Month 70 – Sharing Awareness

We’re about half-way through Prostate Cancer Awareness Month and it seems as there’s been some progress in getting the word out. More organizations seem to be helping to increase awareness than in the past, and that’s a good thing.

I’ll have to admit that my own approach to PCAM has changed slightly. I’m more inclined to tell people to educate themselves before making the decision to test.

Those of us who have been dealing with prostate cancer understand how complex, convoluted, conflicting, and confusing it can be. If you’ve never entertained the notion that you can get prostate cancer, you probably haven’t paid much attention to the raging debates in the field. DRE or no DRE? PSA test or no PSA test? Over-treatment versus under-treatment? Active surveillance versus treatment? That’s why it’s so important to educate yourself before being tested.

One of my former managers always said, “If you can’t stand the answer, don’t ask the question.” Your decision to get screened for prostate cancer is exactly that: your decision. You have to be comfortable with either path you take, and the best way to make that decision is by being educated. Please take a few moments this month—Prostate Cancer Awareness Month—to learn more about prostate cancer and how it can affect you. You can start with my Resources page.

I finally made my family and friends aware of my detectable PSA shortly after my visit with my urologist in August. There was concern from those who responded but, on the whole, the reaction was good. I knew that sitting on this for a year would cause some deserved criticism, too, but they seemed to understand my rationale.

It’s a relief to have it out in the open now. As one of my readers wrote on his own blog, “A burden shared is a burden halved.” Yep. It is. (Sorry, I can’t find the quote again to give credit where credit is due!)

On the whole, I’ve been able to push aside the emotions and thoughts that the cancer may be returning, and it feels good to be reengaged in the world. The next PSA test is in December.

Now if I can just get used to the fact that it’s dark when my alarm goes off in the morning… It wasn’t that long ago that the sun shining through my east-facing bedroom window woke me up and not the alarm. Autumn and shorter days are here! (In San Diego, shorter days are about the only indicator of it being autumn.)