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cover of Hitchcox book

photo of Robert Hitchcox
A selection from:

Love, Sex and PSA
by Robert Hitchcox

The Phone Call
(pages 3-4)

"Damn it," I said mashing the 'off' switch on the portable phone. I walked back into the kitchen, poured all of the ice cubes from the freezer into the ice bucket, retrieved the bottle of Absolut, and went back out to the patio.

John looked up at me as I sat at the patio table. "The phone call?"

I looked over at him. "Yeah, the phone call. Want another drink? I sure as hell do!"

"Yes, but make mine light."

It was after four. Both of us worked out of our townhouses. I poured myself a very tall vodka on the rocks and was on the way to getting drunk. The silence was pervasive. John was afraid to ask any questions and I was afraid to say anything out loud about the phone call. Finally, taking a long slow slug of the soothing vodka, looking from my now half-empty glass to John, I announced, "I've got prostate cancer."

I had been waiting for the phone call for a couple of days. I was fast approaching 61. During my annual physical, my PSA blood test had risen from a normal 4.0 to 7.7 in just six months. Dr. Sargeant had strongly recommended that I consult a urologist. I was fortunate in having Scripps Clinic in La Jolla, California (a community of San Diego) as my health provider. It is an excellent source for health care. I selected Lester Klein, M.D., F.A.C.S.

We set up an appointment, really just a discussion. He looked at my medical history over the last five or six years and performed a DRE, which showed no definite signs of a problem. We set a date for an ultrasound. My poor anus was to be invaded yet again.

The ultrasound revealed a dark spot, so he took six biopsies. Those biopsies were taken two days before I sat on the patio sipping the vodka.

"What are you going to do?"

"I am going to get drunk. Not a word to Nancy. I got to figure this out." Another slug followed by a refill of my glass. I didn't have a clue of what to do. Oh, I did get drunk that night and I didn't tell Nancy, my wife, why. I ended up going to sleep shortly after she came home from work. Hey, it was my reaction to something that scared the hell out of me.


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