Copying My Dad

I remember thinking my Dad was being uncharacteristically dramatic when, after buying a new Ford Crown Victoria in 1981, he said it would be the last car he would ever buy. Now that I am the same age as he was then, I understand. Sweet memories. I wish he was still with us – I would love to talk with him now about how to be a man. I didn’t then appreciate fully how wise and strong he was.

Writing poetry is a way for me to talk with him. I like to think he would be interested. I imagine him listening, considering and giving me his response. I would love that so much.

Having cancer has helped me explore what it means to be a man. Perhaps any life changing event would do that. Life becomes precious. All of the good things become precious – the people I love, my country, the earth. And I want more and more to understand everything. I intend to write about this – moving on from understanding prostate cancer to trying to understand life.

In future blogs, I will be posting poems about power, weakness, soul, fairness, bullying, gratitude, prayer, sadness, happiness, toughness, terrorists, envy, lust, anger, pride, a lot about fear and a lot about love. And anything else that comes to mind.

I think Dad will be watching. I will try to live up to his example.

That Crown Victoria was his last car. He died ten years later.

Moving On

This is humbling. I do not have cancer. My energy is returned. I went for a run and I was not tired. I wonder how much of my tiredness before was related to low iron and how much to fear. Anyhow this old boat seems to be a good metaphor for me/my life – I am working on it.

I Am Cancer

I apologize for my absence. I have been tired for several months, I have been afraid and I have been denying that I am afraid. For a long time, I said to myself that I was only afraid of screwing up the process of posting. And while it is true that I do not enjoy the technicalities of blogging, that is a deception.

I have been afraid that being tired and having pain in my arms means that I have cancer again. Tests show that my iron is low and I will receive the result of further tests in a couple of days.

I am unclear about what I do feel. Cowardly maybe?

Anyhow. I am back.

 

Thank you

Panic

I am not sure that I really understood how I felt when I was first diagnosed. I think it was a kind of panic.

I was trying to find out exactly what was happening to me and what could happen. I did not want to do anything to my body that might effect my ability to make love.

I read that when prostate cancer moves into our bodies one of the symptoms is that our bones begin to ache. Soon after reading this, the bones in my legs began to ache. I told the radiologist about this and he scheduled an MRI. The results came back quite quickly and the results showed that there was no cancer whatsoever outside of my prostate. Immediately, the pains went away.

I think this was panic.

Poison

Poison. Betrayal. Despair. When I wrote this poem, I was flailing about. It seemed so unjust that my body, and in particular, that part of my body which had, throughout my life, brought unimaginable physical and spiritual pleasure, would now possibly be the source of my death.

If you find this poem and my thoughts of value, I invite you to revisit my blog and read about my book Ripped Out: One Man’s Journey Surviving Prostate Cancer. You may download an e-copy for free or, if you wish purchase a printed copy for $14.95 plus shipping.

Please consider posting your thoughts on this blog. Hearing how others have or are coping with their cancer or the cancer of someone they love will help me on my journey and I believe it will be helpful to others.

 

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Fear

I have had what seems to me to be an odd experience with fear as I went through the stages of diagnosis, treatment and recovery. Odd in that I did not actually feel afraid. I knew that my cancer could kill me, but I didn’t go into it. Instead, I put a lot of energy denying all of my feelings. It wasn’t until several years after my surgeries that I felt a lot of anger and by then, my PSA readings were consistently low, so I no longer had reason to be afraid that I would die.

I have come to realize that I have lived with a lot of fears that I continually, with great effort, deny. Then finally, I realize that speaking my fears out loud actually gives me relief.

I am very interested in others’ experiences – allowing feelings or not?