“Am I going to die with prostate cancer?”
This was the question we all had in the back of our minds. My father was just diagnosed with prostate cancer. He asked this question when he got the diagnosis, too. This broke my heart into a million pieces. It was such a crucial time for us. I had no idea how to console him and throw away all his fears at that time. His doctor was very supportive, and he made sure that both of us saw a ray of hope rather than dwelling on fears.
The pain and uncertainty
His whole existence turned into a question mark, and all the family could read the pain and uncertainty in his eyes. He was 72 and newly married at the time.
When we were sitting in the doctor’s office, I noticed he held his head down to his shoulders. He was just staring at his toes trying hard to push back his tears and be strong for us.
Holding myself together was not easy, but it was too hard to see him like this. I silently wiped away my tears so that he did not see me shattered, too. As the oldest child, I had to be his strength during this time because all we could see or hear was the word cancer. It is so terrifying to see this word on any report. The world becomes blurry, and time just slows down to a crawl.
The brighter side
Overall, it was not as worrisome as we thought it to be. The doctor knew what we were thinking and was very knowledgeable. He showed us the other side of this story, the hopeful and brighter side, I would have to say.
It was very common for him to see people like us on a daily basis. But for us, our whole life was turning upside down and was revolving entirely around that one word. We couldn’t see beyond that. The doctor gave us several small brochures, which had all the details and information to get to know about what this cancer is and how it works.
My father has always been very cautious and took all the considerations to keep his mind and body healthy. I’m 100% sure that was the reason the cancer was caught in an early stage. He never missed a doctor’s appointment or his annual check-ups.
Prostate cancer is often not fatal
What we learned was that prostate cancer is often not fatal and has high survival rates when it gets caught at an early stage. Just hearing that information made us take a sigh of relief, both of us simultaneously. You had to be there for this one.
Well, the next thing the doctor said gave us a bit more strength. He told us that prostate cancer mainly gets dangerous if it reaches the stage of metastasis and damages bones and tissues, and even in that case it is not always fatal. The patient has time to try treatment options. As I’ve said many times over the last 16 years, get checked early men; don’t wait.
An important takeaway
It might sound weird, but the first thing we did after coming home was that we celebrated this good news. We had his favorite food, drink, and looked at a Western movie together.
I honestly think life is all about being together whatever the situation is, no matter how hard it gets. Being together matters. After all, we are family and in my 60s now, I am still my daddy’s little girl. My father will be 90 soon and trust me, he is living his best life.
Stay in contact with your doctor and be hopeful. This disease does not have to always be fatal.