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:
- Active surveillance
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!