On June 16th I had surgery to remove my cancerous prostate. Last week I performed what will be my three month ritual, meeting with my urologist to check my progress. He let me know I remain cancer-free. I get to do it again in March, and will hope for the best each time. Frankly, I see no reason my status should change.
I’d like to say everything is perfect, but I’m fighting with the side effects associated with this surgery. I’m not incontinent, but do have to keep an eye on how much liquid I consume and how quickly I can get to a restroom. It can be challenging at school. The other major side effect to prostate surgery is erectile dysfunction. While I’m not sure I want to go into detail, let’s just say that I no longer laugh at Cialis and Viagra commercials.
I am cancer-free, and that should be a source of joy and celebration. Trust me, I am. But I am daily reminded that cancer is a silent companion as Emerald Ridge seems to be crawling with it. In November we lost Sarah Cypher, a wonderful colleague, a mom and wife 22 years younger than me to a form of lung cancer. Sarah was a runner, never smoked and lived a very healthy life. It seems so unfair. Two more colleagues had surgery for breast cancer last week. A gaming friend is fighting the good fight in McMinnville. I’m starting to suffer from Survivor’s Syndrome.
Don’t get me wrong, six months down the road and cancer-free is a really great place to be, but I haven’t forgotten where I’ve been, Let’s just say I’ve developed an outsized cancer sense-o-meter that immediately focuses my energy and attention in places it shouldn’t be when I hear about friends who are suddenly afflicted by this curse. For those of you out there who are struggling with cancer, just know my heart is with you and I wish you the best. Keep fighting.