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Coming to terms

User
Posted 27 Nov 2014 at 13:22

Hi all,

I am 73 years old and have always been fit and healthy.

I have recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer and am awaiting the results of biopsy and bone scan tests.

My wife, Eve, died recently from cancer and coming to terms with mourning her while coping with my condition is pretty tough.

I am being given tremendous support from my family and Eve's and  recently attended a local Support Group meeting that made me feel very much part of their community and offered invaluable advice and tips.

Until I know my test results, I cannot plan a future, but am delighted that my families are making our short term plans as inclusive and enjoyable as possible.

Having nursed Eve for almost four years I am very aware of the impact of illness on our wider family, and am concerned about how my future will affect them.

Members of the support group confirmed what I'd read about prostate cancer being often containable and slow acting and that has gone some way to allaying fear and confusion, so I guess I'm initiating this conversation to strengthen that optimistic message.

I have begun researching treatment options and would welcome the thoughts of any member of this community.

Good wishes,

John Hudson.

 

User
Posted 27 Nov 2014 at 19:06

Thank you, Andy, Arthur and Sandra,

What a boost to get such quick sympathetic responses.

I'll keep you posted.

Warm regards,

John.

User
Posted 20 Dec 2014 at 21:03

Thank you for that, Sandra.

Not feeling alone gives me great support.

I'll give you a thought in February - and before - and let you know how it goes.

All the best,

John.

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User
Posted 27 Nov 2014 at 16:13

Hi John welcome to the group ,waiting for results seem to take forever grrrr ,as I found out you need them all to make a decision on treatment post your results when you get them .all the best Andy

User
Posted 27 Nov 2014 at 16:40

Hi John,  I had bone scans, biopsy and MRI and had to wait for the results which was frustrating.  Once you get your results from the specialist you can make decisions regarding moving forward and they will let you know what treatment options are available.  I've found and others on this site have found that the doctors/oncologists are most helpful to their patients.  I can't speak too highly of my oncologist and support people plus the radiotherapists, they were all tremendously supportive and encouraging.  Post here when you have your results.  Best wishes   Arthur    

User
Posted 27 Nov 2014 at 17:15

Hello John and welcome.
My own John was 72 in 2012 when he was first diagnosed and 73 when he had to make a decision regarding treatment.
Waiting around for results is a pain.
In the meantime, you could be downloading (or asking for the hard copies) of this site's "Toolkit".
This is a set of booklets explaining what you have and current treatments.
It helps to have some background information for when you go for the results. You can use the "Toolkit" to base your questions on. Believe me you will likely have plenty.
If possible, take somebody with you on the basis that two pairs of ears are better than one and you may not take all the info in at first.
Good luck and Best Wishes.
Sandra

We can't control the winds - but we can adjust our sails
User
Posted 27 Nov 2014 at 19:06

Thank you, Andy, Arthur and Sandra,

What a boost to get such quick sympathetic responses.

I'll keep you posted.

Warm regards,

John.

User
Posted 28 Nov 2014 at 00:42

Hi John,

It is tremendously hard waiting to know what next but you are right to put on hold any thoughts about what if until you know the results. Please post them as you get to know them as people will comment on the implications. All this after caring for your wife what a difficult few years you have faced. I feel for you but if you can muster some positive thoughts about the future it helps. Many attest here to still being here from dire prognoses so there is plenty of hope. I have bone met spread but come January will have survived three years and I am still working. Welcome to the club no one wants to be a part of but its a helluva supportive one!

User
Posted 28 Nov 2014 at 12:14

Hi John,

For me, personally, the most difficult time was the early stages and kind of getting my head around the situation I found myself in. 

At the start of it all, I greatly feared post-operative incontinence and hey-ho, I'm back at work, almost (I'd say about 95%) dry and using about one, level one (the thin ones), pad a day to catch the odd squirt when I move in certain ways.

A big part of the emotional difficulty of this beastly thing is quite simply the 'fear of the unknown'.  Sometimes - perhaps even quite often - the journey isn't as bad as you might fear it to be at the beginning of it all.

I do agree waiting for results can be agonising.  I had to wait a tad over nine weeks for the histology from my op, and that nearly drove me up the wall.  I felt every single aspect of my whole life, at home, at work, and everywhere else, was "on hold" waiting for this one appointment and what I might be told.  Actually, whilst what I got told wasn't totally great, it wasn't nearly as bad as it might have been.

I fully understand that all the potential fears will be magnified for you due to recently losing your wife, but do try to stay reasonably positive about it all.  Doing so will really help you on this rather challenging journey.

Every Best Wish.

Patrick.

Life is a journey. You can't move forward on a journey AND stay in the same place.
User
Posted 28 Nov 2014 at 12:17

Thank you Yorkhull.

It does help to hear from those of you who have experienced what I'm just starting.

I learned when nursing Eve to look for positives whenever I could - I think I invented them at times - and I know that it helped both of us.

At 73 I've had a good, varied life. I'm blessed with a big, loving family and there are still lots of new experiences ahead, so I find it a little unsettling to be thinking in terms of life spans. But you obviously have taken that on board and that's an inspiration to me.

Thank you again,

Good wishes for a long and fruitful working life,

John

User
Posted 28 Nov 2014 at 12:33

Hi Patrick,

Yes, the unknown and the fact of life being on hold are really difficult to get my head round.

A member of our local Support Group said that 'knowledge is power' and I'm finding that to be true in so many ways. The 'technical' knowledge I'm gathering from learning about drugs, procedures etc, is at once scaring and comforting. And the knowledge that I've entered a huge, optimistic community is very empowering.

Eve always said that she did not want to be defined by her illness and I know I'll embrace that thought just as soon as I get through this little self centred period.

Many thanks for your support and my best wishes for your future.

John.

User
Posted 20 Dec 2014 at 08:21

Hi All,

 

Since last chatting with you I have had a confirmed diagnosis of Gleason grade 7 and a staging of M1a.

The Consultant started me on a course of hormone injections and my next appointment is in February.

I'm taking time to adapt to the implications of my new situation, with terrific help from my family and friends.

I'm truly a member of your inspirational community.

John

User
Posted 20 Dec 2014 at 09:00

Hello John,
belated welcome to our group.

You've had a pretty grim 2014 haven't you.

Here's to 2015 being kinder to you. Good luck with the injections. Many men on here have been down your route and I'm sure one of them will be along sometime soon.

Our next appointment is February too. Fingers crossed.

Best wishes
Sandra

We can't control the winds - but we can adjust our sails
User
Posted 20 Dec 2014 at 21:03

Thank you for that, Sandra.

Not feeling alone gives me great support.

I'll give you a thought in February - and before - and let you know how it goes.

All the best,

John.

User
Posted 29 Dec 2014 at 03:13

Hi John, can you double check that result for us? Did you mean T1a? Or was there a M1 in there somewhere? It seems just like a small letter but the difference is quite significant! Did they explain to you why they were recommending hormone treatment?

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard

 
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