• I had postate surgery 47 days ago.My psa is now 0.13. Am I a patient or a survivor? Confused.

    Asked by toml on Tuesday, October 4, 2011

    I had postate surgery 47 days ago.My psa is now 0.13. Am I a patient or a survivor? Confused.

    I'm kinda in limbo. I can't be the same person. Do I pretent I'm cured? I am complete any more. Thinks don't work the same. My emotions are confused, Do I just ignor what has hapened to me?

    4 Answers from the Community

    4 answers
    • MAGNUM1's Avatar

      I woudn't ignore what has happened to you. I once told my doctor, that I was dealing with my cancer better, that I didn't even think about it! She advised me that wasn't the proper response to my situation. That I still needed to be aware of my current medical situation, because it was important to strive for the best health status.

      I had prostate cancer surgery, about 7 years ago. And 8 weeks of daily radiation treatments, a couple of years later.

      At no time has my PSA ever gone to a 0.00 level.

      I am a 7 year survivor, despite always having some PSA level.

      You are a SURVIVOR, in my opinion. You were a patient, during the surgery.

      It takes TIME to determine what your prognosis is, after surgery or radiation treatments.

      It has been 7 years now, since my diagnosis; I still have my PSA level checked every 6 months--and will for the rest of my life.

      Usually this is checked every 3 months, the first couple of years after radiation treatments.

      I would be patient, and let TIME sort out what your status is.
      After my radiation treatments, the doctor advised that the
      tissues are impacted by the treatment, and I would still show positive PSA levels for a period of time.

      TOMI, I do agree that you won't be the same person you were, before the cancer diagnosis. BUT YOU CAN CHOOSE TO

      I live life to its fullest! I do not take life for granted. I enjoy each day, for what it has to offer. I do not feel sorry for myself.

      They say "LIFE IS TOO SHORT" to dwell on insignificant issues.

      I do not know what my own future holds. I have had all available medical procedures for my prostate cancer(surgery and radiation). My cancer was in remission, twice. It is unrelenting.
      It is currently NOT in remission, and no means to stop it, SHORT OF A CURE.

      But I still have one thing--HOPE.

      I served in the US Air Force in Viet Nam, and survived.

      I served as a police officer for 33 years and survived.

      I had a stroke at age 40 and survived.

      I was diagnosed with cancer at age 53! Usual age of diagnosis is 65-70!!!!!!!


      *** TOMI, sorry for this long novel, but I think it is important for you to realize, some of the things that I have experienced.

      You are a SURVIVOR too. Please be patient and let TIME sort out, where your medical condition stands.

      Develop the "survivor attitude" about life, and I think that you will be able to improve your future quality of life.


      over 9 years ago
    • lovekitties' Avatar

      Dear Toml, it is possible to be both. A patient is an individual under medical care and treatment. A survivor is an individual who perserveres despite hardships or trauma. For sure I would classify all of us here who have had a cancer diagnosis as survivors.. None of us will ever be the same as we were before diagnosis, but that doesn't mean we can't live a good life now. As for being cured...well there is no telling...we could be cured for the moment or for the rest of our lives. Don't ignore what has happened to you, but don't let it consume you either. Life after a cancer diagnosis is only as good as you make it. Many of us are not physically the same as pre-cancer, but don't let that keep you from enjoying as much life as you can. It may be that some cancer related counseling might help you to re-establish "you".

      over 9 years ago
    • RobertR_ACS's Avatar

      Hi Tom...

      Your question came across my digest this morning and since I didn't see any follow-up comment from you, I thought I'd weigh in.

      First, I love the comments made by both Magnum and Lovekitties and hope they gave you some good perspective.

      Your feeling in limbo struck me so I took your question around to some of my colleagues here at ACS and asked them about it. From those conversations, I gleaned a couple things.

      First, labels don't always fit a given situation or person. Some folks eschew labels because they feel labeling something limits them. Other's find comfort in the structure of labels so it really is a personal decision and would only suggest that you trust in whichever way feels right for you.

      That said, most everyone I talked to used a description that closely matched that of the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship. To paraphrase, they basically say, Of course your are a Survivor...everyone is considered a cancer survivor from the moment of diagnosis throughout their entire life.

      The CDC tends to agree and even broadens it to include people affected by cancer such as family members, friends, and caregivers.

      I hope this helps; thank you for participating in our new WhatNext community and on behalf of everyone at ACS, please know that our thoughts and well wishes are with you and yours.

      over 9 years ago
    • Indyeastside's Avatar

      Im told by my doctor that I have checked into the roach motel (once in never check outt) So no in inactive treatment, but still a patient.

      Good luck.

      over 9 years ago

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