Sometimes, ignorance is bliss. Sometimes, you just don’t want to know.
The doc told me my PSA was too high. What’s a PSA?
Prostate cancer? That happens to old men. It can’t kill you, right?
Radical prostatectomy? What the hell is that? What happens when it’s gone?
Incontinence? No, not me. Impotence? No man, never been a problem.
Until it is. Until everything is a problem. The PSA that won’t stay down. The cancer that keeps coming back.
The doc says if I get this treatment, it will help. If I take these pills, it should slow it down. Only 6 chemo treatments, and then we’ll see.
And along the way, I keep learning. I go to meetings with other survivors. I hear their stories. I hear what works, and what doesn’t. I talk to the docs, I do my own research. I look around. I seek the truth.
Problem is, the truth doesn’t exist. Or maybe it does, but it’s a moving target. It worked for that guy, but not that guy.
Did you get seeds? Did you have surgery? Did you get radiation? Did it work?
And the whole time, the whole ten years of doctor appointments, surgeries, radiation, chemo and pills, I keep learning. I learn about new treatments, new drugs, new possibilities.
I learn that I can be tough when I have to be. I learn that breaking down now and then is okay.
But there are things I don’t want to know. I don’t want to know my life expectancy. Don’t tell me how much time I have.
Problem is, I’m curious. Always have been. I want to know everything. I want to know about stuff like the Big Bang, and quantum physics, and why sometimes things are worse for some people and better for other people. I want to know what’s in front of me. And this is what I see.
I’ve watched friends travel the same path I’m on, and they’re gone.
They’ve been dying at a regular pace. They do all the right stuff. They get the surgery. They get the radiation. They get the chemo. They take the pills.
And it doesn’t seem to matter.
I’ve had friends try oils. I’ve had friends try herbs. I’ve had friends try exercise, try eating right, try living clean.
And it didn’t matter.
I’ve watched people go through the hell of clinical trials, the last ditch effort to try to stay alive.
I’ve watched them fail.
In the cancer world, failure isn’t an option, but it sure as hell feels like it should be. It’s hard to get rid of a tumor with happy thoughts. I ain’t Peter Pan.
So, I travel on my own path, sort of amazed I’m still here. But the signposts are in front of me.
I’ve watched my friends travel this road. I know when things will stop working. I know when things are only going to get worse. I’ve seen it happen. Over and over again.
And every time it happens, it hurts like hell.
So, now, I don’t want to know. I don’t go to meetings anymore. I don’t make friends with survivors. I keep to myself, and I live my life. I don’t have the answers. Please don’t ask me.
Because I know too much.