Prostates, Robots and Purgatory!

Prostate Cancer is the most common form of cancer in men in the U.K., and I was diagnosed with it on June 1st earlier this year! Walking away from the consultant’s office my wife said to me “you took that very calmly”! From that day I have done two things …… first I applied every ounce of Buddhist practice and reality I have ever learned, and second I changed a few regular habits …… one of which was to suspend my blogging. This post is by way of an explanation to my followers who must have wondered where I’d gone!

In July and August I had two separate meetings with specialists to discuss options. There were three:

  1. Active surveillance 
  2. Radiotherapy
  3. Surgery
I chose the latter and had a Radical Robotic Prostatectomy on October 10th, in other words prostate removal. Released from hospital next day, followed by two days of hell with pain, tubes, bag changing, pain killers more than I’ve taken in my entire life! But now only a couple of weeks later …… I start to reflect on the whole experience.
My first reflection, and there will be more, is that our National Health Service is absolutely brilliant, second to none, fit for purpose, professional, caring …. Along the way I had meetings with specialist nurses, pre operation briefing and assessment, a meeting to take part in a research trial, and lots of information sent to me. Post operation I had appointments fixed for clip removal, tubes removal, blood tests and first follow up with the surgeon. All done automatically and in sequence. 
Now, I know that a lot of people have had problems with our health service, because we are bombarded with them on the media regularly. But nobody ever reports good stories …… am I alone?
Anyway, as I said earlier, prostate cancer is the most common male cancer in the U.K. and we have decided to support the research efforts of Prostate Cancer UK. If you are inspired or amused by any of my articles across November and would like to make a donation to minimising this most common male cancer then please visit the Prostate Cancer UK donation page. If you don’t live in the U.K. why not find the equivalent organisation in your own country and make a small donation.
As a family we have done this before when our son, Michael, died from cancer at the age of 22 when we raised over £300,000 through a whole range of events mostly with young people. This is a bit different, no events as before, just personal ideas and challenges to raise awareness alongside some cash.
So for now, blogging resumes in our usual eclectic manner.
We hope you will visit your Prostate Cancer organisation page and drop in a coin or two, or maybe do something locally as a challenge. Here’s my first personal challenge “No-Wine November” which for all of those who don’t know me please understand what a hell of a challenge this is, purgatory in fact! I will try to write regular wine articles with a twist of philosophy and art mixed in which I hope you will find entertaining. So, prepare for Salvador Dali, Aristotle, Plato, Francis Bacon ….. and something about some stunning wines I will NOT be drinking from my cellar across November!

Categories: Eclectic

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24 replies

  1. This kind of cancer runs in our family; with differing outcomes … Hopefully, you will be clear and stay clear! Get well soon & take care of yourself


  2. I have always wondered about the NHS- my husband’s cousin in Glasgow went thru something similar, but it was before I knew him. Insurance here in the USA is, of course, a cluster of nonsense, so I’m always interested to see what other countries do. I spent 24 years in the pharmacy world- oh, the stories !!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Our NHS is now creaking, it’s a pure supply vs demand issue that is causing problems exacerbated by poor management and administration. Our population growth through immigration has outstripped the tax taken to fund it, but no government of any persuasion dare tackle it. I was fortunate.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Get well soon! Hope all is good! And this was a very inspiring post! I was wondering if you could checkout my new piece on ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE & JOBS OF THE PAST!And I would really appreciate it if you could comment some feedback to improve the writing style. Looking forward to hearing from you. – Kiran


  4. Dear Brian – I’ve been absent from visiting your blog for way too long. I’m sorry about that, and I’m sorry to read about your cancer. I am inspired by your response to the news, and I’m thankful to read your care has been exceptional. I wish you well.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My husband went through this same thing a few years back and is completely cancer-free. I wish you the same success. You have been missed.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. october 2015 i was diagnosed with prostate cancer and opted for surg. december of this year i will be 4 years clear post surg. though i have some residual functional issues, i dont have cancer and it was all within the prostate. i coworker/friend was not as lucky and chose a different route of treatment and his cancer has spread to is spine and other places and he has had to endure more chemo/radiation treatments.

    my best wishes to you and positive vibes too.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ah, I was just pondering your absence this very morning – and here you are! Bummer about all the health stuff, but it sounds like all is progressing toward a good state. Tough about the no wine, though!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Welcome back! Very sorry to hear the reason for the suspension of blogging but happy to hear you’ve been successfully and well-treated by NHS.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Very sorry to hear that you’ve been ill. Totally agree with you about the NHS – I had a minor surgery earlier this year and the staff were all fantastic. If you’re looking for activities to help you get through wine-free November, I can recommend 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Gerry, not out of the fire yet, but I know I’m in good hands. Thanks for the link too, I did one of their ancestry courses earlier this year so will take a look at this along with others they do. I’d forgotten about them but another programme may help to keep me afloat 👍👍



  1. No Wine November #Chablis! – Buddha walks into a wine bar …
  2. The Wines of Gala: #1 Purple – Buddha walks into a wine bar …
  3. No Wine November: #Savennieres – Buddha walks into a wine bar …
  4. The Wines of Gala: #2 Joy – Buddha walks into a wine bar …
  5. Hope Trumps Despair! – Buddha walks into a wine bar …

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