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Wednesday, April 06, 2005

So I just called Dad (the call made him cry, actually, which is kind of freaky, because he's not much of a crier), and he says the cancer is pretty bad. He says it's spread to his bladder, but he doesn't know what stage it is at or the Gleason score or PSA level (I guess the doctor didn't tell him because clinical details like that would be meaningless to him). But if it's in his bladder, I guess that's stage IV, which is not great. His treatment, hormone injections only, seems to square with the most common treatment option for advanced prostate cancer. I've told him to get a second opinion on treatment options. He's getting his first injection Friday week, as well as an ultrasound. They are trying to avoid removing the entire prostate.

Thank Christ he lives in Australia - everything is going to be practically free of charge because he's a pensioner - the hormone therapy's full cost is $1100, but it's only going to cost him about $12.50.

I couldn't bring myself to ask him if the doctor has given him a probability of survival. I just couldn't ask. How the hell do you ask something like that?

He's going to tell his doctor to release medical information to me at his next visit.
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