reading your post I really appreciate your honesty. It is hard to know what to do.
I have been having issues for years with my "water works" which I managed by toilet hopping and avoiding drinking on long train journeys. I had the usual symptoms, weak flow, endless need to go and so on. I had regular PSA tests and I even had biopsy about 6 years ago which damn near killed me when I got sepsis. Anyway, after all that time the levels remained on the watchlist until late last year when I had an incident that made me insist on another biopsy.
Actually with hindsight it could be seen as a funny incident. I had been in a meeting at a foreign government agency. All very posh and serious, lots of suits and powerpoint charts and business cards. During the meetings all went well and nothing untoward happened. However as soon as I left the government building I had an immediate and uncontrollable need to pee. There was no way back without spending twenty minutes in security and scanners. There was absolutely nothing I could do, the floodgates were opening and that was that. So I did the only thing possible and popped behind the ornamental shrubs outside the Ministry and let fly. In my haste I didn't quote beat the speed trap and suffice to say the plants got a good hosing as did my suit, shoes and briefcase. After that I had to do the walk of shame across a huge park to the nearest hotel with dark stains on my trousers and head down in shame. I don't think I have ever been so embarrassed in my life.
A month later and after insisting on a scan the new biopsy has been done (under GA this time, nomore torpedo's for me thank you very much) and the results shows up with a Gleason of 6 with all that that means. I discuss the years of problems and options it with my surgeon and agree to have the op. (Robotic). That's it. Decision made. Problem solved.
I had cancer. I knew I had cancer. I know it is serious.
Strangely I didn't tell anyone for a few days. I couldn't. I guess I just wanted to "own it". You may think of it as denial but that is what I did. In some ways it still feels like someone elses' problem?
When I was diagnosed Xmas was coming and then my daughters 18th so I took the decision to only tell my wife and the people who had to know for work. (The wife is completely stoic and just gets on with things so I wasn't expecting a great drama from her and I wasn't disappointed.) Otherwise I said nothing because I didn't want to upset people and ruin the festivities. (I still haven't told my mother. She would just go into panic.) Christmas came and went and so did the party and two weeks later I went into surgery. On the day of the op I still didn't think it was that serious.
I am now 4 weeks post op. The penny is just dropping.
I think it has gone well but I still leak like a collander and whilst the scars are healing I haven't really acknowledged the seriousness of the whole thing, even to myself. In fact I get incredibly annoyed with myself for being weak. Why hasn't the leaking stopped? Why can't I get an erection? Why do I get so tired all the time?
The nurses keep telling me it was major surgery. It just doesn't feel like it. The scars are small and because I didn't make a fuss or tell anyone before I went in it feels like an anti-climax. I don't know if I should be angry or glad: "Where are the flowers and chocolates and weeping fans wishing me well? Should I have had a melt down and changed my life completely? Did I make the right choice? Can I just do that again please. I kind of missed the opportunity last time?"
Above all, I want to get back to normal, but honestly, I am afraid of what normal is. I think the leaking will shame me again and until I can control my bladder I really don't want to leave the house unless I am in a place without any people. But... and this is a big but I am damn well going to have to.
So, that is making me think again about the denial. Maybe I should actually say something. I am sure that people will be supportive and it might even get me to face it myself. I don't think I am scared of having cancer. I am more concerned about what others think. I know it is stupid but that's just how it is for me. Perhaps, deep down I want to make a huge fuss and wail and moan and lash out with anger but right now I would prefer to just go out without the fear of pissing my pants in public.
Up to now partial denial has been a friend. It has stopped me from feeling like a victim and has kept me calm. I hope that your journey towards acceptance that we have had cancer is a good one. Mine has been perplexing but at least I am still travelling.