For those of you who are regular readers and have read the previous posts, you can skip this first paragraph.This is the latest installment in my occasional series about how I'm adjusting to living with a big C in my life. For those of you who aren't, here's a quick summary. I'm 49 years old and I recently had a prostate biopsy following two "slightly high" PSA tests - 2.8 & 4.1. The biopsy took ten tissue samples and one of these showed a "low grade cancer" which gives me a 3+3 on the Gleason scale. I'm now on a program of active monitoring. In early February, I got the results of the latest PSA test - down to 3.5 and an MRI scan which found absolutely nothing. I've no symptoms and sadly for a few people, if I'm gonna die soon, it won't be from Prostate cancer. Got the picture?
Ok, so first the good news, or the two bits of good news, to be more precise. Got my latest PSA test results through. My PSA level is down from 3.5 to 3. Could it be that the pomegranite juice, green tea and organic diet is helping? Lets hope so. I also hear that an ultrasound treatment for Prostate Cancer has been developed by St Thomas Hospital, for people in the early stages of the disease. Maybe I could be treated and become Cancer free. I have a meeting with the specialist on the 14th May. This will be the first question I ask. I believe that my diet will protect me, but I am too cowardly to take the risk and would jump at a side effect free cure.
So that is the good news. Sadly, it has been a harrowing time in all other respects. My best friend passed away just over a week ago from Oesophageal Cancer aged 47. We approach is funeral on Thursday. The time between a death and funeral is always a strange period, but has been made far worse for me with the news, broken to me on Sunday whilst on a sponsored walk, that a friend has got breast cancer.
She tells me that the consultant told her post menopausal women are many times more likely to suffer the disease (aged 50-65) than any other age group. He asked her why she hadn't been having regular mammograms. She is rather angry, because this was the first she'd been told of this recommendation. She's been told that her prognosis is relatively good. The disease has been caught early enough to be treatable with surgery and possible chemotherapy. I lent her the book which has become my bible - Anti Cancer A new way of life. I hope it in some way helps.
Of course we don't really know how effective all of the "beneficial" foods and drinks really are. What I do know is that my PSA level was on an upward curve before and is now on a downward curve. I feel a strong need to take some time out. I vowed to do everything in my power using this blog to ensure the right result in the Barnet & Camden GLA elections. I also was very busy with launching A Tale of Two Barnets. We then had the small issue of the Friern Barnet Peoples Library. Then there is the redevelopment of my studios which is grinding towards completion. All of these have ground me to near exhaustion. Add in the bereavement of a dear friend and I can honestly say I am totally wiped out.
One of the main messages of the book is to avoid stress, but I find it at every turn. I am not someone who has difficulty in coping, but no one is indestructable. I am thinking that the time is fast approaching where I need to spend some time out, for my own sake.
I feel like lying on a beach, in the sun, doing nothing for a few days, on my own with a few good books and a few good tunes. If anyone has any suggestions for a good place for a warm, quiet retreat where one can totally relax and it doesn't cost a fortune, let me know.