I have Prostate Cancer


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HOPE: Taken in the 2013 Relay For Life when I did my first marathon distance (took me almost the whole 24 hours!)

I was of two minds as to whether to share this, but it is one way of telling my friends, readers, colleagues and associates without having to tell the same story to everyone over and over. It’s not an easy subject to talk about. I’m not comfortable telling it and I know other people find it awkward to know what to say to me, so this is an easy option for all of us. Of course most don’t know yet because it was only a couple of weeks ago that I found out that it is serious.

Technically I shouldn’t know that I have cancer. I only know because my wife kept pushing me because of the health advertising and the fact that we have a huge number of people in New Zealand who have it.

I went to the doctor and said I believe there is a PSA blood test I can get and he firmly prompted me up onto the medical bed in his surgery and told me to drop my pants for the digit test. I didn’t want to but had complied before I even realized what was happening. I’ll spare you the details, other than that my virgin sphincter was sore and uncomfortable for a little while. Since that time I’ve become accustomed to being poked and prodded by strangers and am getting used to it. I know on the scale of 1 to 10 of things people endure, this doesn’t even get off the starting blocks. For now anyway.

The main point of this post is that my PSA at the time was 3.2. The doctor had been monitoring it in blood tests previously and whilst it was within normal levels, it had been increasing every test, always up. So we agreed at I should go and see a urologist.

I had a biopsy about a year ago and they found a few small malignant low grade tumors and I opted for active surveillance. I should have had another one 6 months ago but we seemed to miss each other. I tried eating very expensive sea cucumber TBL12, which didn’t agree with me very much in taste and made me feel queasy, but it was worth a try. Some people swear by it.  I also tried Pomi-T, a herbal extract approved by the FDA, but when I had another biopsy in October I was up to 4-5 tumors, still low grade but growing quickly.

So here’s the thing. There are a lot of stories and debates about whether you should be tested. Many people say that you’d be better off not knowing,  but if I hadn’t, in another  year I would probably be in a significantly worse situation and I’d still be in my 50’s. I might think differently if I was in my 70’s or 80’s.

I was keen to continue active surveillance which means more biopsies and tests, because most of the time I wouldn’t be thinking about it (but you do). The specialists strongly urged me to reconsider and having read extensively and asked lots of questions, I have opted for external beam radiation. If anyone wants to know why, I’m happy to explain my rationale, especially if you are going through the same process. Ultimately it’s a personal decision. They all have nasty side effects, but it has to do with age and lifestyle. I start radiation on 7 December for 8 weeks.

This particular blog is going to focus on whatever I feel like writing about, which is not business. It has always been my soapbox. So if you want more about technology, location based services and futurism, I suggest you ignore this one and follow me at SoLoMo Consulting and The Future Diaries.

The one hope I have from this, besides helping me process my feelings through this time, is that someone who was resisting the urge to get tested might give it a go. Already I know of one person who has been putting it off for years has made a doctor’s appointment. I read some statistics that said PSA tests have false positives and only 1 in a large number of people tested actually end up having cancer. Therefore getting tested is a waste of time.

So I’m that one in a large number whose life will be saved through getting checked out, despite having no symptoms or problems. I like living. I haven’t achieved everything I want to achieve in my work, haven’t seen all of the world and enjoyed lots of special family moments yet to come. I have music and songs to write and perform. I have many more trips to make around the sun. I still have a big bucket list.

 

 

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12 thoughts on “I have Prostate Cancer

  1. Pingback: Let’s Nuke those Prostate Tumors | Luigicappel's Weblog

  2. Ah, Luigi, what news, so sorry to hear it. Lucky you for having a wife pestering you to be checked. I think we all have the same childlike attitude to close our eyes and pretend nothing is wrong.
    I like your taking action and starting a blog, hopefully motivating others to be checked as well.
    Thinking of you when you start your radiation therapy on December 7 and wishing you the best of all luck.

    • Thanks very much Barbara, appreciate your kind words. I actually started yesterday, they couldn’t fit me in on Monday due to others starting both chemo and radiation on the same day. More blogs to come. And more people taking action because of my situation which is great!

      • I was thinking of you while you replied, Luigi. You are doing a great thing blogging about it and motivating others to take action. Had a discussion with a friend today whose father had two heart attacks last week, both connected to prostrate problems. So important to know more about the implications and spread the information. Keeping my fingers crossed and wishes for a speedy recovery across the oceans!

      • Thanks again Barbara. I am so lucky that I caught it early. Not many people die from prostate cancer, but some do and many from secondary conditions. It is a silent killer. I had no symptoms whatsoever, that’s the really scary thing. If I hadn’t been tested, in a few years time I would have been in a totally different situation.

  3. Hi Luigi;
    Sorry to hear that you have cancer, You’ve shown great courage in sharing this. Your loved ones need you around for a long time. I know that this is a difficult time for you, but you should know that you inspire us every day. Fight on, my friend. Best Wishes.

  4. Sorry to hear that you have the cancer, happy to hear your wife nagged you to get checked! Much the same story with my husband and we resorted to Brachytherapy here is a link if you have not heard of this http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/type/prostate-cancer/treatment/radiotherapy/internal-radiotherapy-for-prostate-cancer an overnight treatment, not too invasive, but not comfortable either.

    Side effects are different from person to person, fortunately my husband did not battle as others we know having the same procedure. I too wrote about men taking better care of themselves at the time, now in Movember month it truly is the right time to get up and go do it!

    • Man thanks Joan. I had a good look at Brachytherapy and decided that for me external beam was better suited to my lifestyle, work and the people I am around daily. I hope your husband is doing well.

  5. Hi Luigi… excellent blog post. Salute your noble intention behind it. You’ve shown great courage in writing and sharing this. Rock on brother! 👍 You’re one tough cookie and an extremely talented one too. Hang in there, champ🏆 We all need you around for a long, long time. Best Wishes!

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