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

Keeping it all in Perspective

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People reading this article may wonder why I decided to put these thoughts forward in print. I am most likely stating the obvious to so many of you and offering a standard cliché that nearly everyone has thought about at one time or another ( There is always someone worse off than you.) However on this site I get to vent about anything I please, like a one way dialogue. The only right of reply for readers is by submitting a comment after publication of my views.

My last few articles have dealt with “Post treatment blues.” “Euthanasia.” Anxiety, Depression and Suicide.” I stand by these articles and am proud to have submitted  them for discussion as they are valid issues. However, they reflect a rather narrow view from a cancer patients personal feelings of what mental issues may lie on the road ahead and how to manage these. SOooooo here I would like to offer a much broader vision that this particular cancer patient acknowledges and feels he should publish. This is so readers of my articles may understand I have not lost the plot and become completely self centred in a “poor me” syndrome.

On a personal level, my own father died of an unexpected heart attack at 48 yrs of age. I had two work colleagues who lost young children to childhood leukemia. A neighbour whose husband was killed aged 40 in a tragic work accident leaving her with two young children to raise. Another neighbour who accidentally reversed a car over his young son in the driveway. The boy survived but carries the facial scars for the rest of his life while the father carries the emotional scars.

I have a friend who has an eighteen year old son born with a birth defect who needs to manage his medical condition for the rest of his life. He cannot absorb needed nutrients through food and has to supplement nutrition through a liquid formula, mechanically distributed through a pump. This young man lost his mother in a fatal car accident when he was four years old. This same friend has another son 12 years old who has developed mental issues and will depend on medication and medical management for the rest of his life.

With ANZAC day just around the corner my thoughts are drawn to all soldiers from all countries of the world, who have died in war service to their homeland. These soldiers were mostly young men whose lives were cut short along with civilian men, women and young children who were displaced, maimed or killed in the name of political and/or religious warfare madness.

I served in the Australian Army from 1969 to 1972. I never went to Vietnam but I have mates who did and quite a few of these are still dealing with demons. Australia now is producing more of these sad cases who will have new demons to haunt them because of the current conflicts. One of the deaths of an Australian soldier in Afghanistan drew my attention for the following reason. I was one of the original members of the mine dog section formed in 1971. In 2010 Sapper Darren Smith and his EDD dog Herbie (explosion detection dog) were killed while on duty by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan. Darren was 26 years old and left behind a wife and a 2 yr old son.

Darren and Herbie

Darren and Herbie

The above list of events in my life are brief samples of the type of personal and family tragedies we all share. As ANZAC day draws near most of us reflect on the tragedy of war, each night you will see on the news or current affair programs many other examples of tragedy that effect people and families not only in Australia but all over the world.  Like most people I have had a few rough rides throughout my life but I am so thankful the way things have turned out for me. When watching these news programs or reading newspapers I constantly do comparisons with my own situation and give thanks to my own god for the life I have been given.

I think most readers if they have come this far into my article will understand the nuts and bolts of what I am trying to say here. SOooooo there is not much more to write about except my closing remarks.

So……….. I am 65 years of age diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer 1 year ago.

So……….. Big bloody deal !!!!!!!!!!

Lee aka Popeye


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