F*** You, Cancer! Catch all

It is not good in the usual sense but it is good you can be there.

It's good that you can care for him this way. Palliative care is gentle and should ease his journey.\

Wow, that looks like a great place! I hope he is comfortable there, and not scared.

So he is installed in the palliative care residence.

I am not sure how aware he is of his surroundings. He knows he moved, but when I went to see him, didn't know if it was morning or evening. It was in the evening I went to see him, and he is more confused in the evening, so I don't know if it was just evening confusion or general confusion.

The nurses and staff there are, to be blunt, amazing. The few interactions I saw them have with my father were stunning with the love and tenderness they expressed.

I honestly have no idea how they do it.

Yah, they are incredible people.

Almost 2 weeks my dad has been in a palliative care center.

He's going downhill, and it is hard to watch. He only eats a couple of bites a day and is spending a lot of time sleeping. And when he is awake, the conversation he is having with you is sometimes not the same conversation you are having with him.

All that being said, he is comfortable, and the care he is getting is amazing.

They made it clear when he was admitted. They will not be doing any sort of treatment there. They will be making (and keeping) him comfortable.

That's the process, I guess. Glad to hear it's comfortable. Reach out if you want to chat.

’ve seen this coming for the past 18 months. Every doctor’s appointment, every PET scan, every surgery, every change in chemotherapy regimen.

The end has been clear.

And now I am sitting next to my dad. His breathing is laboured, and there are long pauses between breaths. I sit here wondering which breath will be his last.

The nurses at the palliative care facility said my brother (currently on a work trip in Utah) really needs to come see him if he can.

I thought I was ready for this.

I’m not ready for this.

All our love and support are with you.

Keeping you in out thoughts here, Mudbunny. Best from the whole family. Wishing you peace.

Thinking of you, mudbunny. It's awful. You've got all the internet hugs I can give.

Yes, absolutely thank you mudbunny!
I hope for nothing but peace for you and your family.

I am very sad for you but it is very good you can be there with him.

The priest just left after giving my dad his last rites.

The nurses and Dr said it was probably the right time as he was here giving it to two other residents as well.

I'm glad you can be there with him. My father only had his nurses.

The nurse is here at the palliative care centre have a depth of heart and concern that blows my mind. The way they interact with my father, who’s doped to the gills, astonishes me.

Goodbye Papa.

You are at peace now.

I’m so sorry for your loss.

My deepest condolences, mud.

Mudbunny, you did so much for your dad and I believe he knew it. The care and love you've shown in spite of your fears and frustrations is heartwarming. We can all hope to have such loving family and friends around us at our ends. Thank you for showing us how it's done.

God speed your dad to his rest.

Mud, first of all condolences.
And if you are at all spiritual, keep an open mind and an eye out for "things" that cross your path unexpectedly.
You will be pleasantly surprised.

Sorry for your loss MudB, f**k cancer indeed

Just finished writing my dad's eulogy. Sharing it here, because I think it is important for people to know who my dad was.


Thank you all for coming to the service for Gilles.

The family greatly appreciates the love and support that has been shown.

The goal, when you are growing up and working, is to find something that fulfils you and you really enjoy. When you find that something, people will look at you and say "you are exactly where you were meant to be."

Gilles found that twice in his life.

The first was when he was young.

As a child, Gilles was a troublemaker. He got in trouble, as all kids do. But, he went a little bit further than he should have and eventually found himself in front of a judge who gave him a choice: "You can go to reform school or you can join the military."

Gilles, not being completely stupid, chose the military, where he thrived.

Over 33 years,Gilles made his way up to Chief Warrant Officer. For those who are unfamiliar with the military, that is the highest rank you can obtain without being an officer. You only become a Chief Warrant Officer when the military sees in you a number of things.

You are competent in everything you touch. And if you aren't competent, you are able to figure out where to go to get the right information.

You have the ability to lead those under you, whether it is an easy job or not.

You have the ability to teach those around you.

People can look to you and see a good example of what it means to be a soldier.

On all accounts, Gilles was all of the above and more.

After the announcement that he died, these are some of the messages we got from people who had worked with him:

"Gilles was a good soldier."

"Gilles taught me how to be a good soldier."

"We could always count on Gilles."

Over those same 33 years, Gilles developed a deep and unshakable love for the Canadian military. Not just being a soldier and getting to use weapons and explosives. Gilles loved the military because he was able to help Canadians and the rest of the world.

This was never more evident than every Remembrance Day. Gilles could have worn a suit. He could have worn his military uniform. Gilles chose instead to wear the light blue representing the United Nations Peacekeeping Forces that he was so very proud to be a part of.

From Cyprus to Bosnia to Afghanistan, Gilles was undeniably proud to put himself in front of those that needed it.

The love for the military also showed after he retired from the military, and then went back to work doing basically the same thing as a civilian contractor.

Everything he designed or supervised had one basic goal that influenced all the decisions. "Will this make things safer for the soldier?" If the answer was no, then it was back to the drawing board.

You also saw this in his working with others. He often got new civilian employees who had never worked with the military before assigned to him. "Gilles' Kindergarden" is how it was referred to more than once. He laughed, but more than one person has said how useful it was to have spent time with Gilles.

Then came the second phase of his life.

It's no secret that Gilles has been married twice. First to Madelene, with whom he had Marcel and Shawn. Then to Francine. Francine has children from her previous marriage, but to Gilles it made 0 difference.

Gilles did not see any difference between Marcel and Shawn versus Genevieve, Philippe and Charles. They were all his kids. He loved them all and they all loved him. He was always ready with advice, a kind word, a helping hand, and steak (coated liberally with Montreal Steak Spice) fresh off the BBQ. Vegetables optional.

And then these kids started having kids of their own (as happens) and the second thing that he was meant to do in his life became clear.

Before I continue, I need to go off into a slight tangent.

Being in the military has a huge impact on your family. When you are away on an exercise or deployed elsewhere in Canada or overseas, you miss things. Birthdays. Anniversaries. School events. Your family has to start their life over again every 3 to 4 years. But Shawn and Marcel were always surrounded by love and support it's part of the life, and Marcel and Shawn never, ever felt neglected.

Being a soldier also changes you. When you sign up to be a soldier, you do so knowing that you may be called to possibly give your life in service of your country. Afghanistan. (Once in the military and then a number of times afterwards as a civilian). Cyprus. Egypt. The former Yugoslavia. Kosovo. He went there with nothing he could use for protection but a light blue helmet. While he was never physically wounded, the things he saw and experienced gave him PTSD that greatly impacted his life. Let me be clear, he never, ever regretted being a soldier, but the effects being a soldier had on him couldn't be denied to anyone that knew him.

For those here who wear or have worn a uniform where you have to go towards the danger that most people run from. Thank you.

Once his grandkids started arriving, he had a new purpose in life.

Being a grandfather.

When you showed up in the summer with one of his grandkids, within 5 minutes they would be kidnapped by Gilles and taken around the house and the yard. Smelling flowers. Meeting the neighbours. Looking at the fire. Looking at the pontoon boat.

"Les petites bibbittes mangent pas les grosses bibbittes" (translated roughly to
"Little bugs don't eat big bugs")

Nothing, and I mean nothing came close to the joy and happiness that Gilles felt when he was with his grandkids. They brought him an undeniable sense of peace, of happiness and an enormous smile to his face. He always wanted to know how they were doing. Their classes, their sporting activities. Anything to do with them, he wanted to know.

It didn't matter whether they were from his blood or not, they were his grandkids and he loved them. He was their grandfather and they loved him.

Father, grandfather, brother, husband, coworker, friend.

Gilles was all of those and more.

We will all miss him very much.

Wow. That's an amazing piece, Mudbunny. It shows the love in your family, and in your heart. Your father would be proud.

This quarter's PSA status is:

<0.1 (undetectable by this test)

Drugs are holding the line, I get to play more Baldur's Gate 3!

So. Cancer.

Just found out I have it an hour ago.

The good news is that it's prostate, Gleason score 6 (ie, low grade, very early), so it's very treatable with a good prognosis.

I'm scared, sad, depressed, angry, confused, probably a bunch of other emotions I'm too shocked to register right now.

...I don't know where I was going with this post, but felt the need to tell someone, anyone at the moment, and my wife isn't home from work yet.

Anyway, thanks for letting me resurrect this thread.

Budo... Are you on the GWJ discord? You can message me. Or pm me your phone number if you like. I'm Gleason 10, over 20 mets to bones, aggressive cancer, started with PSA in the upper 60's, de novo... And now two years in, and with just ADT, my mets and PSA are undetectable, pain is gone and I'm just dealing with the side effects. So far, so good.

Your prognosis is likely to be far, far better. Like, total cure better. Check this out. Maybe even just active surveillance.

Check out the Prostate Cancer Foundation. They have a fantastic FB group for Newly Diagnosed folks.

Guide to Localized Prostate Cancer.

More Guides

If you want to talk, I'm here for you. Deep breath. Nothing is going to happen to you today, or tomorrow. This is like the sloth of cancers. If, as noted in the article, it's even cancer at all. Take heart. You're okay. It's just another phase of life.

It could be a whole lot worse.

Thanks Robear, I'm actually kind of familiar with it based on my work but these are great tools to keep in mind.

I guess another emotion I have going on is gratitude that it's only a 6. My biggest concern right now is which treatment to choose. I'm probably going to go radiation at some point but have to figure out how to avoid or minimize any ED or libido issues afterwards. Not great problems but definitely worse ones to deal with.

Read the NIH piece I linked. Your doctor may recommend Active Surveillance, and that's well worth considering.

I just know people panic at first and I figured if I could help you avoid even a bit of that, it would be worth it.

You holding up okay, Budo?

I'm doing ok for the most part. Running through the shock and gamut of emotions, but not doing anything too crazy other than just keeping my daily routine for now.

One of the blessings of Gleason score 6 is I have time on my side, so I don't need to rush to a decision on anything. In 2 weeks the wife and I are going to touch base with the Urologist to discuss next steps. Most likely I'm going to get a second opinion.

I'll probably select active surveillance to start, but if treatment is needed I'll probably pick some form of radiation to minimize the incontinence and/or ED side effects. Just need to take it all in stride at the moment.