Tic toc! Tic toc! Tic toc! When I was a younger man, I never paid much attention to ever winding hands on the clock. Nor, did I notice that steady, grueling sound. Now that I am older and fighting the battle of my life against advanced prostate cancer with extensive bone metastasis it seems all I do is think about the time. Not only times past and present, but the future as well. My mind drifts as I sit in my favorite recliner and listen to those never ending tics. How many more tics, I wonder, will I be blessed to hear.
Cancer stops time
Time may be an invention of man, however, we are dependent on The Lord, our oncologists, our caregivers, our prayer warriors, our families, and our own will to fight. Each year a man grows toward old age, he must be ever more vigilant in seeing that cancer does not sneak up on him when he least expects. We are all going to live forever, aren’t we?
Cancer has no respect for time or person. The best laid plans can be interrupted and destroyed by this terrible disease at a moments notice. Just two years ago, I had all the time in the world or so I thought. A routine trip to the emergency room turned my life into a race against time. A PSA of 1300 stopped time dead in its tracks when I first learned of it. Then time reared its ugly head and set me in a footrace against this deadly foe.
Racing against time
It took critical time for my doctors to explain everything I needed to know to begin this tiring battle. I knew absolutely nothing about prostate cancer even though my own father was dying in the grips of this debilitating disease. My father, Elvis’ oncologist quoted time to him rather bluntly that very moment. Dad decided to fight with The Lord Jesus Christ as his co-pilot. He and The Lord made a grand run at cancer, turning two and a half years into eleven and a half.
We guys race through life with many important and pressing things to accomplish and we certainly have no time to see a doctor. Those tests just take far too long. I was just 53 when I was diagnosed with prostate cancer that had spread to many of my bones. Metastasis, who has time to look up that word, however, we all seem to know what stage IV relates to with cancer.
With which stage of prostate cancer were you last diagnosed?
The test of time
Now that we have been officially categorized, the true test of time begins. Time for an appointment, time for biopsies, time for prescriptions, time for radiation, time for chemo, time for grieving, and so on. I was very lucky, along the lines of, my care team understood the importance of time in mounting an attack against this invader.
When it comes to time, cancer can be very cruel. Once the treatments begin, it is time for all the vomiting, time for the pain, time for the hair to fall out, time to lose large amounts of weight, time for fatigue, and so on it goes. Some times you wish you were dead because you are truly living hell on Earth. One time, I even cried and dropped to my knees in despair, “I cannot do this anymore!”
How much time do we have?
Further along in my treatments, I begin to wonder just how long I have remaining on this green Earth. Time has also suddenly taken on a new meaning to my loved ones as well. I can see it on their faces and hear it in their words. They too have started to ponder how long I have left to spend with them and love them.
As I sit in my recliner and listen to each second pass with every tic toc, tic toc, tic toc, I too ponder just how many more tics I may be blessed with. I have ingrained myself with a belief that I have many more precious memories to make and many more discoveries here on Earth to make. I will take all the blessing The Lord has provided me and learn to enjoy each and every tic.
Have you made personal connections through your journey with prostate cancer?