Specialising in the human experience of Living with prostate cancer – warts and all

The Me I used to Know

with 7 comments

The Pink Hut

The Pink Hut

I have just spent four days out at our sapphire claim in Central Queensland.  The claim is nothing more than a 30met X 30met piece of ground with a tin shed, a caravan and a hole in the ground and is called “The Pink Hut Sapphire Mine.”

We don’t do much mining for gem stones although we can if we wish, and there is a wash plant to handle any stuff we may dig as the result of any enthusiasm.

It is not worth a lot of money and I have just re-registered the claim for the next five years.

It is more a place of dreams and sitting beside a campfire each night and enjoying the company of the local wildlife and looking at the stars.  It also a meeting place for my family, grandkids included to come out and enjoy some bush lifestyle, some old style bush philosophy and sometimes poetry.

When I was diagnosed and started the ADT treatment I immediately advised my work and quit my job. This was a job I held for the past 18 years even though I had retired twice before. After my previous retirements they kept on bringing me back because trained staff were hard to come by and it made me feel irreplaceable and the money was good. So much for ego and economics.

After I finally left work and with the diagnosis ringing in my ears I was forced to reevaluate my place in all of this to such an extent I carried out a witch hunt at home.  The witch hunt involved me going through all my old papers, certificates, course notes, awards and reference material and bundling them up prior to destroying them.

I looked at all this stuff that I had been hoarding and finally realised that none of it meant anything at all.  It was all bound up with the person I used to be and that the diagnosis and my sudden real retirement,meant that all this stuff was taking up room in my draws and cupboards at home.  It had dawned in my mind that my world had changed forever and for as long as I am able to hang about, there is a new chapter ahead of me unrelated to the person I used to be.

Flash back to the Pink Hut. Here I am with all these pieces of paper of my previous life, here I am sitting around a wonderful campfire.  I am contemplating on what used to be, I look over to my wife of forty years and we discuss how things have changed, we also discuss the relevance of the stars Canopus, Rigel and the planet Jupiter in the heavens above this evening.

Then I feed all this stuff into the fire piece by piece and it is like pieces of my self disappearing down the chute and I suddenly wonder about the relevance of it all.  Why did I bother over all this time? and I  struggle to find an answer.  Perhaps none of it matters in the long run we just stumble about and do the best we can at the time.

The flames absorb the life that used to be piece by piece and I cannot help but think of the analogy between this and the cancer.  Could it be that the cancer may overwhelm me in body and spirit and also in the history of what I used to be.

The Pink Hut

The Pink Hut

There is an old adage that both myself and my wife Lynette appreciate and it is this: Whenever you think you have an insurmountable problem or are overcome by what seems a difficult decision ask yourself this.  WILL THIS MATTER IN A HUNDRED YEARS.

So I guess following my little bit of philosophy, who in a hundred years will give a dam what I burnt out at the sapphire claim nor will they remember who I was.  But I WAS here, and SO was my good wife and we will continue to deal with this as best we can.

This little blog has led nicely into the possibility of further investigation into the spiritual side of who we are and the relevance of what we do in this world. Perhaps the hundred year rule is not final at all. Let us see in good time.

Lee aka Popeye


Written by Lee

19 May 2012 at 10:59 pm

7 Responses

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  1. Lee, your story brought a lump to my throat. When we sold up in Whitfield, I did a similar thing emptying two filing cabinets – the cumulative collection of the documentation of my life. It all went up in flames and, let me tell you, it was a liberating experience. Maybe this is something we need to do before we can continue dealing with the new hand of cards we have been dealt.

    Greg Naylor

    20 May 2012 at 12:17 am

    • Thanks Greg: I was wondering how you would receive this post as I must admit I was pretty happy with the way the words came together and I was hoping you would be positive. I spent the few days in a bit of a blurr and I guess what I wrote came from the heart. What I wrote is how it was. You keep funny hours just like me I guess and I appreciate your reply. What a bastard mate is this thing and how it insinuates itself into your very being. Stay well old mate perhaps I can duplicate what I have just written and I know it has to come from the heart.
      Lee aka popeye.


      20 May 2012 at 12:36 am

      • … and no one can ask for more than comes from the heart. “Vent Thy Spleen”

        Greg Naylor

        20 May 2012 at 1:03 am

  2. My thoughts are with you Lee Thanks for such a candid view on this all. I hope to meet up with you soon

    Steve Whitehouse

    20 May 2012 at 7:07 pm

  3. With respect to all, I honestly don’t understand why it takes a life changing experience for some people to become
    more introspective. Two years ago I was diagnosed with prostate cancer, I did what I had to and have been cancer
    free for two years.


    21 May 2012 at 1:09 am

  4. Thanks. I would say the Blog is right. It’s like you are reading my mind.
    Doug. Soon to complete year 2 of ADT


    21 May 2012 at 1:47 am

  5. Gday lee good to hear from you. Your intro brings to minddiscussions karien and I have had since hearing about yourself and ken. We are now assesing our forward path. Will try to drop in for a cuppa if not at home then at the hut
    All the best mate.


    21 May 2012 at 10:53 am

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