Small c: The lab report

My surgeon called with the results of the pathology report on my prostate cancer. “It’s all good news,” he said. The cancer was contained to the prostate and had not spread to the lymph nodes. “As far as I’m concerned,” he said, “you’re cured.”

From the moment of my diagnosis, I knew I was lucky. This is a form of cancer for which it’s possible to say a beautiful sentence such as that, because it is slow-growing and can be contained and taken out. That’s why another doctor told me when he gave me my diagnosis that if you’re going to get cancer, this is the one to get. That doctor caught it early and enabled my surgeon to get it out. Lucky, indeed.

Three months from now, I’ll get a PSA blood test again – the test that discovered my cancer. The hope – no prayer – is that the results will be nil to negligible, for if there are prostate cancer cells elsewhere in the body, they’ll be producing PSA. I’ll keep doing that for the rest of my life.

So far, so good.

: LATER: Here’s Richard Edelman a year after his surgery.

  • Wonderful news! I think I must go and get my PSA done.

  • Mazel tov!

  • Nik

    That’s really great news. Congratulations.

  • Great news! I’ve been doing my PSA and prostrate exam since I was 40. Every male should do it. It is an inconvenient, but necessary precaution.

  • Great news Jeff. I wonder if you saw Richard’s all clear the other day too? Personally I think these sorts of posts do more for awareness and action in terms of screening and prevention than any amount of PSA stuff (not that shold be stopped mind you) so thanks for the reminder too.

    http://www.edelman.com/speak_up/blog/archives/2009/09/a_year_later.html

  • Jeff, that’s awesome news!

  • Congratulations Jeff! That’s great news.

  • Fantastic! I’ve always been confident that you’ll outlive The New York Times.

  • Robin Wolaner

    Jeff, so happy to welcome you to my club: cancer that is non-life-threatening, but life- (and schedule-) changing. My tumor type was called “indolent.” A wondeful adjective. So happy for you.

  • Jeff, I would like to say HURRAY for you. There are so many bloggers with cancer, and it’s always nice to hear GOOD news. I was in a similar situation to you, except mine was bladder cancer, and aside from some ongoing monitoring I am “cured.”

    Congratulations.

  • Congrats, Jeff.

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  • Good news indeed. Congratulations, and I hope you will stay healthy and the “c” is gone for good. Best, and keep on blogging.

  • That’s wonderful news. Best wishes for the future.

  • Wonderful news, Jeff!

  • Congratulations on those results. My grandfather died of prostate cancer in the early ’70s. It’s great to see there have been many advances since then. And, thanks to the Internet, there’s a lot more information about the disease in the public domain. Thanks for sharing your story.

  • What a relief, Jeff. Congrats on the great news.

  • Jon Wardle

    That is top news Jeff…really really pleased.

  • John LaPierre

    Wow… stay lucky!

  • sometimes the good guys win

    mazel tov

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  • Glad to hear you are healthy.

  • Absolutely thrilled for you. Congrats!

  • Result! I love it when a plan comes together. Delighted about your great news.

  • Congratulations, Jeff; that’s great news!

  • Great news, Jeff, and I’ll keep my walnuts crossed for a near-zero PSA score. Though I’m going a different route (HIFU) I’ll hope for a similar outcome!

  • Rob Levine

    Jeff,
    This is teriffic news – congrats.

  • Awesome news. So glad to hear. What’s the age that they recommend getting a PSA test? And I’ll say a prayer of thanks anyway :)

  • GREAT NEWS!

  • thanks for the news : )

  • Whew. Great news Jeff.

  • Heartfelt best wishes.

  • That’s fantastic news, Jeff. I’m really happy to hear it.

  • Isn’t this something that makes you think no matter what life brings, there is always a hope attached to it…I am so happy to hear this great news……Congrats Jeff :))

  • That’s great news, Jeff. Keep well.

  • This is the best news I’ve heard in ages. Very happy for you and yours.

  • John Evans

    Great to hear you will live! You’re the best blogger out there.

    What would an uninsured person pay for this? What would a vet getting VA benefits get in your position?

    British papers write about such surgery being a guaranteed sacrifice of the ability to have sex the rest of one’s life. That might be, at least indirectly, a function of the health care system there. One 52 year old British man commented to a recent article saying that his girlfriend was half his age so (therefore) he’d rather die than have surgery…after getting diagnosed, he’s going for the other options and taking his fate.

    This brand new report from ABC News says that the Davinci machine is not as important as the experience of the doctor using it:

    http://abcnews.go.com/Health/WireStory?id=8816893&page=1

    If I could be convinced to go surgery at all if I ever got cancer (my PSA was just measured at 1.2 over 0.7 which is safe) I would totally refuse to have a doctor operate with the Davinci who hadn’t already had 100+ operations. Period. They have a doctor admitting in the article that he flubbed it many times as part of his “learning curve”.

    I understand your doctor was famous and experienced. That is why I asked how much your operation with the exact same doctor would cost to someone who is uninsured and without your kind of contacts.

    Obviously, your side effects are your business and you’ve been brave enough already in your descriptions. But an 800 pound gorilla leans over this issue like no other surgical procedure.

    • i don’t know what the total cost is but i think it’s north of $25k

  • ron arias

    Mazel tov, Jeff. I sent this note earlier in response to your first Oct. cancer entry, so you may not have read it. Now that I know the happy lab news, I’ll keep it in mind as a mantra. I was the tech-dummy writer down the hall who pestered you with questions about computers at People in the 80s. You were always patient and kind. Now you’ve done a kind thing with your prostate cancer chronicle. I’m having mine out (surgeon, no DaVinci) next Wed. at UCLA, and I’m reading your words as if I’m still listening to your helpful and witty voice. Gracias.
    -Ron