This brings me to the end of my journey with regard to these blogs. My journey with prostate cancer will be carried on in one way or another for the rest of my life.
I’m at six months post-surgery now and am fully back on my feet. I wear one light pad a day (over 24 hours) and put a medium pad on when I have physical work to do. I can control leaks when I cough, sneeze or exert myself if I concentrate, and I’ve just begun not wearing any pads at night and when I’m around home during the day. I put a light one on when I go out. I don’t get up at night to pee and life is pretty well back to normal – but it’s still a new normal. I’ll have some incontinence issues to deal with for the rest of my life, as well as erectile dysfunction issues. I don’t care about either of those – I’m alive and feeling well and happy.
I may live a full life and I might not – it’s not really up to me, so I’m fatalistic about it.
The important thing I learned from a man named Lawrence LeMoal, who is in an entirely different situation than I’m in, is to live every day and appreciate everything I have and enjoy my family and friends and those who are important to me. Lawrence’s story is one of sadness and despair, which he has turned into something uplifting and a valuable life lesson to us all. You should read his blog . I’ve read it several times and I think he’s the definition of courage.
It’s pretty easy for me to tell my story about my journey with prostate cancer. All I give up is my privacy in telling you my story. Mine, at this point doesn’t have an end. Lawrence’s, like so many men, does have an end. His courage in talking about his journey is beyond compare and if you’ve been kind enough to follow my blogs I urge you to read Lawrence’s – they will give you a new and improved outlook on your own life and are an inspiration.
Movember is an important month in raising prostate cancer awareness. It’s gathering steam in bringing awareness to the forefront of people’s minds throughout November, but it’s only a part. We need to be aware of men’s health issues all year round, not just in November.
Even groups like Breast Friends have recognized the importance of awareness with prostate cancer. Everyone knows this amazing award-winning group of women from Foam Lake who have done so much for breast cancer. They’ve written a series of cookbooks, the sales of which have raised over a million dollars in support of Breast Cancer research. They’re an inspiration and the sales of their latest cookbook, called “Breast Wishes; For the Men in Our Lives” will go to cancer agencies, be used to buy equipment or pay for research or patient needs.
Men – you need to get tested. Man up and go to your doctor and get that rectal exam. For ten seconds of mild discomfort, you could gain a lifetime of living.
So many men don’t want to talk about prostate cancer, or rectal exams. It’s by talking about it and getting the exams that prostate cancer can be changed from one of the leading causes of cancer death in men that affects 1 in 6 men, to a memory. Early detection is the key to survival – I can attest to that personally; without those rectal exams performed by my doctor for all those years it would never have been caught so early and you might well be reading a series of blogs much like Lawrence’s – only not nearly so eloquent.
There’s a huge debate about the efficacy of PSA tests. In my opinion they’re an additional tool that doctors should use in helping to determine whether there’s a risk or presence of prostate cancer. Combined with regular physical exams and even biopsies and ultrasound if needed, plus new technologies coming on stream, doctors are getting more and more options at their disposal to try and beat this disease.
I hope these past few weeks of blogs have encouraged you, or someone near you to get tested. I’ve learned first hand how precious life is and what’s important and what isn’t.