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a band playing at the bottom of a canyon with people all around cheering

I’ve Hit Rock Bottom (And Everyone’s Cheering)

I’ve just had some pretty good news and that’s what all the cheering is about, but it needs a little context, so bear with me.

Time for celebration

I celebrated my 65th birthday a couple of weeks back. My wife and I threw quite a party and whooped it up with as many old and new friends as we could muster.

I was lucky enough to assemble a magnificent band mostly made up of friends from my days in the music business. I still play guitar and sing when the mood takes me, and it certainly took me that night. Even though most of the band were my friends I firmly believe that musicians should get paid for playing so I gave all of them a small sum of money to say thank you. They tried to refuse but I said take it and why not give it to a prostate cancer charity.

Feeling stats angst at the doctor

Last Thursday I was due to see my oncologist for my quarterly check-up and PSA test. Keen readers will recall that on my last visit to the doc my PSA had risen slightly, within the margin of error, but still not what I wanted to hear.

On the morning of my doctor’s appointment, I was sat at my computer feeling pretty panicky with my Stats Angst way up in the red zone. Suddenly a message popped up from Simon, an old friend, and the bassist in my birthday party band.

A message from Simon

I think the best thing I can do is quote the note in full:

‘We were out on the Oxford canal in our kayak last Saturday morning when another kayak came towards us with what appeared to be two Vikings paddling vigorously. When questioned they said they were on their way to a beard festival in Oxford and were raising money for Prostate Cancer UK by paddling the length of the canal. So, without further ado, I whisked out my gig fee from your fine birthday celebration and handed it over and we both went merrily on our ways. They did have mighty fine beards.’

A heavy sigh of relief

Seeing that made my day, but soon afterward I had to set out to see my oncologist. Mrs. Preen met me at the hospital where we sat waiting pretending not to be nervous.

As soon as we were called in, I felt positive as my doctor seemed unusually relaxed and no wonder when she told me my PSA had just about hit rock bottom and now stood at 0.03, meaning my cancer was virtually undetectable.

I call my prostate cancer my Unwelcome Guest and obviously the guest can make an unwelcome return, but this is good news by any standards. My next appointment is not for another six months.

Good days on the darkest of journey

I know there will be many of you out there who are going through a tough time right now and perhaps have little to celebrate. I remember when I was first diagnosed, I thought my life was over, but there can be good days on what sometimes seems like the darkest of journeys.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The ProstateCancer.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • Richard Faust moderator
    2 weeks ago

    Great news Jim. On one of our sister-sites we were recently asking what people wanted to see more of and someone said positive items – that they were tired of negativity and complaining. I think they were incorrect there and certainly would be incorrect for this site. Yes, there can be some venting, but we’re talking about difficult stuff. Your story here was positive in the first three quarters – positive on living and enjoying life and positive on people being good and selfless. The test results made it great news. What came before made it worthy of that news – the reasons so many keep up the fight. Best to you. Richard (ProstateCancer,net Team)

  • Jim Preen moderator author
    2 weeks ago

    I don’t know if people are incorrect in asking for more positive stories, most of the time I try to strike a positive note, but I’m aware that is not always possible or even desirable. Perhaps realism, is what we are after and that can take many forms.

  • Richard Faust moderator
    1 week ago

    Hi Jim. Absolutely space for more positive stories – just meant that they are there, one just has to look. I think realism is a good term. We want men to get the best information possible and go in with eyes wide-open. Part of that, of course, is learning they can get treatment and do well – not only physically, but in finding enjoyment in life. Best, Richard (ProstateCancer.net Team)

  • wmcali
    2 weeks ago

    What a great story, and wishing you the best and prayers.

  • Jim Preen moderator author
    2 weeks ago

    Thank you, let’s hope it stays that way! All the best, Jim

  • jnickulas
    2 weeks ago

    What awesome news! 💙

  • Jim Preen moderator author
    2 weeks ago

    Thank you, let’s hope it stays that way! All the best, Jim

  • Jim Preen moderator author
    2 weeks ago

    Thanks so much, all the best to you. Jim

  • tonyc
    2 weeks ago

    That is fabulous news. My PSA now hasnt been recordable for 24 months and my Onco said I’ll be on my current drug combo for a long time. Long time are just the words you want to hear when you are living with stage 4

  • Jim Preen moderator author
    2 weeks ago

    Such good news Tony. ‘Long time’ yes we can use some of that! All the best, Jim

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