Sunday, July 20, 2008

Over the past few months

I have had to get used to a new and unwelcome response when anyone asks after my mum and dad. For many years my stock reply has been "They are very well thank you." Recently though I have found myself explaining that my mum was waiting to have her gall bladder removed and we were worried my dad had prostate cancer.

My mum finally had her operation about a month ago and she is just about back to her old self.

My dad had obviously been worrying that 'something' wasn't quite right as on a visit to our G.P on an unrelated matter he happened to say to her that he had been looking for a leaflet on prostate cancer in the waiting room but hadn't seen one. She announced she would take a blood test there and then as a sensible precaution with a man of his age. A few days later and he got a call to tell him the test had proved positive. Since then, and we are talking about from March onwards, he has been backwards and forwards to the hospital for one test after another designed to find out the stage the cancer was at, and if it had spread elsewhere.

He didn't want me to know, but mum did tell me. He is a typical product of his generation and much prefers to keep such worries private, and it was difficult knowing what, if anything, to say to him. Usually what I know a friend or relation has a health problem I have been consult articles and the internet to know what it is that they are up against, but in dad's case I just couldn't bring myself to google the words 'prostate cancer' because I knew there would be information contained in the articles that I didn't want to have to acknowledge. Whilst dad continued not to talk about it he has since confessed that every ache and pain he has experienced since March had left him convinced cancer was spreading through his body.

He got the verdict when I was in Bruges. Mum went with him but he saw the consultant on his own. When he emerged his face gave nothing away and he just whispered to my mum he didn't want to talk about it in there (the hospital). Mum obviously feared the worst but as soon as they were through the door he practically whooped with delight and annouced he was fine.

He does have prostate cancer but it is in the earliest stage, it has not spread, and it is treatable with hormones.

I have finally been able to look up prostate cancer on the internet. Thankfully my dad is one of those relatively rare men who would not ignore a worry relating to his health, and did get the early diagnosis that is so vital with this condition. That's why I am writing this now -

Men -


Jennyta said...

So pleased about the good news, JJ!

Gill said...

Glad they have caught it in time and that your mum is recovering. It is so worrying when anyone in the family is ill I know, so sending love to you and yours.

Jay said...

I'm glad the news is good! That will be a relief for him.

A few people in my family have had it and been treated successfully - the only exception being my BIL who died from it. He is a Dreadful Warning to everyone not to leave things untreated. He was so afraid of the possible side effects of surgery that he put off having anything done at all until it had spread.

These days the prognosis for prostate cancer is very good, and the older you are when it's diagnosed, the better those prospects seem to be, because older men tend to have a very slow growing type which is probably not going to kill them.

Hug your Dad!

Yorkshire Pudding said...

My father-in-law Charlie died of prostate cancer and he was the kind of man who soldiered on through everything - never needing health care apart from the occasional visit to a dentist. When hefinally admitted he had a an "issue" it was practically too late and he died six months later.

John said...

I assume lumps on one's balls are related to testicular cancer rather than prostate cancer, or have I been scratching the wrong things all these years?

Karen said...

That is indeed good news - I hope he is well soon.

JoeinVegas said...

Glad everyone is coming along. Sounds like you had a marvelous trip - perhaps you should do more of them? Get away from the boys without keys.

J.J said...

Jenny, Gill, Jay, and Karen - Thank you for all the good wishes.

YP - that's horrible. Poor man.

And John - 'balls!' I am useless.

And Joe - that would be so wonderful, speaking after yet another interupted night's sleep with three lads rolling in at 4 this morning...none too quietly.