Act of Attrition ,
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,
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".