Hard to believe but it's a fact. It is three years ago today that I was first diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer and three years later I'm still around to talk about it.
There's a photo too, showing me just a few hours ago after enjoying a cup of coffee at a local garden centre.
I've managed to smile on this one as another photograph taken just a few days before showed a rather more serious face ~ not for any particular reason but probably just because sometimes I can look a bit miserable.
So, what's the state of play.
Well, I'm due for a couple of check-ups next week which will no doubt reveal more.
At present I can't walk more than a few yards without a zimmer [or safety walker as some of the health care professionals call it].
Besides a zimmer I also have :-
a wheelchair, just in case it's a longer journey I suppose;
a railing to help me up and down stairs ~ I managed to talk them out of putting in a stair lift. Not just yet ... please;
a seat to get into and out of the bath on. Before this was installed I hadn't had a proper bath or shower in weeks;
a raised toilet seat as the original one is too low; and finally,
an electric powered reclining chair [to help me get up and down].
I still take a lot of tablets including Oxycontin and [as a back up and because they act quicker] Oxynorm. These are pain relief tablets ~ they aren't going to cure me. The morphine based tablets I had been prescribed originally didn't agree with me ~ they gave me a rash on the inside of both arms though the rash didn't itch.
I believe that I may have another dose of chemotherapy which may prolong things but I will know more after my visit next week. After that I'm not sure that there are many more options open to me. I'm not getting downbeat about it though.
I haven't been out for a walk for some weeks now and it is debateable whether I will go out for a 'real' walk ever again. I have however read much more and that is proving to be an acceptable subsitute.
I realise I may never walk along any of the beautiful paths I have wandered all my adult life. I used to wonder how I would cope with that. Well, so far, I seem to be coping surprisingly well ... and surprising myself in the process.
Footnote ~ the hawk-eyed amongst you may have noticed that 3 times 365 is not 1101. Even allowing for a leap year or two 3 times 365 is still not 1101. My system must have broken down somewhere ... and that's the way it will have to stay.