Saturday, August 13, 2011

So How Am I Doing Now?



So how am I doing now after learning of the potential news that I may be down the road to prostate cancer?  Pretty good actually, which surprises me.  This is new event in my life is just another challenge that I have to meet.  I don't feel the dread that I thought I would feel.  My main worry was what would happen to Bill if I wasn't around anymore.  We had a talk last night and we pretty well resolved that question.  I feel a lot more comfortable now should I go down that road after jumping through all the hoops that await me now because of my high PSA score.

I thought I would have trouble sleeping last night but I didn't.  I slept like I usually do, totally out.  When I wake up in the morning my mouth is dry as dessert sand (I must sleep with my mouth open) and I feel like I have arisen from the dead.  For the past two or three years I've been sleeping these really deep sleeps.  Nothing wakes me up and I mean nothing.

This morning I was going to get up early and take a walk on the boardwalk in Rehoboth Beach.  But I didn't wake up until 7:30, which is too late to go to the beach.  I usually get up at 5 am, wash up, shave and have breakfast and am out of her by 6 am.  I'm usually back here by 7:30 so this morning's walk was out of the question.  Instead Bill and I did our Saturday Morning Thrift Shop Tour.

We usually visit the Beebe Hospital Thrift shop and the Encore Thrift shop during our tour. The Encore Thrift shop is run by a local gay theater group.  Their "junk" has a flare that is right up my alley.  I always find something there.  This morning was no exception.  As I was checking out with Wayne and his spouse Stefan I told them that when I die that ALL OF MY STUFF is willed to their thrift shop.  Wayne said "I'll be gone long before you."  I thought to myself "Don't bet on it Wayne."  But I have left instructions in my will that I just had redone a couple of months ago that anything Bill doesn't want goes to the thrift shop.  Bill was so worried about what he would do with all my "stuff" if I should die before him.  The answer is Encore gets it all.  Of course they will probably have to get new facilities to handle all my stuff because I think I have more now than they have in their whole store.  It's all good junk so I don't think they will mind.

How am I doing mentally now?  Well, if my Mother was still alive I would feel very bad.  She always feared that her children would die before her.  My Aunt Peg has three children, two daughters and a son.  They ALL died of natural causes before she did.  My Aunt Peg died in her nineties a few years after her last daughter died.  She was living with her granddaughter's family and grandson.  My Mother always said "I hope I don't end up like Peg."  


Ron and Sal, two of my longtime good friends have been gone several years now.  My good friend Bob Mc. has dementia and hardly knows what day it is.  If I died tomorrow I doubt if he would remember it the next day.  I have other friends, one of whom (Lar) would probably miss me a great deal (as I would miss him should he die).  We were best friends growing up in Downingtown and after a thirty year intermission during our adult years, we renewed our close friendship after 9/11, in the aftermath of all the corporate downsizing when so many of us middle managers lost our jobs.  And of course Bill.  When I discuss this possibility with him he says not to worry because he "will take care of things."  I don't know quite what to think about this but I don't know what else to do.

My brothers will miss me.  I have many nieces and nephews but I've always been a distant figure to them ("Uncle Ronnie") so I doubt that my passing would be more than a blip on their screen of life.  That's okay.  Life goes on.

So this is how I'm doing now.  I feel a little other worldly, like I'm on the outside looking in.  But I don't feel devastated or panicky like I did when I was carrying two mortgages and couldn't sell my Pennsylvania house and was facing a financial abyss and the loss of everything I worked for my whole life.

Of course I hope all this heavy thinking is an overreaction on my part and when I take my repeat test for PSA levels next Friday it will turn out that everything is normal and I can go back to more important things like complaining about showing up at the Friday Night Dine Out Group and no one else shows up.  You know it's funny how that little episode in my life seems so silly now that I have this new Question in my life.

It's all about perspective isn't it?  Sometimes Fate slaps you in the face to bring you back to what is really important in life.




10 comments:

  1. I have no doubt that the second test will reveal a near normal level sir.

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  2. I am thinking the best thoughts until you get your new results.

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  3. Pumpkin,

    I'm hoping the last test was a fluke. What has be concerned though is that my friend Bob C. Just went through the same thing and he does have prostate cancer. He will soon begin 15 weeks of radiation treatment, five times a day. Talk about something taking over your life. Thank goodness that his cancer hasn't spread.

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  4. 3rdnlong,

    That's what I'm hoping for! I want to be around a long, long time stirring things up.

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  5. Ron,

    Miss you? You better believe it. Don't you even think of cashing out until we get old -- really, really old.

    Survival rates are pretty high for this stuff. Its like 100% if it is local or regional and it sounds if you have it you probably caught it early.

    You are absolutely right about writing about your situation and feelings. Don't suffer in silence. Your speaking about may very well help others as well as be helpful to you. You can see by the comments you have gotten so far there are a lot of people out here supporting you, ready to help you through whatever, good or bad.

    I expect you, me and Stu to be getting together for those little reunions for a lot of years to come.

    Lar

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  6. Lar,

    Oh I'm not suffering in silence. I'm not the Silent Type. You know me, I talk about everything, sometimes to the consternation of my friends, family and co-workers.

    I take my retest next Friday. I'm hoping it comes out normal. But if it doesn't then I'm ready for whatever the next step is. What has me concerned though is my friend Bob C. is going through the same thing now. A couple of months ago he had a high PSA count. Took the test again and it remained high. Then he had a biopsy which confirmed that he had prostate cancer. Then he took a bone scan last week to see if the caner had spread. Fortunately it hasn't. Now he will undergo fifteen weeks of radiation treatment five days a week. He won't be back here at his home in Delaware until November at the earliest. He said that something like this does have a way of taking over your life but it is what it is. You deal with it. I will deal with it. Plus, if gives me another whole new subject to write about in my future blogs! Got to look at the positive side of this development!

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  7. anne marie in philly6:44 PM

    "Plus, if gives me another whole new subject to write about in my future blogs! Got to look at the positive side of this development!"

    and you never know, your writing may help someone else get a test, or give words of encouragement to someone who is sick.

    when I was diagnosed, you should have seen how many women friends and relatives of mine ran off to see their MD. some women had not seen a doctor in 10 years! but my illness sure put the fear into them! lucky for them, no one had any life-threatening illnesses!

    we're here for ya, ron!

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  8. Anne Marie,
    Absolutely, I will write about my whole experience. I am a firm believer in getting regular medical checkups. I lost two male relatives to colon cancer just because they refused to be tested. A very good friend of mine got regular colonoscopies and cancer was found. He had an operation and the cancer returned. He had another operation and is alive today, five years later thus beating the odds. His doctors had only given him a 1 in 4 chance of survival.
    If I do have cancer, I will also write about that. Why not? What's to hide? This is my life. As you said, maybe someone will learn something from my experience like your friends did for your experience.

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  9. I have just found your blog and have been reading your last few posts. You have a very interesting blog.

    I just wanted to say that I hope you get the best possible result.

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  10. Thank you MInd of Mind. New readers are always welcomed. I'm glad you like my blog.

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