An interesting post. I guess we are all different in the way we initially react to the news at first and then later, once the concept of having cancer has fully sunk in.
My initial thoughts were entirely negative and I was, for a few days, planning how best I would ease my way out of this world when things got too bad. Then, a strong pragmatic element seem to take over and, with the help of websites like this, I began to learn as much as I could about the enemy. For me, this seemed to be an effective therapy.
From then onwards, and particularly since I had my treatment (HIFU) five weeks ago, I have found myself in the slightly perplexing situation of genuinely finding it difficult to be too concerned. There were a few, fairly brief periods of slight depression during my three months of hormone treatment, which I guess is to be expected, but aside from that I have found it difficult to really get to grips with the fact that I have a disease, which may or may not have been put into remission.
Life goes on pretty much as normal. I feel as though I am in good health now that the side-effects of hormone treatment are finally starting to recede, and although I guess that having PCa is pretty much always in the back of my mind, it doesn't inflict much on day-to-day living. This actually slightly concerns me, because occasionally I wonder how I'm going to react should it be found that my cancer is still active and needs further treatment. I assume that when my first post-treatment PSA test results are due, I shall be feeling somewhat differently than I do now, and no doubt also with subsequent PSA tests as time goes by, but at the moment I feel surprisingly 'serene' about the whole business.
I live alone, and although I have many good friends who have been fantastically supportive, I do wonder whether it is good or not so good being in the position of having close family around who are constantly, with the best of intentions, maybe inadvertently reminding one about the cancer?
With regard to work, I am now retired. Before retiring my job involved some fairly hard schedules flying to different parts of the world, involvement in high-level business meetings, and a certain amount of pressure. I'm not sure how I would have handled all that at the same time as going through the past few months with a cancer diagnosis. I'm very glad I didn't have to!
My doctor (general practitioner) said to me at an early stage in my diagnosis that I should appreciate that my life would never be the same again. He said this not in a negative way but to emphasise the fact, as you have said, that having cancer turns one's life totally upside down, and means that things will probably not be the same for many years, if ever again.
I can truthfully say that in some ways having a cancer diagnosis has been a good thing for me. It has helped me to put things into proportion. My priorities in life, the importance of friendship, and an awareness that there are so many other people in this world who are in a dreadfully worse situation than I am.
I shall be very interested to read comments from other people. I half expect to see the full gamut of emotions and reactions.
Age - 67
PSA – 7.8 ug/L. in February 2009
Gleason – 7 (4+3). T stage – 2b. Prostate size - 52 cc
July 2009 - ADT for 3 months to shrink prostate with a view to Brachytherapy but considering HIFU
September 2009 - prostate reduced in size but flow still to slow to allow brachytherapy. Told that surgery is only option
September 2009 - decided on HIFU. Scheduled for 30th October 2009