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Interview 36

Age at interview: 70
Age at diagnosis: 69
Brief Outline: Diagnosed with prostate cancer 1999, external beam radiation and hormones.
Background:

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Explains the differences between the bone scan and the MRI.

Explains the differences between the bone scan and the MRI.

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Did they do any bone scans at that stage?

Yes they did a bone scan as well and I've had 3 bone scans and they've all been clear.

Would you mind explaining what's that's like for other people?

Well it really is, it's really like having an xray almost, you lay upon this table and you go into this machine and it comes right across your body. It's like a cylinder that you lie inside and you go through this steadily as it maps your body and your bones, it goes right through. If you're claustrophobic it can worry you a little bit but it's really quick. And the MRI is more worrying because you're inside that tube a long time, that can be very worrying. But the bone scan was relatively painless, well it was painless, no it was just the sensation of lying down and going slowly, being fed slowly through this tube so that they can cover the whole body. But there's no pain or anything like that attached it, no sensation even.

 

Describes his delayed shock but how much support he had from the professionals involved.

Describes his delayed shock but how much support he had from the professionals involved.

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You shut down completely for a moment, I mean I've been living with the fact that I may have it for 4 or 5 years because of these high readings [PSA]. I was very aware that it could indicate a problem so it always was at the back of my mind but of course it's completely different when they tell you yes you have got it and it really shook me. But I don't think the impact hit me till a day or so later. But as I say I had a wonderful urologist he said 'Hold on a second,' he said 'you've got plenty of useful years here, you're not going to be in a box in 6 months here,' he said 'we can treat this, we can do things for you.'
 
 

Explains why it is so important to increase awareness.

Explains why it is so important to increase awareness.

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I'm very anxious to do my bit in promoting awareness and also to promote awareness of the fact that the research funding is so totally inadequate when you think of the number of deaths. I think that the number of deaths should draw an appropriate amount of research money towards it. I mean it's '4.7 million to breast cancer and it's so much less for prostate cancer. They need to be aware that its gong to be the number 1 killer of men in the not too distant future, as is lung cancer is going to be the number 1 killer of women not too far from now because of the huge number of women that smoke. So it's, my job is to increase awareness. 

 

Describes his experiences of reflexology, Reiki and aromatherapy.

Describes his experiences of reflexology, Reiki and aromatherapy.

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I've tried reflexology and Reiki, that's REIKI which is a laying of the hands on the body, slowly and steadily passing right down the body. You lay on a couch and they cover you with a light blanket, play soothing music and the lady who puts her hands upon you puts an oil on, which when the heat of the hands comes into effect is very pleasant, it's very soothing. I found it incredibly soothing, I mean I'd say I've dozed off 2 or 3 times but I've felt so relaxed. It lasts just over an hour and she actually touches your body twice and it's incredibly soothing and afterwards you feel very tired as if you've been walking for a long time. And she says to you 'Don't do anything energetic now, just sit quietly when you get home. If you want to go and have a snooze do so,' which I did (laughs) I went home and crashed for 10 minutes. But I found it very soothing. I've had it twice and for me it works. Not everybody gets the same out of it. 

Also reflexology of course is working with the feet, which is also very soothing, but I found the Reiki to me the most soothing. And I have a friend who actually practices it and it was really beneficial and I think it's important to relax. I think unbeknowing you develop a kind of anger about all this, inside, internally and that seems to help disperse that anger. But I can recommend it and I think that anybody who has had that diagnosis should try these therapies for themselves to see what works for them. But I've sent two of my friends along to have Reiki and they're also quite energetic get up and go people you know and they fizz about is the word I use and they've both come back and said 'This is marvelous, I really felt great after that.' So yes it's very good.

Do you have to pay for that?

Well I belong to the CLAN which is the Cancer Link Organisation, here locally, and it is entirely voluntary but you give a contribution afterwards. If you went privately you'd have to pay anything from '25 or '20-25 may be a little more, but quite honestly it's well worth it for the, it soothes one. And there is also where they use the oils.

Aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy thank you that's the one I'm looking for, I haven't been to that and I don't know of anybody that has but all these therapies are available at the CLAN if you want to try them and as I say I can recommend Reiki for myself. Some of these people have amazing ability to sense where the body is hurting. Reiki apparently is supposed to reorganise the energy forces within the body. I haven't got into that yet but I can tell it works for me.

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