When I’m calling you

I alluded to needing to touch base with family members before posting some new information to the blog. I have now done this, and so am free to post this information.

On Tuesday night I heard from my urologist. He had the results of the biopsy from the operation. The results were somewhat alarming. Cancer was found not only in the prostate and one of the lymph nodes, as expected, but in others of them as well. I have a Gleason score of 9, this being about the highest. Gleason, as I understand it, is a composite score denoting how aggressive a cancer is; the higher, the more aggessive. So more treatment is required. When I have another PSA test, the best treatment modality can be determined. The test will be done about mid-December. (Christmas in hospital, anyone?)

I felt quite odd listening to this; detached at first, then, as it sank in, just scared. I had neither anything with which to take notes during the call, nor the presence of mind to request a minute to go and fetch something. So after the call ended, I was thinking ‘Did he really say that?’. That is one take-out for me: next time, I will take notes (as I have during consultations). This is all the more important as Jeremy’s news was pretty sobering, and thus stressful to hear. (My sister’s suggestion, when talking it over with her the next day, was to call Jeremy back and check that I had understood him correctly. This was excellent advice, which I followed, and I had largely understood him correctly.)

When my beloved got home, I told her; we both felt pretty freaked out, and had a drink (second one for me). Talking it over helped eventually to digest the import of the conversation, and work out what it meant for us. One thing that helped was reading someone’s story on YANA. (I read this about 2.00 am when I couldn’t sleep.) This is someone else with Gleason 9 following a radical open prostatectomy. The fact I fastened onto was that he is still around 7.5 years after diagnosis. When you have thought your end was imminent, that seems like a pretty good number! I know he is still around because I emailed him, and he replied the next day.

So where to from here? Obviously, I have to have the treatment required. The other thing is to do everything we can together, and do it now. (This assumes medical clearance, e.g. to travel.) Do I want to know how long that might be? Not particularly. The other thing I did today was to go to a jewellers in Camberwell, and persuade Jill to let me buy her something nice. It took some doing, but the sales lady and I overcame some spirited resistance. I could not get through without her, and I want her to have some token of what she means to me. I think she knows this, but I am learning not to take things for granted.

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