Today I found out I have Prostate Cancer
Not the best day ever
At sixty-six years of age, I never thought I would get cancer. I just felt that I was not the type of person that cancer struck, and besides I had enough heart disease that I figured that would be my killer. But…
Since today is the first day I have known I have prostate cancer it is hard to say much other than repeat what I have been told. It is a Gleason 3+4=7 and only prostate cancer victims and doctors have any idea what that means. Apparently, that is intermediate cancer and treatable. Also, I am told that prostate cancer is one of the most treatable forms of cancer. I believe that. And not just because I want to believe it.
So, what is the damage here, what is the hardest part for me? Other than my desire to be here for my wife and children, not so much. I mean I have lived a good life. I loved and have been loved, well. My biggest fear of death is physical suffering and I doubt I will suffer with modern medical care. I hope not. So, all in all, I am kind of ok with the whole thing.
That and the fact that I am not going to die from prostate cancer. Very improbable when you look at the thing objectively. But I will die. So why am I really pulling myself away from some righteous mind-numbing meaningless thing to write this?
Well, because I am scared. Because I do not want my wife or children to be frightened or concerned. Because I have spent my life suffering solely from what my mind does and rarely if ever from what has happened in my life. I like to write about these things.
So, I am letting myself accept this is a problem, but I am not letting my fears make it insolvable because it is solvable. This is a treatable cancer. The highest probability is that I will have surgery to remove the cancer and that will be that.
But it could come back. I could be a person that produces cancer easily, there could be some immune function that is compromised and cause cancer in other parts of my body, even if the prostate cancer does not spread. This scares me.
But should it frighten me any more than it did prior to getting diagnosed with prostate cancer? Maybe. But I am quite healthy and that scenario is unlikely, like being hit by a car or crashing in an airplane. I could fear for any of these things and I would be justified. People do die in cars and airplanes.
My choice is to honor what is real and choose how my mind deals with the unknown. We know I have treatable cancer and that I have the money and resources, and live in one of the best places to get the best treatment. We know that this form of cancer is highly treatable and rarely fatal. That is what we know.
The fears that come up are caused by my mind interpreting and projecting things about the unknown. Now is an even better time than prior to my diagnosis to keep that from happening. I did not let my mind dwell on airplane or auto crashes (or cancer) prior to the diagnosis and there is nothing about the facts we now have that justifies doing so now. So I won’t.
But I do. But only a little, and I am getting better and better by the minute. I imagine that unless I find out there are new facts, I will adjust to the diagnosis and move on with doing what needs to be done. I pray my wife and children will too.