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How cancer effects me!

SubDenis's picture
Posts: 130
Joined: Jul 2017

           I have cancer in my body and my job is to keep it out of my spirit!  The shock of cancer can only be understood by those who have it.  I have known many who had cancer and felt empathy for them but did not get the gut-wrenching shock until my doctor said, “you have cancer!”  My mind went to almost shut down as he talked, and I am sure I heard little of what he had to say. The first impact of cancer was a profound loneliness and a guttery level of fear that I have never experienced.  

The early days of being diagnosed were a mess of ignorance and fear, two forces which can do a number on your mind and spirit. I could distract the fear though information, reading and talking with others. However, there were those times like sleepless nights or just a flash of the possible treatments that could send me into a tailspin. Sure, there was comfort in reading other guys success stories and with that come the unsuccessful stories which seemed to overwhelm the success stories. 

Cancer is a lonely disease.  Support groups, forums and the like take the edge off and there are just times that the Dis-Ease sets in in your heart and drags you down.  The other force which makes it so difficult is the slowness of treatment decisions and how the medical system moves.  I find it discomforting to hear “take you times, no rush, etc.”  While this is good advice to learn and understand your options, the fact that months must go by to get to a treatment decision is not comforting.  

Having cancer is a physical ailment and if I am not careful it will become a spiritual and mental ailment also.  This is when fear overwhelms logic and trust.  I have had hours of deep confusion and near despair because I let cancer get in my mind and in my spirit.  And those around me also suffer due to my discomfort.  

It is critical for me and those around me that I show up strong and ready to be the best I can be today with cancer.  I cannot change that fact, but I can choose how I show up today.  I cannot predict how my disease will manifest, how effective the treatment will be and what side effects will happen in the future.  But I can decide to be as healthy as I can be today. I can help those around me, be grateful for the life I have today. Yes, I can choose to be grateful with cancer!   I have already met dozens of guys who share the disease and we have laughed and worried together, have share advice and experiences, and shared hope and courage. 

As Movember approaches and our disease will get some awareness, I am committed to keeping my spirit grateful, to be clear about being the best I can be today, and to move forward on the cancer journey.  

VascodaGama's picture
Posts: 3428
Joined: Nov 2010

This is a beautiful and consize description of our experiences as PCa patients. I wonder if you are joining the many growing a moustage for Movember. How about giving up with shaving while waiting for a decision. It may help you in leading with anxiuosness.

Thanks for the post.


SubDenis's picture
Posts: 130
Joined: Jul 2017

VG I am growing my ribbon!  Denis

RobLee's picture
Posts: 264
Joined: Feb 2017

I haven't had one for 45 years, so it will take a while to thicken up.

Posts: 479
Joined: Mar 2017

I have had bushy beard and stash since college days.

My wife always wondered what I looked like without it.

So one year she demanded "Shave it off! Shave it off!"

So I did.

Then she demanded "Grow it back! Grow it back!"



Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 3705
Joined: May 2012

Your story reminded me a little of two "beard related" accounts.

The first pertains to ZZ Top. Some razor manufacturer offered to pay them $1 million each decades ago if they'd shave. Their reply was that they were too damned ugly to shave.

Another pertains to a former sub captain of mine in the mid-80s.  Beards had always been worn in the Navy prior to then, but a no-beards policy was introduced in 1984 or 85, but slowly, by Command.  We had to pull in to a foreign port to pickup emergency parts, and were going to be moored there overnight.  Some lacky from the base came down and invited our C.O. to dine with him, but added that they had a "no beard" policy.  He replied: "Tell him that neither my beard nor I will be going anywhere tonight."

airborne72's picture
Posts: 282
Joined: Sep 2012


This is an excellent job of correctly describing the event from the perspective of the one with cancer.  I have experienced this twice, first with prostate cancer and now with rectal cancer.  Both times the sequence of events that you described played out verbatim.


SubDenis's picture
Posts: 130
Joined: Jul 2017

Jim thanks for the comments and I wish you well in your new journey. Denis

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