Being one of THOSE PEOPLE!
Today, February 4th, is World Cancer Day. This day aims to dispel stereotypes. Those of us on MFP have taken a serious step towards being healthier through better fitness and nutrition. Still, some sobering facts:
- Cancer now kills more people worldwide than AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined, and more than half of deaths are in developing countries.
- One-third of the most common cancers can be prevented largely through lifestyle changes, such as avoiding tobacco, limiting or eliminating alcohol, eating a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight.
After having my annual physical with my family doctor, my PSA score was elevated. I have shared through my MFP profile that my father died of cancer (Prostate cancer to be completely honest). So, I have been having regular prostate screening exams and blood work since I was in my late 30’s. Some further analysis was done and lastly a biopsy of my prostate was done (that was a pain in the REAR! [Ahhh come on….I gotta keep my sense of humor!!])
In July 2012, I became one of “THOSE PEOPLE”. What’s that you say? Who are “THOSE PEOPLE”?
THOSE PEOPLE are the 12, 549,000 men & women in the USA that have some manner of invasive cancer (data as of 2009 from American Cancer Society). Also, THOSE PEOPLE are the 2,500,000 men that have prostate cancer.
These test results and my inclusion in being one of THOSE PEOPLE was e NOT what I had hoped…but then again…things could have been much worse. This was one of those bad/news-good/news events.
L My biopsy confirmed I have Prostate Cancer. L
J The find/diagnosis was VERY early and treatment is possible without major surgery (Prostatectomy – removal of prostate). J
More bad/news – good/news
L I did have a procedure called radiation seeding. Small radioactive seeds were implanted (another pain in the rear!) Aside from the somewhat embarrassing position in which you have to be in during this procedure, it was NOT really that bad. The perineum is opened and the seeds inserted. For those not up on their anatomy terms, the “perineum” is the skin area between the testicles and anus (Ahhh, now you get the “picture” about the embarrassing position huh?). I have periodic analysis and blood work over the past 6 months.
J OK on to the good news. YEAH! The treatment is painless! My follow-up testing shows the treatment is working AMAZINGLY well! My Gleason scores are MUCH lower (Gleason scores are used to help evaluate the prognosis of men with prostate cancer) Double J J!!!
OK, about this time you might be asking yourself a few questions. Why am I sharing this personal information? Am I seeking sympathy? What does this mean to you? What am I asking from you? Let me answer these one at a time.
Why am I sharing this personal information?
From time to time, we all come to know someone that has cancer. We often struggle with how it affects us, or what we can or should do to support those diagnosed with cancer. We are often challenged as to what to say, what NOT to say, etc. etc. My hope is that by sharing my personal story and offering information as I experience my ordeal, perhaps we can all benefit.
Am I seeking sympathy?
HELL no! Any if any of you that read this treat me any differently, I’ll be disappointed.
What does this mean to you?
Nothing…if you don’t want to understand or deal more effectively with cancer…that’s fine. Just remember this. One in three people will be affected by cancer at some point in their life. So….it is my hope is that you will USE me! Let me be a resource you might turn to for a perspective on how things affect someone with cancer. Simply put….if you have questions…ask? Allow me to use my situation to help both of us.
What am I asking from you?
I’m not sure I fully know the answer to that just yet. I would ask that you remain a friend. Offer me encouragement, but without pandering to this change in my situation. CHALLENGE me to make and keep making fitness and nutritional decisions that support my overall health.
The Doughnut Slayer