Advance Prostate Cancer 2010.

Posted: July 12, 2010 in Advance Prostate Cancer

A lot has changed since last September 2009. My last MySpace blog entry. For a start a new person has enter my life and I am better for it. I met Daniel on October after eight months of emailing and talking on Skype. I am happy with life bar a few problems we all have from time to time. From October right up to the bad news, life was good. We went through a very cold winter here in Ireland with temperature dropping to –15, which is way out for weather conditions here. Nevertheless, while everyone else was complaining, Daniel and I were touring Ireland. It was one of the happiest times in my life, the snow and cold, added to it all. One of the places we went to on our travels and one that has good memories for me was Bunratty Castle and the small folk village in its grounds.

http://www.shannonheritage.com/Attractions/BunrattyCastleFolkPark/

It was on one of these weekend runs when I notice a miss call on my mobile phone that would change my life for good. My parents had phoned me and on returning there call, I discovered my brother John had prostate cancer. Returning from our run around Ireland, I decided to call into see my brother John. Daniel stayed in my car as my brother has no time for gay people and he was very nerves of him. My brother is also a lifetime serving solder and on his yearly medical they discover he had early prostate cancer. The PSA reading of 8.9 and his biopsy had confirmed the prognoses. As a precaution, we were all asked to have the same check-up. It will takes about four to five weeks. Again, you have to ask your doctor and there is always the question from them before they carry out the test. Anyway, life went on and we had other things to deal with that life sends our way. Going back, a few weeks the old dog that was over seventeen years old had just pass away. Then the new pup on Charismas eve also passes away from his sickness and life try it’s best to spoil the time for us. However, we carried on.

Just into the middle of January, I got a phone call while taking Daniel up a cut of tea. It was from my doctor. She said the test show I had an infection in my blood and it was more like a kidney infection. Could I call over to me for another blood sample. After the sample was taken, she put me on anti-biotic for ten days while we would wait on the second blood test, I told her that my brother had prostate cancer and straight away, she made a call to Galway hospital for a biopsy. I knew there was bad new coming my way and I knew it was torch and go. I just had that horrible feeling about this. Daniel was heading back to Dublin that day and I knew this would affect the new happiness we had just found. When I was leaving him off at the railway station, I just broke down and started cry like a child. I knew life finally had me; this was the start of the end. Daniel told me no matter what happens he will always be there and I was not to think of the worse in life. I found it very hard watching him sitting there in the train smiling back at me. My thought was why, Why now? As time went by Daniel had to go home as his visa was coming to an end. On the 19th February 2010, I had seen Daniel off at Dublin airport, which was very hard for the two of us. Again other people are interfering with our lives.

Shortly after that, I had my biopsy done. It hurt a lot and the consultant was very concerned, as my PSA reading was 48, which meant without a doughty I had advance cancer. However, he would wait for my results from my biopsy before making a prognosis. I somewhat knew now I would have to get my prostate out as my brother had. He was recovering very well. Nevertheless, I still had hope and when talking to the nurse I was joking and said to her, four or five years do I have. She said enjoy life as much as I can now. I left the hospital thinking this could not be true. On my way, back I called into my brother John Pub and told him, my reading and he dismast it as mad. His was 8.9 and if mind was 48, I would be dead. He told me of a friend who was 12. He was told, that if he did not get his prostate out straight away, he would be dead in six months. He said it must be 4.8 and so I thought that was it and thought nothing of it after that. I waited for my biopsy results which took another month and when meeting the consultant I ask him, was it bad and he reply yes. He looked very depressed when saying this to me. I then ask him for key hole surgery, he cut me off and said straight out, Gerard, this is gone way past surgery. I am recommending you for triple radiation and I have not given up on you yet. He said again, there one lad who has gone through it and he still alive after two years. I put on a good face, but under neat, I was stunned. They offered me Consoling, but I turned it down. I wanted to get out of there.

I left the hospital with a heavy heart, how was I going to tell my parents and Daniel. When I met my parents, I knew what to say. I told them we would all be going together. My parents are in there eighty’s. My mother was confused. I told them between two to five years going on what the consultant and nurse hinted at. My parents then realised what I meant by what I said. My father said, let us just get on with life and make this the best five years we have. In some way, it felt comforting knowing I will be leaving this world with my parents not to far before or after me. However, that was short lived, how was I going to tell Daniel? I decided to write him a long email and asked him to have someone there when I call him on Skype later. He knew the news was bad. When I got talking to him on line, he just dismissed it out of hand. He was not going to let life take away what we had and I was not to sit back and let it happen. I could see he was angry and hurt as I was. However, that life, we are worth nothing to it.

After that, the hospital seems to put me on the long finger. My next scan was six weeks away. I was not put on any medication, which my medical friend said I should have been on once the biopsy confirmed I had cancer. I contacted an old business friend to find out for me who was the best cancer consultant in Ireland. His brother a few years early also had prostate cancer. The only difference was he had wealth and could get help straight away. Anyway, within an hour he came back to me. I then contacted my doctor to arrange for me a scan through this consultancy. It cost me in total, six hundred Euros for a scan and half an hour of his time. He confirms I had the worst type of prostate cancer you could get.

I had always thought my reading was 4.8 and he shocked me by saying it was 48 and very high for a man of my age. I pushed him on a time I have, because I have a pension and was there any need for it now. He asks me did I really want to know. I told him, yes I did. He said, as and from now with the medical care and treatment we have today, I have a 15% chance with treatment of been here after five years. He was also concerned by why I was not on medication and told me things will start to move now.

That was on a Tuesday and on Wednesday, Galway hospital phone me saying a spot had open up for my bone scan on Friday. The bone scan consisted of injection very low radiation liquid into a vain in my arm and after two hours I then lie down on a table and the scan machine can pick out where the radiation lights up. The results showed the cancer had not entered my bones. However, the scan show there was something that turned up on the back of my head and I would need an x-ray to identify what it was. I then had three x-rays of my head. The consultant was certain it was not linked to my cancer as it could not be that fast.

It turn out I had a crack skull that had repaired itself some time back. He could almost date it to my teen’s years. I then remember I had been jump on by a gang of lads and kicked on the head a number of times after school. School days were like that a lot for me. If you were different, then you were picked on. In those grate days we here everyone going on about today, teachers did nothing. That was the time when people were encourage to hunt out people you suspected were gay. Gay bashing. Fun for five or six evil people most of them cowards, but hell for the poor person on the other end of this. I can tell you this also. No one cared either. You were on your own. Looking back now, it explained a lot about my past school days and how I use to get terrible headaches.

Anyway, I started on my medication straight away after that. Most of the other results after that, were bad and I am now resolved to the fact that my first thought and fears were right. As if that was not bad enough, shortly after that I was medically discharge because of the medication I was on from my part time job in CIE.

I then put off my future treatment until I had finished my booked holiday, as a month or not, will not make a big difference now. Last year I had gone on a grate motorcycle holiday to Scotland with my brother and a few mates. We all decided to go to Europe this year. I decided to update things on the motorcycle/scooter that show up on the Scottish run. I did a complete remake of my motorcycle/scooter and updating it with, cruise control, heated gear and better wind protection. It was a God sent for me, as without it to take my mind of what was going on, I have no doubt I would have packed it in. What was the point in hanging around and waiting on life to screw everything that was good in my life, before it did it final dirty deed. However, working on my motorcycle my mind was off the nightmare I was going through. You would think enough was enough from life, but life had more in it evil book for me.

On Monday 21st June 2010, I will never forget this day. I had an experience I never want to go through again. Before my holiday, they wanted me to go in for a final Scan to set me up for the radiation machine. I have to go under 37 days of radiation treatment, and this was the day to set my body up with pin marks for lining the radiation machine up. These marks stay with you for the rest of your life. Before this started, I was given a pet talk, but not told of the mechanics of what was to follow later, I was ask to sign a piece of paper that no one reads. Then I was given a booklet full of information that would take a person a day to read. This explained what was to follow and should have been posted out to me a week early than today, so that I could prepared for what was next on the cards.

You soon find out that Cancer gives everyone the right to do what he or she want with you. You have no more privacies in your life again. Everyone has their hands all over you, and in places, you would never let anyone touch you before this all happen. Anyway, shortly after my pet talk I was told to start drinking my water. Six cups were there on the table waiting for me to consume them, all at once. I was then ask to wait in the waiting room for twenty minutes.

I was then brought straight into a room where there was a large machine and four people I had never met before. I was told of what was to happen, but there was too much information been shoved on me and it was all go, go from them there. I found it hard to take it all in at once.

I was then told to take off my shoes, socks, jeans and underpants in a room with no screen or gown to put on and in front of four people. I had to sit on a chair like this with nothing to cover me up and wait until the machine was ready while four people were there. I had to then walk half-naked across to a scan machine and lie down on it. I felt very venerable in that position in front of all these people. Lubricant was then put on my belly and a small scan was done. Then I was asked to lift my legs up and a tube was inserted up my rectum and a die and more lubricant was put inside.

I then thought it could not get any worse, but it did. Another tube was push into the top of my penis after they had numbed it with an injection. They then push it all the way past my prostate. Which hurt a lot. Then it was pulled out again, leaving a die and more lubricant. The die was for the scan machine to pick up better detail of the area where my cancer was. I had to sit there for half an hour for a scan machine to do what it does with no cover on me. The scan I had in the private hospital a few weeks before, I was wearing a paper gown and I could not understand why I was not wearing one here. After that, two nurses started to put three permanent pin marks on my body so that the radiation machine could line up with my scan.

They did not even clean off the excess ink. I was then handed three to four sheets of what looked like kitchen tissue to clean myself up. I did not know of how much Lubricant I had inside me. When got of the scan machine to walk over to where my clothes were on a chair, it ran down my legs. They did not even have a screen for me to go behind to clean myself in private. I had to clean my private’s parts in a room in front of the four staff members. I felt humiliated, all they thought of was cleaning down the scan machine and not of the undignified way I was treated by them. I did not have enough tissue and was too embarrassed to ask for more.

I was standing there half-naked in front of four people I did not want there. There should have been a changing room with proper cleaning facility and I should have been supplied with a paper gown like the one you get in all private hospitals. All I wanted to do was get out of there as fast as I could. I was in such a rush that I put on my jeans to cover myself, all my underpants was wet from the lubricant I had missed. I try to get into the men’s toilet across from the scan room, but someone was in there. There was only one toilet in a waiting room for men who have prostate cancer. I had to stand outside with the thought, was there a stain on my jeans? I had also had a full bladder and the pain was getting to me now. I also felt wet all over. I finely got into the toilet, but it was too late to dry my underpants, I had to walk thought the hospital and back to my car and drive for two and half hours, home. I felt humiliated and hurt. There was not a nice person there. They were all like machines and I felt treated like as if I was not human.

How these medical people could be so removed from their patients, that they could not see what was going on. I cry all the way home and ask of life, why do this to me. On returning home that night, I went to bed straight away and stay in bed most of the next day. I thought of what I had just gone through and what was to come down the line and all I wanted was an easy way out. On Tuesday night, I started on planning how to get out of this world. I thought of modifying my car exhausted by tap a pipe into it. All I had to do then was sit there in the car, turn on the radio and run the engine. That would be end to it all. It was 2am and a call came in on my mobile phone. Out of nowhere Daniel phone all the way from Panama. His voice was very shaken. He was concerned and worried for me. I did not let him know at the time what I was thinking of doing, but when I told him a few days later, he went mad and he was right. It would have destroyed him, as he loves me so much.

The next morning I decided to make a complaint to the hospital. I have no doubt the staff intensions were good when it came to running the scan machine, but no one wipes there ass in public, why should a patient have to, in front of four strangers. They must have known it was undignified and if not, then they should not be doing this sort of work. I was given all the claptrap of health and safety about having a fold up screen in the scan room. However, that does not wash with me. If a private Hospital can do it, then so can a state hospital. It all boils down to the uncaring attitude of the staff in the end. They would not have their Father, Mother or their own kids clean themselves down in front of their colleges. So why do it to me. It hard enough to adapt to this horrible new way of life, for me. On telling my friends of what it was like, they were outraged at this.

Next Monday the 12th of July, I am off to the Swiss Alps on my Motorcycle tour and I am not looking forward to coming back to all of this again. I wish life would be fair for once in my life. This caner has taken all my dignity away from me. I feel let down by my body. I have always look after myself, eat the right foods, Never smoked, drank or taken drugs and this is what it does. It is not right, I wish Daniel were here, I wish I had my own place, and I wish life would piss of and let me get on with living. Nevertheless, that life and I am stuck with it. All I need now is luck the rest will follow. I have the love of a grate person, my family and friends.

Gerard.

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