Resolving Timeline Issues

Archive for the ‘Prostate Cancer’ Category

And because its been so long since I updated, and I know you’re all dying to know the minutiae of my life, you get a numbered list!

 Questions I have been asked post-partum (note: the Poptart will be 10 weeks on Sunday):

1. So when are you going to have another one?

Dude, let me get this one figured out at least somewhat. Also, remember that we are both only children and have no idea of sibling dynamics. We would be lost. In fact, when Darren said we should have two (this is years back), the first words out of my mouth were, “Are you crazy?”

This has not stopped anyone from asking, mind you.

2. So are you getting any sleep?

And this why we have no friends. I know I said awhile back that I don’t sleep more than 2 hours in a row but that’s done. I sleep between 6-8 hours each night. The Poptart sleeps between 6-8 hours each night. Sometimes, we’ll take Darren to the train in the morning and she’ll go back to sleep when we get back and I get a couple more hours.

3a. So how do you get her to sleep?

We cheat. Breastmilk digests quite easily; formula lasts longer in babies’ stomachs. During the day, she gets breastmilk; in the evening, she gets breastmilk, plus formula (however much she’ll take). I nurse her to sleep. The breast is always offered first and she switches easily between bottle, breast and pacifier.

3b. You’re using formula?

Yes, we are. Because I have a bit of a low-grade anxiety thing that’s exacerbated by lack of sleep. I need sleep in order to be a good mother and not a weeping, panicky mess. If she can do the period between midnight and 4am, I can do the rest.

There is a reason sleep deprivation is used as a torture device.

Plus, if I ever have to go away from her for a couple of days (or god forbid something happens to me), she’ll need to take formula (I have a stash of frozen milk, but not that much). Her system needs to know how to handle it.

4. So why haven’t your parents come to meet her yet?

Don’t get me wrong, they want to and they’re coming down today to visit for a few days.

Back when I found out I was pregnant, my dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer. His 7 weeks of treatment ended last Friday.

So the Poptart is 9.5 weeks old; he had 7 weeks of treatment – you do the math and figure out the dates. Also, she was born on his birthday – so that’s a pretty good birthday present.

Other random stuff:

  • the Poptart weathered her 2 month vaccinations like a champ. Her photos at sears, not so much.
  • with respect to question 1, above, yes, we are preventing any ooopses from happening. Since I am breastfeeding, the only pill I can take is the minipill, whcih is REALLY, REALLY unforgiving. You have a 3 hour window each day where you can take it otherwise you might get pregnant. Forget that noise – I was bad about taking pills every day anyways. So I got the Mirena IUD. A bit of cramping when he put it in, some spotting and cramping for a day (nothing a couple of advil couldn’t take care of) and that’s it. Done. Don’t have to worry about it for 5 years. By then we should have made a decision on whether we want another one.
  • I got the IUD on the same day as she got her vaccinations. You can imagine how fun that evening was. She was clingy, I was crampy, etc.
  • I broke up with my diaper service. Its cheaper to order my own and just wash them. With one income cut in less than half* we just don’t need to spend the $66 every 2 weeks it was costing. And the diapers I ordered were on sale. They come from Victoria so they’re pretty local too.

And since the house is a mess, the baby is sleeping, and my parents are coming, I need to eat breakfast and clean.

*more on this later when I participate in Amber’s Carnival of Maternity Leave.

Several years back I received an email with oneliners for men who are going to the doctor to get their prostates checked:

{1} “Take it easy, Doc. You’re boldly going where no man has gone before!”
{2} “Find Amelia Earhart yet?”
{3} “Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?”
{4} “You know, in Arkansas, we’re now legally married.”
{6} “Any sign of the trapped miners, Chief?”
{7} “You put your left hand in, you take your left hand out…”
{8} “Hey! Now I know how a Muppet feels!”
{9} “If your hand doesn’t fit, you must quit!”
{10} “Hey Doc, let me know if you find my dignity.”
{11} “You used to be an executive at Enron, didn’t you?”

And the best one of all..

{12} “Could you write a note for my wife saying that my head is not up there?

(shamelessly stolen from Living with Prostate Cancer as I have no idea where the original email went)

And this is a story of why is pays to get screened early.

My dad is a bit of a hypochondriac. He’s good about it though: he goes to the doctor regularly and gets checked out.

The other side of it is that he’s also paranoid about drugs. You name it, he can find something wrong with it. Morphine? Addictive. Flonase (a corticosteroid spray for allergies)? Steroids are bad. Tylenol? Bad for your liver. So he avoids drugs like the plague (his drug of choice is often scotch).

We deal with the hypochondria/paranoia by being really irreverent about it. We make jokes about medical treatments.

A couple of years ago, his prostate was enlarged. So he kept going regularly to get checked out and had the blood tests, etc. Long story short, he phoned me back in September some time:

Dad: So I have prostate cancer.
Me: Oh?
Dad: Ya, and for radiation treatment, they’re going to implant some seeds in my butt. So I’ll be glowing out of my ass in time for Christmas.
Me: oh, that’s nice.
Dad: But first I have to go in for some blood tests to check my liver and discuss treatment with the oncologist. And some other test where they put a camera up my butt.
Me: But its early on, yes? And they’ll put the video on YouTube, right?
Dad: Oh yeah.
Me: are they checking your liver too?
Dad: Yep. So I have been very good about the scotch.

(after the blood tests came back and his liver was clear, he celebrated with scotch)

Now, I know prostate cancer is a serious thing. This is how we deal with it as a family.

Dad was scanned early on, and the oncologist put him on a hormone treatment to reduce the size of his prostate. That was about a month ago.

He went in for his 6 month checkup a couple of weeks ago. In his bloodwork, the doctor included the tests for prostate cancer (whatever they measure).

With hormone treatment alone, those numbers had decreased by 50%.

See, what happens is that the cancer actually feeds off of testosterone. So they kill the testosterone production for a bit and essentially starve the cancer. You’ll get some hot flashes, but really, that’s just payback for women having to go through menstrual cramping, childbirth and menopause.

So what’s this mean? Gentlemen, I know its not a comfortable subject, but get checked early, and get checked regularly. Learn the pleasure of being a muppet starting at age 40. Prevention and early detection are the best defense against this: early detection has a 90% cure rate. And quite honestly, if you live in Canada, you have no excuse – this is included in your provincial medical care.

And who knows? You might find Amelia Earhart. 🙂

July 2020


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