My Dad (right) – taken at his favorite Italian restaurant he visited when he came to Perth
(Photograph by Samantha Rose)
*This update is told with the permission and blessing from my Dad and this is his story as he told it to me.
It was written in January 2015 when Dad was given the ‘all-clear’ from his prostate cancer. I have chosen to publish his story one year later in the hope that it might help other men in this situation*.
As you may or may not know, in 2014 my Dad was diagnosed with Prostate cancer and thanks to the vigilance of his doctor and Dad not being afraid to have the relevant tests – it was caught in good time.
But please don’t think that for a man having prostate cancer is any less traumatic than other cancers because the treatment for this disease is exceptionally hard and anyone that has had radiotherapy can testify as such, not to mention the medication you have to take and the havoc it can wreak on your body and emotional well-being.
Dad told me that it is about time that more stories like his were told to give hope to others that have been diagnosed with cancer and like he was, are feeling overwhelmed with their diagnosis and the prospect of what lies ahead of them. In particular – prostate cancer, which so many men are too embarrassed to discuss let alone get checked for.
Anyway Dad called me tonight to tell me about his hospital visit to the cancer specialist on Friday and how the news was broken to him about the results of his prostate cancer.
My sister Terri had gone along with him to his appointment and Dad said the Doctor read his blood results and had a big grin on his face and Dad wondered why he (the doctor) was smiling.
He didn’t have to wait long to find out, he advised my Dad that his prostate PSA levels were barely traceable and that he had never seen them so low and that Dad does not have to go back for a year.
Dad said that the Doctor looked so pleased with giving this news, you can imagine that doctors give bad news all the time so this must have made his day.
Both he and my sister hugged each other when they left – oblivious to those around them, simply unable to believe the news that they had just been told. They quickly then told my other sister Julie (you can call her Me Julie and she has a fetish for firemen).
They made their way to the pub where Dad’s friends were there and the news was told and Dad said that people were congratulating him, some of them he knew, some he didn’t.
Someone bought him a bottle of champagne to celebrate and glasses were filled to raise a toast. Because what could be more fitting to raising a toast than to kicking cancers butt?
As everyone raised their glass, Dad told me that he picked up his glass and said quite suddenly and loudly ‘Fuck Cancer’ and one by one everyone raised their glass and repeated it so you could hear ‘Fuck Cancer’ being repeated several times at the bar.
Dad said he couldn’t stop smiling and he admitted to me on the phone tonight that he was still smiling and not quite believing the news.
He also emphasized that the moral of this update is to show that sometimes, just sometimes you can beat something that initially overwhelms you.
Prostate cancer is treatable – but you have to catch it in time. So many men have symptoms that they ignore and a simple blood test and check up can detect things early enough so that treatment can be started. The trouble is guys, embarrassment can literally be your worst enemy.
I will say that Dad has been through a tough time with his treatment and I remember him saying that it was the thought of having cancer in his body that really upset him – just the mere thought of it being there.
He came through the radiotherapy which was not pleasant, he is still on the medication which is also not pleasant but said that he doesn’t care ‘providing the cancer has gone’ because he is at a stage now where he could not have imagined being at 12 months ago.
Cancer is a bastard of a disease, it is a thief, an intruder, a heart-breaker and it does not deserve the power that it has and we need these ‘butt kicking’ stories.
So I want to dedicate this to my Dad and also to anyone that is going through this (or any kind of cancer).
‘Daddy Stocken Kicked Cancers Butt’ My Dad said to me on the phone tonight and you certainly did that Dad, and we are so proud of you.
*Update for January 2016*
I am pleased to say that Dad remains free of cancer and is doing very well and we are all so very proud of him.
Love you Dad xx
Samantha Rose (C) Copyright Jan 2016