In the brightly lit examination room, Dr. Christopher Heaton, my family physician handed me the results of my most recent blood test. Outside I could see flowering branches of trees moved by a gentle warm breeze. He had circled the results of the PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigen) test and drawn a little arrow moving upward from left to right. Beside the arrow he had written “accelerating.”
I knew instantly what that meant. Quite possibly I had prostate cancer, and I needed to take action, and quickly. At that point I didn’t know whether I actually did have cancer, or, if I did, if it were aggressive. If it proved to be aggressive, I had months to live. If not, with treatment, my prognosis was excellent.
I’m glad Dr. H. insisted on the test. Men, it doesn’t hurt beyond the prick of the needle, but knowing your numbers can literally mean the difference between life and death. If you haven’t had one in the past year, call your doctor now. Don’t hesitate. Just do it.
I walked outside in bright sunshine, knowing I was about to set out on a journey. What would happen and where I would end up, I did not know. I had a sense that the experience would change me, and that’s what I want to write about in this every-other-day Biscuit City blog series. I’ll hope you’ll come with me!
Next blog: the Second Step.