After reading your last post to Bluebird and me, it suddenly struck me that your journey with PC has come full circle in the wide range of emotions that you have expressed in your many postings. When I read your first post I immediately thought that "this man needs help" and my compassion wanted to help you. As time went on I wondered if you complained too much and whether I should ignore you. However, I could not stray from your passioned pleas to come to your rescue after reading your postings.
Today, I started to put myself in your place and wondered how I would have reacted at hearing at 48 years old that I had prostate cancer. I might not have acted the same way I have acted at 68 years old (i.e., positive, strong, proactive feeling the need to help other PC patients and diverting my attention from myself). Prostate cancer has the ability to steal a man's dignity through incontinence and to steal his manhood through impotence. While this might not happen, the threat of it happening, especially to a much younger man must be overwhelming. I think I can now more fully understand what you have been going through after reading your last posting.
We are shocked when we receive our diagnosis of PC and become overwhelmed when we soon realize that there is so much to learn about PC, including the many confusing treatment choices with different adverse side effects; then finally having to make one of the most important decisions of our life--choosing a treatment and sometimes wondering if you made the right decision. Outside of this website, I don't think that we get all of the understanding and empathy we deserve. Even close members of one's family cannot fully understand the challenges and deep emotions that men face with prostate cancer. Because PC is slow growing for the most part and, if caught early, it has an excellent chance of being cured. Therefore, I think many people tend to play down prostate cancer and minimize the side effects that treatment force upon us.
Perhaps the pouring out of your emotions after you found this website is something that many of deny ourselves, suppress or refuse to talk about. I think you have done for us what maybe we should do for ourselves--to let out all of the raw emotions that take over our lives from the moment we get the diagnosis until treatment and beyond. Men are conditioned to be strong since birth and we don't like to show our emotions in front of others, especially other men. At times, I think I am in denial of my prostate cancer and feel that I am just going through the motions of what I have to do (i.e., treatment knowing that I have no other choice). I never in my life thought I would be faced with cancer. I don't know why I have been unable to feel any strong emotions so far. Maybe I am just glad to be alive and have faith that my treatment will take away my cancer. Hope and faith are so important in life when we face adversity.
I know if I had decided to have surgery that I too would have been scared and the count down to the day of surgery would have been agonizing. Alex, I think that I understand you better now and more fully appreciate the deep emotions you have gone through for the past few months. I hope that those who have followed your journey have offered you some solace and comfort at a time in your life when it was needed most. I will be thinking about you on Monday. I hope and pray that all goes well for you during surgery and recovery thereafter.
68, Biopsy 9/27/06, Stage T1c, PSA 7.1, Gleason 6 [less than 5% in two areas], Gleason 7 (3+4) [less than 20% in third area], negative DRE, bone scan and MRI. Starting proton radiation therapy 2/22/07.
Post Edited (pcdave) : 4/4/2007 5:20:21 PM (GMT-6)