A Prostate Diary – Chapter 4

February 10
Back inside another buzzing coffin. This time it rejoices under the name of a Computerized Axial Tomography (CAT) and I am required to take a radioactive drink. I wonder if it will make my penis glow tonight which will help me find it at three in the morning as, unlike my cancer*, it is seemingly shrivelling day by day.

  • Memo to self: forthwith this is not a cancer but a ‘Lurking Lump’ (LL)

Nigel Fuggwit should come for examination here: the entire radiography team are attractive, dark-haired ladies who laugh and smile and are all from Portugal.

Question: Who the hell needs European immigrant staff?
Answer: We all do…

February 25
At precisely 14:30 the phone rings. I can time it exactly as I am just about to settle into my dentist’s chair where she is about to sort a raging tooth-ache. So she hears the calm tones of L* telling me that there has been a multi-disciplinary review of my scan and they can confirm that the LL is confined merely to my prostate.

Round One: ahead on points, but ding! ding! Seconds Out.

Round Two: Fast and furious start as L* asks if I can go and collect some medication that afternoon but I explain the situation and we agree that Monday morning will be fine. She explains the nature of my immediate treatment will be hormone tablets which are designed to reduce the amount of testosterone in my body. Apparently testosterone not only makes us males male but it also fuels the cancer, sorry Lurking Lump(LL), and its reduction will halt the growth of the LL. I will take the tablets for two weeks at which point I will have the first of a series of 3 monthly hormone injections which will probably extend over a two-year period.

Modern phones are loud so my dentist, T hears the whole conversation. She is a lovely Finnish lady – another immigrant European so just wish that Nigel Fuggwit could replace me right now whilst I make off with the anesthetic. I call her ‘Terrifying T*” because I hate dentistry, but today she simply smiles at me and gives me big hug.

And fixes my toothache. Hurrah!

Tonight my wife is really quite upset and I realise that whilst I can occupy myself with the physical aspects of my condition and, in Churchill’s words, ‘keep buggering on’, she has to sit idly by and wonder what the outcome will be.

February 26
Another big hurdle crossed as phoned both my children with the news. My son has lived abroad for 14 years and we have seen him just once in over two years whilst my daughter lives in London. Whilst they are both considerable people I have been wondering when to tell them, not because I think it will be an awkward conversation but rather because I want to be well informed about the situation and how it is likely to work out in the coming months.

It turns out this was the right decision: having told them and explained the reason for not telling them until I had an exact and specific diagnosis they both thanked me for not causing them any undue worry through being taken through each stage from the initial suggestion of a problem.

Confirms me in my view that it is best to be totally up-front with people because if they feel that you are able to cope with the situation, then then will be better prepared to accept and support one, should one require such assistance.