Roach on a kitchen table eating a snack next to a fruit bowl and snack box.

Life In The Kitchen

Back in 2013 when first diagnosed with an aggressive prostate cancer, I panicked and immediately looked at what options were “out there” that would cure any possible cancer. In the back of my mind, there was no question that a second or certainly a third diagnosis was needed to rule out the obviously mistaken finding.

Sadly, the more I looked the more obvious it became that the initial diagnosis was accurate. I had a confirmed Gleason 9 score. Scans also confirmed that it was contained, and every MD urged me to seek out some type of treatment sooner vs later.

Trying to pick a treatment

Given the aggressive nature of the cancer I was offered 2 options: surgery or focused external beam radiation. Naturally, being male, I just needed to understand what other options were possibly available.

In the middle of my desire to find the best treatment options known to man, a buddy who had been diagnosed and treated years earlier sensed my rising frustration and sent me a note.

I do not know who the original author was, nor do I know the original source. That said, if you are looking at treatment options at any of the many crossroads on your prostate cancer journey, the following may offer a few light-hearted moments as you seek out the many medical professionals who offer us some rays of hope.

The kitchen table

Being diagnosed with prostate cancer is like finding a cockroach in the middle of your kitchen table. You panic, knowing if there is one, there are probably more who are unseen and if not treated, they will multiply out of control and invade every room in your house. You decide now is the time to speak with several different types of exterminators.

First - The surgeon offers to use a chain saw and remove the entire kitchen from the rest of the house and repair what is left of your plumbing as best he can.

Second -The external beam radiation exterminator offers to stand outside the kitchen and blast away with a shotgun, hoping he will miss the plumbing.

Third - The seed implant exterminator just wants to drill holes in the walls and toss in a few radioactive grenades.

Fourth - The cryosurgery exterminator also wants to drill holes in the kitchen walls but will pump in liquid nitrogen, hoping he does not freeze your plumbing.

Fifth - The hormone guys want to pump in sleeping gas, knowing that in a couple of years the cockroaches will wake up pissed-off and very hungry.

Sixth - The chemotherapy boys offer to poison everything in the whole house and promise they will give you an antidote which may or may not work.

Some good news?

If there is only the one cockroach in your kitchen, the odds are good and, in your favor, that you can get rid of the infestation. However, if the little bugger laid eggs elsewhere or more of his buddies are lurking and hiding in other places ... you may be in for a long process. In any case, life in your "prostate cancer kitchen" may never be the same.

Hopefully one of these days an exterminator will come along who swats the one cockroach and puts out poison bait for the others! Hopefully you will never know he was there. Until then, good luck on your choice of exterminators, and best wishes for continued low or non-existent PSA levels.

In the end … I chose surgery. Just 5 years later, "the kitchen" was treated with radiation and Lupron. As of today, my PSA remains undetectable.

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