My father has reached the age where, in his mid-fifties, he is at high risk for prostate cancer, and while I kept talking to him about going in for his routine checks, he is pretty stubborn and kept insisting that he did not have any prostate cancer symptoms. Around and around we went, debating and discussing this issue until he finally caved and went down to speak with the doctor, only going when I made the appointment for him.
It was a good thing that he did, because as it turned out, although he did not show any clues of prostate cancer symptoms, he did, in fact have some cancer. The good news was that we had caught it in time and the cancer had not yet progressed and the doctors were sure that it could be treated with no complications.
My entire family was overjoyed at this news and my normally gruff dad broke down when he told me how grateful he was to me for pestering about getting tested. It was a touching moment for both of us and helped us come closer together, and I was somewhat saddened that it took a terrible disease to help us communicate with each other.
But then, we ran into another issue, because while my dad was receiving the prostate cancer treatments and was doing pretty well, my uncle, my dad’s brother was actually refusing to visit a doctor. Uncle George who is a years older than my father is possibly even more stubborn than my father, and he also insisted that he was not showing any symptoms of cancer and he was sure that he was perfectly healthy and there was no need to go to a doctor. This was extremely irritating for my father and I, as it was totally obvious that the symptoms don’t always manifest themselves, and it would be only common sense to go and get a routine exam just in case.
It was his wife who persuaded him to agree to go to the doctor after much nagging and threatening him that he would have to nothing but spinach and water until he went to the doctor. In his case, he learned that he did not have any traces of cancer, and while he put up a fuss about having had to go to the doctor, he did admit that he was grateful for all of our concern on his behalf and was glad to have such a caring family.