MY CANCER ADVENTURE – Episode Six – Clarity/Decision

Episode Six

“The time to take counsel of your fears is before you make an important battle decision. That’s the time to listen to every fear you can imagine! When you have collected all the facts and fears and made your decision, turn off all your fears and go ahead!”
— George S. Patton

I am delighted and relieved to have received the expert advice and clarity to help me make a very important decision.

Lynne and I went for our “second opinion” meeting with a top oncologist and surgeon at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.

The drive to Dana-Farber was easy. Mass Pike to Route 9 East, avoiding downtown Boston (which for me, is always a preference). Thank you, Garmin! Valet parking – very nice. As soon as we exited the car, we were met by a friendly volunteer “ambassador” who walked with us to the elevator, and accompanied us to check-in. This was “customer service” at it’s best, and just brilliant, especially considering the emotional and physical stresses of the patients and their loved ones. He even checked up on us after we checked in, asking if we had any questions or needed anything. Made us feel good. Great work, Dana-Farber!

After our meeting with oncologist Mary-Ellen Taplin, there was no more doubt – I would get the surgery. Adios señor prostate …

We then met with Dr. Jerome Richie, who elaborated on the options for surgery – open vs robotic – risks and benefits. Lynne and I liked him very much. Dr. Richie does not use the robot, and has performed approximately 3,500 of these procedures. That’s what we wanted. We’re looking at later in July.

On the way home, we had the pleasure of a fabulous meal at Margaritas in Framingham. We had a great time and celebrated the day!

I am grateful for all the prayers, positive thoughts and support from my friends and family. Most of all, for the love, hugs, experience and organizational skills provided by Lynne.

I am determined to get through this with as much grace, patience, courage and humor as I can … successfully meeting the challenges of moodiness, misplaced anger, annoying behaviors, and emotional hoo-hahs! Well, that’s my intention, anyway 🙂

Much love.

6 thoughts on “MY CANCER ADVENTURE – Episode Six – Clarity/Decision

  1. DF is the abosolute best…it was my second opinion and when my Dr. saw that I was a basket case of nerves he put his hand down on a clipboard which had my files and said,”Can we talk about words on paper ?” He seperated me from that horrific “word” that scares the heck out of everyone, I said words on paper…yes I can do that, I just can’t relate me to this at the moment. His reassurance and confidence to get this out of my life was just what happened and the team and staff at Bringham made it a comfortable caring environment. They are so professional in treating the person beyond the diagnosis that I was blessed and forever changed by this experience.
    Jerry, I know that you will come through with the best case scenerio. Your sense of humor and mindset to think beyond the surgery will get you through. Keep smiling play your Ukulele to calm your body down right before the procedure it will make their job so much easier. Sing the “IZ” version of “What A wonderful world” to get to that relaxed place. Rand Jameson shared some tips that worked for me and centering yourself and thinking past the moment was truly a life saver. ALOHA & all the best wishes to you, Riley

  2. Didn’t I tell you after Episode 1 on May 30… surgery. And didn’t I tell you again after Episode 3… surgery. I’m glad you decided on the advice of an old Operating Room nurse. (Just kidding) I know you need to gather and digest the information yourself before you make a decision. Good choice.

  3. Dear Jerry,
    I’m so glad you are able to make a decision now. And Dana-Farber sounds amazing. Truly the way medicine should be practiced.

    Knowing you, I know you will face this challenge with grace and extraordinary humor. And may I also suggest that you allow the emotional hoo-hahs their place in your process. I think I catch your meaning of not letting the hoo-hah birds build a nest in your hair. But letting them fly in and out allows the energy of grief to keep moving. My experience is that in that flow is where we find the grace of the present moment that keeps us in that center point of courage to which you aspire.

    The wise heart honors its humanity as well as its ability to transcend. While the “stages of grief” is an overused concept and not really accurate (it is not a linear, sequential model of behavior), simply noticing what emotions are arising and allowing them to teach us about our process can promote healing at all levels of being. And acknowledging that grief and anger surface doesn’t mean we have failed as transcendentalists.

    One of the most beautiful stories told by John O’Donohue is of a women who was going to have a hysterectomy. O’Donohue counseled her to have a private ceremony in which she said “good bye” to her uterus and thanked it for its service, for giving her children, for being an emblem of her identity as a woman. When the surgery happened, that act of cutting took nothing from her because she had integrated back into her heart the essence of what that particular part of her body had meant.

    I think any time we are going through an event that takes something (or someone) dear from us, one way to move through and beyond the inevitable hoo-hahs is to explore what that something has meant to us and to take it into our hearts where we never lose it. That is one way through fear. It is a practice that takes practice and when it works, it really works.

    Sending you love and light for all good things, Cheryl

  4. I love that — emotional hoo-hahs. What a great description. I had a very wise and wonderful counselor tell me once to neither grasp nor reject those persistent fears and feelings, but to let them dance lightly like butterflies, and they will flutter off on their own accord…. the image has stayed with me and helped on so many occasions. Much love and blessings, Jerry!


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