When Andrew was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer, we knew from the outset that it couldn’t be cured. But we were told that there were treatments that would give him extra time. My first thought was, “How long does he have?”
When Andrew was diagnosed, my first thought was, “How long does he have?”
The doctor told us that he couldn’t tell us exactly how long Andrew had and it would be very difficult to estimate.
He said that the average for people with a similar diagnosis to Andrew was four years. But Andrew’s cancer had spread around his body and they didn’t know how well he’d respond to treatment. So I thought that maybe we had two to four years depending on how treatment went. We concentrated on the here and now rather than the future.
Talking about dying
When we talked about the future Andrew said, “As the cancer progresses.” He didn’t say, “When I die.” So we talked about “As the cancer progresses.” It enabled us to plan ahead – we sorted out finances, Wills, computer passwords, and bills. These were the practical things we needed to sort out.
Talking about the future enabled us to plan ahead.
Emotionally, it was difficult to talk about. Andrew and I both knew that there wasn’t a cure and that he was going to die from prostate cancer.