First Post – Again

I am not sure I want to write this.  I am not sure you’ll want to read it.  Certainly it isn’t the direction I envisioned for this little blog or even for my life but life has its strange twists and turns. I started this blog with the idea that I’d just write about stuff – life, literature, faith, travel, art, woodworking, sea shanties – whatever I had a passion for and see where this lead.  There have been times when I thought that if I could find the right topic to write about that I could turn that into something more than a little hobby.  Who knows maybe more than three people might be interested in my little writing efforts.

That’s not what’s happened.  That’s not where I am today.  In the last six weeks I’ve been going through a journey of a kind I never expected to take.  It’s not been a fun journey or one that I chose but it’s the kind you have to take.  It’s the kind of journey that one hesitates to talk about. One that is mentioned only in polite whispers.  One that I’d rather deny – run from – hide from – cry in anger against.

This line from a popular Tim McGraw song has been filling my mind a lot lately, “How’s it hit you when you get that kind of news?”

The song “Live Like You Were Dying” is about a man dying from cancer.  Frankly it’s an annoying song.  Heartfelt I am sure.  I am sure sung from the best of intentions and meant to be uplifting and supporting.  I suppose to those who haven’t received that call from their doctor it is all that and more.

To those of us who have received the call it is just another reminder of what we’re expected to do and be while we deal with whatever the future might hold.  Frankly I don’t really feel like doing anything mentioned in that song.  And I promise to hit you hard on the nose if you mention that other movie, “The Bucket List.”

Yeah, I’ve got an attitude today.  It’s not likely to get better for awhile.

What I also have is a diagnosis of prostate cancer.  The road to making that better looks like it is going to suck – big time suck.  The road to this point has been a trial and there are times that I just don’t know how I am going to continue.

But my doctors assure me that the cancer is treatable and even curable.  It’s the treatments that don’t sound all that fun.  It’s the side effects that are going to be – shall I say less than desirable? It’s the possibility that I might permanently lose some of my quality of life – that I’ll have to change, or forever deal with something that the treatment takes from me.

It’s fear of the unknown that surrounds as I start down this path – the fear that it will hurt, or won’t work, or I’ll end up with the rare form that isn’t treatable.

It’s the fear that it is the hardest to fight.  It’s the fear that wakes me at three in the morning and robs me of my sleep.  It’s the fear that erodes my peace of mind.  It’s the fear that drives me into depression.

I only know one way to fight fear and that is to face it down – bring it into the light of day and force it to show its reality.  Then it melts and loses its power.  Well that is the theory.  In practice it is much harder to do.

Bringing in the light is part of why I am writing about this today.  I am by nature a story teller and a teacher and it is by telling and teaching that I learn.  There is so much I need to learn here so I am now, somewhat reluctantly, telling the story of how this disease has and will be changing my life.

Up until today I’ve kept the news of what I am going through to myself and those closest to me.  Partly I’ve been afraid to tell anyone (are you picking up on the fear theme?) because of how they’d react, or that I have to deal with wacky advice or worse.  Many people while trying to be supportive say the dumbest things.  The full list of dumb things is a subject of a future post.

So far the one of the more supportive comments comes from my wife when she says, “Whatever it is, whatever has to be done, we’ll do it together.”

The second most supportive comment came from one of my trusted spiritual advisers when he said, “Shit.”

I am now in the middle of things or “in medias res“ as we might say over in the literary criticism section.  The treatment of my body will begin later this week at the cancer center and the treatment of my mind and spirit begins with this post.

More posts will follow as I bring you up to date with the story so far and then as my strength allows I’ll keep you updated as my treatment progresses.

About Andrew Reynolds

Born in California Did the school thing studying electronics, computers, release engineering and literary criticism. I work in the high tech world doing software release engineering Then I got prostate cancer Now I am a blogger and work in my wood shop doing scroll saw work and marquetry.
This entry was posted in Health, Prostate Cancer, Spirit and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to First Post – Again

  1. It was hard to click on “like” in the case of this post, but I did anyway because of your style, your courage and your honesty.

    I am finishing a book about my experience with breast cancer, and am trying to be as upbeat and positive as I can. I wish you very good luck with your treatments and hope nothing negative comes from them.

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  2. Lou santoro says:

    Been at this PC five years now. It starts with “shit” then the words and thoughts start to change. The word “Fear” is always there; however, it evolves. We have life, not a death sentence. Things just become more definite, more precise. I take nothing for granted. I still get angry, want to scream at something or someone, sometimes in the middle of the night thoughts usually get very dark or negative, my only way out has been to pray. This walk we are on is personal, I only share or talk about it are folks like me and you most others cannot get a grip on it and stumble around with the wrong words. I value our friendships so i chosen not to burden them with it, only folks like us that are on this walk. We will not die from this, but it will change us, but pray not consume us or our daily lives. I, too, have a spouse like you, I remember when she took my face in her hands and said, ” this is not what or who we are, this will not define us, we will see this through” and we have. My gratitude is it is me facing the cancer word and not my family members. Be you, continue to write in your blog I will look for your journey.

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    • Andrew says:

      Thanks for your comment. Strange thing about this cancer thing – it’s helped me have more inspiration about writing. I am looking forward a whole of bunch of blog posts this year.

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  3. Pingback: The Year in Review Post « Andrew's View of the Week

  4. Betty Auchard says:

    Andrew, you wrote: “Many people while trying to be supportive say the dumbest things. The full list of dumb things is a subject of a future post.”
    I want to address that. I experienced this same thing after my husband died, but he did NOT die of prostate cancer. He beat that one. People said “cheerful” things that pissed me off but I had to stop being angry with them because people don’t really know what to say so they try to be upbeat. Upbeat never works when the mood is down in the pits. It wasn’t easy but I had to start letting those “dumb” comments just pass over me, knowing that the commenter had to blurt out something because he/she was so uncomfortable. In the meantime, I’ll keep track of your posts.

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  5. Dave Sargent says:

    Andrew, the guys in the Gathering of Men are thinking positive thoughts for you. I don’t think you have to worry about negative reactions from this group. We hope to see you at the next meeting in February. Will you be taking advantage of the situation to have a donut? I’ll be sure they are available. They are the greatest “comfort food”! Way better than moose turd pie. If you haven’t heard that joke let me know. Dave Sargent

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    • Andrew says:

      Thanks for the positive thoughts. I expect by February I’ll need some donuts. The other thing I am finding out is that warm socks are a great comfort too. I am going to get me a bunch of warm socks. and I’ll catch up with you later on the joke, don’t think I’ve heard that one.

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  6. Marvin Tanner says:

    Wow, some journey you are about to begin. Ina and I will keep you in our prayers. I still remember the talk Ted Chamberlain gave about his prostrate cancer. It was informative and upbeat. Maybe you would like to talk with him. I have several friends who have conquered prostrate cancer. Please be upbeat about your situation.

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  7. sally wenzel says:

    As I read your blog I’m at a lost for words, so I will borrow one “shit”….just know that I and many others will be holding you and your family in our prayers as you are on this journey. I don’t know what kind of other support you will need, but just ask.

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    • Andrew says:

      I’ve been thinking a lot about support. I know that I need some kind of support but so far I haven’t figured out what I need. Prayers is the only thing I know for sure and it’s likely that as I get into treatment I might need something. But mostly I find it comforting to know that my friends care and they are listening.

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