The choice is not Mac versus PC.
The choice seems to be needles and knives, versus nettles; surgery versus sterols.
He doesn't want his body "opened up."
Well, not again anyway.
That's what he has in common with Steve Jobs - sadly, the late Steve Jobs.
He doesn't want to be - how did Jobs put it? - "violated in that way."
That indisposition - that's what he had in common, has in common, with Steve Jobs.
There is, however, a difference of great, and calculable, magnitude. Unlike Jobs, he cannot afford an extensive extension of life. He doesn't fear death. He fears outliving his bank accounts. It would seem that, like Willy Loman, he worth's more dead than alive.
And, to be sure, he's not keen on being "opened up." He respects, admires, the doctors he goes to. They speak with him as if he were an intelligent comprehending being.
Maybe it's the time of year: Chain saws, axes, machetes, butcher's cleavers, hunting knives, hatchets, grappling hooks, poison-tipped spear-gun spears, serrated broad-head ultra-penetrating carbon arrows - tis the season to have our fears sharpened.
He fears dwindling account balances.
There is an inverse ratio he is now obliged to plot - and measure as best as he can. The tumor is getting larger, while his remaining bank accounts are not. The gland is enlarging; his job prospects are not. The gland is becoming hard, as the job markets continue to be soft. He regularly searches for more income (honest income) as the gland's surface becomes increasingly irregular.
He has ruled out another biopsy. The discomfort, the bleeding, the risk of infection - what would be the point. He would not opt for the surgery that in most cases causes at least some impairment of functions. He will not opt for radiation, which, from all he has read and heard, will turn the gland and adjacent organs to inoperable, unsalvageable, mush. He would not opt for hormonal therapy. Too much tampering with the body's chemistry for him; too much Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. No more horror stories for him.
He is struck by the number of ads for prostate surgery and therapy. Ad agencies have been hired to devise commercials to tout the minimal invasions, and the minimal risk of incontinence and dysfunction. The voice of a relieved wife delivers the good news. The husband can hardly contain his manly re-emergence.
The possibility of a new or reborn tumor lurking within holds no dread in and of itself. The concern - the fear, the dread - is the damn thing's timetable. In his mind, there is no acceptable treatment - the side-effects are full frontal. He'll go in for a scan. Then a scope will allow the oncologist, along with the urologist, the hepatologist, and the gastroenterologist, to guess at the scope of the cancer, and guess at a time frame. That's all he wants.
Myocardial infarction and stroke - yes, they do scare him. They can take out a mere mortal, just like that.
Oh yeah, saber-tooth tigers, famished lions, grizzly bears, anacondas, pythons, piranhas, sharks, killer whales, sting rays, barracuda, tarantulas, and their like - yes, they are to be avoided. But he pretty much knows how to give them a wide berth - of, say, several thousand miles or fathoms or whatever.
What he does have to fend off are those proverbial enemies within. The ones creating discord in his lower reaches; and the ones in his cerebral cortex that are arguing about what he should or shouldn't do.
Up until Steve Jobs' passing, the holistic team was carrying the day. Plant-based savories served with a coulis of fresh sterols, yum. Washed down with a vintage African prune-tree pygeum extract, a rare stinging nettle root extract, and finished with a Belizian Man Vine extract. For dessert, celery stalks garnished with lycopene and quercitin, and topped with rye-grass pollen and pumpkin seed sprinkles.
Those concoctions, along with other chemistry, might just "buy" him the time to see his daughter through her pre-med years. Would the time-line be extended if allowed himself to be "opened up"? Would the "invasion" open up the possibility of seeing that wonderful young lady graduate from a white lab coat to a resident's white coat - and maybe, just maybe, a wedding dress along the way?
Those concoctions, along with other chemistry, might just "buy" him the time to see his son off to college and a bit of intercollegiate goal-tending at a Division III school, or maybe even a Division II school. Would the time-line be extended if allowed himself to be "opened up"? Would the "invasion" open up the possibility of seeing that good kid trade in goalie gloves and sticks and masks for a set of goals and goal tending in some business or industry?
He'd like to continue to provide for their tuitions. He'd like to provide for a grandchild or two. He'd like to be able to fund those professional and occupational incarnations - and the next generation and the next generation of aspirations, even if posthumously.
His trajectories are not super stellar; and the trajectories of his bank balances put him in close earth orbit. Jobs' worth was of outer-space - deep space - magnitudes. Yet, as with Jobs, there are no light years in his days.
But then there are Steve Jobs' concluding thoughts about surgery - and the surgery delayed until the cancer knew no bounds.
And now thoughts of "invasion" invade his thinking. Certain words and word sounds do conjure up discomfort: Transurethral Resection and Transurethral Incision and Transurethral Needle Ablation; Enucleation and Open Prostatectomy.
He thinks about his kids growing up healthy and hopeful, and aspiring in most decent sorts of ways. He thinks about his bank accounts. He thinks, maybe - maybe just a few more nettles.
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