Diagnosed with ESRD - End Stage Renal Disease in 2010 with 28% kidney function left. In January 2013, it dropped to 5%. Started twice a week Hemodialysis in February. My beautiful and courageous wife, Ninette, came forward willingly to be my donor and we started with the work-up in March. We finally finished everything and got approval 08 July 2013. We had the procedure the 25th of the same month.

Our journey continues...

Sunday, April 28, 2013

What a scare

Image courtesy of emaxhealth.com

I visited Dr. Rody Sy, my cardiologist, last week. He told me to see him 3 weeks after my angioplasty. I’m happy to say that he gave me a clean bill of health from the cardiac standpoint. My next follow up with him is 6-8 weeks. He said if all goes well, he can give me clearance for the KT(kidney transplant). I just need to continue the meds he prescribed so as to make sure the stents in place will not get occluded. As I mentioned, I am on blood thinners, clopidogrel and Aspilet EC. And due to this, we cannot have the KT this early. Again, if all goes well, maybe July. Dr. Sy is such a kind-hearted man. I really appreciate everything that he has done and is doing for me. I wish I can repay his generosity one way or another. Even when I saw him last week, he looked under his desk to give me physician’s sample meds.

Since it could be possible that the KT will be in 3 months, I have to start with the work-ups again. About a month ago, I underwent an abdominal ultrasound and one of the results gave me some cause for concern. It said: Prostrate is enlarged with concretions. This was quite alarming, and I dilly-dallied on having it checked fearing the worse. Usually, men my age start to have enlarged prostrates and some develop cancer. To think that my mom passed on with cancer not 8 months ago. But, what the heck, I’m gonna do it anyway, so why not right now? So I went to NKTI and got inside the door of the first urologist’s clinic I found. 

I showed him my results. After telling me his interpretation of the same, he told me there will be 2 tests that I have to undergo. The first one was done right there at the clinic. He told me to drop my pants, and then gloved his hand. Oh my, a DRE! For those who do not now what DRE is, it’s the acronym for Digital-Rectal Exam. And I’m sure you now know what happened next. 

The other test is the PSA(Prostrate-Specific Antigen) Test. The test measures the blood level of PSA, a protein that is produced by the prostrate gland. The higher one’s PSA level, the more likely he has prostrate cancer. The urologist told me that if the result is normal PSA, then he can give clearance for the KT. So off to the laboratory I go. 

Yesterday before my dialysis session, I went to claim the result. And for a while, I was stunned. The paper I was holding said that the reference range for normal PSA is < 2 ng/mL, and my PSA level was at 2.440 ng/mL. Not knowing what it meant, I just sat there for a few minutes trying to decide how to feel. I texted Ninette(my wife) to ask her to go online to see what it meant. I couldn’t help but think that I, most probably, have prostrate cancer too... That I was not only on the big D but also have the big C. I became panicky and irritable waiting for Ninette’s reply. I also asked her, being a mathematician, if the symbol “ < “ is really the “less than” symbol. I couldn’t think straight. 

Then she replied: “...most doctors consider PSA levels less than 4.0 as normal.”

Whew! What a scare. During my dialysis session, the nephro fellow came and I showed her the result. She said, yes it is slightly elevated but she believes there’s nothing to worry about. It was only then that I started to relax. And after a few minutes, Dr. Celestial(my nephrologist) also came to see me. And I showed him the result as well. He believes my PSA is within normal levels for my age. He even said that the DRE right before blood extraction might have contributed in elevating my PSA. Whew again!

I went online to do some reading when I got home last night. And this table from zerocancer.org is one of the things I found.

Any day this coming week, I’m gonna see that urologist again and get that clearance. Well, I hope he does clear me. Hmmm, I don’t even remember his name. But I will never forget what he did to me.
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