This morning we met with my doctor. Dr. Jacques Ganem is well respected as a specialist in prostate cancer. Jeanne took notes as I listened and asked questions. Dr. Ganem has done this numerous times so he knows how to “eat this elephant.” He broke it down for us, starting with a summary of my condition. He went over all of the figures from the biopsy, then told us what they indicate. Basically, I am what he calls a medium-low case. I had twelve core samples taken with only two indicating abnormal cells so I am what he calls, “early with a good prognosis.”
After carefully walking us through every option from “active surveillance” to removing the prostate (there are about four choices) he suggested (based on his experience and what John Hopkins and Mayo seem to be substantiating) that it makes little difference which treatment I select – the success rate is about the same. I asked him straight, I wanted to know, “Which would you choose?” He was clear, it is your choice and you need to do the research but “I would choose the embedded radiation beads.” Based on my “ non-aggressive” condition, we are leaning towards his advice. I wanted to know, “do the beads only manage the cancer or do they eradicate it completely?” His answer: “If they work (which they mostly do) they cure the patient of his cancer.”
This is the best I can summarize fifty minutes of explanation. Basically, we came away feeling this is the best option in respect to recovery time and my active lifestyle. I begin next Monday (January 14) testing to see if I am a suitable candidate for this method. By sometime in mid to late February I will be having the procedure (if I can) with the hope of being back on my feet by mid-March.
If you have any specific concerns or questions that I haven’t addressed, feel free to email me and I’ll try to provide answers to your questions. Of course, I believe in healing, so your prayers are coveted. Prayer makes everything better, so pray for the doctors and pray that I will manage well the various physical challenges associated with the surgery and recovery.
Here’s a personal word: I am absolutely not experiencing any anxiety or concern, and I expect many more years of ministry.