I thought my husband was too young for prostate cancer – “Especially at age 49”

I never imagined that my husband would be diagnosed with prostate cancer at the young age of 49. But when we found out that his PSA was 13 ng/mL, and that he was scheduled for a biopsy, I began to think that maybe prostate cancer wasn’t just an “older man’s disease.”

Once the diagnosis was confirmed, a thousand thoughts ran through my mind: Would my husband die? Would he be incontinent after surgery? Would we never be able to make love again? (Praise God, the answer was no to all three.)

Because of his age, we decided on a radical prostatectomy. I won’t tell you that it was easy. But we were grateful when the surgeon said he got all the cancer, and was able to preserve both nerve bundles.

A few years later, we got a call from the urologist that everyone fears. My husband’s annual PSA test was 0.3 ng/mL. The test was repeated with the same result, which meant there was cancer somewhere in his body. Metastasis became a dreaded word in our house. After several tense weeks of further tests, the doctors felt that there was only a small amount of slow-growing cancer in the area where the prostate gland had been. It was now the radiation oncologist’s turn to “clean things up.”

First, my husband had six months of hormone shots (hot flashes have been added to our list of shared life experiences), followed by eight weeks of radiation five days a week. Though he was tired at the end, he pretty much sailed through radiation without any major complications.

Today we live one day at a time and celebrate every small success. Like the fact that my husband’s 22-month follow-up PSA test was <0.01 ng/mL — undetectable.

Submitted by a grateful wife from New Jersey, 9/08

4/7/09 update: PSA still undetectable!
, 8/11/09 update: PSA still undetectable!
, 10/24/09 update: PSA still undetectable!
, 6/4/10 update: PSA still undetectable!
, 9/30/10 update: PSA still undetectable!
, 5/16/11 update: PSA still undetectable!
, 8/1/12 update: PSA still undetectable and now cancer free for 5 glorious years! Major milestone!!, 7/31/13 update: PSA still undetectable! 8/21/14 update: PSA detectable (0.01), no treatment needed; 11/21/14 update: PSA still 0.01; 11/4/15 update: PSA still 0.01.

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