Tuesday 12 April 2016

Rog T's Cancer blog - Deliverance or crashing and burning with my boots on

For those of you who are regular readers and have read the previous posts on Cancer, you can skip this first paragraph. I write this blog because knowledge is power and if you know what you are dealing with, you have more weapons in the locker to fight it. It is a personal view, I'm not medically qualified. This is for the sole purpose of information for those who are interested. 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 53 years old and in October 2011 I  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 gave 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 a PSA test - down to 3.5 and an MRI scan which found absolutely nothing, two more tests in 2012 were at 3.5 and 3.9, in 2013 my test was 4.0, Jan 2014 was 3.8, August 2014 was 4.0,  February 2015 it was  up to 5.5  and my latest in August 2015 was down againg at 4.6. In October 2015 I had a transperinial Prostate biopsy, that revealed higher grade cancer and my Gleason score was raised to 3+4 (Small mass + more aggressive cancer), albiet with small mass. On 22nd Jan 2016 I had HIFU (Hi Intensity Focused Ultrasound) treatment at UCHL). 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?

Isn't this fun. I can honestly say that up until now 2016 has been a lousy year. But then that was up until now. I made several rather important decisions at the end of last year. One of them was to have HIFU treatment for my Prostate cancer. Another was to take on some IT consultancy work. I've spent the last 33 years balancing IT consultancy work with my music business. In 2012 we had a massive expansion of our studio business. That required 100% of my attention to oversee the project. It has now reached the business as usual phase and for the last couple of years my beloved Missus and partner in crime has been doing all of the work. So I decided that I fancied a change of scenery and a bit more stress in my life. Three weeks after my treatment, I embarked on a freelance IT consultancy contract. It may seem an odd thing to do but I enjoy the work and it is mentally stimulating. Just to make matters even more fun I decided to launch a record label.  Not to forget the Save London Music Campaign. By the end of March I was completely cream crackered. I realised that I was doing a bit too much and needed a holiday. Luckily this coincided with my Daughters easter Uni break.

So we all took off to Orlando. Most of the blogs regular readers have been reading are from the stock of in the pipeline blogs I've built up. Anyway I thought some sun would do me a bit of good. And you know what, as soon as I got away from old London Town I realised what a awise decisions that was. I am not one to sit still, but the sunshine, the kids and the break from the stress of my routine was just what the doctor ordered. I realised I'd been pushing too hard and doing too much. There are two types of stress, good and bad. I realised that I'd converted the good to the bad and it was taking its toll. The doctors had told me that the HIFU would not have serious effects on me, but they probably hadn't realised just how much I like to take on.

Anyway I'm back now. And I feel much better for it. I hate sitting around doing nothing, hence the prolific nature of my blog, but I think I've learned that I need to take a bit more time out and chill out some more. It is an important lesson. I've always said I want to go out with my boots on but I don't want to do that just yet. So in some ways the holiday has been a form of deliverance from myself.

If you are reading this as you are having HIFU, learn from my mistake. Take some time out and get some sunshine. Get away from the stresses and don't start stressfull projects  as soon as you've had the treatment. I am now ready(ish) for the challenges I've set myself but I have made a plan to manage them in a better way. I feel much better for this and my family have also noticed that I seem calmer and less stressed. This can only be for the good.

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