So what the heck is watchful waiting anyway? Well, in medical terms, for someone facing prostate cancer, it can be the standard treatment, given your test results. Hubby Terry received this cancer diagnosis almost 5 years ago, one that roughly 1 in 6 men will receive sometime in their life, not unlike breast cancer statistics for women. Unfortunately, given his age at the time and his Gleason Score, he was not a candidate for watchful waiting, too young and tumor too advanced. A prostatectomy was in order instead and he has been blessed to have a wonderful surgeon. Ever the vigilant one, Terry has done his follow-up tests like clockwork ever since.
Our change in plans came about as a result of a regularly scheduled PSA blood test earlier this year. Although not alarming by any means, the finding did not fall within the ‘normal’ range, which should be negligible once the prostate has been removed. Additional PSA tests done here within the past two weeks have all provided the same conclusion, which could indicate any number of things. Terry received the news from his doctor’s office that a battery of tests was to be the next course of action, to rule out a few things. However, after further analysis and given that the PSA test score has not continued to increase, his doctor notified him yesterday of the decision to forego further tests for 90 days and practice watchful waiting instead. What to make of this? It feels like we are in limbo, as nothing has changed except to move the date out for yet other procedures.
A good lesson to be learned during this watchful waiting is to get back to the present; live for now; and not focus on what may be 90 days down the road. None of us knows the road ahead so why not look at what is around us instead? Given the beauty found in this country, it sounds like a sound plan! Special thanks to everyone who sent warm thoughts and prayers our way.