I went to pass water one evening and noticed there was more blood than urine. The same thing happened the following morning and I made an appointment to see my GP. He told me I probably had a bladder infection and prescribed antibiotics, but emphasised that if I was unable to pass urine I should go to A&E straightaway. By the afternoon I was unable to pass anything and a friend drove me to hospital. They gave me a PSA test (a blood test for prostate cancer), a CT scan and various examinations.
My PSA turned out to be 907. Normal range is up to four.
I was told that I had advanced prostate cancer that had spread to my bones and would see a cancer nurse the next morning. My treatment consisted of six chemotherapy sessions at three-weekly intervals, and I have hormone therapy injections every three months.
In the past, cancer was known as the ‘Big C’ and there was a stigma attached to it. You just had to live with it, get on with it and not talk about it. But now, if you take action early enough, there’s a good chance you’ll get better.
Since having cancer I’ve tried alternative medicine, reflexology and acupuncture, and have joined a cancer support group. I think that’s pretty good going for someone of a certain generation! I urge you to be just as open-minded about visiting your GP if you’ve got any worrying symptoms.