“No sex, no drugs, no wine, no women. No fun, no sin, no you, no wonder it’s dark…I think I’m turning Japanese…I really think so.” Great ’80s tune about turning out surprisingly different from your own expectations. Mostly I think to myself that my prostate cancer is not so dramatic. I always believed it curable and not especially worrisome. But that’s a lie. It changed me. It continues to change me. I really think so.
Whether coincidentally or purposefully, my lifestyle has turned decidedly more healthy. I’m exercising less for enjoyment and more from a disciplined regimen to promote healing. Did I just use the word “discipline”? See. That’s not me. My spouse recently decided to abstain from alcohol. At least temporarily. Add that to menopausal hot flashes. Being a team player, she expects me to join in her abstention. She needs to work on her timing. No erections, no weed, no beer, no wonder I’m stressed. I think I’m turning Japanese, I really think so.
I’m planning an 80 mile backpacking trip with two best friends from high school the last week of June along the Continental Divide. I committed to it before I even had my catheter removed. It was hugely important to me emotionally at the time and remains so. But I’ve been way over the top in my distraction with it. All my web browser searches are for REI-this and trailhead-that. And my email correspondence to my trail mates is increasingly aggressive and psychotic. “Everyone around me is a total stranger. Everyone avoids me like a cyclone ranger. That’s why I’m turning Japanese…I really think so.” The question of whether or not I’ll be medically fit for this hike increases in validity as the date draws near. I know I’m physically fit. And emotionally, I need the release it will provide. No doubt I’m going. If all I can do is drive to each trailhead and camp out waiting for my buddies to conclude each segment of their hike, I’ll do it.
I wrapped up my regular physical therapy sessions with Jenn today. I will still have a follow-up session in another month. She trained me on some great exercise routines. Jenn also filled in the information gaps for questions I neglected to ask of my Urologist. And of course the scar tissue treatment was bonus. My mission is to integrate some of my exercises into my everyday activities. Part of my muscle weakness is directly due to the trauma of surgery, but part of it is from the absence of my prostate. I will constantly need to be vigilant about practicing muscle control with my pelvic floor and abdominals. I’ll never piss the same again. I really think so.