Results of My Cancer Treatment - Pappy's Pen #14

*Note - This article was written by Kevin Dougherty. This post is part of a continuing series called Pappy’s Pen where he writes about his family, faith and recent cancer diagnosis. *

*Note - This article was written by Kevin Dougherty. This post is part of a continuing series called Pappy’s Pen where he writes about his family, faith and recent cancer diagnosis.*

For a little while I thought I was exceptional.  Glad I’m not.  In anticipation of my doctors follow-up exam today following my treatment I had to have my PSA checked.  Last night, I received an email through my healthcare website with the results. 

My PSA number is almost at where it was prior to my treatment.  I know of men who have gone through treatment and now their number is almost zero.  I was worried; I thought I was the one in 1000 whose radiation didn’t work.  I thought I was the exception.  It turns out that PSA numbers slowly decline following treatment.  I was told by the Doctor that because my cancer was slow growing it is also slow dying.  My numbers will slowly decline over the next 2 years or so.  Not the exception, not exceptional.

I did find out what I am though.  Turns out I am a “pleasant, well developed, well-nourished white male.”  It says so in my permanent record.  We needed some additional information to submit to secondary insurance so the nurse gave us a copy of my physician’s report and treatment notes.  Nancy read them over and found that statement.  She is still laughing. Doctor thinks I am a nice, fat white boy. Nancy liked that statement so much she copied it into the notes on her phone so she can refer to it often.

And I received a clean bill of health.  I have another follow-up with the Urologist who performed the butt bedazzling in 2 months, and then need to follow up with the radiologist every 6 months for the next 2 years.  After that I am good to go. I don’t have any side effects, everything plumbing wise is back to normal, or as normal as it was.

Kevin and his mom Lorraine a couple weeks before she passed

Kevin and his mom Lorraine a couple weeks before she passed

However, the emotional roller coaster that my life has become continues.  My mom passed away last Saturday night. I know that it was expected, and we had as nice a visit as possible with her 2 weeks ago.  She seemed to realize Nancy and I were there, struggled to stay awake the entire time we were there, would not let go of my hand.  But it is still hard to accept.  She fought hard for 7 years, but the Alzheimer’s finally won.  I have consolation knowing she is no longer suffering, now completely able to communicate and get around.

I don’t think it has fully hit home yet.  Because my parents live in Phoenix I would only see them twice a year.  Having just been there and seeing her 2 weeks ago I have not been in a situation where she should be there but isn’t.  I think it will fully hit me when we go there for the memorial service.  Thank God that my wife and kids will be there with me. 

My dad is starting to talk about and make plans for life after mom.  It will be hardest on him, as he devoted the last couple years to her care.  He was with her every day, most times all day, helping to feed, dress, and otherwise care for her.  It has been quite an example of total love and dedication to us all.

So here I am.  Full of joy and sorrow.  Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.  Even if it’s the same person at the same time.


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