Greetings, Zach. I think you are absolutely correct. We can't forget the seriousness of what we are facing when diagnosed and the necessity of getting appropriate treatment, but looking at the situation with a sense of humor can go a long way. Let me give you one example from my journey. I serve as the CFO for a large international not for profit. In that role I had a responsibility to inform our board of my diagnosis and the fact that I could be out of the office for several weeks (turned out to be only 3). I chose to give them the facts, but to do it in such a way to try and put them at ease. We have 90 board members so with the board members, many of their spouses and several guests, I was talking to about 200 - 250 people. Our CEO gives his report and then I give a report at each board meeting (6 a year). I told them that I had my physical and my doctor - who is an attractive young woman who looks to be about 15 years old but is probably about 30 - was obviously not going to do a DRE. I told her I needed a good physical and she said I know just what you are talking about so she called her nurse in and I had a woman to do it and another woman to watch.
I then stressed the importance of getting those DREs and said that I had considered asking the 3 doctors we have on our board to set up shop in conference rooms (we were in a large hotel) and we could all form a line! That had them howling. I also reminded the women we have that they had exams they needed to get regularly and encouraged them to do so.
By the time I was finished, they were at ease and it also helped me. I concluded by saying that I fully intended to be at the next board meeting (2 months later) and that they wouldn't even know I had completed surgery or even had cancer because I was going to be fully functioning. I kind of jokingly said, when I see you in 2 months in Dallas I want the best suite in the house to celebrate my full recovery.
When I arrived in Dallas 2 months later and checked into the hotel the lady behind the desk said to me as she handed me the keys, Sir, let me call the bellman to escort you up to our finest suite! They had indeed taken care of me in that regard.
I am convinced that all along the way having a sense of humor has helped me. I don't ever forget the seriousness of my diagnosis, but I choose to deal with it in a way that deflects from that seriousness and focuses on other important areas of my life. I find it much easier to laugh at myself than others and that continues to guide me. David
Diagnosed Dec 2007 during annual routine physical at age 55
PSA doubled from previous year from 1.5 to 3.2
12 biopsies - 2 pos; 2 marginal
Gleason 3+3; upgraded to 4+3 post surgery
RRP 4 Feb 08; both nerves spared
Good pathology - no margins - all encapsulated
Catheter out Feb 13 - pad free Feb 16
PSA every 90 days - ZERO's everytime!
Great wife and family who take very good care of me