What Cancer Taught Me

Apr 20th, 2009 | By | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Good health was always assumed. In childhood, aside from the normal illnessess that accompany growing up, my health was generally quite good.  Until my third decade there were no surgeries, no significant set backs. In my early 30’s I had my first of three corneal transplants. Beyond that no other major health issues came along,other than a couple of sinus surgeries.

The real shocker came when I was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer, with a Gleason Sale of 9. My PSA, checked with annual and semi annual regularity, shot up from a low of 1.5 to a suspicious high of 4. One well known clinic, in which I was undergoing a thorough annual examination, did not choose to flag this change. It took my general practioner to discover and act on the information. A biopsy followed with a local oncologist and the truth was out.

One of the foremost Oncologists in the Scottsdale area took charge of my case, a radical prostectomy followed and a year and a half later, I am cancer free. The quick action of my primary physician, the biopsy, and determination on the part of the operating oncologist comprised the team which made my case turn out well. My oncologist said, “had we not addressed the situation as we did, I would have been dead in my early 70’s with a horrible death.” I am now 70.

Cancer taught me not to monkey around with any suspicious health indicators. Have a regular check up for all kinds of life threatening possibilites, particularly colon, prostate and others to which you may be susceptible.

Cancer taught me that it is perfectly normal to feel vulnerable following surgery. A life threatening situation, produced out of experiences like cancer, a stroke, heart issues, etc. offer any of us an essential wake up call.

Cancer taught me that it is okay to ask for and rely on help, counsel, support from others.

Cancer taught me how profoundly special and essential it is to have a spouse on which to rely.

Cancer taught me how to be more loving, and to be open to receiving the affection and gifts of caring which come from family and friends. One of the strongest curing balms is love.

Cancer taught me not to be embarrassed. I was and remain mildly incontinent. My stamina level is not what it was and still has not resumed. My sex life has undergone major change. The good news, according to my wife, is that I am alive.

Cancer can be a rigorously fought battle. Fortunately, I did not have to be subjected to chemo or radiation. For those who do, the battle is even more intense. Whatever course of treatment a person pursues, following the counsel of health care professionals, sticking it out with rigorous self discipline and finding means to pump your endorphins with all variety of energizing influences are all essential to vitality. My example isn’t the only one that I know in which friends and family have fought the good fight and prevailed. If you are a candiate or already a recruit in the battle, may your victory over cancer come with haste.

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