The Legacy of Prostate Cancer


Apr 11, 2014
The Legacy of Prostate Cancer

I’ve come to realise that it is not just Claire, my dog Hugo and I that live in our house; something else moved in a few years ago that I sense has become a permanent fixture. Don’t worry, I haven’t gone all spiritualistic on you; I’m not talking ghosts, I’m talking about the ‘C’ word – I’m talking about the legacy of prostate cancer.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that it dominates my life in any way and increasingly I go for long periods without giving it a thought but there is always a presence lurking that makes you realise things will never be the same.

Having cancer made me revaluate life; get a better perspective on what really matters, so in a way a tremendous amount of good has come from it, which I believe happens with a lot of people. It’s just a shame it takes a scare like that for most of us to realise.

My life is good; I have a lot to be thankful for; a beautiful supportive family, my own business which I love and I live in Cornwall, what’s not to love! I’m also thankful that I was able to benefit from the amazing skill of my genius surgeon Christopher Eden to whom I will forever be eternally grateful. My prostate removed along with all the ‘badness’ (hopefully), I’m now nearly 4 years down the line and things are looking good.

But that’s it in a nutshell; I struggle to talk about cancer in a positive way for fear that I will tempt fate and the horror will return. All of a sudden I’ve become superstitious, touching wood and thinking carefully about how I phrase things for fear that it will conjure up all things bad! Even typing the words prostate cancer causes an involuntary twitch – see there it goes again!

‘Things are looking good’ is about as positive as I get, which for me is really strange as I have always thought of myself as a ‘glass half full’ kind of guy!  

Having cancer is a bit like joining a club. All of a sudden you have a much deeper understanding of the effect it has on people’s lives. When you talk to other people who have been in a similar situation it feels like there is some kind of invisible bond; a so called kindred spirit.

It makes you more aware of life and death; not necessarily a bad thing; just different!

So will my lodger ever leave? I guess as the years and the regular test results go by he will start to fade but the changes in my life I feel will always remain, which I’m happy about.

Having more awareness of the disease and its impact on people’s lives isn’t a bad thing, especially if you can raise that awareness in others. Just look at all the thousands of people running the London Marathon for charity on Sunday. Can you get a more positive story than that?

Good luck to you all.  


Ashley Shepherd is an Over 50s Personal Finance Expert

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