Friday, March 21, 2008

Bad news

I just got devastating news on St Patrick Day -I have that dreaded "C" word of the prostate gland.

I was very shocked but they caught it early and the prognosis looks great -I am trying to get my appt. to consult with the oncologist (Cancer specialist) moved up -the original date is April 23 but I want to get this started as soon as possible. I have heard from friends and family that it is great that I did get diagnosed early since most men that get this disease are cured of it and it goes into remission.

I am lucky that I went and got the blood test and exam since I am in a quandary in reference to who my biological mom is, therefore I am in the dark about my medical history. So I decided to get a biopsy done since the doctor detected a abnormality on my prostate and said it was of no major concern since my blood test or PSA was in the good range. This determines how severe the cancer could be if it was a cancer I believe. I could be wrong. Anyhow I went and got the biopsy and within two weeks I would know the results but it got rescheduled twice and the final date was on St Patty's Day -go figure on a ethnic holiday so that I can remember and mark that in my memory bank - I am not too afraid of the disease since I tend to minimize things even tragic events. But the waiting is hell so I am probably going for the radiation treatment vs major surgery which involves removing the prostate gland all together. the tumor is small and slow growing according to my doctor who was the messenger of bad news that day. He told me that I was the 4th one that he consulted with and told them that they have prostate cancer also.

I have gotten severely depressed but it is good that I am in this program that I spoke of earlier that  is in a self help and group therapy setting located at Cleveland VA Hospital -it is a out patient program for veterans who deal with mental health issues. I was recommended for the program at the beginning of the month and this is my 3rd week and I am having a blast- so much to do and learn and the group sessions are exciting but intense. -It ends officially in 4 weeks but they are connected to you for life -you graduate ,get a certificate and become an alumni of the program and are welcome to come back on designated days for alumni to join groups and get additional services if need be.
I have learned a lot in that 3 week period and going into my fourth week  but my current issues of grieving my loved ones that passed on were still lingering when I got the bad news on Monday -it has been a week as of this writing and I know I am getting a wake up call to live my life as fully as I can

 I am telling all men especially African Amercian Men over 40 -GET YOURSELF TESTED for prostate cancer Don't wait until you get symptoms because by then the cancer could have metastasized to other body parts. I am not a professional so don't quote me-do your own research and find out -
The macho image and behavior manifests itself into not getting the help you need and it will eventually kill you. Do your research.
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