Sunday, November 30, 2008

The incredible shrinking man

3.3. What a wonderful number. If I recall correctly, that was my cumulative average in college. However, that is not the reason this number has become of great import to me. It is not the projected size of the household for those getting married in 2008. It is not the length of the average career in the National Football league. What this figure does represent is the results of my latest PSA reading.

When last we left off, I had gotten myself off the table at Dr. Lowe's office, searched for my pants, my pride and my equilibrium and waited for the results of a prostate biopsy. I advised everyone that all turned out well, but that the monitoring would continue. And so it has.

I have included the taking of a pill, supposed to help shrink my prostate, in my daily regimen for most of this year. Yet, despite my following the doctors orders, my readings were like an elevator on a quick ride to the top floor. 2.5 became 4, then jumped and jumped again until my reading reached 12 late this summer. This was one time that a part of me getting bigger was not a positive.

Dr. Lowe and I spent another morning together several months ago. We repeated the process of discussing anything but what was happening in front of him (and behind me). What he saw was, in the end, ok . I was told I was suffering from a prolonged case of prostatitis. However, with the PSA levels rising, doubt in the biopsy results became my constant companion.

About 2 weeks ago, I trudged over to a local lab and again had blood taken to get the latest reading on my PSA. Several days later, Dr. Lowe called and said "3.3". Nothing preceded that statement, nor was it necessary. The how and why this had happened was not what this conversation was about. Dr. Lowe knows I am a 'projector' and wanted to be certain to get my blood pressure down immediately.

Throughout our time in school, we have been taught to strive for the perfect 4.0. I have learned that for me, the number that I want to hear is as close to 0 as possible. I will continue to keep you posted on the success of my downward aspirations.

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