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Monday, 28 November 2011

Radical solution


It's been a couple of months since I was diagnosed with prostrate cancer, not the sort of news you want to hear when you've got plans for a big adventure. I was given the choice of three different treatments, which were, something called watchful waiting, which involved doing nothing except monitoring some stuff called my PSA levels in my blood. This would involve nothing more that having blood tests on a regular six monthly basis. Second was radio therapy, which would mean an 8 or ten week series of 10 minute blasts of radiation treatment. This was a painless procedure that would probably zap the little bugger, and then they would monitor me for the next 15 years or so to keep a check that it didn't return. The only down side to this was that if it returned I wouldn't be able to have an operation to take it out. Not sure why, but the radio therapy would probably work and get rid. The last, and more radical solution was to have what they now call a procedure, and have the whole prostrate removed. Radical prostectomy can leave you impotent and in the aftermath of the op leave with a catheter and wearing pads to catch the leaks, like having my own mini bilge pump. But the good news is that this situation would only last about six weeks. Afterwards the cancer would be gone, and so that's the one I decided to go for.
So a couple of days ago I took a two hour drive with the skipper to meet with the man who was to do what they now call the procedure. At the Royal Preston Hospital I met the surgeon who explained everything in a reassuringly nonchalant way, and reckoned I would only be in for about 48 hours. It will be done with whats known as key hole surgery which is less intrusive than the old method. He tells me that I will have the op. inside of 31 days which makes it before the end of this month.
Then I'll be out of action for about 8 to 10 weeks, which I'm of course not looking forward to, I'm not into pain, who is, but he tells me that after going through this I will be cured of the cancer, which has not spread anywhere else.
That is all I want because we've got this plan that's been burning brightly for almost three years and we aim to start next spring. By that time I expect to be up and running and ready to set sail. And this way means I don't have to keep having tests, worrying about this thing and can be free to enjoy the rest of my life on the ocean waves following this crazy dream. It's a bit of a radical solution but to have peace of mind instead of uncertainty seems worth the anguish and pain that I'm expecting to go through, though hopefully it won't be as bad as I'm anticipating.