Sunday, Mar. 28, 2004 | 7:50 p.m.
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I wanted to write about each individual day in Jamaica, but I think I waited too long. Also, some of the days were sort of ... just like the other days with some small exceptions. So I think, instead, I'll write about the things that stand out in my mind.
Somewhere around Sunday my dad, who'd been drinking pretty much constantly since we got there, developed a problem with his prostate. My grandfather (his dad) died from prostate cancer in 1996. Grandpa waited too long before he went to the doctor for it and died after a short fight that included the removal of his prostate. My dad had his prostate checked soon after that and discovered it was enlarged. He continued to go to follow up visits, but was fond of telling us that if he developed cancer, he wouldn't treat it. No amount of exasperated tries to convince him that prostate cancer is one of the most treatable cancers if it is caught early could break through his thick skull, or at least, it didn't break through his thick rhetoric.
Anyway, it turns out that excessive drinking (of the alcoholic variety) irritates my dad's prostate and he ended up not being able to urinate after a day at the swim-up bar. Beaches had a nurse onsite, but the doctor was not, so unfortunately, we had to wait a few hours for him to arrive and treat Dad. In the meantime, we discussed how this experience was probably the closest he came to childbirth. I can't speak to that, but I do know he was in a lot of pain, that it came in waves (like contractions) and that, while he didn't have a baby to show at the end of it, he did have a catheter and seemed at least as relieved as any new mother.
It brought an early end to his vacation as he was not comfortable walking around with the catheter in and was also in some pain from his bladder. He apologized profusely for this, but I really didn't want an apology. I just wanted him to go to the damned urologist, which he did last week. He is having surgery on his prostate next month, during which they will take a biopsy to see if cancer has developed. He's not talking so much about not getting treatment now.
In some ways, his reaction to his intital prostate problems is exactly opposite of mine. Where I would be seeking every avenue of information and treatment, he avoids it, fearing the worst. He told me once, "it's better to expect the worst and then be pleasantly surprised if it doesn't happen." That may be okay when you're talking about dinner or a date, but it's not okay when it comes to your health.
At any rate, he spent the rest of the time in on their patio or in their room, which is too bad. I missed having him around for some of the other things we did.
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