The waiting is over . . . . for now. It is the waiting that is the worst bit. The wait for the appointment, the wait for the test results, the wait for the letter, the wait in the waiting room. If you allow your mind to follow the demented, paranoid monkey that is your own thought process, it can seem like a huge ante-room for Death. It would be easy to see yourself in a Kafka novel, and oh so easy to become a victim.
I now have the result of my biopsy. They took six cores from each side of my prostate, and found cancer cells in four of them – not many, apparently – 2% in some, 6% in others – which suggests a relatively small and well-behaved cancer at the moment.
Strangely, this is the best of bad news. If the biopsy comes back clear it doesn’t mean you don’t have cancer. The biopsy needles are random, so might miss anything sinister.
So at least now I know.
There are three possible treatment options.
The obvious one is surgery. It has the advantage of being total, but causes urinary incontinence and loss of sexual function. This seems a quality v quantity question. And you can’t change your mind.
Next is to treat with radio therapy, which has the side-effect of causing bladder cancer. This is a frying pan and fire question.
The third option, and the one I chose, is active surveillance, which means regular MRI scans and blood tests to keep an eye on any developments before doing anything drastic. I can change my mind at any time, and I have a good support team around me, including the excellent team at home!
I have no other symptoms than poor stream, as they call it, and no pain, so I have opted for quality of life, knowing that one day things might change and I will have to re-think.
Re-thinking and re-adjusting are fine. MS has taught me how to do that. It is still possible I’ll outlive you all, and die with MS and cancer, not of MS or cancer. Just at the moment I’m finding it all very interesting, and it was wonderful to wake up this morning with the relaxed realisation that I didn’t have to go to see a doctor today!
Thanks for all of your best wishes. They seem to have worked!