Rob Shilson shares a contemporary account of his experience and feelings with respect to prostate cancer. It is a positive story with some positive outcomes.
I have a family history of PC so for me going for a PSA test was just routine. Last September however the outcome was a little different and discussions with my doctor ensued.
‘Your PSA reading is a little high’, I was told, ‘I am sending you for an MRI scan’.
Then…’Hmm somethings not quite right on the scan, have a biopsy’.
Now as anyone with any experience of cancer knows, a lot of waiting is involved. Whilst I am not critical of the medical system (PC is slow growing) – the waiting is agony.
Finally on the 12th of November I meet with my consultant for my biopsy results and am informed that I’ve joined the club that no-one wants to be a member of!
I have choices.
I can opt for ‘robotic surgery’ but must weigh up the side effects or have radiotherapy also with possible side effects. Other treatments may also be available!
I think at this point I was at my lowest. Not knowing which way to turn and needing advice perhaps from men who have had these procedures.
I had been given a tome of booklets and literature and of course there are on line forums, but I felt a friendly chat would be better.
Are there any PC support groups in or around Whitby?…no. I then recalled a neighbour who a year ago told me of his similar diagnoses. At the time he made it clear that although he was unwell, for some reason he did not want to talk about it. Somewhat nervously I thought I would give him a ring and tell him my news.
To my surprise he was very sympathetic and invited me to call round. He explained that he had now been ‘fixed’ and was fine but was happy to answer any queries that I might have. This was helpful.
Speaking with my Urologist and Oncologist I eventually came to the decision that radiotherapy was the best choice for me. The on-line forums also assisted greatly.
I am now through my treatment course and nearly ‘fixed’. Chatting with fellow patients at the hospital endorsed my thoughts that face to face contact often works best if it is available. I am currently liaising with Prostate Cancer UK to form a support group in Whitby which will enable this approach.
an algorithm informs be that my lifespan has increased by up to 11 years
a neighbour becomes a friend, we had more in common than I had thought
a PC support group is coming to Whitby
Our thanks to Rob for sharing this and for taking a step that may help others faced with a similar situation and the “long wait”. It’s good to talk.
Rob is obtaining some booklets from PCUK and obtaining copies of the Haynes Man Manual. We will be providing some sets for each of the Whitby Sheds and also for Norton.
Rob is now in contact woth TackleProstate cxharity who assist start up groups. By coincidence, UK Men’s Shed Association will have a stand at an event this Monday organised by TackleProstate.
Bryn is championing an Andy’s Man Club for Whitby. Today Graham came across a man in Stockton wanting to do the same at premises a couple of Norton Shedders were helping to decorate.
At Whitby Shed on Wednesday
rob reported it was a very rewarding day with Elaine Marsh dropping in and also a man talking about a repair shop activity for Sleights. Unbeknown to Rob, the man was Rory Newman, retied GP from Sleights. Rory was a great supporter of SAMS Shed in its formative days. He was (is) a respected GP and a community campaigner too.
Meanwhile Katy got on with finishing her second repurposing project. Katy has really taken to upcycling and some new items are promised.