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The Big "C" - Part 1 (standard:non fiction, 2385 words) [1/3] show all parts
Author: casio1933Added: May 07 2008Views/Reads: 1873/1101Part vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
When I was 42 years okd, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer - this is the story of that ordeal


In all Dads' family,  through the years the mention of cancer was 
nearly always synonymous with death.  The pain of  the victim was 
shared by the family.  The, often times,  slow lingering deterioration 
before death made almost everyone  wish "it could just be over”.  
Cancer was a "thing" ‑ to be scared of, and Dad had grown up with 
this fear.  In  1978,  Dad's routine annual physical  was  scheduled  
for early  August.  After he had completed his examination,  Max told 
Dad he had found an "irregularity in the prostate”.  It was probably 
nothing to worry about, however,  he thought Dad should  get it checked 
by a specialist.  Max made an appointment for Dad the following day 
with Joe Mathias. 

Joe was one of the best Urologist/Proctologists around.  After his
special "finger‑wave"  treatment told Dad he thought he may have 
some infection or at worst a small "pocket"  of stones.  He  gave Dad  
a prescription to treat the suspected  infection.  "Come back in two 
weeks and we'll check it again." 

It  was  now mid August and Joe's reexamination  revealed  no change  in
the anomaly.  Dad felt fine (physically) and  Joe felt  there  was  
only  one chance  in  a  million  that  the condition  was  anything  
more than a small  pocket  of  fine stones.  Even so, it was a risk he 
would not have Dad assume.  A  simple biopsy could set his mind at 
ease.  It  would  mean     waiting a couple of weeks (to make sure the 
enzymes  released as a result of the prostate examination would not 
cause a false  reading) then two nights in the hospital and back to 
work with no further worry.  All this sounded good, but Dad's gut told 
him otherwise.  He and Mom had been walking around in  a daze ‑ 
they didn't know what to do or what  they  could do. 

Mom  and  Dad  had been married for twenty‑one years,  and
realized  they  had  been just sitting back,  fat, dumb and happy.  
Their house was paid for; both had good jobs,  a new lot out in the 
country and plans for their "dream‑house”.  They had been 
sitting'  on top of the world and the props  had just been knocked out. 

Dad was scheduled into the hospital late Sunday evening.  He and Mom
spent the day on their new boat at the lake.  When Dad stepped off the 
boat he didn't know if he would ever  see it  again ‑ memory of 
the feeling was so  strong,  he  never enjoyed the boat again and they 
sold it the following spring.  Both Mom and Dad were pretty "uptight" 
that afternoon.  That evening Dad checked into the hospital. 

Since Joe was so sure there was no malignancy,  Dad had  told him to go
ahead and perform a vasectomy while he was in there and  under 
anesthesia.  Mom and Dad had  managed  to  avoid having kids for 
twenty‑one years and felt they didn't want any ‑ they were 
just over grown (aged) kids  themselves, doing what they wanted when 
they wanted to do it. 

On  Monday  morning Joe did the biopsy  (and  the  vasectomy) under a
general anesthetic.  Dad is a coward when it comes to operations 
‑  "I don't want to be awake”.  Max was also at the hospital with 
Mom when they brought Dad to  his  room after the surgery.  Joe came in 
that afternoon and said  the biopsy and the vasectomy had gone well 
‑ "We'll know the  results tomorrow, don't worry about it.  I 
know of only a couple  of  cases where an individual your age has had 
prostate  cancer.”  Dad tried to think about getting home and trying  
out   his new vasectomy. 

Mom went by the hospital that evening.  Dad and her chatted a little, 
but could not really discuss anything ‑ Dad was nervous as a 
blind queer at a weenie roast, despite Joe's assurances.  Mom  went 
home after awhile ‑ planning  to  be  back early  next morning 
when Joe came by with results  of the biopsy. 

Tuesday A.M. ‑ "Bad news!  Bad news!  Nothing but bad news,
malignant,  no more sex,  got to get that dammed thing  out  of there  
etc.  etc."   That was about all Dad could  comprehend from Joe's 
outburst ‑ it was "bad news"  and Dad was having a   very  rough  
time absorbing it.  After Joe calmed down a little and Dad recovered 
from the shock,  he asked Joe  "what  hell are you talking about?" 

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