Thursday, 29 November 2007

A friend says I should post more stuff - or people may worry about me.

Still haven't had my first Hot Flush - can hardly wait.

Just a little tired lately - went to do my visiting at Peace Arch hospital today
decided to walk up the 5 floors - got to the third - took the elevator the rest
LITTLE WHILE! The nurses on my floor like my new hat.

Thursday, 15 November 2007

My nipples are quite sore today. Beth seems to think this is very funny.

She has been studying the Jewish religion the past several months. She mentioned
an old Jewish Male ritual, evidently the men would pray first thing each morning.

"Oh God thank you for not making me a Woman."

I'm glad at least I'm not Jewish, or God may have some explaining!

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Well it has been 5 days since the shot. I have been a little nausious the past few
days, and my back has been aching, probably nothing to do with the shot, maybe all
in my mind.

Saturday, 10 November 2007

Well Beth and me had the meeting yesterday with Omar to disscuss the results of
the bone scan and the biopsy.

As we pulled into the parking lot (it is one of those weird ones where you remember the slot number and go inside and pay) there was a car pulling out, so I quickly pulled in behind. My logic is - if he paid for the 2 hours there probably is at least an hour left - now way to tell.
Beth of course said that was silly we must pay. Did I mention we can never get the stupid machine to (a) take our cash (well that is not entirely true - it takes it, but does not give a recept) or (b) use our visa - it never works. As we got out of the car I notice a guy with a funny looking machine giving out parking tickets. Brilliant thought - will ask hime to look into his magic machine and tell me how much time is still available at spot 66. He looked at me like I was slightly daft when I asked him - but he indeed could look it up - we had 23 minutes left - I figured it would be plenty (he said he would be back in 22 minutes to check) - Beth dissagreed. She also mentioned we should take the needles and shot liquid in with us in case the doc wanted to give me the shot today.
"Naw - no chance." "Anyway you can come out to get it if we need it."
So we started playing the the pay machine - actually Beth was trying to help an elderly (our age) couple pay - she told me to go ahead.
About ten minutes later she came into the docs office looking a bit frazzled - had given up with the card - then after paying double with cash and not getting any recept she held up two fingers, smiled it all directions and left. Her logic was - they must have hidden cameras - proof she paid - couldnt argue with such smarts.
Anyway we did need the shot stuff and she had to back down to the car - told you so etc etc - not happy at all.

Good news, the cancer had not spread into the bone.
They did find some problems with my shoulders and lower spine - but I have known
I had problems in these areas for some time.

The not quite so good news is that the biopsy has definitely confirmed cancer (it was only 99.99% sure before) and it is in the moderate stage of aggresivness - not quite sure what that is - but it is better than high I reckon.

I recieved my first shot of the estrogen mixture in my stomach. It will last for three months. I will also take the pills for the next while.

My poor little male body - All those little testosterone guys (they've been so contented for so long) that are getting swarmed by the big bully estrogen Amazons, can't believe whats happening!

All the females in the family seem to be looking forward to my first hot flush, and or the size of my first bra!!

Will start Radiation treatment in about 6 months, if I decide to proceed with that treatment, we will see.
Omar says -heck I might will die of something else rather than cancer - haven't quite figured out if that was to cheer me up or what.

To be continued

Sunday, 4 November 2007

This is a picture of me Sept 2007 - About a month before I found out about the cancer. Just in case I happen to change at all.


Thursday, 1 November 2007

It is Nov 1st 2007 - just got back from my bone scan at Surrey Hospital.
Very nice people - I mentioned that since they were scanning my whole body
for cancer in the bones why not look for other stuff also - like Arthritis etc
the girl said she would - we will see
Hello all,

Have decided to keep a little journal for the next while. It follows.


Cancer a Journal

Oct 28th 2007

I guess I should let you know how this situation has affected me.

I have been led to believe there are several steps (if that is the right word) one passes through after being told they have a form of Cancer.I’m not sure of just exactly what they are, but shock, disbelief, anger, why me, resignation, etc. etc. come to mind.When Don Fransen told me it definitely looked like Prostate Cancer due to my PSA number, I wasn’t too worried, as I knew a slight rise in PSA was often no big deal. He continued to inform me it wasn’t just elevated but it was very high, and along with what he had felt with the digital test it was important we take action right away.
From that moment I accepted I had Cancer. I went home and told Beth, I think we were both just in shock for a few days. I have never had any feelings of "why me?"It is more "why not me?" When you consider the hundreds of thousands of people who get cancer every year, why should it be a big deal if one more gets this disease. The only difference is it is me.

When I think of all the lovely brave little children who have suffered through this terrible disease without complaint, it would be the height of hypocrisy for me to cry “why me?”.I feel for the parents of these young people. I feel for the patients that have young children and spouses that will be left behind.

I think of my precious little Great Granddaughter Madeline and her parents, who passed away at the age of four months, "why her?"

We mere mortals will never be able to answer the question why. We can only mourn our loved ones and pray.I am not angry, I have been resigned to whatever is ahead from the first few days.Dying is our last big hooray, we all will have our day sooner or later, we must do our best to see this through with dignity, and compassion for the loved ones that are also suffering.Our time on this planet is of definite duration, we cannot see into the future, non of us know whether we will be here twenty years from now or two days from now.

I still have no idea how long I will be around, but it is probably a little shorter time than I was planning upon.I am so very fortunate, I have a loving wife, four loving children, thirteen beautiful and loving grandchildren, and two precious Great Grandchildren. We have several wonderful friends, some from early childhood, others more recently, all are appreciated!I am so blessed. I have had an interesting life, accomplished a few things, been disappointed a few times, tried many things, always tried to be fair in any dealing, care for the poor, etc. etc. – I am satisfied - I have tried!

Oct. 30th
It was Oct 2nd 2007,the day after I passed my motorcycle ride and could quit worrying. I was in to see Dr. Don Fransen about my numb feet problem. He decided I should have a complete medical before he sent me to the neurologist.On Oct 8th Don called, had me come straight in to the office. He informed me I had a very high PSA, and along with what he felt on the rectal exam there seem to be little doubt I had Prostate Cancer. I certainly was not expecting this news. He said he would get in to see a urologist as soon as possible.

Got in to see Dr. Omar Nazif on Oct 16th, he confirmed the diagnosis and arranged for me to have a biopsy and Cystoscopy on Oct 24th. Omar then pulled up a chair beside me and then reached for a book with lots of pretty pictures of various stages of cancer. He said it was time to discuss options.After having just endured the finger up the bum exam, it was rather difficult to intelligently discuss options with anything remotely resembling dignity. But I tried.

“Well it its like this Larry, the sooner we begin treatment the better your chances. There are two treatments we can begin immediately, they both accomplish the same thing – the reduction of testosterone - which will slow the growth of the cancer cells. The first and probably the best treatment is we cut off your testicles”.

“What’s the second” I blurted.

“I thought you might say that.” Omar said with a chuckle.“ We will start you on estrogen, pills initially then powerful shots that last a month or two”.In the meantime he sent me to the Cancer Clinic where I received estrogen pills and a vial of liquid estrogen that I would receive via a shot to my stomach.

I started on the pills on Oct 17th.Had the biopsy done at the Surrey Hospital. There is a lot of waiting in various little rooms at the out patient area of a large hospital. You wait to sign in. You wait even longer if you don’t know you must get a number.After getting the little thing they put on your wrist you wait for a nurse to come and get you.Eventually a nice nurse comes along and says to follow her.
You come to an area with several little cubicles like a dressing area in a store.

“Ok Mr. Bennett take off your pants and your underpants, you can leave your shirt and shoes on”.As she was telling me this she reached over a female patient (she smiled at me) who was sitting just outside the door to the cubicle, and grabbed two strange looking housecoats.

“Put both of these on, tie them at the front, when you’re finished, come out and put your clothes in one of the lockers – do you understand?”
I nodded, I wasn’t quite sure what she meant but I figured it would work out. I got into the little room, the door wouldn’t lock but it was mostly closed. I got off my clothes without much trouble.

I picked up the two housecoats, they both looked the same, one blue, one yellow. Tie them both at the front, that was what the nurse had said.
Seemed reasonable to me, maybe a little drafty, but after all, whatever the Doctor was going to do I figured was at the front.
So trying to hold my clothes in one hand, and keep a modicum of modesty with other hand I stepped out of the door to where the lady was still sitting.

She looked at me.
I looked at her.

She looked up and down. She laughed.

“I don’t think you have those on the right way around”.
“I think there should be one to the back and the other to the front”.
“You think that’s the way eh”.
“I’m sure it is”. She said, still trying not to laugh.
So I went back in and followed her instructions.

Things had been going well so far.

In a few minutes another nurse came and got me and my wardrobe advisor, and took us both down to another waiting room with several other patients.She sat on one side, I on the other, every time I glanced at her she seemed to have the beginning of a little smile, but she quickly controlled herself.

I became friends with a few guys ahead of me waiting to get a Cystoscopy, gallows humor was definitely in vogue. They all had there procedure’s and left, leaving only me and the lady waiting when Beth came to see what was taking so long.

She mentioned I had the housecoats on properly (seemed a little surprised). I casually mentioned I had a bit of trouble initially but the lady across from us helped me out.
They both had a bit of a laugh.

Finally Omar came out and invited me in to the small operating room. The first thing I noticed was the stirrups, I knew they used for female exams, boy was I lucky I was a male.

“Just get up on the table Larry, on your back”I lay down on my back between those stupid stirrup things.
“Slide further down Larry, further, a little further, there Ok."

Suddenly he took my legs and put them up on the stirrups, as he was telling me what he was about to do to me.
Although Omar was very professional and kind, it was rather difficult for me to be chatty. Try and visualize (or maybe not) lying there on my back with my gowns open and my feet firmly planted in steel stirrups.
After a camera (which I was sure wouldn’t fit) pushed in the front and another contraption in the rear I was finally finished, the end of a very interesting day.