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Prostate Chronicles

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Prostate Chronicles - Chapter 1: Kings of Denial

Posted August 18, 2008
Topics: Prostate Chronicles

Last spring when doctors told ideastream®’s David C. Barnett he has the disease he decided to use this very personal life event as a vehicle to do what David does so elegantly in his reporting for 90.3 WCPN and WVIZ/PBS… tell a story.

Prostate Chronicles - Chapter 2: Guys Get Nervous

Posted August 25, 2008
Topics: Prostate Chronicles

ideastream reporter David C. Barnett had his prostate surgery last week and continues to write about his experience and recovery.

Prostate Chronicles - Chapter 3: Too Much Information

Posted August 27, 2008
Topics: Health, Prostate Chronicles

Wow, this is just like Ben Casey or Doctor Kildare. I’m flat on my back on a hospital gurney being wheeled through a maze of corridors heading for an appointment with a surgical knife. Make that two surgical knives. But, I’m getting ahead of myself.

Prostate Chronicles - George Harrison: Prostate Cancer Survivor

Posted August 27, 2008
Topics: Health, Prostate Chronicles

One of the first people I went to see after my prostate cancer diagnosis was George Harrison. No, not the musician, but a former professor of mine from Kent State University who underwent a similar surgery over twenty years ago when he was the same age I am today, 56. Dr. Harrison was one of my favorite teachers when I was doing graduate work at KSU back in the early 80s, and I figured there was more I could learn from him. As we settled into a couple of comfortable chairs in his living room, he paused for a moment and took my arm. His face became very serious as he looked me right in the eye, “David, would you like a nice dry sherry?” I quickly assented and he began his story.

Prostate Chronicles - Chapter 4: Rate Your Pain

Posted September 2, 2008
Topics: Health, Prostate Chronicles

My eyes opened a couple hours ahead of schedule. As consciousness slowly leaked back into my brain, my friend Robin from Washington was with me in the recovery unit, saying something about how the two operations had gone really well without any apparent complications. The goal had been to remove cancerous or potentially cancerous pieces from my body. That mission had been accomplished more quickly than anticipated. Now, those pieces would be analyzed in the laboratory to determine whether the cancer had been contained. The "labs," as they are known, would be back in seven to ten days.

Prostate Chronicles - Chapter 5: Catheters And Leg Bags

Posted September 8, 2008
Topics: Health, Prostate Chronicles

It's All Your'n: The sky was a brilliant blue as an attendant wheeled me up to my friend Robin’s car. She had gone through the entire prostate surgery experience with her husband Glenn, several years ago. She was the one who had bugged me about getting tested for several years via e-mails and calls from their home near Washington, D.C. And now, she had come to town to help guide me through the process of surgery and recovery.

Prostate Chronicles - Marvin McMickle: Prostate Cancer Survivor

Posted September 8, 2008
Topics: Health, Prostate Chronicles

The walls of Marvin McMickle’s office are crammed with photos of him posing with a number of famous religious and political leaders. As the well-known pastor of Cleveland’s Antioch Baptist Church, McMickle has ministered to many parishioners who fall ill and are hospitalized. The tables were turned on him in 2003, when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. The news sent him spiraling into a crisis of faith. As an African American, he was particularly disturbed to find that black men get prostate cancer at much higher rates than any other ethnic group in the country. He documented his experience with the disease in the book, Battling Prostate Cancer - Getting From “Why Me” to “What Next”? After we perused his Wall of Fame, he began the story that thrust him into the spotlight, several years ago. He said it’s useful to look at the human body as a “jar of clay.”

Prostate Chronicles - Chapter 6: Kath Pulls the Cath

Posted September 15, 2008
Topics: Health, Prostate Chronicles

Luciano was eying my lap, but I edged him away with my foot. I didn’t need a cat jumping on me, right now. Being hooked-up to a catheter and urine bag restricts your life in all sorts of ways. At night, the plastic tether limits how much you can move in bed. By day, you have to be careful not to lift the bag above you waist, otherwise you experience a sort of hydraulic siphoning sensation that quickly gets your attention.

Prostate Chronicles - Chapter 7: Leakage

Posted September 21, 2008
Topics: Health, Prostate Chronicles

The voice of a nuthatch sounded through the kitchen. Glenn looked up from the Washington Post and said, “11:00.” A birder by avocation, his home is filled with carvings, paintings and other representations of winged creatures. And that extends to the kitchen clock, which features the call of a different bird every hour. “You ready for a walk?”

Prostate Chronicles - Chapter 8: My Body and Myself

Posted September 29, 2008
Topics: Health, Prostate Chronicles

The morning sunlight pried open my eyelids. I pulled a pillow over my eyes and recalled a scene from the film, All That Jazz - the 1979 autobiography of choreographer and director Bob Fosse. Each morning when he woke up, he’d drag himself into the shower to revive after a long night with little sleep. Then, he trudged over to the mirror where he stared at himself, faked a look of enthusiasm, and announced, “It’s… showtime!”

Prostate Chronicles - Chapter 9: Healing

Posted October 6, 2008
Topics: Health, Prostate Chronicles

The doctor told me that my outlook was really good. I would be having no further treatments, other than semi-annual blood tests and scans to make sure that no more tumors were showing up. Another milepost on my journey through a mysterious medical world - a world of tubes and drains and staples... a world of pain, pain-killers and obscure acronyms... a world of spurts, leaks, and challenges to my masculinity.

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