Print

Biopsy update

Written by David Templeton on .

 The good news: The prostate biopsy is complete.

Whew.

I know it was necessary. I realize the results will be important for my health, whether the results are good or bad. But, still, it was one of the more unpleasant procedures I've had to undergo, despite the kidness and efficiency of Dr. Ronald Benoit and his assistant. They smiled and talked gently and did what they had to do.

The biopsy involves putting a probe up between one's rather personal seat cushions which then gives Dr. Benoit a chance to look at the prostate. Then through the probe he gave me several shots on each side of the prostate gland to numb it. The prostate sits directly below the bladder and must be accessed up the rectum.

OK, I'm blushing.

But with that selfsame probe he then takes six tissue samples from each side of the prostate, which means taking 12 clicks and jolts that are unpleasant. My eyes were watering. I was biting my lower lip. Dr. Benoit said I will have results within a week.

Afterward, I sat up slowly and thought I had my wits about me. But when I went into the bathroom to clean up, I immediately felt faint. I sad down for about five minutes while sweating and feeling week. It was the closest to fainting I'd ever been.. In time, I recovered full sensibilities, got dressed and drove home, where I went to bed for two hours then spent the day lazing around and watching movies will awaiting for the dull pain down below to subside.

It did subside. Today I feel fine. 

But I'm glad it's over.

The prostate biopsy was necessary to qualify me for a kidney transplant. My most recent PSA or prostate-specific antigen test (a protein produced in the prostrate) was high enough to suggest problems, potential prostate cancer, despite the fact my PSA one month early was well within the normal range.

A transplant recipient must be cancer free. The patient must take immunosuppressant drugs to reduce the immune system and protect against organ rejection. But a compromised immune system allows cancer to thrive. So the presence of cancer means no transplant.

Dr. Benoit is confident I do not have prostate cancer, But, as he explained to me, only the biopsy will prove it to the transplant team. If the biopsy is clear, I'm confident of qualifying for the kidney-pancreas transplant. To qualify to date, I've undergone 18 medical tests, plus tons of blood work,  with the prostate biopsy being the most unpleasant. Still, the temporary discomfort was worth it. The results either way could be lifesaving.

So, for now, I await the results with relief that all the testing appears to be done..

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.