American Past Time - $15.00

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American Past Time
A novel by Len Joy

American Past Time (Ebook) $5.99

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Monday, August 11, 2014

Wednesday is the First Day of the Rest of My Life

             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. 

Prayers welcomed.



Andrew said...

Prayers sent, Len. I had the same procedure done almost eighteen months ago. I think you made the right decision, the same one I made. It is not easy. It would be a lie to tell you it is. But many aspects of my life have become better as a result of this unexpected twist. Attitude is key and you have the right one. Just like in a race, it is all one breath at a time. I am with you.

Judy Long said...

Hi Len, I just joined facebook and saw this blog on Kris Kirkpatrick's site. So you're published! But our library doesn't have any of your books, so I'll have to peruse Amazon. My husband's 2 nephews did the Coeur d'Alene ironman last year. Maybe you competed against them! Their names are David and Cameron Young, from Cheyenne, WY. Actually, Cameron dropped out during the swimming part, as he was getting hypothermic, but David finished. David competed in another one a few weeks ago, but I assume you were not there this time.
Glad to hear your surgery went well and that pain killers are doing their job. I'm trying to talk Kris into going to the 45th reunion, but so far she's resisting, as she cares for her dad full time.
Get lots of rest and I'm sure you'll be back to your 5 am workouts soon! Hugs, Judy Magley McNamara Long

Spelldad said...

Was reading triathlon based blogs and came accross yours. I had surgery 9 years ago and everything has worked out terrifically as I am sure your recovery will as well best of luck.

Len said...

Thanks. It's been 2 and 1/2 weeks since the surgery. I'm running, well jogging short distances, but it is still uncomfortable to bike. But overall I'm very pleased with recovery. Lab report was clean which is the most important development.