Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Prostate cancer is reputedly to be slow growing…….NORMALLY!
From initial PSA check in April 2006 until diagnosis with what now appears to be either T2a or T3a cancer – we’ll find out which when the post RP pathology is available, just 21 months passed. That’s not slow growing!

My advice to anyone with a short doubling time is to “take the bull by the horns” and run with it. YOU need to get on top of this as fast as possible. Nobody, except yourself, is going to push this for you.

You will need to get as much information as possible about your (possible) condition. Remember “Knowledge is power!” …and “Time is Life!”

Armed with knowledge, you should have tests as frequently as possible, I would suggest 3 monthly, and have a DRE every time you visit the Urologist – if he doesn’t do it, then ask! Other tests are also possible, like the PCA-3 test. You need to catch this as early as possible. Waiting for the medical bods to consult each other is like waiting for the plumber to call…You’ll be there a while!!! They will dictate reports to each other, wait on results of tests etc. Every step of the way, there will be a delay of a day or two, at best, and this is all robbing you of time.

You can shave a day or more off every ‘leg’, if you pick up the phone and get a push on everything.

Get all contact info for every person/hospital/clinic you attend; name(s), phone no(s), fax no(s) and email address(es). If one test centre can’t do things quick enough, go to another.
For example, I was asked to go for an MRI and, instead of waiting for Mr. Q to dictate a letter to Mr. L., who in turn would dictate one to me, asking me to contact his clinic to arrange the MRI. I rang around all the local hospitals/clinics doing MRI, and also those in the two nearest cities, asking for the earliest possible MRI. For all in Cork, except one, there was a 3 week waiting list and a 5 day wait in one of the other cities. I got a slot within 3 days, made a tentative appointment, pending referral from my G.P. or Urologist, then both the G.P. and Urologist and had both fax through a referral letter. In doing this I probably saved myself at least a week, if not more.

If you are reading this and have no have critical illness insurance or Life Insurance, then think long and hard before deciding against taking out cover.

Critical Illness normally only covers a relatively small number of illnesses, and even then there are restrictions on what is covered. The chances are that you will never develop one of these illnesses, so paying for CI cover will be a complete waste.

If on the other hand, you do develop one and you have NOT got cover, then, I’m sorry, but you are uninsurable. You will NOT get CI insurance after the event. Neither will you be quoted for Life Insurance. The horse has bolted!

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