For the past eight months I have suffered from metastatic prostate cancer. For three months after my initial diagnosis, while awaiting further investigative test results, I received no treatment. This had a significant impact on my mental state (sleep disruption, panic attacks, stress, and depression). Since my diagnosis, I have undergone several procedures, including rectal examinations, biopsies, MRI scans, ultrasound scans, colonoscopy, endoscopy, radical prostatectomy, regular blood and urine tests, and 30 daily blood thinning injections.
For two years I have supported a friend and cancer victim through his illness, from diagnosis to death. He was a beautiful young man (32 years old) with his whole life ahead of him. We helped each other as much as we could. He gave me some valuable advice based upon his own experiences.
I live with the specter of cancer. There isn’t a day or an hour when I am not reminded of this. Based upon my current medical profile, there is a 60 to 85 percent chance that my cancer will reoccur, most likely in my bones or lungs.
It is impossible to explain how it feels, as it changes all of the time, but it is like being locked in a never-ending game of Russian roulette. My next big checkpoint is in October. I realize that my life now will be a series of checkpoints.
At its worst, this situation affects my sleep, my work, my play, my family, and my friends. It affects everything.
At best, I can almost ignore my cancer and appreciate what I have. I am grateful as I have much. I have felt (and feel) afraid, ashamed, guilty, strong, weak, happy, sad, grateful, frustrated, optimistic, angry, depressed, selfish, stupid, brave, and ecstatic.
Above all I believe I am lucky. I know this. It can be much worse. I am not complaining. I have so much to be thankful for.
I love my family.
I love my friends.
I love my job.
I love myself and I love life.