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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Fringeville #111, August 19 2014

...serves me right.
I said I'd be back soon ...and this time I really was.

I mentioned in my earlier post that I would get my PSA results before I went to Philly to see my doctor. That was the plan and a marvelous, splendiferous plan it was. I'd go to my usual lab, have the blood drawn today, get the results early next week, and take'em with me. And read them ahead of time, of course.

So I schlepped down to my lab today and handed in the sheet for the blood draw.

"We can't do that here," I was told.

Why?

It turns out it is an ultra-sensitive PSA test. Why "ultra-sensitive?" Because, with no prostate, my PSA should theoretically be non-existent or nearly so (less than 0.1 nanograms per milliliter, or the PSA equivalent of a reality TV star's IQ). We're looking for mere smidgens of smidgens of smidgens of PSA here, kids.

And my lab doesn't do the smidgens of smidgens of smidgens of PSA tests.

The nearest labs that did, and which took my insurance, were in Scranton or Hazleton. Scranton is closer as the crow flies, but pure hell as the PennDot flagger's flag flies, so Hazleton it was.

I found the lab and got the blood drawn. I asked if I would be e-mailed a copy ASAP.

Nope. They're gonna snail-mail me a copy.

Oh, Joy!

"When will I get them?"

"After the doctor does. The blood goes from this lab to Philadelphia, and then to California. You'll get the results later."

This meant that from the moment the blood was drawn until next Thursday I will be in the very place I was trying to avoid: THE DARK.

On the upside, at least my blood is seeing America. Happy vacation, corpuscles! Stop in Memphis and have some barbecue. Say hello to the antibodies for me. Miss you guys.

Now my family will be forced to watch me grow ever more manic with each passing day as I dwell on whether the ol' PSA is undetectable or if I will discover I have "biochemical failure." That's a fancy way of saying my prostate cancer has taken up residence somewhere else and is happily churning out PSA ...and multiplying ...in some nook and cranny of my body.

Even though that is highly unlikely so soon after surgery, this will be the torturous game I have to play for a long, long time. Blood draw. Anxiety. Relief. Or "biochemical failure."

So my strategy is this:  I am going to focus on getting shit done. (Sorry for the cuss, but it is the only accurate way to put it.) If it turns out that I am the equivalent of a milk carton with an early expiration date, I will make a helluva lot of milkshakes before this ugly-ass carton goes bad. (Yes, a truly terrible metaphor, but I get a pass on that today. And at least I didn't dangle a damned participle.)

Ciao for now.

Their stomachs growling, the wings cooked. Sorry I couldn't help myself. 

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