Movember Series 1/5

“I was just sitting there, waiting for the consultant. He comes in and sits down. I hope it doesn’t work like this anymore, but he just said: ‘I’m sorry to say this, but you have prostate cancer’. This is the one thing you don’t want to hear. My mother died from cancer, just two years before. You don’t want to hear people say the word cancer, ever. I was just looking in front of me in total disbelief. I could never imagine that something like this could happen to me too. ‘It’s not advanced’, he said. ‘You have different options for treatment. You could have an operation, radiotherapy, or keep monitoring every six months’. He laid a leaflet in front of me for each option. Then really, he just said, off you go and make up your mind in the next three months. That was it. Very straight forward; few words only. Make your decision and come back in three months. I was lucky to have my wife next to me, but we all know that most men would go alone. I would expect news like this to be told differently. I’m not really sure what I was expecting. Compassion, empathy, a few more words about that they are sorry… I was devastated. I had to take a week off and I didn’t tell anybody about it. I thought I was going to die. I had no clue where to start. How do you make a decision like that? Based on what? I never heard about the support groups before. It was only because I researched them. These organisations deserve so much more credit. They provide the emotional support you don’t get in the hospital. I cannot believe people would ever go about this alone, but we know most men do. These support groups are excellent! They helped me to select the right treatment for me. I am cancer free today, but besides that, I made lifelong friends. They helped to make the whole process so much more bearable. If I can send one message, it would be this: You are not alone and you should not walk this walk alone.”

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