Something Is Eating Me Up Inside
This year has just not been my year when it comes to health issues and I find myself becoming numb, desensitized if you will to the ever-increasing problems with my health that seem to get more severe each time I go to a doctor. This year’s bad test results started with a simple blood test in which everything that could be found wrong in a blood test was found, I was over weight at 222 pounds, my good cholesterol was too low, my bad cholesterol was too high, my blood sugar was at 22 which made me officially and forever one of Canada’s newest diabetics and my thyroid was way out of whack. I was a walking, talking dead man, if somethings in my life did not change drastically and very soon.
Needless to say all of my medication doses were increased and a few new ones added to prevent things like kidney failure, liver disease, aspirin for heart attack prevention etc. I was advised that a change of life style was going to have to happen if I was going to continue to go on living. Exercise, change in eating habits were strongly suggested to take place immediately. I must admit that I am not afraid of most things and that I take most things in stride, but my doctor was starting to make me understand that he was not kidding and so I decided to take his advice and make the changes that he suggested. I began to exercise, eat right and the pounds came off. I am down to 205 pounds and feeling very good and very proud of myself. I was beating this thing and feeling better.
It was at the same appointment that my doctor decided it was time to do a physical examination of my prostate, because my PSA had been rising slowly for a couple of years and he wanted to rule out cancer. He felt a little swelling on the left side of my prostate, which he said in itself was not that bad, but wanted me to see a urologist just to be on the safe side. I was not liking how this day was panning out and I was starting feel a little anxious about my state of health. I have always thought of doctors and the information they share with their patients akin to looking at an iceberg, with what they share with you being the tip, with all of the rest of the information lying just below the surface out of sight and therefore out of mind until it is too late. This train of thought just helped to heighten my anxiety. Prescriptions were handed to me, appointments were made and I was sent on my way.
I was never given any literature regarding the treatment of diabetes, like diet, how to test my blood and so until I did my own research into the disease I was left to guess and use common sense. I was wrong in what I thought nutritionally and would have ended up starving myself and further throwing my thyroid out of whack had I not been the type of person to check it out for myself. I found that dropping all sugar except for natural sugar found in fruit for example helped tremendously. I found out that if a person ate from products labeled in light blue, or green, that the person would be one step closer to making healthy food choices. I found out that you can eat just about anything in food if you make smart choices and watch the amount that you eat. I also learned that if you want to lose weight you must eat, but eat smart. If you do not eat the body will not release the fat, instead it will keep the fat, because it feels that it needs this bad fat to feed, or fuel itself. This is why people often see a weight loss on the scale, but do not see a big fat loss. Exercise of the core muscles is vital to both getting the fat weight off and replaced by muscle and keeping the fat off and the muscle there. This is what I have been doing now with success and feeling a whole lot better for it. If you do not drink water you can eat all the fiber you want and all you will gain is a gigantic block that will prevent you from moving your bowels, because that once good for you fiber will turn as hard as cement.
Feeling great about myself I went to the urologist and after much poking and prodding it was decided that given the fact that my PSA had been creeping up slowly over a few years and the swelling of my prostrate on the left side that a biopsy was required. The procedure was explained to me in great length and off I went. Within a month I was being given a biopsy of my prostate, in which they took 10 snips given antibiotics and sent home. With my new-found health I soon forgot about the biopsy and was feeling great about my health. I was breathing better, looking better and had a positive outlook on life in general and that is exactly how I felt when I walked into the urologist office this morning. My urologist a no-nonsense doctor said straight out after I sat down that cancer was found in 6 out of the ten biopsies and that he recommended for a man my age surgery to remove the prostate instead of radiation. He explained that if we opted for radiation and they did not get all of the cancer that an operation could not be done later, but if we opted for the surgery we could go to radiation later if needed. Needless to say I will be having the surgery within the next 6 weeks. There is a 90% cure rate so I am told, so I am feeling good about things.
As I sat there in the doctor’s office listening to what he was saying about the surgery and why he was recommending this action rather than the radiation, all of the questions about how and what I would do or react if I was ever to be diagnosed with cancer were answered in less than 5 minutes. I did not panic I just sort of took it in stride and planned out the timing and place for the required surgery. I joked about it for the rest of the day when confronted with the well wishes and sympathy of family and coworkers and I went back to what I was doing before the appointment. There was going to be no breakdown, big or small, just a hollow feeling like when you are very hungry, or you want to cry, but don’t know why and so the tears never come, but the feeling does not go away, it just hovers there.
Breaking The News To Family And Friends
I called key members of my family and friends and asked them to pass on the news of my condition to everyone else, because somehow to keep saying that I had cancer and explaining everything over and over and listening to all of the advice and good wishes was making me depressed and was making the reality of my situation very clear and somehow for just that day I wanted to stay in the clouds, just between reality and daydream. Just a day, 24 hours to absorb the situation and compose my inner self. I had a sleepless night worrying about those worrying about me and in the morning I was no longer joking, but seriously giving thought to things that I had been avoiding up to now. I now had a better inkling of what is meant by life is too short to waste even just one second of it. I will do what I must to live on, because that is who I am and I am not done here on earth yet.
The need for family and friends to offer to support you in any way comes to the fore front right away and it is a little over whelming and is done in an almost perfunctory way and often does not mean anyway that you need, but rather anyway that I feel I want to, or as long as it does not inconvenience me too much. I found it amusing to hear people say what they would do for me, rather than ask what it was that I needed. Some wanted to spend all day and all night with me the day of the operation and when I said that I did not need them to do that they were offended. Others wanted to take me to every appointment and talk to the doctors for me and when I vetoed that they walked away feeling hurt. Still others wanted to come in from out of town and I said no especially since I would be getting out the next day barring complications and they sounded hurt as they hung up the phone. Not one person asked what, or if I needed any of the things being offered or if I needed anything at all.
Another thing I found interesting is that people were telling me that I was not going anywhere, or that I was not going to die. All said they were sorry for my condition and went on to enquire if whatever I had promised to do for them before finding out about the cancer I was still going to do for them and were delighted to know that my having cancer was not going to inconvenience them too much. I guess that is just human nature and I am neither hurt or upset, I am just a little wiser. I do know that my family and friends mean well and I am smiling to myself as I write this part of the post. This cancer trip is shaping up to be an action packed adventure, full of twists and turns and emotional ups and downs, but thank the good Lord it will not ever be boring.
Am I still feeling the feeling in the pit of my stomach? The answer is yes; it is part fear of the unknown; it is part worry for my family and friends and the suffering that they are putting themselves through worrying about me; it is a part coming to the realization that human life is so fragile and when one part starts to go it is often a domino effect and mostly because it is at times like this that you realize that you are not in control of very much and no matter what you do things play out satisfying a greater plan.
Questions In My Head Popping Up Over And Over
If there was no medicare and everything from a doctors visit to a blood test cost money would I be one of the people who are diagnosed too late to be cured?
If there was no medicare would I be forced to not take the hundreds of dollars of medication I take every month to keep me alive?
If there was no medicare could I afford to have the life saving operation and required hospital stay?
With the long waiting lists for operations and people dying at home waiting for life saving operations will I get my operation as promised in 6 weeks?
With governments trying to cut cost by declaring important life saving tests not necessary would I have even been tested, or diagnosed with any of the ailments that I suffer from in which any of the lesser of them could have killed me if left untreated, as surely as the cancer could have?
What Makes Me Feel The Need To Write This Post
One reason is to get it out and to share with others the mysteries that make this disease so scary. When we share these types of situations you help enlighten someone else and perhaps you help to explain a little of what to expect and alleviate a little of the unknown factor. Another reason is that when we share we help to remove the feeling of being the only one and a certain sense of support is found in this feeling of shared experience. One can draw a strength from knowing what others are going through, their successes, their failures and hopes all give awareness and real life real-time tips on how to survive and get well. Finally there is a certain comfort in knowing that you are not alone and that there are others that understand you and what you are going through based on having what you have, feeling what you are feeling and not just reading and quoting from some medical book.
Another reason I wrote this post, is the questions in my head have been answered. This is what will happen if the government ever decides that it is not worth it to have Medicare and that balancing the budget is more important than saving just one life. I am not afraid to die and I do not mind paying taxes, but I think that being able to get life-sustaining medical attention is part of the deal. At a time when I and other Canadians should be concentrating on getting well, we face the everyday worry of not if the Harper government will use its power as a majority government to give us a death sentence by altering, lessening, or getting rid of all together Medicare and all that it does, but when this arrogant government will do it. Interesting fact is that most Canadians do not have adequate private insurance to cover medical expenses, medication for everyday needs, let alone the cost of a hospital stay, or what is considered minor surgery. Only the 1% of the Harper real Canadians would be able to afford to save themselves and at that not for ever. The rest of us would become hopelessly in debt, use up all of our life savings either on the medication required to stay alive, or the operation needed to remove the problem. Knowing what you know about insurance companies, would you want to put your life, your children’s lives, a family members, or loved ones lives, back into the hands of these unscrupulous, private companies once again? I know I don’t.
- Local urologists take issue with government panel’s recommendation about prostate screenings (pennlive.com)
- Imperfect prostate cancer test leaves men with scary choice – Detroit Free Press (freep.com)
- Are 4-D prostate scans necessary? (zocdoc.com)
- Losing Weight With an Underactive Thyroid (everydayhealth.com)
- Diagnostic Tests for Thyroid Disease (everydayhealth.com)
- Numbers to Live By (foxnews.com)
- What Women Need to Know About Thyroid Disorders (everydayhealth.com)