My Father Learned He Had Prostate Cancer. What Would His Future be Like?
I remember as if it was yesterday. Fear was the first thing that jumped into my mind when I heard the words for my father: "you have prostate cancer." We all kept wondering what my father’s future would be like. He was diagnosed at the age of 72 after suffering from this disease without realizing it.
Prostate cancer was not common in our family
I remember him telling the doctor that he was having issues with urinating. Prostate cancer was not common in his family or if it was, it was rarely discussed. He started complaining about pain and his throat, too. I remember us going to see an herbalist, but he wasn’t getting any better. This wasn’t working at all. His situation got worse.
This was when I decided to take him to the hospital. I was giving the staff his medical history. They decided after hearing his story that he should see a urologist, who performed a PSA test. It came back positive and with very high numbers. (In addition to prostate cancer, my father also had throat cancer).
I asked the doctor a lot of questions, and he answered them all for me and my father. My father finally understood what was expected of him and how the diagnosis would affect him. The hospital staff were kind and approachable, which helped to alleviate both our anxieties.
My father needed multiple treatments
They began the treatment immediately, and after 4 days he was released to go home. He was advised to return to the doctor’s office in 3 months. After a few more visits he was told that the treatment was responding positively and he was healing faster than expected, which I was so grateful for.
He returned to work after several months. It was hard for him to sit still. A short while later he returned to the urologist for the normal checkup, and after the test, he told me that the PSA level had started going up again.
When the doctor told me that another treatment was required, I accepted without hesitation. It started immediately. The treatment was demanding and depleting. He was in the hospital for several days before being released and had to make monthly visits to see his doctors.
Treatments are taxing
He is doing well today, feels great, and never gives up. The treatments for cancer are both financially and emotionally taxing. The one thing my father wished he had done differently was not to initially ignore his symptoms.
I wish that public awareness campaigns about prostate cancer and other chronic diseases were carried out in areas everywhere. In a lot of underserved areas, the topic or public knowledge never comes up. I have spoken to men in these areas, and this is not something that’s on their minds. They always ask me who is going to pay for this. This is an excellent question. It’s sad that so many people have to play roulette with their health and life. This is a whole other story.
I think it's good for men to get tests done on a regular basis, whether they have symptoms or not, to avoid late discovery of prostate cancer or any other kind of illness. Remember, you don’t have to be on this journey alone.
Do you have ways of managing your mindset for big decisions?