The day I was told ‘You have #prostate #cancer’ by Keith Cass

The day I was told ‘You have #prostate #cancer’ by Keith Cass

The day I was told “YOU HAVE CANCER”


Each morning for the last six years I have woken wondering
if this is the day the aggressive cancer cells within me become active again.

Then I put all those thoughts to the back of my mind and get
on with living a full and active life.

BUT I remember those early months of diagnosis and in
particular that very first day.

It was Thursday February 9th 2006 the day had started just
as most Thursdays but that was all about to change at 5.15pm I arrived in the
consulting rooms where I was given a coffee which I took into the consultant’s
office ready for my 5.30pm appointment.

There sat the Urologist I had no idea what one was but he
looked just like a normal bloke obviously he must have a high profile job as he
had his own office.

Why should I have be worried  as we exchanged pleasantries after all I am
very fit exercising every day, never smoked in my life, the occasional glass of
wine or two, in fact I had never ever been ill in my life (that I can remember),
doctors visits were for taking my children to when they were young not for me. I
was invincible I had had to be for my four children and running my own business
left no time to be ill.

Consultants weren’t they really important people?

What he said next was to change my life forever,
pleasantries over he said Keith I have looked at the report your GP has
prepared following your PSA/DRE  tests
and I am afraid it is almost certain that YOU HAVE CANCER!  I sat back motionless alone with this
stranger giving me news no one wants to hear, where are my family where are my
friends NOW I really need you. There I sat staring straight ahead the world
stopped briefly, I thought at last I am like normal people I have an illness,
that brief moment passed and my thoughts turned to CANCER, with my mind
reorganising itself to bring some equilibrium to the situation my next thought
well if its CANCER then I will have to have surgery for the first time in my
life but I will be fine after that, not quite the same but I will be okay.

After those few private thoughts the Urologist said Keith
this looks as if it is aggressive CANCER which could have spread to other parts
of your body. We need to do a series of tests that will show us how we can best
treat your CANCER.

I left the consulting room after shaking the hand of the man
who had just delivered a crushing blow putting my very existance into question.
The nurse/receptionist and I exchanged a smile at least her smile the coffee
were nice.

I got into my car to take the short drive to see my children
I knew three of them were at home the fourth was still in Cambridge Uni so it
would take a phone call to give him my news.

The journey was only
going to take 2 minutes so I had to think fast and drive slowly, I tried to
compose myself hands shaking head spinning working out how do I tell my
children their dad has CANCER  it was the
worst ever feeling. Then my thoughts turned to selfish me! Who will sort out my
garage!  Will I never see another
birthday, will my grandson not remember me, will I not be there to help and
guide my children that I have given life to they are my responsibility I am the
leader and now I have to explain that I am vulnerable how do I fight back
emotion I had only cried when my father died where was he now when I needed him

I parked my car went into the house and got another coffee,
the three children were there so we all sat down in the lounge and I calmly
relayed the story of my visit to see the Urologist 30 minutes ago.

Emotion took over at that very private few minutes as we
hugged each other.

The day ended its official I HAVE AGGRESSIVE CANCER.

The scans and tests that I had that following week showed
that I had metastatic  grade 4 prostate
cancer that would one day spread to my bones and because my cancer was at an
advanced stage  my treatment would only
be palliative so at least I was to be spared the surgeon’s knife. They had said
that I may live for up to 18 months before the cancer became active again (or
more active). I know that I will die of prostate cancer and as the years pass
by I also know that the time is getting closer.

From all the research and visiting cancer hospitals around
the World I now know that my CANCER could have been cured if it had been
diagnosed earlier. The indication of prostate problems can be detected in most
men using the simple PSA blood test and the DRE physical examination which
takes less than a minute.

One man every hour dies of the most prevalent cancer in men
and each of those men’s cancer passed through a window of opportunity of a
cure! A cure that would have been possible with careful monitoring and timely
treatment as necessary.

March is prostate cancer awareness month and if you have men
in your life or know of men that are approaching 50 then urge them to have
their prostate checked it only takes seconds.

If the man in your life is of African or Caribbean origin he
is in the HIGH RISK group and should have the tests from the age of 40.

If the man in your life has a family history of prostate
cancer he too is in the HIGH RISK group and should have the tests from the age
of 40.

(The prostate gland remains relatively the same size until a
man is around 40 years old).

Don’t wait until you have symptoms because prostate cancer
in the early curable stages has NO SYMPTOMS so make an appointment today for
the man that you love it could save his life.

(You may have to fight to get the tests but remember you
don’t want your man to add to the statistic of
the 11,000 men in the UK who die of prostate cancer and most of them
were fit and healthy before being diagnosed).

Keith S. Cass

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