. Third Edition

    Third Edition Active Member

    Apr 9, 2017
    NE Florida
    360 Sundancer 2002
    T-8.1L V-drives
    Yes, wish you well. I heard the same from the VA and other doctors, but thanks to you I'm changing course and will get tested regularly.

    I suggest you try CBD oil for the neuropathetic pain. It has REALLY helped me. Get the certified/tested stuff with no THC & start with 2/3 to 3/4 dropper full each day -- takes about 4-5 days before you start to get reliev. If you take too much the only downside is sleepiness. I know others will disagree that CBD is worth a try, but it has gotten me off pain killers.
  13. yobub

    yobub Active Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Jul 29, 2016
    1998 400 Sundancer
    Cat 3116's
    Very sorry to hear about.your diagnosis, but it sounds like you are on the right path. My Dad was diagnosed when he was 68 right after he retired. Back then the procedures and treatments werent nearly as good as they are now. He lived to be 86 and spent his retirement playing golf and enjoying the mountains.

  14. Blueone

    Blueone Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Jan 24, 2007
    Lake Erie, Ohio
    2004 420 Sundancer
    Cummins 6CTA 450's
    That's a sad thing to hear and you have all my best wishes and prayers that you overcome this.

    The chances are high if your dad had it... That was my case, so I was tested at 50 for that reason and my PSA was high but not a concern at 52 I had a Robotic prostatectomy, it was a success without any of the side effects that you hear... now 7 years later everything is fine.

    Part of the problem is no one talks about this out loud. I was the same I never said anything to my friends... then I find out they are going thru it after the fact. There are a lot of different paths for a cure if you're in that position reach might be surprised. If any of you have questions about Robotic surgery PM me..

    Your advise is spot on. Get tested!!!... especially if its hereditary... and good job sending out the word to get tested... Good luck!!
  15. 370Dancer

    370Dancer Well-Known Member

    Oct 2, 2006
    Florida - Alabama
    1998 370 Sundancer
    380hp MAG MPI Gen VI with V drives
    3 words. Sperling Prostate Center
    Delray Beach Fl, and a few other places. Google for a very informative video.
  16. susanandlance

    susanandlance Well-Known Member

    Feb 10, 2011
    2007 Sea Ray 36 Sedan Bridge
    8.1 mercruisers
    You got this GFC!! Prayers sent your way buddy.
  17. BillK2632

    BillK2632 Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 25, 2009
    Lake Norman, NC
    1999 185 Bowrider,
    Mercruiser 4.3, Alpha I
    Sorry to hear GFC - +1 on getting checkups. Us guys don't like to talk about pleasantries of a prostate exam or a colonoscopy, or the variety of other procedures the medical world can come up with -- but you really need to do these things. They really are not that bad and early detection is key. I started the routine at 45 due to family history.
  18. TNT8808

    TNT8808 Active Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    May 25, 2016
    West Michigan
    2008 48 Sundancer
    Cummins QSC 8.3's
    Avon Seasport 340
    40 HP Yamaha
    Thanks for sharing Mike, and I hope all goes well for you. These can be difficult
    subjects to talk about.

    In addition to his warning about having your PSA checked, I'll add another warning just in case any of you may have any of the symptoms I did.

    A few years ago I began experiencing a slight pain from time to time while urinating. I believe this was around when I turned 50, and I'm 53 now. I mentioned this to my now former internist, and he said "it's nothing, that happens to all of us". Fast forward about 18 months, and the pain became more frequent, and I started seeing tiny red flakes in toilet. I got a new internist, and he sent me to a urologist immediately where he did a cystoscopy in his office that revealed what appeared to be a bladder tumor. I had surgery 2 days later to remove a 3" x 5" tumor that turned out to be cancerous. A few weeks after my surgery I check with my urologist, and he said it was ok to go on an extended cruise on our boat. We got about 2 miles away from our slip and I got extremely warm to the point I was sweating profusely. My wife checked my temp, and I was at 102 degrees. We turned around right away, and I made it back to the slip and I was so delirious by the time we got back to our slip that my slip mates had to tie up the boat and get me to my car. Once in the ER they did an MRI, and CT scan and found that I had a 1" tumor on my left kidney. Yep, renal buzz kill. I ended up having a partial nephrectomy on January 8th 2019 where they removed my kidney, put it on ice, cut away the tumor, cleaned up everything inside of me and then put my kidney back in. Throughout all of this the original reason for being checked in the first place persists. I've had 9 surgeries to remove tumors in my bladder, and just started my 3 round of chemo this past Friday. This is my last chance, and then we move on to a total cystectomy (bladder/prostate removal).

    I apologize for the ramblings, but this really is the short version.

    God bless you all.

  19. Carpediem44DB

    Carpediem44DB Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Aug 18, 2015
    Sanfransico Bay area
    2006 44 DB Sedan Bridge Raymarine gs165 w Quantum HD Radar
    Achilles 350 Dink
    Nick Jackson Davit
    Cummins QSC 8.3 500 HD
    Great and timely thread GFC. God Speed as you proceed.
    A felllow member of our Yacht Club simply pushed himself away from the breakfast table a couple of weeks ago and felt and heard a pop in his shoulder area. A couple of days later decided to see the doc and they discovered a broken colar bone caused by the stage 4 bone cancer he had no idea he had! Doc just told him to go home hug his wife and get his affairs in order and that no matter what extraordinary measures they took he is likley to be done inside of 6 months.
    This just reinforces the concept that we are all our best advocates for our health. We need to pay attention to the blood work tests that are routinely ordered by our over loaded GPs. Most of us don't want to be labled Hypochondriacs but we need to be proactive to avoid the 'OOps, we didnt see that' conversation with our health providers.
    Not to get political but just imagine how much 'BETTER' health care will be if Medicare for all ever becomes reality!
    Be well all
  20. Gofirstclass

    Gofirstclass Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 20, 2010
    Tri Cities, WA
    1995 550 Sedan Bridge,
    2010 Boston Whaler 130 Super Sport,
    1981 Boston Whaler 130 Sport,
    CAT 3406C's, 580hp.
    Thanks a lot for all the prayers, good wishes and other positive feedback. My new motto, if I can borrow it from above is now:

    Throttles forward and don't look back.

    The hardest part of all so far was being able to say the word "cancer". It took me a few days after being diagnosed to be able to actually speak the word.

    The next hardest part is waiting until the 10th for my first chemo treatment. I don't know what the after affects will be, and that's got me a bit anxious, but whatever they are I'm going to get through it. With 6 months of treatments, one every 3 weeks, and if I'm sick for 3 days after each treatment, that means I'll be sick for about a month total time. Hell, I can do that standing on my head.

    Then it's going to be Throttles forward and don't look back.

    mquiet, fr8dog, joeyleggz and 2 others like this.

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