I had planned to write a funny post about the nature of the biopsy. Beforehand, I did ask the physician's assistant I made the appointment with, "There's nothing undignified about this procedure, is there?" (She didn't realize I was kidding.)
I had intended to ask the doctor, once the ultrasonic/needle-injecting wand was up my butt, "Say, I hope you don't think me self-indulgent, but does this thing have a vibrate function?" Once actually in that situation, though, I somehow forgot to ask.
On January 8th, I was told I have prostate cancer. Since then, I seem to have lost my sense of humor about it.
The odds are on my side, however. If it's caught early, as mine seems to have been, the survival rates are 99% five years out. It's a slow-growing and relatively easily treatable form of cancer. (Mine is intermediate in terms of aggression.)
My cancer doesn't seem to have spread yet, though I shouldn't waste any more time in dealing with it. I'm getting a second opinion Thursday at Sloan Kettering, and after that I have to make a decision about the course of treatment. At the moment I'm leaning towards radiation, which may have fewer side effects.
(My sex life has always been a tawdry, sporadic thing. But, it was the only one I had, and I would miss it.)
-- The last week of December was a sort of high water mark athletically. On December 24th, an abnormally warm day in the Northeast, I did a 200 meter run in 27.9. On December 26th I did a one arm clean and jerk with a 75 pound dumbbell. And on December 30th I swam a 100 yard butterfly from a pushoff in 1:01.
I challenge any younger guy to hit all three of those marks in the space of one week. (The clean and jerk should be weight-adjusted; I weigh 160.)
I'm lucky to have people who are helping. My brother will have accompanied me to both consultations. My son has made a heroic -- though losing -- effort to cheer me up.
There are a few people who hate read this blog, and I hate to give them the satisfaction of knowing I have cancer. But, I owe the rest of you an explanation for why I won't be blogging as much while I deal with this. I'll continue to post your comments, but won't be as assiduous in responding to them. Don't take it personally.
Speaking of "personally," that is the direction the cancer seems to have taken my thoughts. So far, I'm thinking all the usual cliched thoughts. But if I come up with anything original, I'll let you know. In any case, be forewarned, this blog may be about to get embarrassing.
Then again, some people would say it's always been embarrassing.