Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Well, we had this Chinese takeaway; mine looked dodgy and didn't smell that good and I left half of it. However, Sasha wolfed the lot before I could blink! The rest happened overnight as I slept. Somebody was yodeling in my dreams, that might have been Sasha!
Walked into town for some lunch, discussing how dangerous some drivers could be, when a passing car tore the wing mirror off a parked car beside us, just to confirm our beliefs!
Great to sit and chat for hours about everything. Sasha so pleased that Ceej likes his new job and I'm really happy for him too. Makes one realise how little effort we put in sometimes to keep in touch with family; cancer was just the boost I needed :-)
Prostate cancer is not a sudden meeting with the Grim Reaper, it's a 'Slow dark waltz with the Angel of Death'. Isn't that lovely? Then I get to go home.
Talked to Paul, my brother, on the way back. He was saying what a great idea the blog is for updates, not just medical but all the little family and friends stuff too. At the start, a few people joined up that I forgot to thank and I would like to thank you all now. Caroline is the latest, my friend in Edinburgh; welcome to you also.
If you do look in occasionally, think about joining up hey; I'm told that it is very easy.
Nice to be back in Penrith with Beverley; though it's my turn to cook tonight; she's much better at that stuff!
Cynthia, if you're still there, I'm waiting for you :-)
Not many people talking about the World Cup now......why is that?

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Ah what a day! Drove over to Knaersborough to see Sasha, Lucienne, Maria & Sofia. So good to see everyone, especially Maria after such a long time. Chantal, we could have made it a record! Very hot day! Took Luci to the station then went for an ice cream with Maria and Sofia. After that, Sasha drove my car into town and back with us three as passengers. Not too scary, we lost one L plate! Then Maria and Sofia got picked up and that left me and Sasha to watch the footie. Half time just now; she hates it!! We had a takeaway but nearly threw up, so washed it down with a cheese and onion toastie. All part of my new health conscious diet!
My psa level in 2006 was 0.8, then in 2008 was 1.8 but my recent one was 4.2. Only of interest to my brother Paul at this stage I guess. Good luck on Thursday mate.
I suppose the next 3 weeks are going to be good, because I will have nothing to report medically and I do feel great. Will cross the MRI result when I come to it; one day at a time hey?
Can't wait to see Beverley tomorrow, until you've had a hug from her, you've never lived!
Got a great text from David yesterday, thanks mate you're a top guy from a top Mum!
Man U Dave in Inverness...we've got many a match to go hey? Thanks for the updates.

Monday, 28 June 2010

Doctors this morning, just routine to check my mental state after the diagnosis. Still mental so no change! I get a free health check every 6 months now and free prescriptions including the cost of hair pieces if I need one. Could do with a big hairy chest!
Went to see my good friends Sue (mother of my 3 eldest daughters) and Simon at Langdale. Good straight talk on the balcony whilst the weather systems worked their way down the valley. Will have to do wine instead of coffee next time. Thank you Maureen, my new Wican friend for the crystals and diet advice; felt very posotive when I left. I may become a Witch!
Tomorrow, it's over to Knaersborough to see Sasha, Lucienne, Maria & Snofia. Four daughters in one day, must be a family record in recent years! Hope they can all stay friends until I get there; and Sue says if the cats are missing, so will all of you be when she gets back!!
Another day passes and all is well. Tick, tock, tick, tock .......

Sunday, 27 June 2010

So, religion? Will it help me to get through this? I am deeply religious but not in the conventional sense. My Mother's family are Catholic but my Father, having explored many religions, was a Zen Buddhist until he died. (and probably still is!) I have read up on most religions and respect them all. Though I also acknowledge that organised religion has been responsible for more death and torture throughout the centuries than any other force! I am sure that there is a creator and I don't believe that all this Universe happened by accident! If we call that creator 'God', then that's fine by me. The answer is out there, somewhere between the infinity of inner and outer space, but we will never be clever enough to work it out. I am just happy to be part of it, knowing that I always will. The beginning and the end are not very relevant, it's how you enjoy the journey that counts, and how people remember you.
3 hours to kick off now and the BBQ needs lighting. David & Laura, Beverley's son and his girlfriend joining us. (lovely couple)
I am going for an England win on penalties....Come on England!

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Got a letter from my doctor this morning...'good news, your recent blood test has shown that your cholesterol level has gone down slightly'! Now there's a bonus :-)
Better news still...I now get free prescriptions for life! Sasha says I look for the 'perks' in everything!. Talking to my Urology Nurse yesterday, I said "one thing is puzzling me". "What's that?" she said. I replied, "What did I used to think of all day before I had this diagnosis?" We both laughed. I suppose the point was, we fill our heads with thoughts regardless everyday. What was important one day might fade into insignificance when other news arrives!
Another friend asked me if I was offended by some of the comments that had been left on the blog. Not at all! Anyone who knows me well also knows that I love that approach to serious stuff. There does come a point when things get so bad sometimes that you just have to laugh and joke. You'll see what I mean after the England v Germany match tomorrow! Great for Ireland that France went out though!
Another question I have been asked is about religion. My faith!!? I think I will leave that until tomorrow. Being a Sunday and all that!
Chaz E Mailed me today for my weekly score rating. (How I am feeling in my head) I gave him a 9 out of 10 which is damn good hey? 10 only happens during an orgasm. Might get a 10 later today but may have to get used to peaking, mainly at 9's for a few months soon!
The 'Wool Fest' was great yesterday. Only Denise and Nikki showed up but what a great day. Lots of different breeds of sheep in pens at one end of Cockermouth Cattle Market and hundreds of stalls with everything you can make out of a sheep and how to do it. Not lamb chops or butcher shop stuff! Just the woolly stuff, like rope, jumpers, shawls etc. Weaving looms, spinning wheels and the like. The people who were there were more interesting than any of the exhibits. Tree hugging, spiritual, natural, vegitarian, earthy (mainly women) lovely people. I wondered... what if sheep were the dominant creature on the planet? All the pens in the market would contain humans and the stalls would contain products made from us!!! What would those be? And how would they opperate the tiny buttons on my didgital camera with those clumsy hooves?

Friday, 25 June 2010

62 people have viewed the blog and some have signed up; great! I am a bit worried about how different people view the content, or even the idea of making this blog. I know such a variety of people, with many religions, personalities and cultural backgrounds involved; such has been my life! It is not possible to write this blog in such a way to please and make everyone comfortable. Reminds me of running pubs when the bar was full and a customer would ask me to change the music. I couldn't put everyone's choice of music on at the volume they wanted; but I could put my music on, aimed at the majority. They could then choose whether to stay!
Going to a 'Woolfest' in Cockermouth today; haven't got a clue what I am in for but I suspect 'wool' is involved.
MRI scan still over a week away and I feel great; so may as well enjoy this coming week. England to beat Germany on Sunday? I hope so, but the Germans have shown to be more of a 'team' than our lads so far.
I've decided that, 'you can read too much', and that's probably a bad idea. Just looking forward to the start of term in September. Beverley is a bloody Superstar!!!

Thursday, 24 June 2010

My daughter Sasha thinks I should change my profile photo because I look like I have already had chemotherapy!
Good news in the post today...I am having a picture published in the July edition of 'Lakeland Walker'. They sent me a pair of walking socks as a prize!
One of my ex Army pals asked me what symptoms he should look out for. Difficult one! Obviously if you have blood in the urine or semen then go to your doctor, it needs checking out. But most other symptoms are common to an enlarged prostate, if cancer is present or not. As the prostate enlarges in most men when they are over 50, there is simply no point in trying to look for these symptoms and reading anything into them.
My advice to all men over 50 is this. Every year, without fail, go to your doctor and ask to have your blood tested for psa, the chemical that only the prostate produces. You will get the result the week after. Even if it is slightly raised, ask your doctor to examine you internally. It may put your doctor off lunch, but hey, what price? Your doctor will then know, as mine did, whether or not to send you to a specialist. If you catch this early your chances are very good!
Before I was diagnosed I had never felt fitter, so don't be fooled into thinking that you need to feel unwell to have prostate cancer.
A big bonus once you have been treated successfully is that you will then be 'kept an eye on' for life to make sure there is no recurrance.
In an e mail today someone said 'you must be very angry that this has happened to you'. Not really, I have learnt that 'stuff' just happens. Hopefully we get more good stuff than bad stuff in life. We enjoy the good stuff and with the help of good people around us, we must just deal with the bad stuff!

I have been flooded with 'well wishes' from so many people; thank you so much.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

You know the best thing to come out of all this is how much closer this has made some of my family (not all!) and friends. Beverley has been amazing but then again, Beverley always is. Chantal, Luci and Sasha, great! Welcome to the blog. We all have our own way of dealing with stuff and you've have all shown your unique personalities over the last week in such a lovely way. My Sister, Cynthia sent me some tablets than can slow progression by 30% or more. They were not cheap and they are about the size of a small hot water bottle but you can bet I will take them! She may be petite but when Cynthia tells you to 'do it', it's easier to obey! The Prostate Cancer Charity sent me an information pack today, big enough to contain the entire human dna profile I thought; but very useful stuff. When I am recovered I can use it as a spare bed!
I think everyone knows now, either by mouth, e mail or Facebook. That's a big relief because you are never sure how people will react; I must be lucky because I have been 100% delighted with the support from everyone. It makes such a difference. Funny thing is, I was given a card by the hospital last week with my 'Key Worker' details on. A person who I can call at any time if I have any questions or worries! I have called several times, really just to see if they exist! Just an ansaphone every time and nobody has got back to me!
England kick off at 3pm; I would like them to win but it doesn't seem as important now. Come on England....but if they don't, roll on 4 years time!
My brother Paul has always been a great support to me, even though he has worries of his own. He is going to the doctors for a check up so I hope his turns out a better result. Then there's Andre my other brother, my good friend Andre. Always phones, always concerned, an all round good egg.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

The story so far......

My Father, Norbert Leon Auguste Sencier, died of prostate cancer over 20 years ago. There were no tests available then so it had spread everywhere by the time it was diagnosed. He went very bravely and was an inspiration to those around him in the hospice. At the age of 50, I decided to have a psa test every year. A simple blood sample is taken then checked for a chemical (psa) only produced by the prostate gland. If your psa levels are too high for your age then it's advisable to have an internal examination by your doctor. A finger up the bumb hole to see if the prostate is smooth! (a far worse experience for your doctor than you!) I went through this process and my doctor advised seeing a specialist. The specialist, Mr Bashir, then decided that I needed a biopsy of my prostate which was done at the same appointment back in May. A little uncomfortable, ouch!!!!
On the 18th June I found that I had passed my Access Diploma which would mean I could start my degree in September. On the same lovely sunny day I went for the result of my biopsy; I felt so fit and well, it just couldn't be bad!
Out of the 10 samples taken, 8 showed level 3 and 4 cancer. 1 being mild and 5 being aggressive. The 3 & 4 are then added together making 7. The 7 is taken onto another scale of 1 to 10. 1 to 5 being suspicious cells, 6 & 7 the lowest cancer rating and 8 to 10 are progressively worse. I can't describe the feeling when you are told that you have cancer; my first thoughts were 'how do I tell my partner and my children'?
The hope right now is that the cancer is confined to the prostate. The low psa level and the time since I was last checked suggest I may be lucky. I will have to have an MRI scan on Monday 5th July. After this scan I will know more. The treatment options are numerous and will be discussed by specialists both from the Carlisle and Newcastle Hospitals.
As I will not get the result of this scan for several weeks, I am going on holiday to Cyprus pretending that nothing has happened!!

I will be posting updates several times a week, and if you would like to comment or contact me then that would be nice!