1 EAGLETON NOTES: Twenty Years On

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Saturday, 3 November 2018

Twenty Years On

On 3 November 1998 an event of great significance to me (if not in the greater scheme of things) occurred: I was operated upon for prostate cancer and had my prostate removed. At that time it was an operation involving major surgery and a long stay in hospital. Now it is possible to have it removed by keyhole surgery.

It happened as a result of my GP asking a consultant urologist to examine me and perform a biopsy despite the fact that I had no evidence of prostate problems never mind prostate cancer. Indeed to all intents and purposes I was as fit as a fiddle and felt great. The only problem was that I knew that I had cancer. I just had no idea what sort or where in my body it was. 

The rest of the story is history and I have been treated ever since as a result of the cancer cells that had already escaped into my body before the operation.

Those decisions by the medical profession as well as their skills have given me 20 wonderful years. For the most part they have been amongst the best years of my life and include a decade of a whole different life in New Zealand.

So today I shall raise a glass and toast the dozens of people in the medical profession, together with many other people, who have been instrumental in not only keeping me alive all these years but also enabling me to have a great quality of life.

Thank you one and all.

43 comments:

  1. You are indeed the lucky one. Good to hear the NHS has successes, there are too many people with awful experiences of it.

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    1. I suspect, Adrian, that the people with bad experiences tend to be far more vocal than the people with good experiences. The majority of my friends and acquaintances have praise for the health services overall although we can all point to the occasional blip and some of those blips can, of course, be serious.

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  2. Twenty more years is worth having!

    your statement that you knew you had cancer, was that an intuitive thing?

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    1. Kylie, I'm certainly grateful for those 20 years and I'm hoping for some more too! Yes. It was entirely intuitive. I had no idea where it was and my GP simply started testing from the bottom up. Even the prostate test (measuring the PSA) proved negative so my GP's hunch and request to the consultant urologist was most fortuitous.

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    2. That's remarkable. Kudos to you for acting on your impulse

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  3. That's a fine accolade to all those in the health profession. I also have nothing but praise for them, even though my experience is negligible.

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    1. I wish, Cro, that my experiences were negligible but, since a life-saving major operation when I was a teenager, I have had quite a lot of experience of the NHS and, I have to say, almost entirely positive experiences.

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  4. You should send this post to the hospital and they could print it out and show all their staff, it would give them a boost of positiveness about their work.
    With our recent and current experience of health care involving my Dad's illness, I can only agree - these are the people who save lives and make them better, and get way too little recognition for it.

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    1. Thank you Meike. I shall, indeed, do that. I have many friends in the NHS and I see what they do and how little recognition they often get.

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    2. Yes! I am a firm believer in positive reinforcement comments to providers and businesses everywhere. Everyone finds it easy to criticize (and I have posted my share of well-deserved bad reviews on Yelp) but when a business or a service does the right thing, it's just as important to give praise. If I can get the name of the person who impressed me, I also provide that to the company or establishment so that person gets a personal kudos - be it a waiter, a flight attendant, a physician's assistant, or whomever.

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    3. I couldn't agree more Mrs S. I always write to anyone in the medical profession who has made a positive contribution to my wellbeingand in many other cases too.

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  5. May I also toast those people? I raise a glass of Yorkshire ale to all those health professionals who have enabled Graham to travel this far. Twenty years on and still going strong.

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    1. Thank you, Neil. I'm sure that will appreciate that.

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  6. That's a great anniversary to celebrate. Here's to many more anniversaries.

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  7. "May all your storms be weathered / And all that's good get better / Here's to Life" (Shirley Horn) ♥

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    1. What an excellent toast, Monica. I shall use that in future too.

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  8. I lift a glass to your heart, your courage, your good cheer, your appreciation of all around you and your perseverance! I wish you many more good years.

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    1. Thank you for that lovely sentiment, Mrs Thyme.

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  9. Lovely, honest and positive post. I too applaud our health service. I have benefitted from their excellent care quite a few times and have nothing but praise at my treatment. Here’s to the next 20 years Graham. Cheers.
    Beverley

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    1. Thanks a lot, Beverley. I still smile every time I think of your experience here with the paramedic. The hospital staff still got me out in time to cook the Sunday dinner!

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  10. I raise a glass on your behalf, too....to those in the medical world...to you...to the past 20 years, and to many, many more...all spent in good health! Here's to you, Graham...Cheers! :)

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    1. Thank you very much, Lee. I'm having a quiet Sunday morning in Blogland so I shall see you later.

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  11. Here's to all the medical staff, the researchers, the practitioners... and also to you Graham.

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    1. Thank you, Lynda. They all deserve your toast.

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  12. I’m so glad you’ve had such a good,experience from the NHS,Graham. But how did you “know” you had cancer?

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    1. Frances, I have absolutely no idea how I knew that I had cancer. It is one of those strange things that are beyond our ken.

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  13. You have had twenty years of being actively grateful for your life. That is a wonderful thing. I think you once mentioned how you were sure you had cancer- I don't rembember if i ever asked how you persuaded your doctor to take your hunch seriously?

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    1. Jenny, I think I may have mentioned it before although I can't recall doing so. I din't have to persuade my doctor. He was a very straightforward doctor who didn't tolerate people who went for a 'line' when they were not ill. I wasn't trying to avoid anything or get time off work and I wasn't a hypochondriac (I knew him well enough for him to know that). So he just took my hunch on board and did something about it. For which I will always be grateful.

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  14. Wow. Well done on having the guts to act on your ‘haunch’. And well done your GP too - you had a good ‘un. I lost a very good colleague to prostate cancer so it’s great to hear a success story. And what a story. Stay strong.

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    1. Thank you Michael. I'm sorry to hear that you lost a colleague to prostate cancer. It helped me having a down-to-earth but understanding GP.

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  15. Good on you! It's amazing how far medical science has come over the years.

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    1. Amy, even 10 years ago there were no chemotherapy treatments for prostate cancer. Now there are many options.

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  16. Congratulations for beating the dreaded "C". It is so good to read you have had a good time since then.

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    1. Thank you, Diane. I'm not sure we ever actually beat The Big C. I think that, if one is fortunate to have it controlled, the best one can do is live with it and not be beaten by it.

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  17. I'm glad you made it through, as have I. In January it will be 23 years since I had a heart attack (anterior myocardial infarction, as the doctors said) just two months before my 55th birthday. I would have missed all six of my grandchildren, so I am grateful to the medical folk, so grateful that I married one back in 1963.

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    1. I'm very glad, RWP, that you survived to enjoy your grandchildren and to be grateful to the medical folk.

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  18. So glad to hear the good news! And so glad that your health care providers are on the ball (as it were). PS: Saw mergansers at the docks yesterday! A whole flock of them, diving under the waves at the shore, then popping back up again. Bear and I were watching them with binoculars through the windscreen... they were gorgeous!

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    1. Thanks, Mrs S. That was a fortunate viewing. I don't think I've ever seen a flock of them.

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