I guess I was as guilty as many others in taking my health for granted. I had a couple of pills to take daily for what I always thought of as minor irritations, though one had been a major irritation when my blood pressure was so high way back. Towards the end of last year we had rather a lot of personal pressure. Of course the issue was not about us (my wife Gloria and I) but about the illness of her sister; what turned out to be her last illness because we lost her before Christmas.
I was feeling pretty rough and I guess it was the stress of everything (nothing to compare with Gloria’s) but I did go to our GP. She ordered the usual blood tests. It turned our my PSA was higher than a year previously; only slightly raised but enough for my doctor to refer me to a consultant. She said that at my level there was only a one-in-three chance I had prostate cancer.
To tell the truth, there was so much going on in our lives that although I collected my GP’s letter for the consultant before Christmas I did not make the appointment to see him, a urologist, until the end of January. Of course I had a lot of work on in January too, and I was by then feeling a lot better.
When I did finally go, the consultant thought I should have an MRI scan. I went along with this of course, and even when he told me there was “inflammation” of my prostate gland I still thought I might have an infection rather than cancer.
A biopsy was suggested. When Gloria and I went for the result it was a total shock for both of us when I was told I did have cancer. We never think it will happen to us. Gloria and I didn’t take in much of the rest of the consultation. I was feeling numb.
I expect we were told that we were not looking at a complete disaster, but we missed that, being rather stunned. We did recover at the end to hear that we would be scheduled to see several different doctors to hear what options I had in terms of treatment.
There will be a lot more to tell as I bring you up to date.
I may even be lucky. I am feeling much better about myself and my health, but if you are a guy of fifty-plus I think you owe it to yourself to get yourself checked out with a blood test. Then you can make an informed decision as to whether to take further medical advice if your PSA is a bit out-of-line.