Thursday, April 10, 2008

An announcement

I was hoping to have made a more rational comment on the season and the way it ended, but things have changed over the last few days, so... here we go. These two posts were made on another site, but I am mirroring them here:

07 Apr 2008

what am I supposed to say?
Current mood: nauseated

Hey. Remember me? Yeah, it’s been a long time. It seems like I hit a wall, and really struggled just to get through day to day life, let alone keep this podcast up and running. And it had been doing really well a year ago. Interviews, steady listenership. Couldn’t ask for much else. But it seemed like once the time between the last episode and what I had started for 18 grew, it became harder and harder to get back to it. Weeks passed, and I began feel like staying up past 9 pm was a challenge. Some days I felt fine, but others, well... I wondered if something was wrong. A cold that normally took a day or 2 to pass hung around longer. My asthma has become harder to control. December arrives, and we are preparing to return to Kamloops for Xmas. It’s very exciting, as we haven’t spent the holidays with family since moving to Victoria. The 21st is the day before we leave, and I am preparing to go out for my company Xmas party when my Dad calls. In mere minutes, my happiness is sent spiraling down a hole. He has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. The doctors say they have caught it early, and expect him to make a complete recovery. But still, the word elicits such fear, that I was a wreck that night at the party, choosing not to drink, as I would quite easily lose control in the state I was in. Anyways, Dad is doing well, and currently on hormone therapy to prepare for radioactive implants. These tiny ’seeds’ will pinpoint the cancerous cells and treat them. It is far less invasive, and the side effects are far less troublesome. Since that day, he has been asking for me to go get tested. I turn 40 this year, so it’s something I should have probably already done anyways. Sure most sufferers are in their later years, but it is something you probably should for no other reason than piece of mind. I ha dcome down with another virus, so I requested the bloodwork to test my PSA (an indicator of trouble with the prostate), while I was there. This was Friday. Saturday I went to the bank, and upon my return, Laurie was waiting for me, pale and obviously upset about something. "The doctor’s office called," she said, "They want you to go in right away". The blood was pounding in my ears, as the realization of what I had suspected for a while now hit me. I have cancer. The doctor was, well blunt. Normal PSA levels are 2.5. Mine is 18. "This is more than likely an indicator that you have prostate cancer". Now there are things that can create a false positive. An enlarged prostate. Even not ejaculating in over 48 hours can skew the results. But even the most optimistic person in the world cannot look at 18 and go... "oh, you just didnt have sex for a couple days, that’s all."

So now I wait. They have told me it could be at least 2 weeks until I can see the urologist. At that time I will undergo an ultrasound (to look at the small bump the doctor "thinks" he felt during his examination) and a biopsy. Then they will either deny or confirm that I do indeed have cancer. To say I am scared, even with the knowledge of how treatable this form of cancer is, is an understatement. I have just felt numb for the last couple days. Until I can see the urologist, I think that fear will remain. After that, the fight begins. I have far too much unfinished business in this life to check out early.

Thank god (or whatever) for Laurie. She has been utterly heroic in trying not to let me see how scared she actually is. I know she is terrified, and having already lost her father, step-grandfather and a niece to the disease, she is prepared to help me beat this.

oh, and guys? Go get checked. It’s utterly stupid not to.

09 Apr 2008

Irrational Fear, or How a 6 letter word can make you shit your pants...

Perhaps this post won’t make much sense to you if you haven’t read the last one. So I will give you some time to go back and read it. It’s Ok. I’ll wait.

Ok. It’s been an emotional time as you can imagine. You spend most of your time listening to people tell you about the cure rate, and how everything is going to be ok. And you can look at the numbers. It’s true, the number of cases of prostate cancer that make a full recovery are astounding. Very high 90’s for sure. But no matter how much data you look at. No matter how many friends and family send their love and support. No matter how positive you try to be, you cannot escape it. Cancer. What is it about the word that instills such fear. Well obviously there are other forms of cancer that are truly dreadful. My step-Grandfather passed from cancer of the spine a few years back. No symptoms, one night he felt something was wrong, got out of bed and collapsed. He was gone 3 weeks later, in agonizing pain for the remainder of his time here. It was devastating to the family. And yet, even though I know that what the doctors think they have found in me is like a paper cut compared to what he went through, I still cannot get the fear out of my head. I went to the store on Monday, thinking some fresh air would help. When I got there, I felt like everyone was looking at me. It was as though I could hear their thoughts, like that book the Chrysalids. Poor bastard... he has cancer. I know they weren’t looking at me. That’s crazy. But I felt like it, to the point of almost breaking down right in the middle of Fairways. It’s not right. Sure, the fear of cancer is justified. It doesn’t discriminate. It takes the young and the old. The rich and the poor. It takes people you love and admire. It never seems to take the truly evil, mind you... but that is for another blog i suppose. I do think part of it though is the media and the way it portrays cancer. Lumping it all into one pot, instead of looking at it from an individual basis. Prostate cancer is not the same as lung cancer. But it’s that 6 letter word that makes both seem so terrifying. Thank you to everyone who has contacted me with your thoughts and wishes. I truly appreciate it, and assure I will beat this. More to come...

So what does this mean? Hard to say yet. But I am not going to let this beat me... I will have some playoff comments soon, and keep you all up to date on any news with this.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

That's a wrap...

I will have more to say about this in the coming days, I know I haven't been here much lately, I guess my enthusiasm waned a little bit. How could you not see this coming? I mean, I believe in this team, but at the same time this year they simply haven't gotten the big game performances from people they needed. I do want to touch on one thing. It's gonna make me unpopular I know, but I think Roberto Luongo was the biggest disappointment this year. Forget the defense. Forget Markus, or the Twins. When was the last time Roberto Luongo stole a game for the Canucks. I mean really absolutely stole it? So this means I also have lost the bet with my Flyers fan co-worker, and being the good sport I am, I will post the pics here as soon as I endure this brutal humiliation... oh and walk around town with a Flyers jersey on. The blog will continue throughout the playoffs, but the podcast is done for another season. Thank you to all of you who took the time to listen, and the people for linking us on the site. We truly appreciate you take 5 minutes out of your day to listen to what I have to say. When's the World Championships, anyways?