And Tom's journey with prostate cancer continues. Today's visit to the urologist provided the awaited "results", if you can call it that, of the removal of the prostate and six lymph nodes. Most of the lymph nodes are clear, but two are affected by/have some cancerous tissue in them. Big names and numbers aside, Tom is going to have to spend more time receiving radiation and anti-hormone treatment to remove as much of this cancer as possible. In the last year, prostate cancer research has found that the tumours, or cancer cells, create their own hormones, which require different chemical responses that the "traditional" hormones. That's why it seems to be so difficult to find and respond to what is happening with cancer cells -- they are smart! The surgery "debulked" (to use another amazing term) as much of the mass as possible, but as it is invasive, or has become invasive, other surrounding tissues were affected, and more fighting off has to take place. His attitude is good but a bit numbed -- I think it's overwhelming at the least, and I can only view it from the status of an outsider.
There are the physical details that will need to be addressed as well as the psychological and emotional. Of course all the literature talks about a positive mental state, but much of this information is potentially overwhelming today. Believe it or not, he was able to re-affirm the fact that vacuuming still shouldn't be part of his routine -- who ever came up with that thought? This for a man who stays far away from the vacuum cleaner. It gave the staff and several others at the clinic a moment of amusement as we departed the waiting room.