Tuesday, October 27, 2009

EBB AND FLOW






We all know how men just LOVE going to the doctor. How they roll up every 6 months to double check everything is just hunky dory. That there are no problems with their blood sugar or cholesterol. What’s that you say? Not any male you know? Me neither.

My husband, this Friday, after my insistence, is going in, for what I like to call, the 30,000km service.

Last year, I had my first 30,000km service which basically involved some blood tests and the 2 yearly “lady” test. When I got the call because the “doc wants to talk to you about your results” it was immediately, in my head, worst case scenario stuff. Already I had myself dying of cervical cancer, or breast cancer or else my cholesterol was going to be through the roof and I was a heart attack candidate. 5 days to sweat it out until I could get an appointment. Turns out I need more iron. YOU COULDN’T HAVE TOLD ME THIS OVER THE PHONE? But at least now I had a benchmark.

So now, it’s dear husbands turn. And he is shitting himself. Scared about the finger up the bum bit. You know, the test for checking your prostate. Trying to make light of the situation, I asked him he’s scared he’ll enjoy it too much. That’s when he revealed, he is genuinely horrified at the thought of a stranger doing *that* to him. Um, hello. I have a cold metal crocodile shaped object stuck up my clacker every two years to check me for cervical cancer. It’s what I do to SURVIVE, not to relive my first trip on a merry-go-round.

So that sorted, it really is a major topic that I’m betting most men, under 50 and not in the “high” risk category, really don't want to think about or act upon. But if there is a family history or you are over 50, and you have never had a test, now is the time. Between the ages of 60 and 69, you need to know it is the second most common cancer in men. After 70, the most common. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen before that.

Most guys don’t even know what the prostate does. Neither did I til I used the power of google. Guys- basically it helps your boys (sperm) to get out and to it’s destination. It produces the nutritional (hellloooo ladies) fluid that accompanies the sperm and gives it projection. Without it, basically the general population would not exist.

If you have had failure to launch (hard to get a pee started), been getting up at night to pee or have had pain with ejaculation, you should get checked. These are not the only symptoms, but the ones I bet you would notice first. Nine times out of ten it’s not cancer, just a benign enlargement, but wouldn’t you rather be sure? Get it before it gets you?

So, now you know you’ve got to go, what happens?

1st test- Index finger to the rectum. From what I understand it feels like doing a poo. Let’s face it, the amount of time you boys spend on there, this is clearly something you usually enjoy doing. The rectal exam is a short procedure that is over before you know it. It’s usually done at the end of the consultation so you don’t have to worry too much about eye contact if it still makes you uncomfortable.

If a problem is found

2nd test – blood test

If there are still doubts,

A Biopsy. Involves a spring loaded needle to be inserted into the rectum to gain some tissue for testing. Sure, it’s not going to be pretty, but neither is chemo for advanced cancer.

So have I persuaded anyone?

I hope so. My mum has advanced bowel cancer, which her brother passed away from nearly 2 years ago. I asked Mum, knowing her family history, why she didn’t get a bowel scan kit and test herself. Her answer, “oh no way, far too embarrassing”. Let me tell you, after what I’ve seen her go through in the last 2 months, I bet she’s rethinking the meaning of embarrassing.


Just go boys, it can't be any worse than having read this.


For more info visit
http://www.prostate.org.au/

10 comments:

It ain't so (most of the time) said...

Very well put

It might be embarassing, it might be cold, but trust me the embarassment at being sponge-bathed and toileted is far greater.

For a simple albeit embarrassing test - GET TESTED, don't be a dawdling dave, or a dithering dotty.

Do you want to miss out on your grandchildren growing up? - Your children being married?

No is the time - rest easy over Christmas and get it done before!

Anonymous said...

Typically, the doctor asks you to lay on your side, and pull your knees up, with a towel over your bum. He doesn't look, rather just inserts, has a poke, and thats, that.

It's not gay unless he kisses you.

Rick M said...

'Benign enlargement' sounds like a euphemism for penis. Though I'm not trying to make light of the situation. You know what really scares me about getting a check-up (and I haven't been to the doctor for anything other than sick-day notes since I was 13) is the threat of needles.

I have a very real, frightening phobia of needles and I just know that when I get there they are going to need to jab me for something (possibly just for fun) and draw blood from my arm.

I cannot, will not, allow this to happen.

Anonymous said...

I loved loved loved this Bernie (I know you love that name)
Tell P I wish him luck and will give his so much shit about being poked in the bum bum on our Melbourne Cup day luncheon....
Have a good day and hurry up and get back to work because Belinda isn’t eating any of the mud cake Nadia brought until you get here TOMORROW (humphhh arms folded) Not happy I have to wait for something fatty that I don’t need at all until tomorrow. I have never wanted you to come into work so bad!!!!! Yummm cake…
From Miss C

Birthday gal Belle said...

my ex-husband and ex-brother-in-law both got tested for Prostate cancer as it runs in their family and guess what??? Yes, you guessed it...they both have prostate cancer. My ex-BIL was the first to get tested at age 50 after his wife was having blood tests done for some random bug she had in her gut which was apparently contagious. Doc advised him to get tested for it as well and may as well do a PSA test while they're at it. His 1st PSA test came back at 4%. Doc then did the old roll over on ur side while I cover you with the sheet and relax. After the doc felt what seemed to be quite a large lump he then sent him for a biopsy. Tests back and it is confirmed to be cancer. Doc says wait for another month then check PSA level again. Month later PSA level has doubled!! Time to operate.

Cut a long and painful story short, he is now recovering from the $20,000 surgery that wasn't covered by his health fund due to it being the latest technology whereby the Doc used a robot to perform the operation. He was incontintent for a couple of weeks after and has been given Viagra to take on a daily basis to encourage his peepee to perform again. No sex allowed for the first 6 weeks. What a waste of Viagra. The cancer had spread outside the prostate in that short period of time but all of it was successfully removed. No cheomo or radiation required. Recovery is 2 - 3 months with him not being allowed to work. He is self employed so this has been a very costly lesson for him as you can imagine.

In the case of my ex-husband, his results are also showing that the PSA is increasing at a rapid rate. He has decided to opt for the old fashioned removal method which involves a cut from his belly button to the top of his pubic bone. The recovery period is 12 months and the procedure is covered my medicare and his health fund. He is an ambo and has a truck load of sick and long service leave up his sleeve.

My current husband just got his PSA test done and all good!!!! less than 1%

My advice to all you woooseee men out there is to not ignore the facts and have the simple blood test done annually. It could save your marriage and life! No anal probing done unless PSA levels are elevated.

Birthday gal Belle said...

and just one more thing, neither of them had any symptoms.

So Now What? said...

Thanks you lovely lovely ladies and Miss C - it's Berna. Looks like P won't have to have the finger up the behind unless levels are elevated so no teasing this tues miss. Looking forward to mud cake tomorrow. Happy Birthday. 21 isn't it?

Birthday gal Belle said...

yep 21 plus GST and a few other taxes. hehehe Saving the mud cake till you are here tomorrow Msss Berna!

R said...

"cold metal crocodile shaped object" Haha. Too true.

Aussie-waffler said...

Good work Bern.