Waiting for the test results - excrutiating

Waiting for the test results - excrutiating

With rising psa levels, my urologist recommended a biopsy which I had on Friday. Much more unpleasant than I expected! The wait is excruciating so in the meantime I'm reading everything I can about what to expect should I receive a positive result. What I find surprising is how long it takes to get the results. I know of individuals who have biopsy's (not potential prostate cancer) and know the results within a couple of days or even in the middle of the biopsy. I don't really have a question but thought others would recall what the wait was like and how best to get through it.

33 Replies

  • The wait for me was almost two weeks. Hang in there! Hopefully the results will be negative. However even if it is positive there is hope. Please read up on prostate cancer but do not dwell on it st this time.

  • Waiting for a biopsy, or a MRI result, is stressful and much anxiety. There was no easy way for me to deal with it. You are probably thinking the worse case scenario.. Just think positive.

    G'Luck to you!

  • Excellent advice...thank you!

  • I remembering having to wait for 2 days. It really didn't seem to bother me as much as it bothered my spouse. I think you need to take a fatalist attitude. It is what it is and you can't change it so what does it matter if you have to wait a couple of days

  • I wish the wait was only two days...I was told 7 - 10 days. I'm at least taking the time to do some research so that should the biopsy come back positive I will at least be better educated and prepared to make an informed decision about treatment.

  • Anxiety is self-induced and unhealthy. STOP IT! :)

    Really! Your forthcoming years of PSA monitoring will be a long nightmare if you don't stop obsessing about it. That may also be the source of your biopsy discomfort, as most men hardly even notice them because our bowel can't sense the needle. And any mid-bx result is iffy. In fact, we want to have an outside pathology lab confirm the results anyway for a second opinion before even considering taking any action.

    Fatalistic? I'd say pragmatic.

  • WTF!!! "STOP IT!" That's your F'n advice! This man was just Dx'd, and your "advice" is to "stop obsessing about it". What a douche bag. Did you have a biopsy? If so, I bet you were put under, so you have no idea...how freakin' excruciating the pain is. I wouldn't wish it upon my worst enemy. Your "advice" sucks in my mind.

    Proudly Me, Joe

  • That's my advice, and I'm sticking to it. "Excruciating" anxiety has two primary causes: separate medical issues and self-induced fear. Our particular cancer is a blessing in the sense that it's slow enough that we can wait weeks, months, often even years to take action. It took decades to reach diagnostic proportions; another week means absolutely nothing to prostate cancer. Some men choose to read a PC book during that time, some very healthily simply wait until the bx results to see whether it justifies getting excited, others panic. I strongly suspect there's a very high correlation between that last group and men who find the bx painful. If they are normally high anxiety types, that surely doesn't help, but then that medical issue can be treated separately in many ways.

    Our bowel walls can sense stretching, as with clumsy colonoscopies, but not cutting as with needles or colon biopsies. That knowledge helps many people pretty much ignore prostate biopsies, colonoscopies, stomach endoscopies (EDG), bladder cystoscopies, esophageal dilation, and other such procedures that don't directly set off pain sensing nerves. My wife says I'm a wuss when it comes to pain, yet I take no drugs for any of those because they don't medically cause pain unless the doctor is a klutz.

    I've never noticed any significant anxiety over my initial high-risk diagnosis, the subsequent bx, the second-opinion bx results, my prostatectomy (anesthetized, or course), any of my 50 or so PSA checks, the very aggressive return of my PC a decade later, the discovery of my distant mets (a GOOD thing because it made great decision fodder), my carcinoid colon cancer or its bx or the subsequent removal of half of my colon, the surgical removal of cubic inches of skull so they could remove my life-threatening failed cochlea, the surgery years later to save my other ear, the reconstruction and thousand-plus hours of rehab just three years ago of a destroyed knee I used (and still do) almost daily in heavy duty sports, the detection and bx and removal of my bladder cancer, and more. $#!+ happens, ya deal with it, and ya move on.

    I don't consciously fret about such things for one simple reason: it doesn't help. What does help is doing enough research to make good treatment decisions, getting on with the other aspects of our lives, making those decisions, and acting on them (including active surveillance if appropriate). Anxiety contributes only negatively. If I got overly excited about this crap to the extent that it interfered with my daily life and Just Saying No didn't STOP IT, I'd consult a family doctor or specialist to see if they could provide some relief. Our cancer, per se, is not directly causing the anxiety. That's coming from our brain and endocrine system, not our prostate, and might be independently resolvable. Eat the elephant one bite at a time.

  • thank you for your reassuring words. Having never had any type of illness or surgery this is all new to me so I'm trying to take it in stride to the best of my ability.

  • I think reading a book about it should really help you understand much more about the disease, which in turn should make it much less scary. I'll pick up and handle wild snakes any time because I studied them 60 years ago. Spiders, though, scare the crap out of me because I know nothing about them. I've studied at least 25 PC books, and probably the best one so far is "Winning the Battle Against Prostate Cancer: Get The Treatment That's Right For You" by Gerald Chodak MD, 2013. Walsh and Scardino are also excellent. You won't even need to read very far into them yet, because they get into advanced stages maybe halfway through. I'm just now getting into the advanced chapters in some of my books.

  • You're a crack pot. Remember, you're advising a just Dx'd man. You're eloquence tells me your an educated person, your talking points say otherwise.

  • 1. I was "just-diagnosed" with cancer five times (plus being given 1 to 5 days with a brain stem emboli tentative diagnosis). I perceived no difference among them except that the brain stem issue was more urgent and I was 20 years younger.

    2. Bhastr liked my response. He's the only one in this thread who matters.

    3. You're an angry liberal.

    4. I'd rather be a crackpot.

  • I agree anxiety is a very negative emotion, triggering inflamation. I pretty much agree with all you have said....still.

    I'm past the Biopsy part. Now I'm into the PSA part. That is more anxiety causing than Bx ( to me). It's frustrating that I can exercise, eat well and take the supplements I feel are helpful, but this Anxiety kicks my butt and probably undoes any good I get from the other things I do. Do you really not have any anxiety waiting on hold for the nurse to get your PSA?

  • Nope ... not when first diagnosed, not after my surgery, not as I tracked and plotted dozens of PSA numbers over the next decade, not when it VERY suddenly changed from very reassuring (DT > 30 months) to lethal (DT = 4 months), not when it hit 10, then 20, then 40 ... 52. Anxiety makes things worse, not better; it's one of the main reasons PSA screening is no longer recommended: too many men panic and take unnecessary drastic measures, and too many oncologists (prostate cancer is way past a urologist's purview) are willing to go along with that panic. One of the guys in my local PC group says his urologist is pressuring him to have an RRP or radiation for a measly Gleason 6/3+3! (Many or most oncologists no longer regard that as cancer.) Another man is undergoing 7 weeks of daily radiation despite having three other much more threatening diseases.

    You're in for a long, bumpy ride simply because your prostate is aging and bears watching. That ride will be a lot smoother if you can enlist a separate professional who can treat your anxiety. Whether studying PC will reduce or increase it remains to be seen. Understanding its practical sides has given me a great deal of control over the bastard, and research backs up such empowerment. If nothing else it helps me spot the BS so many doctors spew. Even the sharpest oncologist in the deck can't educate us enough in a couple of hours to make valid decisions with anything this complex and vital to our future. One radiation oncologist who wasn't old enough to buy cigarettes when she finished her MD actually expected me to submit to external beam radiation after a 15-minute consultation. I got as far as the tattoos before wising up via reading and consulting with her mentor. Another oncologist asked me why I refused the radiation, implying that was a bad decision. That made me sit down later and review my decision. It took me just minutes to list 21 medical reasons against it, none for it IN MY CASE.

    That's empowering.

  • Have you called the office? By biopsy was on a Tuesday and I received a call on Friday.

  • I have not but the urologist promised he would call me as soon as he gets the results back. I do plan on calling by Friday (one week since biopsy) if I don't hear back.

  • Best of luck.

  • That's true. I got my results faster than they said. It may be worth a phone call

  • What reading materials (or Internet materials) are you using?

    Thanks --

    . Charles

  • Now that your biopsy is over, quit worrying about it.

    Believe me, there can and will be more important issues for you to take care of. As a 24 year survivor of Prostate Cancer, diagnosed at age 52 (76 now) which included surgery, followed by ED, followed by rising PSA, followed by radiation, more rising PSA, followed by hormone treatment in the form of an Orchiectomy, which stopped the rising PSA, but caused hourly hot flashes for 18 years which were finally stopped by monthly testosterone injections, (which WERE recommended by my Urologist), followed by severe incontinence, followed by a procedure to insert an Artificial Urinary Sphincter which cured the incontinence.

    Throughout that awful l o n g sentence, what I'm trying to say is..., Prostate Cancer IS curable IF YOU TAKE ADVANTAGE OF ALL THE OPTIONS AVAILABLE. The dumbest thing you can do is worry about all the "small stuff" that may be coming and deal with WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE.

    AND, do not listen to all the so-called "experts", whether on this site or in the local coffee shop that think they know everything. Every one of us think we have all the answers, we don't. And by the way, the "Watchful Waiting" IMO, is only for older men. In too many cases it's the "easy way out" that is the wrong way. As a facilitator in our local PC Support group, I have seen more than a few men say..., "if only I would have known then what I know now". Good luck.

  • Thank you for your very helpful feedback and advice. Much appreciated!

  • I am willing to give you feedback any time. I am not a Dr. or expert, but I have 24 years experience dealing with my Prostate Cancer issues and have also heard of and discussed those issues with other members of our group as well as numerous phone conversations. Although none of us wants to ever be diagnosed with a cancer, Prostate cancer CAN be dealt with successfully IF and that's a BIG IF, it's dealt with by qualified doctors. DO NOT ignore it or hope it goes away. Once the cancer is out of the prostate gland (capsule) IT'S A WHOLE DIFFERENT BALLGAME! I can't stress that enough! Good luck.

  • Thank you again! I am interested in your opinion (lay opinion as I recognize you are not a medical professional) of HIFU. There is a practice in Boston (I'm about an hour outside of Boston) that has just started offering this treatment. Information is a bit limited online from I can tell so curious what you think.

  • You're jumping the gun. Like you I read all I could about PCa and when my biopsies came through I was already advanced and incurable; what I had read was essentially useless, so I read some more. I still read 3 years on. Still incurable, still no pain, various treatments so PSA down from 200 to 0.06. Next PSA Valentine's Day. Irony.

    Like me you will get plenty of advice from this forum. You will get better advice from your Oncologist. It pertains to you. I am not knocking this Forum, it's great and some of the insights really have helped me. But remember we can really only tell you what happened or is happening to us as individuals because we're all so different. Soon you'll be offering us your insights and feelings - if your biopsies are positive - and I promise you we'll be reading what you post. Keep smiling, for yourself and your family. Stay positive and let the Oncologist worry, not yourself. David from Twickenham.The home of world rugby. Go England and Brexit. I love Boston by the way.

  • Thank you for your helpful words. I'm relieved to report that I heard back on Friday regarding my biopsy (much quicker than I was led to believe) and no cancer was found. Urologist did say that the biopsy showed prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN) but that it was low grade and currently there is no evidence that it could lead to prostate cancer. I've read a bit and it seems there is no definitive correlation but urologist wants to continue psa tests every six months.

    Thank you everyone for your support...this is exactly what a site like this is for.

  • That is very good news

  • Great news.

  • Absolutely delighted for you and also damned jealous of your negative result that's so positive for you. No, like everyone else I cannot be jealous. I have what I have and it's a challenge for me and family and friends including friends made on this Forum. Best of luck and best wishes.

  • the problem with the biopsy

  • I had to wait a week. It was stressful. I just prayed a lot.

  • Borisbadenough I didn't get your full post. Was it enlightening?

  • It was a request to keep your comments at a non screaming (ADULT) level...that's all. Otherwise your comments are helpful.

  • I'm not a big user of caps myself. But, if someone doesn't quite get it, I try to make a point. Is this the correct thread anyway? I did do a post that was all caps recently, first time I ever did it. Above, you'll find I did cap a few short phrases, just to make a point. Of course I may be wrong, but I'm smart bigly.

    Peace, Joe

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