18 Months Post Prostate Cancer

Yup, Cancer…no one likes to talk about it and we all think – it’s probably never going to happen to “ME.” Sure enough there is a good chance it will happen to you or someone very close to you. I have been down that road twice now, fingers and toes crossed, all seems to be good.

It is coming up on 2 years for me since I had the unconventional Ablatherm HIFU procedure to take care of my diagnosed Prostate Cancer. I only use the term unconventional because our wonder (not) medical system does not cover this procedure. It cost me just over $20,000.00, out of my pocket, and I probably saved the Canadian taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars by not listening to the bozo Doctor in Barrie. If I had moved forward with his old fashion method of cut you open surgery I would have been in the hospital for 6 days, a few months of recovery and he suggested follow up radiation and or Chemo. Not to mention the drugs that I would have had to take. To make matters worse all that he suggested I might have left to play with after all was said and done was my putter and the remote!

My procedure took place at the Cleveland Clinic downtown Toronto, – Maple Leaf HIFU with Dr. William Orovan and his team. I went to the Cleveland Clinic the afternoon before the procedure for a walk through of what to expect, included with your package is overnight accommodations in a hotel walking distance from the Clinic. I went in the next morning, prepped, procedure took about 2 hours, out that afternoon, remained at a hotel, called the doctor the next morning to advise that everything was as expected and off I went. Other than email communications and follow up PSA results also by email I have not even seen Dr. Orovan since.

So why am I telling you all this?? Because about 1 in 8 men will be diagnosed with Prostate Cancer and it can be deadly and it is one of the leading cancers in males. I have actually been overwhelmed to learn of so many men that I know who have been through this and have come forward to tell me over the past 2 years. If it is not deadly it is life changing, not only for the man but also the woman in in his life. Too many have been left with only a remote to play with! I am not saying that I am like I once was, but can still make things work. Get it? It might be one of the best investments I have made.

Unfortunately what your doctor tells you might not be best for you. They are business people as well. Surgeons want to perform surgeries and more than one has told me “OR time is worth its weight in gold.” (OR – Operating Room)
Should you care to revisit with the initial introduction to Maple Leaf Hifu and my initial prostate cancer diagnosis click this link: The Sound of Science. It may not be you, but if you know someone who is diagnosed do them a favour and at least make them aware of the option.

I know that some of the people that have had the surgical procedures are receiving PSA numbers that surgery might indicate a cleaner procedure. My PSA now has fluctuated in a narrow range between 1 and 2 but since I had not received any kind of warning of something being wrong I just kind of let it ride. Not much I could do anyway…right?

But I did have to ask Dr. Orovan, so I sent him an email and the following is the Coles Notes (remember those) version of his reply:
“I am very encouraged by the lack of any PSA upward velocity at 18 months post Rx. While there is clearly residual prostate tissue present the PSA pattern is not at all suggestive of persistent or recurrent prostate cancer.”

The HIFU procedure -high intensity focused ultrasound – is emitted through a probe and the intense heat (85 degrees Celsius) is targeted at destroying cancer cells. Remaining tissues are almost 100% benign.

There is no perfect answer to this nasty “C” thing! But my goal was to bring awareness to choices. My choice may not satisfy your piece of mind. But then I have always been one to follow my own road…and if you are not going to invest in yourself what would you invest in?

For more information on the Hifu procedure www.hifu.ca