February 28
Off to collect my medication from the hospital pharmacy. Given the nature of earlier examinations, it is appropriately located at the arse-end of the hospital and reached via an open walkway strewn with discarded PPE masks and fast-food boxes. It is a far cry from the glitzy front of the hospital and the surrounding units, looking suspiciously like WWII temporary buildings, and could certainly do with levelling up.

In 20 minutes I have my medication so Round Two really does begin here just 12 weeks and three days after my first examination and referral for a possible prostate problem.

12 weeks and three days? And all for free. Wow! how lucky we are.

And how lucky am I. On the way home I call in to see the daughter of some friends who lives nearby. I have known her since the time she was just a bump and she has ever been a formidable lady as well she needs to be right now. I am standing in her kitchen, holding her enchanting 1-year-old daughter when she asks me how I am. There must have been a catch in my voice as she looked at me quizzically and I just blurted out that I had LL: she put down the kettle and came and hugged me saying “Join the Club”.

What an amazing thing is the human spirit. You see, in 2020, at the height of the Covid lock-down, she was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was just a few weeks pregnant with her daughter. She elected to stop her treatment and to continue with the pregnancy: so in the face of a ruthless enemy she chose to save the life of another at the risk of her own. Her cancer has now metastasised so her time with her children is now in the hands of uncaring Fate.

She makes the tea and we sit on the floor, playing with her daughter. I am awed and humbled by her generosity of spirit towards me: no self-pity for herself but loving attention to her little girl and consideration for me. She will never have the joy of seeing her daughter and her four-year-old son growing up and I must remember this moment so in years to come I can tell them of the grace and courage of their mother.

I drive away encouraged by the human spirit of one so young. Any future self-pity of my part would be letting her down.

But now the war of attrition begins.