Those who have read some of this site know that I have been dealing with advanced prostate cancer for a long time, 19 years in fact! (see this post My Cancer Story Summarized).
My prostate cancer is termed ‘advanced’ because from when I was diagnosed it was outside the prostate capsule, therefore it had metastasized somewhere else in the body.
For quite a few years now I have been on X-Tandi (Enzalutamide), but 8 months ago the prostate cancer biomarker, the PSA blood test, began to rise again. This meant that the cancer was again growing somewhere in my body.
My oncologist recommended a PSMA-PET (Prostate Specific Membrane Antigen – Positron Emission Tomography) scan. This can be a useful tool for diagnosing the stage of some men’s prostate cancer. It does this using a radioactive dye injection which lights up specific regions in the body where the PSMA protein is found, showing the presence of prostate cancer cells. The radioactivity of the dye dissipates from the body in one or two days.
By combining the results from a CT and PET scans into one image, the location of prostate tumors in the body can be seen.
“Two weeks ago, I had a PSMA-PET scan which showed metastasis in one of my lymph nodes in the center of my chest.
Even though there must be micro-metastasis elsewhere in my body, those areas are not big enough to show up on the scan. But it was good news that there is this concentration in this one lymph node because a small area can to be targeted with radiation therapy, and it is in an area that has not been radiated previously.
So, I will have five radiation treatments to this lymph node starting in about 10 days.
When people talk about their ‘battle’ with cancer, or their ‘fight’ with cancer what they are really doing is fighting against death. I prefer to say I am dealing with cancer.
“….as far as disease and old age is concerned, everyone gets practical experience. No one wants to be diseased, and no one wants to become old, but there is no avoiding these. Unless we have a pessimistic view of this material life, considering the distresses of birth, death, old age and disease, there is no impetus for our making advancement in spiritual life”. (Bhagavad-Gita As It Is. 13:8-12, purport by Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami).
There are 2 ways I can live my life. I can live as an enjoyer of the perishable material world or I can live with God as the center and I endeavour to serve Him.
When I live in a world where I’m the center and I try to be the enjoyer, I get a certain amount of happiness from it. I get a certain amount of pleasure from it and to enjoy life this way I need a solid platform. That platform is a husband or wife, a house, a healthy body etc. And in order to enjoy it all, my senses must be very healthy.
“But always lurking underneath this shaky platform is the fear of death – the knowledge that it all can be taken away from me at any moment.
We are encouraged by family and society to set up these foundations – education, job, house, etc., but no one ever tells us that the whole thing is going to fall apart. Most of us don’t want to know that either. This is why we fear death.
The only real way not to be fearful of death, not to battle and fight ageing, the natural breakdown of our bodies, is to realize we are not these bodies. This realization is the only thing that can alleviate fear of death.
Thank you and Namaste
Charles aka Chaitanya das