Thanks to everyone who responded and thanks to the moderator who added a subject line: "Pavel's Journey."
I'll add to this thread each day as I approach the surgery and hopefully will be able to help others and help myself at the same time. We had a count down system in the Navy as we approached something big. When you woke up the day before something big, all you had left was a "wake up" to go. So by this system, with surgery at 7:30 AM on Thursday, April 24, I have ten days and a wake up to go right now.
Today my wife and I discussed the stages of grief first defined by Kubler-Ross. I started thinking about
this from a political article of all things I read this morning that talked about
those stages. They are:
I feel that I have been through the first four and, as of yesterday, am moving into the acceptance zone. This is fortunate, because I would rather not be depressed in ten days and a wake up when I go in for the procedure. In fact, I'd rather start now to get ready with great energy and enthusiasm and begin thinking about
the future. The signal to me that I was moving into "acceptance" was when I joined this forum and committed to sharing my story with others (and possibly responding to others' questions if I think I can add something of value). I have a lot of things going for me, even though it goes without saying that PC stinks. I'm grateful for what I have, given the situation. First, I have a strong faith and a loving family and friends. Second, I have great medical care available to me and there is a cure available. Finally, I have good health insurance, which I haven't always had. If I didn't have any one of those three, I'd feel like I was up the creek without a paddle.
My wife feels she is simultaneously in all five stages right now, with fear as the common denominator. She feels highly stressed. This is not surprising since she quit smoking after 43 years last August, just after my diagnosis and just before my hip surgery. But she's hung in there, which is a miracle.
In the coming days before surgery, I'll backtrack and explain how we got from diagnosis last June to where we are today.
Diagnosed: 6/14/07 at age 55
6/7/07; #1-1 core on right side, less than 5%, Gleason 3 + 4 = 7
1/23/08; #2-2 cores both on right side, both less than 5%, Gleason 3 + 3 = 6