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Indeed as time goes by our memory tends to soften the starkness of the reaction to the word “Cancer”. One of the reasons I was involved in setting up this site was because I didn’t want to forget how badly my darling wife was affected by the way in which we were given the bad news – and how unsympathetic the urologist was, how misleading the limited information he gave us, how difficult it was then to learn anything useful. We thought that if the could lessen slightly that awful feeling that most people have, we’d achieve something.
I have tried to live by Robert’s injunction #14 as do many of the men who contribute their experiences to the pages of this site, thus demonstrating to the men that follow us the truth of my personal one liner which, as you may have noticed is “There’s life after a prostate cancer diagnosis.” and I’ve done my best to demonstrate that personally by our activities over the past twelve years – we’ve been and seen some wonderful places, met lovely people and had some pretty good food. I’ve just had a notification from the airline we use most often that there’s a special offer for frequent flyers – our problem, it seems will be whether we should make another trip to the US or France and Portugal. What a choice to have to make – and one I never thought I’d be around to make in 1996.
I’m glad you like the odd touch of humour on the site – I think that’s another important aspect of life. When I was running a support group in Cape Town South Africa we used to alternate a professional speaker with an open meeting when any subject of interest could be raised (and at the end of either type of meeting we had a couple of bottles of wine and some snacks available!). At one of these open meetings, a newcomer, whose father had been diagnosed asked, when we got to question time if there was anyone in the meeting who’d actually been diagnosed with prostate cancer. A huge laugh went up and I asked all the men to introduce themselves with a brief summary of their diagnosis, choice of treatment and current situation. She was amazed that they could be so apparently light-hearted about what until then had been such a traumatic shock for her. She had joined the Group just in time for the December meeting which was always focused on the fact that we’d survived another year – and that was worth celebrating. It certainly helped her to see for herself that there was indeed a life after prostate cancer.