When you find out that you have prostate cancer, pretty soon, most of the petty crap that has taken up too much of your time anyway, falls away, and the mind becomes wonderfully focused on the more important parts of life.
For PC, as I have learned from my internet resources to call it, there are two main issues: the treatment, and the aftermath.
Treatment, at least for me, involves three approaches. One: surgery. Two: radiation. Three: nothing.
Aftermath involves, except for number three, unpleasant effects like sexual disfunction, bladder control and probably other unmanly things.
I’ve also learned that in my risk group, the odds of not surviving the first ten years after diagnosis are 1%. Or, put better, 99% in favor of still being alive.
So, before I choose and undergo a treatment with unpleasant after effects, I’ll be sure that I need that treatment.
I am coming to understand that my main focus is on my quality of life. It’s not just a matter of survival. None of us is going to survive life; that’s why it is a journey with a beginning and an end. What matters, I believe, is the kind of life you have. Or as Tolkien wrote:
Frodo: “I wish none of this had happened.”
Gandalf: “So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”
My beautiful and smart daughter happens to be working in a health care field. After I told her about my PC, she quickly volunteered to help me with coordination of my care and to keep me connected to resources that will be very helpful. Right away she got me linked to the Prostate Cancer Institute, a most valuable resource. I will be making personal contact with one of their people on Monday. She stepped right up and is giving me the support and love that I need to get through this.
My lovely wife, partner and friend of over thirty years is right in there with our daughter, giving me the support I need, even when I don’t think I need it. I couldn’t do this without her.
Our son is also a big support to me. He is strong and supportive and will be here when I need him. He’s living far away but that’s in distance only. We are close and I feel his love and support across the miles.
Family. Where would I be without mine?