In March, after my annual physical flagged an increase in my PSA level, I had a biopsy done, which revealed I had early stage prostate cancer. I want to say “VERY early stage,” but as writers we learn to avoid the use of meaningless adjectives.
My doctor outlined the treatment options. The first option was “watchful waiting,” but that seemed most appropriate if it looked like there was something else on your health horizon that would kill you before the cancer did. The second choice was radiation. That would require going to the hospital every morning for six months at six a.m. It would clearly interfere with my 5 a.m. workouts. The third option was surgery, either standard incision or robotic. The robots took four hours and the surgeon only took one, so I opted for the old-school approach.
The doctor then outlined all the possible side effects. None of them were appealing. I’m planning on “None of the above.”
Then it was just a matter of scheduling. I told the doctor I had a book launch scheduled for early April. He said that wouldn’t be a problem because his calendar was full until May. Then I told him I had qualified for the USAT Nationals in August and had been training all winter. I really didn’t want to miss that race. He looked like a runner so I think he understood. He said he had no problem with me waiting until after the race.
Then I remembered that I’d signed up to run in the Wisconsin Marathon with my coach in early October. The doctor gave me a funny look and told me to forget about the marathon.
Before I competed in the Ironman at Coeur d’Alene they told us that the only thing we could control during the race was our attitude. In every race since then I’ve been sticking an Ironman tattoo on my shoulder (the kind that wash off) to remind me of that. Tomorrow I’m going to use one of those tattoos as part of the pre-op prep. Then on Wednesday I will have the surgery.
I am expecting a good outcome.