Day 2,823 – Surprised

I was more than pleasantly surprised this morning when I learned that my PSA remained the same! It came back at 0.11 ng/ml, the same that it was in April.

PSA 20180801 plain


I learned the news from my primary care physician this morning when I was in to have something else checked out. In fact, I was so surprised by the result that I had to ask him twice to confirm that it was the 1 August reading and not the April reading.

I did ask him for his take on the reading, my history, and what he thought I should do next. He agreed that there are too many differing opinions and recommendations making it frustrating for patients. “Go with your gut,” was the best advice he could muster up.  Gee, thanks.

Of course, the stalled PSA growth (one data point does not make a trend), makes me inclined to kick the decision can another four months down the road—another four months without the side effects of radiation therapy. However, when I meet with the urologist on 19 August to go over the results, I’ll focus the conversation on the long term side effects of salvage radiation therapy because I don’t want to rule that completely out yet, either.

I may even email the radiation oncologist the results to get his take on them. Would he still want to zap me now (probably yes), or would he be more inclined to wait a while longer?

Regardless, I’m going to enjoy the results for now and think about decisions after the visit on the 19th.




10 thoughts on “Day 2,823 – Surprised

    1. Hi Charles,

      Thanks for the comment. I’m of the same mindset at the moment, and we’ll see what the urologist and radiation oncologist say.

      We’ve been on a four month test cycle, so my next test would be in December. I don’t know that there’s a need to increase the frequency to testing every 2-3 months, but it may be worth asking.



  1. Dan. Good to connect. You are well ahead of me on the journey. I’m sad to hear that the incontinence never goes away. I’m also a long way off having any sexual feeling.
    And glad your PSA isn’t rising. Keep monitoring it. At what level do you reckon you would go with radiation treatment? Paul


    1. Hi Paul,

      Thanks for your comment and for following along. The incontinence thing for me is a minor nuisance more than anything else. I generally go without pads and can do just fine. If I know I’m going to be more physically active (lifting in particular), I’ll stick a pad in for insurance. Be patient with your recovery—it took the better part of six months post-surgery for me to get it under control. As long as there was improvement, no matter how small, I was pleased.

      Regarding the trigger PSA level for opting for salvage radiation is concerned, I don’t know for sure. One of the urologists I spoke with a while back said if it got to the 0.15-0.18 range, that would be a time to act. I certainly would factor in how rapidly (or, thankfully, slowly) it’s increasing, too. Charting my PSA increases, I may not hit 0.15 until August 2019 and 0.18 until August 2020.

      In that time, perhaps the accuracy of some of the newer imaging techniques will have improved to the point where it MIGHT be able to reliably pick up the cancer’s location at those PSA levels.

      I wish you well with your recovery.



      1. Hi Paul,

        Thanks. I’m using the “Lovecraft” theme for my blog.

        As far as the buttons at the bottom of each page or post, go to the navigation menu on the left and click on “Sharing.”

        Go to the “Sharing Buttons” tab and select the different style of buttons (icon only, icon + text, etc.) and on what content (page, post, etc.) that you want them to appear on.

        I hope that helps.



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