Retirement years can often be declining years. However, I prefer to look at them as the advent of another fulfilling phase of life -- full of creativity, active engagement and challenge. I feel like I've gotten "my second wind". And this is the verbal journey.
Thursday, February 21, 2013
A Cold Water Shock From “The Dreaded Words”
I never expected to hear "the dreaded words" directed at me.I don’t think anyone ever does. Life – especially in retirement – has a way of lulling you
into your particular zone of comfortable existence.
In that genre, days go by, and time passes mostly uneventfully.Reality seems to mimic the feeling of living
in a cocoon-like blur.
Coasting along contentedly in that relaxed haziness, suddenly,
one day, you are confronted with three words that clear the fog instantly and jar you to
your senses like a splash of ice cold water in the face:
“You have cancer.”
Whether I consciously realized it or not, my life was abruptly
an apple cart upset.I had no idea so
many thoughts could go through one’s mind so quickly.
I told my wife the news as soon as I got off the phone with
my doctor.I could hear the words coming
calmly out of my mouth, but I knew I wasn’t processing what I was saying.
My immediate reaction was to look for positive things amidst
the distressing news (that’s just my nature).Let’s see, I quickly remembered, the doc did say it was treatable – and there were no words like
“urgency” or “short time” or “limited options.”
What he also said was that I’d have to have a couple of
important tests, including a bone scan, (utilizing hi-tech equipment similar to
that shown in the photo above) to see if the disease had spread.A biopsy had revealed the sarcoma was centralized
in the prostate gland.
The human male species and prostate cancer are inevitably
intertwined.My doc told me that in the
studies he’s seen regarding autopsies on men over age 90, NONE had ever been
done without finding some degree of malignancy in this strategic male organ.
For a male, it appears to be virtually inevitable.As you age, you WILL get prostate
cancer.Fortunately, the majority of
manifestations occurs later in life, and most are of the “watch and wait”
variety requiring no immediate treatment.Mine, however, needs some therapy.
In future posts I may delve into some of the things one has
to deal with regarding accepting, processing, and dealing with the many
ramifications of what has happened.I’ve
discovered that, for me, just writing about it has somewhat of a cathartic
effect – and perhaps a person or two may even find some resonance in it.
The good news is that with proper care and treatment, I’m
told that my malady should be able to be completely eradicated and that I’m
likely to remain an ageing and somewhat cantankerous old fisherman for quite a
while to come.But for the short term
I’m focused on adapting to treatment and learning to live with cancer.