So, welcome to Ash Wednesday and the first day of Lent. I am in no way, shape, form, manner, or description Catholic (murmuring under my breath: thank god) but I do like the idea of giving up something I enjoy, if only to test my willpower. In year’s past I have given up salt & vinegar chips (snack food of the Gods) and coffee (which was not a lot of fun the first week but got better as the weeks progressed).
This year I have resolved to give up all Reality TV. So, for the next 40 days I shall not watch some of my favourite shows: American Idol; Amazing Race; Project Runway; Survivor; America’s Next Top Model.
Lord give me strength; the rest of you give me ideas as to what the hell I’m going to do at night!
The Big C
We’ve been blessed as a family in that the big C, cancer, has not touched our shores … till last night that is. My Papa called last night to relate the tests of a biopsy he had done about 4 weeks ago to test for prostrate cancer. Sadly, the test results came back positive. Papa has prostrate cancer. The statistician in me is hopeful of course: in 2005, it was estimated that 20,500 Canadian men would be diagnosed with prostrate cancer and 4,300 would die from it. Doing the math, that’s a one in five morbidity rate.
Prostrate cancer is actually the most common type of cancer among Canadian men and can be treated successfully (that’s the good news). However, very little is known about the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of this cancer type and no single treatment method is successful (that’s the bad news). Papa’s docs are obviously concerned about the state and stage of his cancer as they have already scheduled a radical prostatectomy for June 12th. Other treatments can include radiation therapy and hormone therapy.
Papa – in true Papa-spirit – seems (or sounded at least) unconcerned. He feels fine; did his usual 1 hour run yesterday. I should mention Papa’s plan is to run a marathon when he’s 70 (and that’s next year!). He has several friends who have also be diagnosed, and, along with speaking to them, will begin researching everything you never wanted to know about prostrate cancer. My mom says he’s still in the denial stage (did I ever mention my mom ran a consortium of psychiatrists for 20 years!).
So, there, that’s the sad news. We’re all pretty much glass half-full types of people so we’ll tackle this adventure with a cancer-will-be-beaten attitude. That said, fcuk, it sucks getting old eh?!
Lesson learned: get regular checkups guys, and make sure your family doctor is giving you a PSA (prostrate specific antigen) test every year. That’s how the docs caught this; there was a spike in Papa’s reading during his annual physical.