have all been faced with a serious diagnosis, but we know that life without laughter
is not much fun. We also know the value of laughter in our battle for continued
good health. This page contains some wry looks at our disease and some scraps
which might enlighten.
We hope you enjoy these pieces... If
you would like to add anything to the page, please
send it Terry.
are not alone - so let's share the spirit! Here are some Links:
have chosen the Walnut as our badge of identity because of its similarity in size
and shape to the Prostate Gland - once you start reading anything about the Prostate
you will find it almost always says 'this walnut-size gland'! So it seemed an
appropriate symbol to represent us and our disease, especially as the Prostate
is housed inside a protective sheath of tough fibrous tissue.
The Romans named the tree which bears walnuts, Juglans regia - Regal Nut of Jupiter
or Nut of the Gods. According to Roman folklore, the gods feasted on walnuts while
their lowly subjects subsisted on lesser nuts such as acorns, beechnuts, and chestnuts.
Walnuts were thrown to Roman wedding guests by the groom to bring good health,
ward off disease and increase fertility. Young boys eagerly scrambled for the
tossed walnuts, as the groom's gesture indicated his passage into manhood. Walnuts
are a high protein food, and an excellent addition to vegetarian diets.
the site was set up YANA was simply an acronym for You Are Not Alone. BUT….Synchronicity
Rules and one of our members points out that in the language of a small Native
American people indigenous to Northern California in the central Sierra Nevada
Mountains, on the western side of the range, the word YANA means MAN. The Yana
people lived on wild game and fished salmon and also ate fruit, acorns and roots
which is very close to the kind of diet that is recommended for prostate health!!
Their territory was approximately 40 miles by 60 miles and contained mountain
streams, gorges, boulder-strewn hills, and some lush meadows. A top spot to live.
had a Radical Prostatectomy at age 51 at Mayo Clinic last April after complaining
of symptoms for nearly 3 years, with my GP never giving me a PSA test. When he
did I had a PSA of 159.
despite very grim indicators going into surgery, I had a surprisingly good outcome.
I wanted to thank you (YANA) for the comprehensiveness of your site, which I referred
to during my journey.
I wrote a book for family and friends about my journey. I was looking for a way
to illustrate the book with some sardonic humor, because I believe you have to
laugh in the face of grim news as both a coping and a healing tactic. I came up
with the idea of changing old pulp fiction magazine covers about fictional terrors
to reflect the real terrors that guys face with this epidemic.
thought is that there already exists fantastic and comprehensive online resources
like your site. So, I needn't add to that, plus I am not the diligent discoverer
about all aspects of the disease like you so gratifyingly have done. So, I thought
that maybe by showing my altered magazine covers, men -- and their women -- could
smile a bit about the absurdity of what they are going through and maybe take
away a little uplift from this.
Take a look at Kim Garretson's terrific website by clicking on
are some examples of his work
of the reasons we created "TroopC" for our visitors, was to encourage
the lighter side of life when facing dramatic changes. We
thank Kim for his insight and contribution to TroopC.
published statistics on prostate cancer show that single men are diagnosed much
less frequently than married men. On the other hand, married men diganosed with
prostate cancer live longer than single men with the disease. The conclusion that
can be drawn from this is that men should stay single, but should get married
if diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Rugby World Cup is held every four years (it was in New Zealand in 2011) and New
Zealand is one of the best teams in the world. Tickets to the Tests, as the games
are called, are scarce as hens' teeth. Kiwi Ken, living in Australia managed to
get tickets for the final Test series, but he wasn't feeling too good - bladder
problems mainly - so he went along to his doctor.
doctor gave him a thorough examination and told him that he had long existing
and advanced prostate cancer and the only cure was testicular removal. "No way,
doc!" said Ken, "I'm getting a second opinion!" The second Aussie doctor gave
him the same diagnosis and also advised him that removing his testicles was the
only cure. Not surprisingly, he refused the treatment again, but was devastated
and wondered if he'd get to the Tests or if he should make out his will and leave
his tickets to his brother.
someone told him about an expatriate New Zealand doctor and he decided to get
one last opinion from someone he could trust. The Kiwi doctor examined him and
said, " Bro, you have definitely got prostate cancer." "What's the cure then,
doc?" asked Ken, hoping for a different answer this time. "Well," said the Kiwi
doctor, "For starters, we're going to have to cut off your balls."
thank god for that!" said Ken, "Those Aussie bastards wanted to take my Test Tickets
off me!" .
Perisho has written an amusing book about his experiences with prostate cancer.
Here's the opening paragraph:
was shock on everyone's faces when I told them. A book about cancer that contains
humor; what is the world coming to? You'd think I was violating something sacred.
People wrinkled their brows when they heard my book idea, like I'd pinched everyone's
mom on the ass, hocked up a big green loogie right in the middle of the ail-American
apple pie, or tricked the innocent girl next door into posing for naked Internet
photos. Come on, folks. Cancer isn't sacred. It's not immune to fair and frank
discussion. It's even okay if we make fun of it. Cancer is not something that
belongs up on a pedestal. It's a terrorist and we should be doing everything we
can to expose it for what it is, and to beat it out of our lives. We should treat
cancer with extreme caution, but not with reverence, and we should not cower in
fear. We need to rise up and knock the chip off cancer's shoulder. We should not
be gently and respectfully handling it with kid gloves like it deserves the key
to the city; we should be manhandling it with pick axes and blow torches and we
should spit in its eye and defiantly tell it we hate it.
Laszlo has also written what he describes as an undiluted, brutally frank expose
that compels the reader to laugh at the common and absurd experiences of prostate
cancer patients. It is a prostate cancer education and support book disguised
as stand-up comedy and his sub-title is True Story of a Smartass and His Prostate.
He says this about the book:.
wrote Prostate Cancer is (not) Funny with complete honesty, no matter how humiliating
or self-incriminating. It is rated between R and X. It had to be dirty. Prostate
cancer is a dirty disease. You will learn a lot. But you will laugh a lot more.
Here are some of his claims:
Learn 4 fun facts that tell you why the prostate is the Gland at the Center of
Laugh your way through common treatments and their ridiculous side effects.
Learn about the components that make up an orgasm and why 3 out of 4 isn't bad.
Be shocked by the battle for my prostate between my surgical and radiation oncologists
and how a sign from God decided my fate.
Learn which was more painful-incontinence, impotence, or constipation following
Learn the 3 stages of peeing in life, and the 3 extra stages awarded to those
who give up their prostates.
the movement to have the prostate replace the heart as a symbol of love, and know
why it should.
you want to read more you can order a copy - preferably from Createspace
or if you prefer to do so, from Amazon.
retail is US$9.95: ISBN-10: 0615695523: ISBN-13: 978-0615695525
is a deal of criticism from some parts of the prostate world to the concept of
men making their treatment decisions using, as part of the process, the anecdotal
evidence of men who have experienced the various therapies on offer.
rebuttal of this view, I have always made the point that even if men come to a
decision that might be consideredto be inappropriate, they still have to find
a doctor who agrees with their choice. They can't go down to the local hardware
store and pick up a cryotherapy unit; they can't hire a proton beam generator;
even if they buy the scalpels, they would find it difficutl to carry out surgery
on themselves. I have had two responses recently to this thought.
member sent this picture, suggesting that it might do the trick for a prostatectomy.
Another told me that a member of a support group in the USA was reportedly trying
to deal with his tumour by using a heated curling wand inserted where the DRE
goes. Having seen this clip - The
Prostate Warmer - maybe he was reverting to an old remedy? And then of course,
there is the Oriental solution:
BRITISH TERM "BOLLOCKS" MAY NOT BE WELL KNOWN IN THE USA. THE NEAREST
MEANING IS "TO HECK WITH PCa" OR "GIVE PCa THE BIRD". A BRITISH
GROUP LED BY GEORGE HARDY HAS AN ANNUAL MEETING TO CELEBRATE ANOTHER YEAR OF SURVIVAL.
CHRIS BOOTHBY'S POEM WILL GIVE A GENERAL IDEA OF WHAT THE GROUP THINK OF THE DISEASE.
poem is irreverent So please receive as it's intended As we gently take
the piss a bit Just don't get all offended!
had to learn a whole new lexicon New words and medical babble With such
increased vocabulary We should be bloody great at Scrabble!
A new website
for our ailments To help that constant toilet dash It's called bladder trouble
dot co UK Forward slash, slash, slash, sla!
The Prostatectomy boys amongst
us Still cross our legs and flinch The surgeon cuts away our prostate …And
we lose that vital inch!
And the ladies all remember Those spontaneous,
frantic humps Now it needs to be pre-ordered Using injections, pills and
But it has its compensations And it is why we're still a catch After
taking you to heaven There's the bliss of no wet patch!
And the side
effects of hormones Can play havoc with our bits Girl's you're not the only
ones Who will hear those words, 'nice tits!"
still keep hedonistic lifestyles But our demands have changed in tone It's
no longer, 'pass the e tabs' It's, 'pass the abiraterone'!
we salute you You stand by us every knock Your love is so unswerving You
really are our rock!
But let's just restore some balance Keep our male
egos all alive Why is it as a gender, You lot still can't bloody drive?!
no one chose to join this club It's just how our lives unfurled But, to
steal the words of Carlsberg " Probably the best club in the world!'
let's continue with our battle Fight this bastard all the way The tide it
is a turning And we will win through one day!
So bollocks then to PCa Laugh
at your Gleason score And pledge that everyone of us Will be back next year
WE ARE ASSAILED WITH ALL
MANNER OF ARTICLES, ADVERTISEMENTS AND EXPERTS
FABULOUS ELIXIR WILL CURE US. HERE IS ANOTHER!!
HERPETOLOGICAL PROCESSORS LLC
a breakthrough in cures for what ails you.
Arizona Herpetological Processors LLC has announced a breakthrough in remedies
for any ailment known to man.
new concoction is being tested in our lab that will be available soon. Dr.
Good's Western Hognose Snake Elixir will be added to our Rattle Snake Grease
Compound making our products a complete line of snake potions for treatment
of almost anything.
We were the first to observe the ability of some snakes to reduce the populations
of little critters in the wild. Mice, ground squirrels and pack rats all were
depleted when a snake moved to their neighborhood. It was found that the snakes
were eating them. We hypothesized that if critters of this size were threatened
then the microscopic critters that cause many of man's diseases would be terrorized
and die when coming in contact with anything distilled from a snake.
now have potions available for exterior use, Rattle Snake Grease, and interior
use, Dr. Goods Elixir. Youse can pay your money and take your choice. We
are hoping that by breaking this news to the media individuals will be able to
get in on the 'ground floor' of the potential escalation of our stock price.
efficiacy of our products has been proclaimed by Gerald Smithers of Bowie AZ who
writes: "I tried your Rattle Snake Compound and I have lost 20 pounds, lowered
my cholesterol level, stopped my Migraines and increased my sexual prowess. (My
dauber is 1/2 inch longer.) Send me more."
Motto: "When you are feeling lower than a snake's belly, rub on some Rattle
Pedal-powered dialysis machines. 2. Use of antibiotics deemed an "unauthorized
experimental procedure" 3. Head-wound victim in the waiting room is on the
last chapter of "War and Peace" 4. You ask for Viagra. You get a popsicle
stick and duct tape. 5. Annual breast exam conducted at Hooters. 6. Exam
room has a tip jar. 7. You swear you saw salad tongs and a crab fork on the
instrument tray just before the anesthesia kicked in. 8. "Will you be paying
in eggs or pelts?" 9. Tight budget prevents acquisition of separate rectal
thermometers. 10. "Take two leeches and call me in the morning" 11. The
company logo features a hand squeezing a bleeding turnip. 12. Tongue depressors
taste faintly of Fudgesicle. 13. Covered postnatal care consists of leaving
your baby on Mia Farrow's doorstep. 14. Radiation treatment for cancer patients
requires them to walk around with a postcard from Chernobyl in their pocket. 15."Pre-natal
vitamin" prescription is a box of Tic-Tacs. 16. Chief Surgeon graduated from
University of Benihana. 17. Directions to your doctor's office include, "take
a left when you enter the trailer park" 18. Doctor listens to your heart through
a paper towel tube. 19. Only item listed under Preventive Care feature of
coverage is "an apple a day." 20. Only participating Physicians are Dr. Fine,
Dr. Howard, Dr. Fine. 21. Only proctologist in the plan is "Gus" from Roto-Rooter.
22. Plan covers only "group" gynaecological exams. 23. Preprinted prescription
pads that say "Walk it off, you sissy." 24. To avoid a time consuming and
expensive throat culture, the doctor just French kisses you. 25. Recycled
bandages. 26. You can get your flu shot as soon as "the" hypodermic needle
is dry. 27. Your "primary care physician" is wearing the pants you gave to
goodwill last month. 28. 24-hour claims line is 1-800-TUF-LUCK 29. Costly
MRI equipment efficiently replaced by an oversized 2-sided copier. 30. Enema?
The lavatory faucet swivels to face upward.
doctors and an HMO manager died and lined up at the Pearly Gates for admission
to heaven. St. Peter asked them to identify themselves.
first doctor stepped forward and said, "I was a pediatric spine surgeon and
helped kids overcome their deformities." St. Peter said, "You may enter."
second doctor said, "I was a psychiatrist. I helped people rehabilitate themselves
into functioning, happy people." St. Peter also invited him in.
third applicant was trembling slightly, but stepped forward and said, "I was
an HMO manager and I helped people get cost-effective health care." St. Peter
said, "You can come in too," and the HMO manager looked visibly relieved.
And as the HMO manager walked through the gate, St. Peter quietly added, "But
you can only stay three days. After that you can go to hell."
little known fact is that the famous Bard of Avon, William Shakespere, suffered
from an enlarged prostate as he got older. On many evenings he would try to sleep,
but he was unable to do so. He would have to go to the bathroom. But he also wanted
to get a good night's sleep. With his eyes wide open, he would stare at the ceiling
and say to himself, "To pee or not to pee, that is the question."
is a universal discomfort amongst most men one the subject of the dreaded DRE
or Digital Rectal Examination. Women find this difficult to understand, having
to endure far more personal and undignified examinations than this simple one,
but the fact remains that men don't like DRE's.
piece of advice from an old timer was that the only thing that a man should ever
be concerned about was if he felt BOTH the doctor's hands on his shoulders when
the examination was being conducted.
says he always checks the hand size of the gloves in the examining room, hoping
to find only size small.
cartoon probably sums it all up for us men.
a clip on You Tube on the
subject too - not to mention the Lion below!
DRE for the Lion and the Soccer Player
fuss; no complaints:-)
Soccer Player on the other hand - not so happy!
has had a very well known "Flying Doctor" service for patients in the
for a charity shows the Flying Doctor coming in for some DREs in a mobile unit.
DREs require slightly different equipment.
experiencing the discomfort and embarrassment of a prostate test on the UK National
Health Service, a friend of mine decided to have his next test carried out while
visiting in Thailand where the beautiful nurses are rather more gentle and accommodating.
usual he was asked to strip off and as he lay naked on his side on the bed and
the nurse began the examination.
this stage of the procedure it's quite normal to get an erection" said the nurse.
was seen in a doctor's office recently - and excellent way of putting the point
over - at least when the light is 'on' in the USA -
in other countries, of course, when you turned the light 'on' the switch would
point down - and the ad might lose it's effectiveness!!
lecturer when explaining stress management to an audience, raised a glass of water
and asked 'How heavy is this glass of water?'
called out ranged from 20g to 500g.
lecturer replied, 'The absolute weight doesn't matter. It depends on how long
you try to hold it. If I hold it for a minute, that's not a problem. If I hold
it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my right arm. If I hold it for a day, you'll
have to call an ambulance. In each case, it's the same weight, but the longer
I hold it, the heavier it seems to become.'
continued, 'And that's the way it is with stress management. If we continually
carry our burdens, sooner or later, the burden becomes increasingly overwhelming
, and we are not able to carry on. '
with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding
it again. When we're refreshed, we can carry on with the burden.'
before you return home tonight, put the burden of work down . Don't carry it home.
You can pick it up tomorrow. Whatever burdens you're carrying now, let them down
for a moment if you can.'
my friend, Put down anything that may be a burden to you right now. Don't pick
it up again until after you've rested a while.
Prostate cancer is similar
to finding a cockroach in the middle of your kitchen table. You panic, knowing
that where there is one there are probably more and they do multiply. You call
surgeon recommends removal. He'll use a chain saw and remove the kitchen from
the rest of the house and repair the plumbing as best he can with what remains.
external beam radiation exterminator wants to stand out side the kitchen and blast
away with a twelve gauge shot gun hoping he will miss the plumbing.
seed implant exterminator is really slick. He just wants to drill holes in the
wall and toss in grenades.
cryosurgery exterminator wants to drill holes in the walls and pump in liquid
nitrogen, hoping he doesn't freeze the plumbing.
hormone guys.. well they just want to pump in sleeping gas. Knowing all too well
that in a couple of years the cockroaches will wake up pissed off and hungry.
boys will offer to poison everything in the kitchen and will promise you that
if you eat the poison they will give you an antidote which may or may not work.
alternative medicine people will give you a bit of eye of newt and toe of frog
plus a couple of other exotic ingredients and hope to hell that chases the cockroaches
then there are the watchful waiting folks, some of whom are not real sure that
there was a cockroach and some of whom think it may have been just an old bachelor
'roach with no kids that they saw.
active surveillance men are a little different - they set up their equipment color
dopplers, infra-red cameras - ready to pounce on those pesky cockroaches if they
ever show themselves again.
if there is only the one cockroach the odds are good - you can get rid of the
infestation. However if the little bugger laid eggs elsewhere or more of his buddies
are lurking about in other places... well you get the picture. In any case, life
in the kitchen will never be the same. One of these days an exterminator will
come along who just swats the cockroach and puts out poison bait for the others!!
You'll never know he was there. Until then good luck on your choice of exterminators,
and low or non-existent PSA's to you all.
And remember - Don't take life too seriously. You won't get out of it alive anyway!
contribution from the late (great) Robert Young who sadly didn't survive his PCa
included a PSA of over 1,000 ng/ml, but who mantained his sense of humour to the
are bombarded (fortunately or unfortunately) on Lists and Forums with one news
story, abstract and clinical trial after another, not to mention reports from
people who go to the conventions, and all we are hearing is one school trying
to sell theirs over the other. That made me realize what all these various cancer
treatment schools are like: car sales.
I imagine (and sometimes with a
dark sense of humor) what it would be like if cancer treatments were pushed with
commercials on television the way we are hit with ads for cars, pickups and SUVs,
watching them be pounded and caressed and raced, wondering what the small print
at the bottom at the close really says.
"Does surgery make you nervous?
Afraid of glowing in the dark? ADT, the non-surgical, non-radiated treatment can
have you back in business. [then said quickly] "Side
effects include impotency, hot flashes, breast growth, some vision problems and
loss of manhood."
"Hey, guy, you've
fought for your manhood so why lose it now? A simple, fast nerve-sparing technique
can keep you fit and hearty and keep that gleam in your lover's eyes.[said
quickly] "No guarantee given. Patients screened to increase
our statistics. Side effects vary from infection to recurring cancer."
the power of the universe! Stay away from knives and drugs and let the power that
created the stars attack that cancer. Simple, efficient and you stay a man![said quickly] "No guarantee. Sometimes we miss. Side effects
can be anything since we're shoving radioactive stuff up inside."
science just doesn't get it. You can't burn or cut and destroy and not expect
some harm. That's why we created these natural pills containing the very ingredients
that keep earthworms from having cancer.[said quickly] No
guarantee. Not to be taken if you have any health problem. Not responsible for
side effects which include...."
What's that about caveat
emptor - let the buyer beware?
Hey, don't get me wrong if I gored your
sacred cow or you don't think this is funny. I don't either. (Well, with some
But it IS the state of cancer today and it is why
PCa men and their companions have to learn to be educated so they can wend their
way through this jungle.
Robert (who likes the ad with the cute girl
difference between an indolent form of prostate cancer and an aggressive one is
distinguised by labelling the former as a 'kitty cat' and the latter as a 'tiger'.
This is somewhat simplistic because there are many feline variants between these
two extremes - feral house cat, wild cat, caracal, cerval, jaguar, puma, cougar,
cheetah, leopard, lion - the main aim of a good diagnosis is to try and identify
and discriminate between them. No doubt about this one:
is good medicine.” In keeping with that thought, here is a little story poem that
my brother and I wrote that speaks to the importance of laughter in our lives,
especially in the face of misfortune. There is a lot of deep and hidden meaning
in this poem, with an undertone of sadness and loss, but the message is clear.
This poem, which was actually written in two separate parts, is a testament to
the power of laughter in our lives, and also to the increasing awareness of protons
for cancer treatment. My brother, David M. “Davy” Jones wrote the first part of
this poem in 2006.
During a Wednesday night cancer education/support meeting
at Loma Linda right after Christmas, Dr. Lynn Martell of Loma Linda University
stressed the power of laughter in the treatment and recovery from disease, and
I suddenly remembered the poem my brother Davy had written. Then, on New Years
Eve, 2006, we spoke on the phone, and Davy excitedly recounted the fact that he
had told a friend there in Florida that his brother was in California for cancer
treatment, and the friend replied “Oh! Is he at Loma Linda for Protons?” It turned
out that the friend knew someone who had Proton treatment at Loma Linda, and was
cancer free! This remarkable coincidence resonated with me (Sonny), and I asked
Davy if it would be all right to continue the story of “The Dancing Man.” It seemed
to me that more was needed to tell what happened to the “Weary, Troubled Man,”
whose life might be transformed by the gift of laughter. So I wrote the second
part of the poem during my Proton Therapy at Loma Linda in 2007.
the story of “THE DANCING MAN:”
By Davy Jones
Early, early in the morning With the sun just a-peek, A Weary,
Troubled Man Came trudging up the street.
His burdens were so heavy
And it seemed to this man, That life was such a struggle And all joy
had been banned.
Just as he reached and started up The last hill of
his climb, From behind he heard whoops of laughter, And saw a man dressed
He was dancing as he came And was reaching out to the morn, Like
he was longing to touch the flowers … That had been just born.
laughed as he passed, And gave a big smile, “Say, if you dropped some of
those burdens, We could both dance a mile!”
“How silly and how frivolous,”
Said the man who despaired, “A grown man should moan and groan And
stoop under his cares.”
The joyous one smiled And reached out his
hand, “Then let me ask some questions, If you don’t mind, my good man.”
If life is all bad, Would birds have wings? Would fish swim with ease? Or
young children sing?
Would breezes blow from the sea? And pine trees
have cones? Would dogs wag their tails When the master comes home?
Would babies smile at mommies? Or young lovers hold hands? Or stars
shine in our hearts?” Asked The Dancing Man.
Then he bowed and smiled,
And lovingly said, “You should lighten your load On this path that
“And so, dear friend, Here’s my advice: Drop some of
those burdens ~ Try dancing with life.”
~ Part Two ~
By Sonny Jones
Man then smiled and turned, And went along his way, As the sun arose, and
the morning changed Into a glorious new day.
Well, the Weary, Troubled
Man stood there, Remembering the laughter and the touch Of the Dancing
Man’s warm fingers. And strangely, his burdens were not so much!
could this be?” he wondered. “There’s no such thing as magic!” “There will
always be misery and troubles, So surely this is just a trick!”
turned and stooped again, Bent with his burdens and all the weight, When
he heard the Dancing Man cry out: “Laugh, and you can stand up straight!”
And then he heard the laughter, Ringing through the morning bright, As The
Laughing, Dancing Man went over the hill, And disappeared from sight.
Weary, Troubled Man was tired, And sat down on a stump to rest. He somehow
remembered some joyous times That were among the best!
came so quickly, And he stood straight and tall, When birds flew and breezes
blew, And all troubles seemed so small.
When his little ones smiled,
and his hand was held, By the one whose love he had, When he laughed, and
loved, and danced through life, And seemed never to be sad.
it that his life had changed, And his burdens grew and grew? And then he
heard a distant laugh! And suddenly he knew!
There was no magic; it
was not a trick; The laughter was the key! If I can laugh, then I can dance,
And my troubles will fall away, thought he!
He jumped and ran after
the Dancing Man, Dropping burdens as he went, His heart was light with
stars so bright, And he was no longer bent!
“Wait up”, he cried, “Wait
for me, my friend! You’ve made me understand!” And o’er the hill, and laughing
still, Awaited The Dancing Man!
“Come!” said he, “and let us see, If
together we can go!” “With laughter on this path of life, We can dance
a mile, you know!”
theory on life was originally told to Mac by a Marine flight instructor when he
was but a Marine student aviator. It was then the theory on flying but somehow
it seems just as applicable to life in general:
the day you are born you are given a large bowl. In this bowl is placed several
bags of white jelly beans, a handful of grey jelly beans and one black jelly bean.
white jelly beans represent good days, the grey jelly beans represent close calls,
an accident, a serious illness etc. but you live.
black jelly bean represents the day you buy the farm. Now every day you have to
blindly take out a jelly bean. If you take stupid risks such as smoking or drinking
and driving and so on you grab a handful of jelly beans instead of just one.
people grab the black jelly bean early on and die at a young age. Some folks use
up every bean in the bowl, but eventually, we all have to get to the black jelly
bean. All of us diagnosed with prostate cancer have grabbed a few grey jelly beans
- let's hope there are a lot more white ones left, and the black one is buried
at the bottom.
is so limited . . . It cannot cripple love, It cannot shatter hope,
It cannot corrode faith, It cannot destroy peace, It cannot kill friendship,
It cannot suppress memories, It cannot silence courage, It cannot
invade the soul, It cannot steal eternal life, It cannot conquer the
spirit. (Source unknown)
I've heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life. Is this true?
Your heart is only good for so many beats, and that's it... don't waste them on
exercise. Everything wears out eventually. Speeding up your heart will not make
you live longer; that's like saying you can extend the life of your car by driving
it faster. Want to live longer? Take a nap.
Q: Should I cut down on
meat and eat more fruits and vegetables?
You must grasp logistical efficiencies. What does a cow eat? Hay and corn. And
what are these? Vegetables. So a steak is nothing more than an efficient mechanism
of delivering vegetables to your system. Need grain? Eat chicken. Beef is also
a good source of field grass (green leafy vegetable). And a pork chop can give
you 100% of your recommended dailly allowance of vegetable products.
Q: Should I reduce my alcohol intake?
No, not at all. Wine is made from fruit. Brandy is distilled wine, that means
they take the water out of the fruity bit so you get even more of the goodness
that way. Beer is also made out of grain. Bottoms up!
Q: How can I calculate
my body/fat ratio?
Well, if you have a body and you have body fat, your ratio is one to one. If you
have two bodies, your ratio is two to one, etc.
Q: What are some of
the advantages of participating in a regular exercise program? A: Can't think
of a single one, sorry. My philosophy is: No Pain...Good
Q: Aren't fried
foods bad for you?
YOU'RE NOT LISTENING!!!. Foods are fried these days in vegetable oil. In fact,
they're permeated in it. How could getting more vegetables be bad for you?
Q: Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a little soft around the middle?
Definitely not! When you exercise a muscle, it gets bigger. You should only be
doing sit-ups if you want a bigger stomach.
Is chocolate bad for me?
Are you crazy? HELLO ..... Cocoa beans ... another vegetable!!! It's the best
feel-good food around!
Q: Is swimming good for your figure?
If swimming is good for your figure, explain whales to me..
Q: Is getting
in-shape important for my lifestyle?
Hey! 'Round' is a shape!
those of you who watch what you eat, here's the final word on nutrition and health.
a relief to know the truth after all those conflicting nutritional studies:
The Japanese eat very little fat
suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
The Mexicans eat a lot of fat
suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
The Chinese drink very little red wine
suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
The Italians drink a lot of red wine
suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
The Germans drink a lot of beers and eat lots of sausages and fats
suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
Eat and drink what you like. Speaking English is apparently what kills you !
is many an argument about which foods or supplements are good or bad for prostate
cancer. Much of the material quoted in support of either of these views is based
on studies that correlate statistics without demonstrating cause and effect. This
piece sums up the dangers of that kind of approach!!
DANGERS OF BREAD
the 18th century, when virtually all bread was baked in the home, the average
life expectancy was less than 50 years; infant mortality rates were unacceptably
high; many women died in childbirth; and diseases such as typhoid, yellow fever,
and influenza ravaged whole nations. Every piece of bread you eat brings you nearer
to death. Bread is associated with all the major diseases of the body. For example,
nearly all sick people have eaten bread. The effects are obviously cumulative:
99.9 percent of
all people who die from cancer have eaten bread
99.7 percent of the people involved in air and auto accidents ate bread within
6 months preceding the accident
93.1 percent of juvenile delinquents came from homes where bread is served frequently
Evidence points to the long-term effects of bread eating: Of all the people born
since 1839 who later dined on bread, there has been a 100% mortality rate.
Primitive tribal societies
that have no bread exhibit a low incidence of cancer, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's
disease, and osteoporosis.
More than 98 percent of convicted felons are bread users.
Fully HALF of all children who grow up in bread-consuming households score below
average on standardized tests.
Newborn babies can choke on bread.
Most bread eaters are utterly unable to distinguish between significant scientific
fact and meaningless statistical babbling.
time to time the media is filled with the latest 'miracle cure' - a natural source
of some incredible vitamin or substance that will stop prostate cancer dead in
its tracks. There is feverish activity on the Internet as men exchange information
about the best dosage, the cheapest source, what to avoid…….and then along comes
another study that warns of the dangers of this substance, often mentioning something
that might take its place. When this piece was written by Sandy Goldman, a long
term survivor and some time sceptic, pomegranate juice was 'the one'……and soy
was out. Since then there have been some talk of mangos being simply the best
- maybe the 'global warming' will result in a glut of them? Oh! and there is now
an e-mail circulating praising asparagus, so maybe that would be a good investment!
CURE DU JOURE
well. Now soy is out.
When I started on non-radical treatment of PCa seven
years ago, soy was big! They don't get prostate cancer in Japan and China very
much, so soy must be part of it. Oops!
The next biggee was vitamin C. It
cures colds, seems to boost the immune system, and Linus Pauling lived a long
time. Take lots of vit. C. Well, now we hear that above 500/day, it can destroy
DNA. Some multi-vitamins have that much. Oops again.
For a while curcumin
was the hot remedy. People in India don't get PCa very often. Besides turning
your pee yellow, it doesn't appear to do anything for the genito-urinary tract,
prostate included. Double oops.
Grapefruit juice had a good run for a while
until it was discovered that some of the life saving heart drugs stopped saving
and stopped the heart instead when mixed with grapefruit juice - especially for
those men who drank a gallon a day. If some is good - more must be better. Ooop
Of course, there was selenium. I recall some doctor who gulped
tens of thousands of units of the stuff before dying of PCa. Now, we hear, anything
above 200 is useless, maybe harmful. Oops, oops, and more oops.
about those green cruciferous vegetables - your folks were right when they told
you to eat your Brussel sprouts and broccoli - real life savers! Why, Johns Hopkins
Memorial Hospital even tried to claim copyright for the seeds. Hope they didn't
sink too much in the project as these veggies were relegated to where they'd been
before - uneaten. Ooopsy!
and red wine keep swinging in and out of favour - amazing how things we like can
be SO good for us - and the manufacturers and growers. Mind you chocolate has
been around as a cure- all for many centuries.
And what about cranberries? How the growers must have rejoiced when that cure
Let's not even discuss vitamin E which nobody can rigorously
attribute anything to, not even helping the heart. And whether its gamma, or alpha,
or whatever, is even up for debate.
For a while there was Celebrex; the
anti-inflammatories were big. Yikes...associated with heart troubles. How many
oop-ses is that?
And in between all of these men started turning a light
shade of pink as they swigged and gobbled down tomatoes, rich in lycopene, the
latest of the naturals to fight the disease until…whatever happened to lycopene?
now, all of a sudden vitamin D is the Cure du Jour. How long will that last? Probably
until someone finds out that in high doses it has some terrible secondary effect.
After all, we've been told for years how BAD it was for you due to the effect
of sun's rays on your skin. Ah, all those poor oldsters in Miami Beach: If they
only knew how bad vitamin D was for them... as they bake in the sun, well into
their 90s. Or is it good for them as they bake into their 90s?
pick - but don't forget your pomegranate juice futures - it could be the next
big thing. [and it was!]
nothing like a course of Hormone Therapy (ADT - Androgen Deprivation Therapy)
to help you understand your wife or partner - so says Neutrond-Electrond Bob (aka BOB
PARSONS). Here are some of the things you'll share:
gain - watch it happening
flashes - how many today, dear?
got a headache - guys never liked hearing that one, now we say it
become concerned about your breast size - enlargement for men
have doctors probing some pretty strange places
enjoy watching non-violent t.v. movies and gal flicks more
start talking to strangers about your medical conditions or looks
start hanging out with larger numbers of the same sex to talk (support groups)
tonight dear - not any night now, dear!
enjoy going to see your doctor and talking on the phone more
know why women have to work out even when they are in shape
don't ask for beer, but ask where your supplements are.
start eating some weird foods and avoiding your favorites
start listening closely to your wife
know more about your doctor than your brother-in-law
learn how to spell medical words and their meanings
friends and family wonder if you have been abducted by aliens
to choose- Oh who to choose? Roll the dice, Win or lose.
To treat quick and dirty, It's seeding with Critz. To image the prostate,
If color's your thing, See Fred Lee or Duke Bahn,
But see Catalona? Your prostate is gone!
Also come in high dose, So go off to Tulsa Although it's not close.
Or see Grimm and Blasko, The best in the West. In God's Waiting
Room, It's Dattoli who's best.
If ice balls sound good, Gary
Onik is nifty. Freeze out that tumor, Be you eighty or fifty.
For proton beam Choose Loma Linda, They'll make sure your prostate
Is fried to a cinder.
Regardless of choice Don't ignore Watchful
Waiting, It's diet and lifestyle And anticipating.
anything, Learn all you can, And cancer will be Just a flash in the
explained how this work came about:
It was midnight in Milwaukee
On a crisp cold Christmas eve. While waiting up for Santa, Thought I'd
see what I'd conceive,
To make my worldwide family, Laugh, smile,
giggle or guffaw. So Merry Christmas loved ones, Happy New Year to you
Be it Haiku, dirty limerick, Narrative or blank verse, I
sometimes sit and wonder, If writing is a curse!
Pogliano co-authored with Dr Strum A Primer on Prostate Cancer. The Empowered
Patients Guide. The ISBN number is 0-9658777-6-0 and it has been available
at Amazon and Barnes & Noble as well as at the Life
Extension Foundation site, whose support saw the book published. This book
is a wonderful source of very detailed information. It is not an 'easy read' to
glance through while lounging by the pool, but it allows laypeople to get a good
understanding of complex medical issues associated with prostate cancer.
in passing and talking of doctors, which of these kids is likely to land up as
has been said before, being diagnosed with prostate cancer involves learning a
new language and the ability to sort the wheat from the chaff (or to use a more
pungent Australian expression, the shit from the clay.) There is, of course no
way of knowing that a doctor is being honest but evasive answers can often be
detected and this section of the site may help.
man who authored most of it said that his first urologist claimed success rates
as good as Dr. Walsh. When he expressed surprise, the urologist even went to the
extent of suggesting that perhaps Dr. Walsh was slipping, describing him as a
"senile old man". But our man had seen a recent videotape of Dr. Walsh giving
a presentation and knew he was far from senile, so he pressed this urologist for
details. Under pressure he admitted that he did not actively follow-up on his
patients and didn't really know how many of his patients had undetectable PSAs
at five years.
are some phrases to watch out for:
of my patients are unhappy with the results of their treatment"
unhappy ones have just found another doctor.
speaking....(plug in anything: cure,morbidities, etc.)"
The doctor has not a clue about HIS/HER results.
important thing is to get rid of the cancer"
diversionary tactic to move focus from side effects.
is easily tolerated bya man of your age and condition"
Incontinence and impotence is not as tolerable.
we'll give you a shot of Lupron/Zoladex to buy some time"
buy him a set of nice new golf clubs.
hormone therapy will make your surgery easier"
doesn't care to see what organs it is touching NOW!
flashes are the most common side effect"
Osteoporosis, depression and all the others are rare. (Or
maybe not so rare!)
do about one each month"
back in 15 years.
industry standard is..."
read this number in Walsh's book, and I'm sure I'm almost as good a surgeon as
"One possible side effect is depression, but we can treat that."
you get so depressed you commit suicide, however, I can't treat that.
cover possible side effects of radiation at the end of this lecture to your support
group." (Said by a radiation oncologist.)
make sure I use up all the time before we get to that subject. (And he did!)
"Cryotherapy has been proved not to be a viable treatment."
I don't stand to make a nickel if you choose cryo, so I'll gamble that you'll
never learn the facts.
"It appears that your PCa is early- stage, but I'll give you a CT scan case, and
a bone scan just to make sure."
I know these are useless in your but I need a little more income this month, and
I happen to know your HMO will pay for these.
I ever get PCa, I'll choose surgery and I'll have it done by mypartner, Bob. He
is one of the very best."
Just kidding! If I want surgery, I'll be on the phone to Walsh, Partin, Carter,
or one of the other artists, just as you should be.
to Prostate Cancer Patients and Survivors Everywhere
newly diagnosed prostate cancer (PC) patient is immediately confronted by the
need to learn a new language: a slew of technical terms, jargon, acronyms and
abbreviations ('PC' is probably the first), that he desperately needs to understand
in order to make critical life and death decisions. A task that clearly daunts.
Many of us handle health problems better if we understand them. Knowledge promotes
healing. And since Humor is generally accepted to be powerful medicine, Humorous
Knowledge could even be curative!
And so we turn to the funny side of
Prostate Cancer .……. which reminds me, somewhat, of that old joke:
naked, emaciated old man, in obvious need of food and water, and covered in dirt,
grime, and dried blood, is chained to the damp wall of a rat infested cell. He
groans in pain from his bleeding wounds. A rescuer bursts in, sees the pathetic
creature, and cries out: "Good God, man! Does it hurt?" In a barely audible croak
the old man replies: "Only when I laugh, sir, only when I laugh."
laugh, and croak before we croak. And let's begin where we must begin - with the
language of Prostate Cancer, the ubiquitous 'Glossary of Terms' …… or, in light
of the interpretations that follow, a 'Grossary of Terms.'
In the beginning
was the word. And the word was prostate. Origin: pro-state, a word created by
urologists, oncologists, and radiologists, who are in favor of (pro) the condition
(state), for obvious professional reasons. This is the essence of what has frequently
been referred to as 'The Prostate Conspiracy.'
We, the patients, the victims,
are against (con) the condition i.e. we're con-state (constate). Etymologically,
constate is derived from the French verb constater, to establish or ascertain
Thus Pro-State (P) definitions are those preferred by the medical
community. Con-State (C) definitions reflect the realities of Prostate Cancer
- as perceived by the patient.
A gland surrounding the urethra and immediately below the bladder, or C:
We've been deceived and confused for too long. The correct word, that many of
us say anyway, is clearly Prostrate. Originally from the British: being in a humble/submissive
position ..…... surely the more apt definition, when we yield to examination,
diagnosis, and treatment.
And so to the rest of the Grossary List:
To remove, reduce, or destroy tissue or a system. For example, Hormone Ablation
: blocking the effects of hormones, or C: Not going to bed until the wee
small hours - where 'small wees' often characterize the PC patient
Digital Rectal Examination; insertion of a gloved, lubricated finger into the
rectum to feel the prostate, or C: "You want to put what up where?!" DRE:
Diabolically Revolting Experience
Dysplasia P: Dysplasia;
also known as PIN: prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia - a pathologically identifiable
condition believed to be a possible precursor of prostate cancer, or C:
State of discontent declared by Southern Urologists when their patients abandon
them in favor of radiologists
Epstein, Jonathan P: Renowned
pathologist at Johns Hopkins Medical School, specializing in Prostate Cancer,
or C: Son of Albert Einstein and developer of a universally accepted theory
of relativity: 'If you have a relative with PC, check your PSA, and have Epstein
review your biopsy slides'
Impotent P: The state of being
unable to have or maintain an erection, or C: Clearly a typographical variant
of 'I'm potent;' often claimed by the impotent - in denial
Loss of urinary control, or C: As most PC patients know, the word is actually
incompetent (inadequate; unable to function properly). Once believed to be the
inability of the patient to control urination; now known to be the inability of
the attending physician to deliver on his/her excessive promises of continence
Kegel Exercises P: A set of exercises designed
to improve the strength of the muscles used in urinating, or C: The lifting
and subsequent consumption of a keg of beer in order to stimulate urinary flow
LH P: Luteinizing Hormone; a pituitary hormone
that stimulates the production of testosterone, or C: The cry of a fallen
woman - accompanied by a lute concerto.
Orchiectomy or Orchidectomy P:
Removal of the testes by surgical castration, or C: The removal of an orchid
from its natural habitat (Now honestly, of the two explanations, which one do
you want to hear?)
P53 P: A tumor-inhibitory protein, or C:
The 'long standing' record of 53 nighttime pees. It was during his extraordinary
record-shattering achievement, that Paul J. Hickinbottom, Advertising Director
at the AllState Insurance Co., was said to have coined the phrase: "Urine Good
Hands With AllState"
P27 P: A tumor-inhibitory protein,
or C: The previous record
Palpable P: Capable of being
felt during a physical examination; in the case of prostate cancer, this normally
refers to some form of abnormality of the prostate which can be felt during a
DRE (see above), or C: Despite frequent patient statements to the contrary,
an abnormal prostate is not palatable (tasty; appetizing) …. although marinated
in a good dry sherry for a few days, sautéed in butter, and served with wild rice,
PC P: Prostate Cancer; Prostatic Cancer, or C:
Clearly a filched abbreviation. Various acceptable definitions of PC include:
(a) Personal Computer; (b) Police Constable (British origin); (c) 'Pee-sy,' a
Mexican term used to describe incontinence; (d) Post-Coital (Note: after treatment,
there's usually only Pre-Coital!)
This may be the place for a little
wordplay as light relief. The challenge is to create 'apt anagrams' from the following
fun phrases: 'prostate cancer,' 'prostate carcinoma,' and 'cancer of the prostate.'
(For some possibilities, see below).
Palladium isotope 103 used as a radiation source in brachytherapy, or C:
The number of John Kennedy's patrol boat that sank in the South Pacific during
World War II. The Captain of that boat was none other than the fearless Patrick
"No-Nerve" Walsh, who went on to pioneer and oversell the development of Nerve-Sparing
Private Parts P: The external genital
and excretory organs, or C: During the course of the diagnosis and treatment
of PC, the need to drop one's pants occurs with increasing frequency and duration.
The term 'Private Parts' is then changed to the more appropriate 'Public Parts'
- an unusual case of the definition remaining constant while the term itself is
PSA P: Prostate-Specific Antigen, or C:
The 'Panic-Stress-Anxiety' syndrome
PSAD P: Prostate Specific
Antigen Density - determined by dividing the PSA value by the prostate volume,
or C: P-SAD, pronounced pee sad: a pathetically feeble urine stream often
associated with both Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy and PC treatment
Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) Doubling Time: the time it takes the PSA to double
in value, or C: Actually 'PSA - Dublin Time:' PSA values recorded outside
Dublin pubs at closing time, where elevated levels parallel the amount of Guinness
consumed. Response of the typical Dubliner: 'Oidontgivafook!' (believed to be
of ancient Gaelic origin)
Urethra P: The canal that drains
urine from the bladder through the prostate and out through the penis, or C:
Greek for "I have found it!" - an exclamation attributed to Archimedes on digitally
discovering his own prostate while taking a bath
Physician specializing in the urogenital tract, or C: American counterpart
of the European, Eurologist: a collector of euros.[The medi-caring Urologist collects
dollars, of course ……… many dollars.]
cancer: can rear cop test?
carcinoma: compare castration
of the prostate: center of catastrophe
* I obviously need an alias for an article like this.
'Capstone Carter' - ProstaMan! - could be a superhero of the rectodigitalized
downtrodden. The name presents a number of special features: CaP is an abbreviation
for cancer of the prostate. A prostate may well contain a stone; 'Capstone,' the
high point, the crowning achievement; and 'Carter,' a prominent name in the 'anals'
of prostate disease. 'Capstone Carter' is, of course, an anagram of 'prostate
I want to tell you why I think those of us with prostate CA are like helicopter
pilots. Since I trained and flew in both fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft and
I also am a member of TROOPC I feel I qualified to make that statement. I present
thing is, helicopters are different from planes. An airplane by its nature wants
to fly, and if not interfered with too strongly by unusual events or by a deliberately
incompetent pilot, it will fly.
A helicopter does not want to fly. It is maintained in the air by a variety of
forces and controls working in opposition to each other; and if there is any disturbance
in the delicate balance, the helicopter stops flying immediately and disastrously.
is no such thing as a gliding helicopter. This is why being a helicopter pilot
is so different from being an airplane pilot, and why, in general, airplane pilots
are open, clear-eyed, buoyant extroverts, and helicopter pilots are brooders,
introspective anticipators of trouble. They know if anything bad has not happened,
it is about to.
members of TROOPC are like helicopter pilots because like them, we know that if
something bad has not happened, it is about to. (Mac)
This is actually a variation of the phrase, "HEY MOE." Its roots go back to a
concept pioneered by Moe of the Three Stooges, who discovered that a patient could
be made to forget about the pain in his foot if he was poked hard enough in the
Q. I just joined an HMO. How difficult will it be to choose the doctor I want?
Just slightly more difficult than choosing your parents. Your insurer will provide
you with a book listing all the doctors in the plan. These doctors basically fall
into two categories-those who are no longer accepting new patients, and those
who will see you but are no longer participating in the plan. But don't worry;
the remaining doctor who is still in the plan and accepting new patients has an
office just a half-day's drive away, and a diploma from a Third World country.
Do all diagnostic procedures require pre-certification?
No. Only those you need.
Can I get coverage for my preexisting conditions?
A. Certainly, as long as they don't require any treatment.
Q. What happens if I want to try alternative forms of medicine?
You'll need to find alternative forms of payment.
My pharmacy plan only covers generic drugs, but I need the name brand. I tried
the Generic Medication, but it gave me a stomach ache. What should I do?
Poke yourself in the eye.
What if I'm away from home and I get sick?
You really shouldn't do that.
I think I need to see a specialist, but my doctor insists he can handle my problem.
Can a general practitioner really perform a heart transplant right in his office?
Hard to say, but considering that all you're risking is the $20 co-payment, there's
no harm in giving him a shot at it.
Will health care be different in the next century?
No. But if you call right now, you might get an appointment by then.
Extract from "Flowers In Winter" by Sir William Keys.
specialist is talking about his spontaneous remission - which he refers to as
… my personal observation, common to all 'cures' has been the unshakeable determination
of the patient to show just how wrong (and usually how insensitive and apparently
uncaring) those bloody doctors could be. The patients make up their minds to beat
cancer and also to beat the doctor who implied that they couldn't."
Things Never trust a fart. Never pass by a urinal. Never waste an
erection (Even if you are on your own!) (Mac)
prostate biopsy is like having a 21 gun salute shot up your ass.
can shake and dance Like you've got ants!! But the last few drops,
Go in your pants!! (Mac)
Many more men die with prostate cancer that of it. Growing old is invariably fatal.
Prostate cancer is only sometimes so.
we appear to be living in a time when physician income is more important than
cure necessary in those in whom it may be possible, and is cure possible in those
in whom it is necessary?
is OK to keep an open mind as long as you do not let your brain to fall out
translation from Hebrew)
the vast majority of men with a recent diagnosis of prostate cancer the most important
question is not what treatment is needed, but whether any treatment at all is
deep-rooted fear about cancer may drive the decision-making process, rather than
error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does the
truth become error because nobody will see it.
K. Gandhi (1869-1948)
When I went to see the first urologist, I had to admit to
wilful ignorance. I asked him, "What does the prostate do?" His honest answer
was, "Makes me a lot of money!"
on an Internet Forum
must take charge of your treatment as the doctor has a different agenda than you
Charles 'Snuffy' Myers
F Kennedy, South Africa.
another time.. from his speech at Soweto.
is from numberless acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped.
Each time a man stands up for an ideal or acts to improve the lot of others
strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope. And
crossing each other from a million different centres of energy and daring,
those ripples build a mighty current that can sweep down the mightiest walls
of oppression and resistance."
wrote this piece about three years after my diagnosis and my choice of what was
then termed Watchful Waiting. I think it sums up some of the issues all men who
have been diagnosed with prostate cancer face as they await their PSA tests.
dawn is coloring the sky as I write this. Soon it will be light enough to see
the whales in the bay beneath my window. They are calving and mating.
dogs and I will take our daily walk up the mountains behind the house. The spring
flowers - what we call fynbos - are beginning to blossom and there is color everywhere.
Later in the day, or perhaps tomorrow, my wife and I will drive up the coast to
see the wild flowers which are all in full bloom and creating a kaleidoscope of
the bush land.
is wonderful and it is great to be alive.
But … there is a cloud no bigger than a man's hand on the horizon. This week I
must get my PSA count checked again. The thought is not a happy one. If it has
stayed down, we cannot celebrate our good fortune. We will merely know that the
beast still appears to be caged. But we do not know for sure. Many people are
only too pleased to tell us about others who have metastases with low PSA counts.
Bad news has many companions. Perhaps too the doctors are right who have said
that the regimen I am following is merely masking the spread. But we'll maybe
only know the answer to that in twenty years time, with a bit of luck.
if the count is up? What to do then? Is it a blip in the chart? Is it the genuine
thing? The wait for the next test will be awful if this one is up. But that is
what we have to live with, all of us who have been diagnosed with this disease,
no matter what action we have taken. Always looking over our shoulders to see
if the beast is out and after us.
It's hard on all of us, and even more so on the lonely road of holistic medicine
I have chosen. Without hope, it would be impossible, I think.
years later Andy Ripley put it even better,
writing this three years before his death:
never could look up words in the dictionary
in a high school assignment writing an autobiography I described my
self as a unique person scribbled in the margin the teacher's correction
fairly chortled "unique" not "eunuch" how could he have known that one
day I would actually become a misspelling
backed against the wall
by advanced prostate cancer I chose the operation over the enormous
ongoing expense of chemical castration "No big deal." I thought at the
time what’s the difference they both add up to the same thing
in the movies these days during the hot gratuitous sex scene I yawn…bored...
wishing they’d quit dicking around and get on with the plot and
on TV the buxom cuties that titillate around the products certainly
aren't selling me anything
realize now that although it would probably kill them the guys who went
chemical still have an option I don’t
philosophically I’m the same person but biologically I ‘m like the picture
puzzle our family traditionally puts together over the holidays
the French impressionist rendition of a flower shop interior in all it’s
bright colorful confusion
this season I didn’t work the puzzle quite as enthusiastically... and
for good reason this year I know pieces are missing where the orchids
used to be
"So?" says I to myself "You’re still here to smell the