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I Have Cancer: Now What?

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Life happens, and I am so tired of it happening on me and my family. Satan has pitched a tent in our yard, and now he's building a high rise

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My PSA test came back high

Of course, it's been slightly high for several years. About a decade ago I had the ol' finger test done, then had the camera stuck up there as well. All clear, no sign of cancer.

My PSA continued to run just a smidge high for my age: in the 5.0 to 5.8 range. My primary care physician finally had enough of my putting it off (there are some other reasons this can be high and not be cancerous) and sent me, actually made me go have something called a 4K test done. Results to be back in 10 to 14 business days.

A month later (almost) I get a call from the doctor's office informing me I have an MRI scheduled for next week. Wait, what? What about the results? No one ever called to give me the results and now I have an MRI? Why?

4K came back suspicious, so to confirm we are having the MRI. If anything shows up there, then a biopsy is in order.

And so, yesterday I had the MRI. The results came to my portal this morning: PI-RADS 5. Cancer. Shit.

So, now what?

I called my primary care physician, who called the doctor who did the test, who is out of town. Perfect. Cancer diagnosis and he's out of town. First time I can see him is next week, Wednesday at 7:45 AM. Apparently they are squeezing me in before the office actually opens at 8 AM so I can talk with him. Well, that makes me feel special. His nurses won't tell me squat, no one is telling me anything so we are left to read online and infer the worst. One study said that of the men who had the same rating as me (PI-RADS 5) 100% had cancer. Treatable, for the most part, but still. Cancer.

Let's start at the beginning, as that is the place every story should start, right? I am about to turn 62 in a few weeks, and have had my colonoscopy as I should have at age 50. I was clean, no signs of any issues. A few months later, a friend of mine (same age) had his colonoscopy done by the same doctor, same office. The camera perforated his bowels, he had cancer, so it spread everywhere. He died a couple of years later because of the negligence of the doctor. So, that is weighing on my mind today.

Apparently, I will have to have a biopsy through the end of my penis and into the prostate. I hope like hell I am out for that. Right now, it's a toss up on whether or not I will be. The biopsy will determine the truth of the matter, how bad it is. The MRI says it has not spread to any other areas within me, so there's that.

Prostate Cancer

Supposedly, this is a slow growing cancer, one that often takes years to develop and create an issue. Now, with me, it's only been a decade from clean bill of health to MRI to cancer diagnosis to biopsy to who knows what. So, not all that slow growing in my opinion.

At this point, if I can infer one thing, it appears this is a form of cancer that can be controlled to a certain degree if caught early enough. Time will tell if we caught it early enough; right now, I don't know. My wife is scared to death; she has spoken with our two daughters but not any of our sons; and there is no way I want to drop this on our youngest. No way.

He has been through enough lately. My job, that of a Community Manager at a condo community in Branson, was supposed to be the road to retirement. All it has been is a road to bad and worsening health. I have doubled my blood pressure meds, added another one, and am on anti-depressants, all because of the bullshit I have had to put up with from the board of directors, those holier than thou owners who ran for and got elected to control the condos.

I replaced a man who set himself up as king over this little kingdom. He brought his wife along for a while, until her dementia got the better of her; his daughter and her husband. He built a five story condo building complete with two stories of parking garages, took his personal unit, supplied others to friends and board members, headed up the construction company used to build it while maintaining his job as Community Manager, then let it go bankrupt, the bank take over, sell off what they could then gifted it to the association. For ten years, this thing has been a drain on the association, with more repairs on it than all the others combined. Hell, the exterior sheathing isn't even plywood: it's sheetrock. Yeah, sheetrock. That'll hold up to the elements.

They hired me to clean house. I did. Then I found passwords to websites hidden, nonexistent; The husband of the daughter had the website in his name, that meant emails went through his little fingers too. We had to create a brand new identity; I had to recover passwords to banking, software, everything. All while putting up with hate mails from the former manager and his friends.

Then, he sells and goes away. I am left to pick up the pieces of the devastation and put Humpty Dumpty together again. Except...

The board...

The more I dig, look, learn the more I find that I wish I hadn't. We have no money set aside for any kind of even semi-major repairs. Roofs had to be done on an insurance claim. I took a class in Reserve Accounts, and came away with a completely new understanding of what they are supposed to be used for. I drafted a replacement calendar of the major items on site, complete with when last replaced, life expectancy, and estimated cost of replacement. I have done a lot, and I mean a lot, of research on property, what items need to be maintained, when they need to be replaced, what they will cost: and then I created a dozen different scenarios by which to plan for these items.

The board doesn't want to hear it. "Don't tell the owners; they'll think the sky is falling." Then I get another email, from the president, asking me "What the hell were you (me) thinking with that response?" My response was that because the rainfall I checked on after a very light rain in one building that had leaks was not representative of a heavy rainfall, therefore I cannot say for certain if the leak had been fixed properly.

Yes, I am serious.

Now, with this cancer diagnosis hanging over my head, my son needing to finish his high school and graduate in May 2022, this board going even further into crazy town, harassing me night and day for nothing I am not sure how long I can hold up mentally.

I am not sure how to go on. But, I must, for my family. I will write about this process as a means to deal with the stress and such of the situation, but also to hopefully give someone else an insight into what this diagnosis can mean for them.

Until next time...

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Mr Archer

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