Monday, 14 March 2011
February was a difficult month for us as a family due to my husband being diagnosed with prostate cancer at the age of 47 years old. There were several trips to the hospitals for a biopsy followed by bone scan and an MRI scan and then a trip to see the consultant. There is nothing to prepare you for when you are sat in front of the specialist nurse who breaks the news to you that your husband has Cancer. It is a life changing moment and we were in a dark place for several weeks, both just trying to get through each day on automatic pilot going through every emotion thinkable, the scans thankfully were clear showing it had not spread and is contained. Driving back from the hospital that day was as though we had been given the all clear only to hit us later in the evening that yes it was fantastic news but that he did still have Cancer.
We have always tried not to take things for granted but when something like this comes into the family it makes you realise that you do take simple things for granted. Our future was being threatened by something out of the blue and something we have no control over. It affects so many other people as well, children, family, friends and its a difficult decision whether to tell people because when people hear that "C" word they react in different ways and a lot of it is because we as a nation don't really talk openly about it and we don't really understand there are lots of different types. Garys Consultant said something which really opened my eyes, Cancer is an overgrowth of cells, even a wart is a type but there are ones which are slower growing, some that are more difficult to deal with.
Alot of the fear is from not knowing and not understanding so we have read lots and lots and it isn't quite as scary a topic as we first felt it was. Knowledge dissipates fear to a certain extent. Prostate Cancer is a slow growing Cancer in the main and Gary may have had it for as long as 14 years and without any treatment he would probably live another 10-15 years. With treatment, a radical prosectomy where they remove the whole prostate hopefully its a cure and we have radiotherapy to fall back on at a later date if his PSA levels don't fall after the Operation or it returns at a later date.
We were hoping to get a definate "have the Op and you will be cured" but unfortunately its not like that, its one step at a time so is learning to live a new "normal" where you may wonder if every ache or twinge is it coming back or getting really anxious every few months when they test you PSA level.
7 weeks since being diagnosed and we are coming to terms with it slowly. We all have good and bad days and its only 6 days until Garys Operation. Hes finding it hard to accept that he will be going in as a fit and healthy (in terms of how he is feeling in himself) even to this day he isn't having any major symptoms but will come out needing a good few months recovery with things like catheters and incontinence and other issues which will hopefully just be short term issues but again theres no guarantees.
We both believe that things happen for a reason and that there is positives in there somewhere which we have to grasp however small they may be. It has been a faith testing time amongst other emotions and emotional stuff is always very tiring. This time next week the Operation will be over and he'll be thinking about coming home in a few days time. Thats as far ahead as we can really think at this time, we won't know if the Operation is a success for about 12 weeks when they do the first PSA check which should show a very low reading, 2 weeks after Operation he will be back in for a day as they remove the Catheter and then its a miserable time of hanging around until he needs the toilet to see how much if any control he has of his bladder and then all the follow up appointments start to help gain control again.
It has to be little steps forward and not looking ahead too far at this stage. Learning to live in the "now".
My next blog post will be about what we have learnt about diet when you have Cancer and how important the immune system is and how because of our diets we are compromising it. How important positive thinking and attitude is and how taking a rounded approach on diet, mental health and cutting harmful chemicals out is important in my opinion. I'm just so glad we have cut out harmful chemicals in the home and had started eating healthier some time ago.