In a crisis I am generally good. In my life I have had to deal with some big issues. I seem to quickly go into carer mode and compartmentalize my feelings. My priority is often to think and consider others, particularly my family, and consider their thoughts and feelings above my own. I go into a kind of overdrive to place my own thoughts and feelings to one side and consider how do I deal with this, who do I tell, and how do I tell them. Receiving this big news of the cancer diagnosis I got the sage advice and support from my boss, my manager, and my work colleague. I came home and told my wife. We then just sat with that information for the afternoon. And after some time I started, like a librarian, to do my research.
I quickly found the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA) website and off that website the PCFA Online community by spending time here I found a local support group http://www.essendonpcsg.org/ Amongst the literature were some excellent booklets produced by the PCFA about diagnosis, treatment, side effects, and well being. Within the diagnosis booklet it outlined suggested questions to take to your urologist for your first appointment.
I went to work the next day and took the next day off with my appointment mid-morning. With my questions and pen poised I learnt to digest some of the language of cancer. I had stage 2 cancer. Out of 4 stages this was deemed intermediate. I had a Gleason score of 7. The recommended treatment was prosectomy with a better recovery and prognosis than if I undertook radiotherapy. The cancer in the urologist’s opinion was already too advanced to consider brachytherapy. The realities of side effects were gone through in detail such as impotence, incontinence, rectal injury, and urine leaks. We agreed to book in for surgery for the 22nd of February. There had to be time to allow things to heal post the invasive biopsy. Additionally, before the surgery I had to book in and have a CT scan to assess if there had been any cancer spread beyond the prostate. The pre-Christmas MRI scan had demonstrated no prostate enlargement, so this was a good sign and contributed to the decision to go with surgery. The prospects were good from the point of view of my age, my fitness and having found this cancer early.