It is only by the most unlikely series of events that I am writing this article today. So unlikely are these contingencies that it sometimes makes me wonder who is in charge, and why I am so blessed.
Thanking my doctors
My most important stroke of luck is that I am alive today. I have my urologist and radiologist to thank for that. My urologist found a stealthy cancer in my prostate that everyone else had missed. My radiologist was able to suppress, at least for now, this aggressive form of prostate cancer.
Whenever I get a chance, I thank my urologist and radiologist for saving my life. This first time I did this, they seemed surprised, but were pleased. I imagine that their job can sometimes be hectic or thankless or even grim, so a little positive feedback from a patient must lighten up their day.
Treating every day as a blessing
I don’t know how much longer I have, but now I treat every day as a blessing, and for that I give thanks. I did not always feel that way; when I was first diagnosed with prostate cancer, I was morose and aimless. I was moping around, drinking too much, and stumbling through life. I kept asking myself, “Why me?”
By a rather incredible stroke of luck, I found an obscure reference to an organization called Reel Recovery in a fly fishing catalog. Reel Recovery runs fly fishing retreats for men with cancer. On a lark I applied for Reel Recovery’s fly fishing retreat on the Yellowstone River. I have never won anything in my life and was pretty sure that I could not get into this retreat.
Opening new doors
My whole attitude changed when I got an acceptance letter from Reel Recovery; for this I will always be thankful. The retreat was better than I could ever have imagined. It changed my life in so many positive ways and opened many doors for me.
One door that was opened was getting published in The Big Sky Journal, which led to my position here as an advocate for ProstateCancer.net. I am thankful to the editor at Big Sky for publishing my article and to ProstateCancer.net for offering me a position as an advocate. I am also thankful to new friends I made at the Reel Recovery retreat; they gave me hope and showed me the power of positive thinking.
And lastly I am thankful to my wife for supporting me through the difficult days dealing with prostate cancer and the side effects of Eligard ADT treatments. I don’t think I could have faced it very well without her.
Making a positive impact
While previously I kept asking myself, “Why me?”, now I keep asking myself, “Why am I so lucky?” Maybe ‘why’ is not an answerable question, but sometimes it makes me wonder. Am I meant to do something else in this life? Is there one more task left to do?
That seems highly speculative, but I plan to make a positive impact in my remaining days, and hopefully that means helping other men dealing with cancer.
Have you made personal connections through your journey with prostate cancer?