Frank Williams

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Act of Attrition , 2002-2003

In August of 2003, while receiving a routine annual physical exam I was diagnosed with prostate cancer.
The cancer diagnosis was, naturally, upsetting.
Then there is the process of deciding which treatment to take! Radiation therapy, radical surgery, freezing the tumour or the wait and see approach. Wait and see whether the disease grows rapidly or slowly before taking action.
None of it is very attractive. And the literature and documentation concerning prostate cancer is extensive and graphic.

It was a nerve racking process no matter how much good news I got about catching the disease early. Or how wonderful the recovery prognosis were for me. If the cancer was really contained, etc.?
I chose radical surgery, a prostatectomy!
The operation was in November 2002, to rid me of a "little bit" of cancer.

The installation, "Act of Attrition", was a four or five month catharsis beginning in September of 2002.
A reaction to and psychological purge of all the emotional possibilities caused by the visual, verbal and written medical information I was ingesting to make the decision about my treatment.
Then I had to live with the decision until the treatment; second guessing my choice daily.
The operation itself was not too bad. Certainly not as bad as my imagination's response to all the medical illustrations!

The first few months of the healing stage, after the prostatectomy, before I knew whether my surgery was successful kept me a little edgy. But, thanks to medical science and my yearly check up regime, we did discover the cancer early! As of this writing I am 100% cancer free. I have satisfactorily recovered all 'recoverable' functions affected by the disease, and the cure.
I am satisfied about my choice of treatment.

But, life changes and the experience was, for me, an "Act of Attrition".

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