October 13, 2008

The 504th hour

As we sit in the treatment room this morning, I thought I'd provide a peek into what it is we go through.

This, without exception, is the worst part of the cancer treatment process, in my mind.
It is not all the days and nights of little sleep, filled with stress and worry.
It's not the scans, x-rays, poking and prodding.

By far the worst part of the treatment process is the 60 minutes (approximately) between the time my blood is drawn and the moment when we are given my PSA number. Perhaps it's the build up, day after day, week after week, waiting, worrying, anticipating, and questioning, "Did the treatment have an impact this time?".

Tick, tick, tick…..is the clock even moving? Where are the results? Can I read the look on the doctor's face when he comes in the room? So, this is what we go through every three weeks (504 hours). Very little conversation, but the stress in the room could be cut with a very dull butter knife.

Did I mention, the nurse dropped off my test results a minute ago?
PSA: 34.47
That's down from 39.57 three weeks ago!!!!

If you are curious, Mary wins the bet this month.
Even better news, only 502 hours until we have to start this process all over again!
Peace be with you all, enjoy the next 501.75 hours….

6 comments:

Aimee said...

Yep that waiting is no fun, none at all. But, "ain't it sweet" when the number comes in lower than the last? :)
Congratulations! Fight on!

Anonymous said...

David, have to agree with you on waiting for the test results - we have all been there (although have also been told not to rely solely on PSA as an indicator). Another PSA drop is sure great news though! Celebrate!

My Prostate's in a Mason Jar by the Door said...

I remember when I had to wait a full week for the lab report on my prostate biopsy. That was 7 days that were pretty lousy. And then they say it is "positive". Shouldn't a positive report be one with NO cancer cells?

You are right. As a concentrated time period, that 1 hour of waiting to get your PSA number is filled with tension.

Anonymous said...

David,
First I am so happy to hear it is going down again!
My local lab takes a few days to get results and I always want to make sure I get it before a weekend,
If it is good news I have 28 days reprieve .And I do not want to waste that worrying.
Mine has been inching up lately ,starting to feel the ribs again , I am right behind You brother
know that You are in My Prayers
Dan J

Anonymous said...

David,

What great news!

I'd say a 13% decrease is statistically significant. May it be a data point in the next leg down of the trend we all pray for.

Peace be with you.

Jeff

Anonymous said...

Great News! I have deep empathy for what you go through waiting for the results. I can only imagine how difficult and stressful it is on you and your family. I pray that you continue to get good results. You are a strong man much stronger than you probaly ever imagined. You have risen above your condition and turned your situation into a tool to help others. You are absolutely chosen by God to carry this cross and He has to be proud of the way you carry it. You made so much good come from something bad. The world needs more David Emersons. God Bless you and yours.