Nowadays when I meet up with a group of peers, the conversation eventually drifts towards this question.
"How's your health?"
Once that's asked, the floodgates are swung wide open. Sprains, strains, general fatigue and hair growing out of our ears are the usual ailments. My friends will whisper of mutual acquaintances who have the misfortune of now dealing with life threatening maladies. We gasp, shake our heads and feel sorry for them.
When we have dialogues like these we have become our parents. Same talk, different generation.
Which leads me to this point. A few days ago, I went to see Doctor Lonny for my two year-5000 miles of hiking check up. Lonny is not only my GP, but a 20 plus year buddy. He's the only physician I trust implicitly with my health.
We made small talk while Lonny worked. A gentle tap here and there, a blood pressure check and a listen in to my heart and lungs. Nothing seemed to be out of the ordinary. The good Doctor wrote out orders for blood draws. One blood test would be a Prostate Specific Antigen check. An indicator of the possibility of prostate cancer.
When it comes to blood work, no news is good news. A day later, Lonny called.
"Your PSA is high. It went from 1.6 to 5.6 in three years. I think you should see a urologist."
Upon his recommendation I set up an appointment with a colleague of his. I'll see a Boulder, Colorado urologist on June 14th. At this time, nothing was sinking in on what just happened to me. My brain felt like it was injected with Novocain. I was numb.
Eventually, I began making inquiries to those who previously received the news no male wants to hear. I needed some first hand advice and counsel.
Mike is a former Chief of mine at the fire department. He took the time to methodically explain the ordeal of what he went through. He spoke deliberately and honestly. He summed it up by gently stating, "Jeff! This event will affect your summer plans. You will need to deal with this."
That wasn't music to my ears.
So until June 14th, I'll go through the normal business of being a Wandering, Wondering Jew. I'll soon leave the Front Range of Colorado and perform a lap around the Centennial State. I'll see friends, baseball, brewpubs, breakfast burritos and places of beauty in between. I'll hike and occasionally ride my bike. I'll try not to think about my walnut sized trouble making gland. I'll try to get some sleep.
I once overheard someone describe the potential health issues of humans this way. "We are all walking time bombs waiting to go off."
I'm just hoping this explosive device turns out to be a dud. Yes, I'm scared and I'm nervous.
BTW! I'll soon be announcing the Great Wandering, Wondering Jew Sweepstakes. The pay out will be just like the Powerball only smaller. Stay tuned for details.
The second photo is what I'm still hoping to do this summer. So many places to hike, so little time.
Here's to your health,