Both Paula and myself are very nervous, she has notes and I can barely focus, we are in an exam room. Dr. Jeffrey B. Starling walks in and kida sprawls out on a stool on wheels. He looks at Paula, she is shaking, and says: ” Look at you there with your notes and internet print-outs. You must know more than I, tell me is he going to live or is he going to die.” We are in shock how could someone especially a Doctor giving someone some the worst information they will receive in their life act like that? What an insensitive jerk. He gives us an unreadable copy of my biopsy results and proceeds to read off the results of each core.
Right Apex, demonstrates moderately-differentiated adenocarcinoma, Gleason score 3+3=6, measuring 0.3mm and comprising 1% of the tissue.
Paula asks for clarification. He drones on.
Right Mid, demonstrates moderately to poorly-differentiated adenocarcinoma, Gleason score 3+4=7, measuring 6mm and comprising 30% of the tissue.
Right Base, demonstrates moderately-differentiated adenocarcinoma, Gleason score 3+3=6, measuring 1mm and comprising 4% of the tissue.
And another question, Paula’s voice is breaking up.
Right Lateral Apex, demonstrates moderately to poorly-differentiated adenocarcinoma, Gleason score 3+4=7, measuring 10mm and comprising 100% of the tissue.
I can’t focus, all I see is adenocarcinoma, Carcinoma, CANCER.
Right Lateral Mid, demonstrates moderately to poorly-differentiated adenocarcinoma, Gleason score 3+4=7, measuring 7mm and comprising 80% of the tissue.
I go into a fog
Right Lateral Base, demonstrates moderately-differentiated adenocarcinoma, Gleason score 3+3=6, measuring 4mm and comprising 50% of the tissue.
Dream like I hear Paula clarifying something.
Left Apex, demonstrates small focus of atypical.
I can only think CANCER it is the first time I have seen it on paper. This is real now.
Left Mid, demonstrates benign prostatic glands and stroma.
Left Base, demonstrates benign prostatic glands and stroma.
Left Lateral Apex, demonstrates benign prostatic glands and stroma.
Paula keeps asking questions to verify what our very bad copy of the report said. She was shaking he was curt. I had to ask what my options were and then he very quickly spewed out my options with very little explanation of what they were or what the impact of each was. He scheduled a bone scan and we leave.
I drive directly to Tower to schedule the scan.
The bottom line is that half of my prostate sampled for cancer some at a higher percentage than others. I have a predominate Gleason score of 3+4=7 which means my cancer is moderately aggressive. The tissue is scored on a scale of 1 to 5 in terms of how aggressive it is. The first number in the score is the type of tissue that is most prevalent and the second number is the type of tissue that next most prevalent. You add the two together and you have your score. You can have a Gleason score of 2 to 10.
I have been trying to understand why Starling was so rude and uncaring, the only conclusion is that he was either intimidated that we were actively participating in what most would understand to be the most important decision of ones life. Both Paula and I are researchers and to us the Internet is a wonderful tool. Starling told us no less than three times not to get on the Internet “it will just confuse you”. Well he was wrong it enlightens me to all of my treatment options and ALL of the side effects. Starling was probably also mad that we were requesting that I get a 12 needle biopsy vs. a 6 or 8 needle biopsy. I am sure that he perceived this as his little fiefdom. Sorry buddy it is my body and you are the hired help. Starling was also irritated that we had already scheduled a second opinion with Moffit before the biopsy was even done at his office. My retort to that is plan for the worse hope for the best or too bad so sad. I think the real reason he was so rude was he realized that he could not manipulate Paula or myself. He is after all a surgeon so if he can’t convince me that surgery is the way to go then he doesn’t make the $$$ on my misfortune. As I left that day I saw a couple of Spanish speaking men with their families, a couple of older men, none of who I would think would do the research to find out about this cancer nor do I think they would stand up to him and disagree.
“OK doc you say cut it out then cut is out is fine with me”
Little do these poor men know that they will most likely be impotent than not and most likely have urinary incontinence than not, because of the surgery. I think he is more interested in his bottom line and has very little interest in the quality of my life after his work is done. So he is fired, gone, bye bye.