It had been two years, maybe more, since the original cancer diagnosis. That was followed by tests, biopsies, procedures and a great deal of thought, worry and attention being paid to this little gland that appeared to be misbehaving.
My friend joked with his doctor a few days ago that he wanted to check with his prostate how it felt about the prospect of a proposed treatment. He was beginning to wonder how it would cope with having a series of holes poked in it and then having parts of it frozen (aka cryosurgery).
I asked him if he’d had the conversation and he said he’d been talking to his prostate for a couple of days but he hadn’t got any answers back yet. I suggested he try again, as I knew he would get answers immediately if we did it together.
And so I found myself in my first ever conversation with a prostate. We laughed a lot at first – it reminded me of the old Heineken ads (“Heineken reaches the parts other beers don’t reach”).
We started by having a chat with his body. It seemed useful to get a bit of an overview. We relaxed for a couple of minutes and then he asked his body how it was doing. It said “OK,” which was fairly non-committal.
He then asked how he was doing in the way he was taking care of his body. It came back very strongly. “You’re doing far too much.” This was not the answer he’d expected. It turned out that he was taking a whole lot of supplements for inflammation (and other stuff) and they were preventing his body from being able to do its own job. He was advised to review everything he was taking with a general principle of cutting it in half.
He asked, “What’s really going on with this prostate cancer?” “Too much focus on the material aspect of life,” his body came back instantly. “Not enough focus on the intangible.” He was also told that he’s learned a lot from the experience and it’s more or less done with now.
And so we moved on to talk to his weary prostate. I got the sense it was like a child who has been totally smothered with worry, anxiety and never-ending parental focus – well-meant, but ineffective. The prostate was amazing in its intention. Whilst making clear that it wasn’t keen on being frozen it was prepared to cooperate with whatever might happen and was ready to recover as fast as possible.
How often do we remember that our body is also conscious – and my evidence suggests it may be more sensible than we are as it doesn’t get caught in all the confusion created by our minds. At least it’s a good place to go for a second opinion.
Resources to get started with treating your body better