My Journey Begins

This will be my first post of my journey, if you have never read any of my writings you will come to see I write in great detail, and I write like I talk~~~~~in some different point in time and culture, I could be The Village’s, The Tribe’s, The  Commune’s or The Community’s  “Keeper of history ~~~ a Storyteller.”

The day was as any other, I made the 85 mile trip to the Alvin C. York Veterans Administration Medical Center in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. It was my annual urology checkup. Although I always enjoying seeing my doctor Derrick Mobley MD, I did not particularly enjoy the rectal digital examination, lay term, his finger up my behind as he palpitates my prostate gland.

prostate exam

On this particular visit he said he felt the shape, tone and consistency of my prostate had changed, he reassured me that I should not worry.

On our first meeting in 2005 as part of the history gathering, I informed him that my 79-year-old father had died from prostate cancer, a long, painful and unpleasant death. A few years before this I had flown out to Peoria, Illinois to help him drive back to Washington State. During that drive I noticed without thinking it through of how many times he needed to pee. I just did not have my nursing hat on, was not thinking.

I often think if I had not received regular checkups I may not have caught his problem early.

Not so many years ago there was an unpleasant stigmatism associated with public knowledge of women having Mastectomies (removal of the breast) due to cancer.

The Susan G. Korman’s family raised the awareness of this disease. I would venture to speculate that all of us have some connection to someone who has either succumbed to this or survived.

susan  Susan Kormen and her sister Pink Ribbon

The Pink Ribbon   We have all come to recognize the meaning and purpose of this icon.

 

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Public broadcasting has been so good for the awareness and support of Breast Cancer~~~~~

Actress Angelina Jolie publicly announced that she had taken a genetic screening test which told her she had the gene that could cause cancer, so she had elective bilateral radical mastectomy.

She had elective surgery (A procedure she did not need to have but did it anyways) ~~~~~ then she announced it to the world.

But what about men?

Is there great public awareness of Prostate Cancer?

I am saying ~~~ EVERY man will have some degree of Prostate changes and deterioration as we get older, some of these changes of the prostate  will develop into Adenocarcinoma Prostate Cancer.

I have a theory. Because of the original sin from the Garden of Eden, God decreed  man/woman would have a amount of time to live on earth He decided. Well He also gave us a equal opportunity deterioration of getting old, for women it is “The Change of Life” the birth womb shutting down, with men its the shutting down of his reproductive system. With both men and women there is a great chance as our reproductive system wane, things may turn cancerous.

I will be honest with ya ~~~ I did not know NOTHING about the following people with PC (Prostate Cancer) ~~~

1. Warren Buffett

Buffet

                  The billionaire announced his diagnosis in April 2012. He called his condition “not remotely life-threatening or even debilitating in any meaningful way.” Like many men, he had no symptoms. His doctors detected the disease with a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test.

2. Robert De Niro

Deniro

Famous for playing gangsters, De Niro faced a new foe—prostate cancer—in October 2003. He had surgery that December and his disease has since gone into remission. Surgery is a common treatment choice for men whose cancer has not spread beyond the prostate.

3. Andrew Lloyd Webber

Webber

This prolific composer had a radical prostatectomy—surgery to remove his prostate—in 2009. He’s been outspoken about the sexual side effects of his treatment. In some cases, doctors can perform nerve-sparing surgery to allow men to maintain sexual function. For others, doctors are exploring new options, including nerve grafts.

4. John Kerry

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John Kerry is a Viet Nam Veteran

The Massachusetts senator introduced new prostate cancer legislation in June 2012, calling for increased funding for education, research, and awareness. Kerry, whose father died of the disease, was diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer in December 2002. He disclosed his condition and had surgery in early 2003. “I was diagnosed and treated as I was crisscrossing the country running for President…I was dead tired for weeks, But I got better, got back on the trail and picked up where I left off. I”m very proud of that.”

5. Joe Torre

Joe_Torre

 Prostate cancer couldn’t defeat this former ballplayer and manager. After taking a few months off for surgery in 1999, he went on to lead the Yankees to two more World Series victories. Since then, he’s remained active in promoting awareness and screenings. “[I was] scared about the cancer and what I had to do about it. It later became very clear to me that you need a spouse or a good friend to be there for you, to keep you on level ground and to give you hope.”

6. Ryan O’Neal

O'Neal

“Shocked and stunned” is how this 70-year-old actor described his reaction to being diagnosed with stage 2 prostate cancer in the spring of 2012. His prognosis is good. His long-time partner, Farrah Fawcett, died of cancer in 2009. He discusses her struggle in his new book Both of Us: My Life With Farrah.

7. Rudy Giuliani

Rudy

Before he was New York City’s mayor, Giuliani ran for the U.S. Senate. On his way to a fundraiser in 2000, he got a call from his doctor saying his PSA levels were high. He was diagnosed soon thereafter, and he suspended his campaign to undergo hormone therapy and radiation. “I came to the realization that I was a very lucky man. The time that I was really in danger was the day before I knew I had prostate cancer. Now that I knew what was going on in my body, I could do something about it.”

8. Colin Powell

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Colin Powell is a Viet Nam Veteran

“When I was diagnosed with prostate cancer at 66, I  wasn’t terribly surprised or shocked,” says Powell, a retired four-star United States Army general, 65th United States Secretary of State, and former National Security Advisor, Commander of the U.S. Army Forces Command, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. “For the five years before that, I had been going for very regular checkups and my PSA was always high. It floated up and down. PSA alone doesn’t  indicate cancer, it just says something is going on. I am a prostate cancer survivor and spokesman for prevention. Men should have regular prostate examinations…Regular exams allowed me to deal with this problem early and make a full recovery.”

9. Arnold Palmer

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Golf Champion

“There’s nothing better than going to the doctor and knowing just exactly where you stand. That’s so important for men to do. Don’t think about doing it. Just do it.”

10. Nathanael Jackson

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Humpin_5

Nathanael Jackson is a Viet Nam Veteran

“I have just been diagnosed within the last month. I am numb. I try to carry on as if nothing has happened, I don’t think I am in denial, just still processing it all ! What about my family? Have I done all I can do for them? ~~~ I am only 63-years-old ~~~ Lawd Help Me! As a nurse I have seen what does happen as this cancer takes hold, and I ain’t gonna lie, it scares me. I pray for extended and good quality of life as I travel on this journey.”

To some degree anyone who goes through this is going through a small amount of PTSD [Post Traumatic Stress disorder]. The good news…It does get better.

I have just found this information

“Black men develop prostate cancer 60% more often than white men. In addition, they have a higher chance of dying from it. Because of this heightened risk, Black men are encouraged to start prostate cancer screening early with yearly PSA tests and physical exams at age 40, and even earlier  if they have a strong family history of prostate cancer exists.”

11. Dennis Hooper

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What Dennis Hopper’s Death Can Teach Us About Prostate Cancer

When Dennis Hopper died of prostate cancer at age 74, my husband asked me, “Hey, I thought prostate cancer didn’t kill men and it is slow growing.” Well, he is right about it usually being slow growing, but prostate cancer is still the 2nd leading cause of cancer death in men. His question made me realize that there are some facts that everyone should know about prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer is very rare in men under age 40, and the incidence increases with age. African-American men are at higher risk, and Asian and Latin men are less likely than white guys to get it.  We do not know why these ethnic differences occur. Family history is important, and men with an affected brother or father are twice as likely to get prostate cancer. Although genes are undoubtedly responsible, there are no genetic tests that can predict it. Some studies show obese men and men who eat large quantities of red meat and dairy products are more at risk. A vasectomy doesn’t seem to matter, nor does exercise or prior prostatitis.

Prostate cancer grows slowly, and the PSA (prostate specific antigen) test or a digital rectal exam can screen for an enlarged prostate. The PSA test can be false positive for many reasons, and the only way to diagnose suspected prostate cancer is by a biopsy. The most important marker for a cancer in the prostate is the “Gleason” score. This grade (1-10) tells us how advanced or aggressive the cancer is. The pathologist can see if the cells are suspicious for atypical changes or are high-grade. The extent of the tumor determines the stage.

Once a cancer has been diagnosed, graded and staged, the confusing choices of treatment come into play. Because most prostate cancer occurs in older men and it is slow growing, many men choose “watchful waiting”. By following PSA tests and ultrasounds, we can determine if the cancer is growing. For many men, nothing more needs to be done, because the cancer causes them no problems. For younger men or men with high Gleason scores, treatment is usually surgical removal of the prostate or radiation of the prostate gland. Radiotherapy can also occur with seed implantation of radioactive material. Hormone therapy or cryoablation is also used less often.

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With all that being said You have heard of women announcing their mastectomies, there’s no more shame or negative stigmatism attached to it.

Have you ever heard a man come out and say “I have been castrated?” Every one of these men above has been physically or chemically castrated if they are on Hormone Reduction Therapy (HRT)

BUT there is always the chance to have functions return.

I have my thoughts on why we do not hear this proclamation.~~~

Men are so vain when it comes to their sexuality. Take for example, full frontal nudity is very common in movies today ~~~ of women!!!! some female stars have little problem remaining the way they are in size, shape and appearances, some get breast implants to further enhance their appearance. However, all are still accepted as stars….

Why do you not see the same for men? I believe that men control the industry and censorship.

Men do not want to dispel any beliefs out there that they are “The Man!” “The Stud” ~~yes, they are the hero with a six-pack, Fabio looks, Brad Pitt hair, Denzel Washington Suave going for them ~~~ but may also have a small penis!

What would that do to their hero image? Here we have a superhero saving the world, then the camera reveals a crooked, Circumcised? Uncircumcised? small penis, ~~~~ do you think that world saving hero will keep that image for long?

So no man wants to come out and say “Yes, I was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer and  and to save my life I have been castrated.”

Hugh Hefner,  of Playboy fame, that dude is so old, yet, he marries these 20 something women, Hugh Hefnerit’s not for sex, trust me, but the image is that he is still having great sex with these awesome lookin  “Bunnies.”

A Personal Nate Introspective Nature Lesson Here; 

When males look at females in all species, (for humans) one of the first places they look are at the breast, then the waist and finally the hips, the face plays a role but not as much as these, Why?

The male genetic code dictates how the male species  searches for the best mate for breeding, its ingrained in us, even if you are not looking for a family, it never-the-less is still part of our innateness that makes us males. 

Females also look at the same things in other females, why? In nature, females do this to measure the competition. I have heard it said that human females do not dress up for men as much as they dress up for other females, this is not to mean they are sexually attracted, rather its the display for the competition.

The female of the species chooses the male, they go for the strongest and best suited for good, strong offspring that has the greatest chance to survive and carry on genes and bloodlines, that’s one of the reasons you see women get kinda piqued when they see these  body building types of bodies.

TV COMMERCIALS:

DO NOT fall for commercials out there telling men they only need to take this drug to be swinging and in action again~~~ There are a lot of over the counter, mail order products out there claiming to be the answer ~~~ Please fellas ~~~ Do Not go that route…some MAY give you some temporary relief, but does nothing to address the reason you needed to take this drug in the first place. As I have said;

“Over-the-Counter = Under-the-Ground!”

##GO SEE A DOCTOR!!!

I’ll tell ya how I came to know something was wrong with me, The whole family was here and we were in the TV Room having a good time, I did not realize it, but I was going to pee quite often, it was Ronance who said “Dad, you’re going to the bathroom a lot!” She was right~~~

I then made an appointment to the VA the next day ~~~ Medication was prescribed for the symptoms, frequent urination, Getting up several times at night to go pee, difficulty emptying my bladder.

These were my symptoms, no problem sexually,  ~~~ I had a Vasectomy in 1990 

my vasectomy ~~~~ that was a funny story ~~~ oh hell! I’m gonna tell it.

We had just moved from Southern California in 1990 to the foothills of the Sierra Mountains. We started moving about 3 days after Jeremiah was born. I had gotten 3  jobs as the 3 hospitals I put in a n application to each wanted me, so I took a full time job in the ER in Sonora, California, and Part Time/On Call at the other 2.

Jennie had just delivered our last child, Jeremiah a 10lb baby ~~ at home! ~~~ No drugs! ~~~ She said that was it! No more! and if I ever wanted to have sex  ever again ~~ I had to do something about it ~~~WHAT?~~~ what do I do? ~~~~

VASECTOMY!?!”

SAY WHAT????

I gotta admit her argument was a good one, she said “I just had this 10lb baby, after the 9 month pregnancy, with no drugs~~~I’m breast feeding~~~~why should I have to undergo more insult to my body to get my tubes tied?

 YOU GET FIXED!” ~~~~~ think about it fellas, it was not too long ago that we naturally expected permanent sterilization from the women in the form of tube tying. Now here I am standing in the middle of the room with the vision of being gelded.!

You see my wife is a Rootin Tootin Horse Trainerlady, she would always cut (castrate) a stallion if she did not think they would make a great sire. she had no qualms of whacking them balls off., If you have never seen a horse get castrated, listen up, ~~~

                                               they sedate the horse, he’s not knocked out completely, they lay him down, I believe the horse knows nothing good is not gonna be happenin~~~Horse is thinkin:

“I was fine, there was nothing wrong with me,~~~ what they doing down there?”  

Then reach in there and  locate the two balls and separate them out from the body, a lot like making the puff of the tail of a poodle balloon then tie them off between the balls and the body,

~~~then they take this instrument that looks like a nut cracker ~~~ literally and figuratively!

Castration

 and it is so designed that it crushes the blood and spermatic vessels from the body to the balls, a lot like tying off an umbilical cord from a human baby.

You hear this CRUNCHING! sound you never forget~~~ then they take a scalpel and cut them off ~~~ Jennie then always took those balls and threw them to the dogs that were sitting there salivating to get em ~~~HAND TO GOD FELLAS…this is the truth!

I KNOW there was a couple dudes reading this that winced when you read this!

I guess I made her definition of a good stud because ~~~~ she had 4 babies from me and now she didn’t need me for that any more! ~~~OFF WITH HIS …..!

Now, here I am standing in the middle of the room with my mouth wide open ~~~

 A VASECTOMY!!!

I talked to some of the doctors that came through the ER seeing patients ~~~ one of the surgeons offered me to come to his office and he would do it for free!…

Well, if I was gonna do this, She was gonna be there! (I think she wanted to be there anyways to make sure I did it!)

I sat on the exam table in his procedure room, he offered me 10mg IV Valium ~~~ I said “Naw, I don’t need it!”

So I laid back and  he started to prep me, and he was talking to Jennie sitting there cradling Jeremiah about horses without breaking rhythm he reached down and took a hold of my penis, lifted it up and started swabbing my testicles all along continuing this great conversation with her ~~

I’m thinking “Hey, this ain’t right! He’s suppose to be prepping my lower abdomen, the supra-pubic area to make a small slit and reach in and grab the Vas-Deferens and snip it” ~~~

“What the Hell is he doing scrubbing my balls!?!”

I had to stop the talking and I asked;

“What are you doing scrubbing my balls!!!!, aren’t you gonna go through the abdomen!?!”

He said “No, we used to do it that way, but we have found going directly into the testicles was easier and less risk” ~~~~~ I said;

“WAIT A MINUTE! ~~~~~ HOLD ON! HOLD ON!”  Nobody told me about this!!!!!”

I had to stop and think about this ~~~~ he said ~~~~~ “Ohhh, it won’t hurt, I will give you a little lidocaine injection in your scrotum to numb the area, you won’t feel a thing.”

Then I said ~~~~~”I think I will take that Valium”

After the procedure his order was I was to lie flat and be still for a couple of days, I told Jennie she better take care of me! ~~~ I just had been deeply wounded!

I laid on the couch watching cartoons with 18-month-old Rebekah, holding few month old Jeremiah thinking real hard on if there’s was a way he could go in there and reverse it if I ever wanted to change my mind, he snipped two section off the ball of twisted spermatic vessels, ~~~~ no one could possibly find those ends to put them back together~~~

I’m a damaged man now~~~~~ Woe is me!~~~~~ Will I ever be the same man?

I told him to take the sections of the portion he took surgically cut out and put it in a specimen bottle in some alcohol ~~ I took it home and it sat on top of my medicine cabinet it sat there for years!

Jennie & the kids thought it was gross! Too bad for them I thought! ~~~~ When we moved some 12 years later ~~~ someone threw it away!

But that is an CLASSIC! example of our pride (men’s) when it comes to our sexuality ~~~ I named the two pieces “Peter and Paul!”

I am naming my Prostate Cancer “Jerry!” ~~~~ I am gonna beat Jerry!

Okay, I encourage every wife, girlfriend, daughter, niece, grands ~~~to go to your men, uncles, brothers, fathers, dads, cousins, nephew, friend, neighbor,  and ask them

##”When was the last time you had a PSA Test?” “What was your number” Remember 4.0 is what it is suppose to be below.

If they cannot tell you they have had a PSA & Rectal Palpation withing the last year~~~then GET ON EM!!!

Well, I’ve embarrassed myself enough for now ~~~ nobody ever told me what to expect, even though I was a Registered Nurse, every room I walked into my eyes got big as saucers as I looked around the room at all the equipment and machines, needles, instruments

~~~ ASK QUESTIONS!!! 

“What do you think you are going to do with that?” ~~~~ “You gonna put it where?”

Healthcare workers do a specific job day in and day out, it is routine for them ~~~ they have a schedule of several people they probably have to do the same thing to ~~~ you make them slow down and treat you like you are the only patient they have this week!

Whoever goes with you ~~~ go to every appointment, go talk to the doctor who is going to do whatever procedure, ASK QUESTIONS! ~~~ go with them to the procedure room, there is always a seat somewhere outside the door you can wait ~~~after you talk to the doctor.

TAKE NOTES! ~~~talk to the rest of the family ~~~ give them the details and tell everyone to become aware of all of this!

Well my journey starts in the archives of the FIRST entry LAST on the side menu ~~~~ and the LATEST entry FIRST on top

                   ~~~~ I hope my journey helps someone out there

 

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One thought on “My Journey Begins

  1. Jheramy Hammond says:

    Very well put Mr. Jackson, I don’t think anybody could of put this together quite like yourself! Awesome website and you have thoroughly informed me of the importance of prostate Cancer awareness. I will take this information bestowed upon me and always remember to get an exam to check my overall well being! I have every bit of faith in your strong will to defeat Jerry!!!! Honestly, I do not think Jerry knows who he is messing with!! LOL Keep the fighting spirit and if you need me i will be there!!! Much LOVE and God Bless!!

    Your Son-In-Law,
    Jheramy Hammond

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