Well tomorrow is the day for the surgery. My secretary asked if I was ready. I paused for a moment to think about it. Work: Management duties dispersed to the other managers…Check…Employees cross trained and know their responsibilities in my absence…Check…Paperwork rerouted properly…Check…Minor repairs around the house done…Check…Arrangements for boarding the pet…Check…Yard service hired…Check…All medical forms completed and turned in…Check…Yep…guess I am ready as ever.
‘No’, my secretary said…’Are YOU ready?’
Sure I promptly replied. But as I sat down behind my desk, I reflected on that statement and suddenly felt like Bud Johnson from the movie Swing Vote that was played by Kevin Costner and thought…’Maybe not’
I have been approaching tomorrow in the same methodical way I have always approached major events in my life. Precision, directed, headstrong with an attitude of Man the torpedoes, full steam ahead. But I had to take pause and actually reflect what was happening to me.
Am I second guessing my treatment choice…no…but there is that…‘What if?’…in the back of my mind still. What if I didn’t do anything and went the Active Surveillance route instead. After all, I don’t feel anything inside me…I feel great as a matter of fact. Do I even need this surgery right now? I have a low PSA, Gleason 6 and my doubling time is only 18 months. I mean at that rate, it would be another 3-4 years before the PSA would be above 10 and that would still be considered low. Now I know there is no way to know if the Gleason grade would remain the same during that period of time. That is what makes this cancer so unpredictable. And believe me, I do know that you stage 3 & 4 guys would love to be in my shoes right now and would not hesitate and without a doubt start a treatment plan.
I have learned that cancer not only wages a biological war, but a psychological war as well. And as with any war, there will be a certain amount of collateral damage. I am prepared as well as anyone with that aspect. But it was the psychological part that I hadn’t prepared for. As with most men here on this forum, preparing and going into battle requires you to leave your emotions aside. We all know the negative impact that the psychological and emotional state has on a battlefield…any battlefield.
So today will remain a reflective day…I will reminisce some and probably play that mental ping-pong in my head over this for most of the day. But I will remain positive as I will probably be one of the lucky ones that will be cured of this disease in the end.
To all…thank you for your encouragement directly and indirectly and I will see you all on the other side.
Age 58 at Diagnosis
July 2008 - Biopsy 4 of 12 Positive 5 - 30% Involved Bilateral (Perineural Invasion present at base)