DRINKING ALCOHOL TAUGHT ME HOW TO FLY
THEN IT TOOK AWAY THE SKY

Friday, September 18, 2009

CLEAN AND CRAZY AND SOBER








This blog is written as the result of a request (to us men...) on Clean and Crazy('s) blog about "Prostate Cancer Awareness" Month...September.

Nearly three years ago, I asked my primary care physician, "How come I have not had a PSA test for several years?  Are they out of vogue?"  I knew that Medicare paid the full price of about $20...so when he looked it up and told me it was an oversight, we took the sample right then.

Well, yep the reading was "up there" and so it was off to the Urologist for me.  After numerous testings--some, quite invasive--one of which involved the snipping of biopsy material from 12 areas of the prostate (ahem!), I was told that every single area showed cancer, and "the horses had gotten out of the barn". And it was close, but not yet into a lymph node.

So began a long but painless road to recovery, radiation treatment every day for five weeks.  After a respite, several more days under the watchful eye of a robot-like figure called CYBERKNIFE.  Cyberknife had a dedicated room, this was the "big time", you could sense it.  Anytime I've got an $8-million machine looking me in the eye and winking, it figures that "I have arrived." A few days of that (it literally pinpoints the cancer, and zaps in just the correct spots) and I was free to go--I thought.

Well, it is now several years after. Every 84 days I trek to the office of the Urologist, where I'm tested, supported and given guidance.  Also, I'm given a nice shot in the ass!  A very expensive time-released Hormone shot, the potency of which lasts 3 months (according to the government) is given me, one doctor said, "to keep me alive".  The rest of my life will be dependent on these quarterly visits and shots.

Warning!  Here I go again:  The analogies on this blog are that my cancer diagnosis I identify with Step One. Steps Two and Three is when I said to myself, "Relax, Steve.  Trust that God is directing your doctors. Let them do the work for now. All you gotta do is suit up and show up. Trust your doctor, their teachers, and all the very experienced staff at the Cancer Center.  Pray for you doctors.  Let it happen!

The "treatments I line up with those "work" Steps, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.  Step 11 analogy is when I meditated (I did frequently!) and prayed (for God's Will, no more, no less!) and for Power to get me through whatever would unfurl itself to me--His Will.

Step Twelve, Spiritual Awakening--happened to me when the doctor so soothingly, almost nonchalantly said, "...the horses (cancers) are out of the barn!"  And so, this blog is part of the message of hope I am carrying to those who may still suffer from the announcement that they have Prostate Cancer.  You are not alone.  Many have gone before, and are well into recovery.  Have faith, pray, and keep coming back.

IF I wish to live sober, happy, and free, I have to keep my hand in Alcoholics Anonymous till I die.  I must continue helping others, speaking at meetings, attending functions, living the program.  So long as these things take place, I live. 

The same is true with any disease, "follow the doctor's instructions".  of which the basic "instructions" (for living without alcohol) are AA's Twelve Steps.
Did I mention, AA IS FREE...

By the way, the real miracle in all this cancer business for me was/is that never once was I stressed, never once gave up, lost hope, never once became angry about it.  All the happenings were just another place to go, another task to be done, and some cherished "quiet time" on the radiation tables, where meditation was just a GIVEN!

Thanks to God and AA!

Peace.
Love.
prostaroni
 

16 comments:

John DeFlumeri jr said...

stopping drinking reduces the risk of that type cancer

Tall Kay said...

You know Mr. Prostataroni, you are getting really good at this! I love your living examples of practicing these principles in all your affairs. It works, it really does! Sobriety rocks...so does surviving cancer!

Ed G. said...

I appreciate your perspectives and your experience...

Blessings and aloha...

Shadow said...

i'd never have guessed. wow. i'm so grateful. and quite in awe of your attitude to life.

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

Another miracle recovery... I guess when we put ourselves in God's hands he really does make everything better than we could have imagined!

Andrew said...

Thanks for the reminder Steve. It's been a few years since I had a PSA screening. Dad went through the radiation treatment for prostrate cancer also.

Rhonda said...

Wow! What a testimony!
thanks for everything.

Just Be Real said...

Good post of awareness you have done Stevie! Blessings my friend!

Brandi said...

Wow, what a great story. I can tell you've been in the program for a long time because you were diagnosed with CANCER and stayed serene. You have what I want.

big Jenn said...

You Rock!jeNN

Syd said...

I'm glad that you are okay. And thank goodness for Medicare. I guess that's why I'm in support of universal health care for all Americans--many men over 50 don't get PSA tests done or have Medicare because of being too young. My father had prostate cancer but was treated as well.

Banana Girl said...

Thank you for this candid post. It explained to me the current mood of an acquaintance who may be going through this. He has totally changed in personality and has isolated from everyone. I will pray more than I have been for him and his family. I am certain he is scared out of his wits. God bless you this and every day. J.

Dulce said...

Yes, cancer has to do so much with our attitude to life... not only having a healthy body care, but mind care...
My dad has lived with it for ten years. Has refused to go to an urologist any more. Instead he leads a peaceful life, and his only doctor is a homeopathist... I'm sure had he been operated he'd have died, as my brother did.

Madison said...

This is a good reminder that sometimes you have to mention tests to your doctor. It sounds like that played a big part in where you are today. And, it shows that God is your Rock. You truly do work the steps. I hope you inspired somebody with cancer today.

Carol said...

You are an inspiration

Ann said...

You are definitely an inspiration - glad to hear all that went well and it allowed you to touch my life so thank you for that!!! You are definitely Practicing these principales in all our affairs - thanks for that also!