Saturday 8th January 2022 may well have been a pivotal day in the life of one Middlesex Mason who minding his own business arrived at Cole Court for a meeting which coincided with the PSA Testing being carried out by the Men’s Health Charity – CHAPS.
Through the auspices of the Middlesex Masonic Charity, PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) tests were made available to Middlesex Masons.
This is a procedure where a blood sample is taken and tested for possible signs of prostate cancer.
W Bro Joseph M Furneaux-Gotch of Justicia Lodge, No. 2563 attended and had his blood taken.
Critically, there were no symptoms of anything untoward nor any pain.Continuing with his masonic pursuits at TDMC, six days then elapsed before hereceived an e mail containing several pages of medical jargon.
However, the first page was highlighted at the top RED PSA RESULT which could only mean one thing; the worst possible test scenario for those not in know. The results were placed in an envelope and sent to his GP for his perusal and any further actions necessary.
A further blood test was taken at the surgery to confirm the initial CHAPS test results.
These were sent off to the pathology lab.
Things then happened quickly and within four weeks Brother Joseph had both MRI and CT and had a referral to the Consultant Urologist at Taunton, Somerset.
In his own words, “He (the Consultant) showed me the scan and there was my prostate like a little rugby ball stood on end however it also had a rather large mushroom shaped black cap. “I am 75-80% sure this is cancer but we will do a biopsy so there is no doubt”, he said.
Two weeks later, a day patient surgery for a biopsy and the result delivered in seven days, Cancer confirmed.
A fortnight later, on a Sunday, I was in for a full body CT scan and one week after that, again on a Sunday morning, I was having a full body MRI scan.”
PROSTATE CANCER – THE SILENT KILLER
Fortunately for Joseph there were no signs of cancer elsewhere in his body and still no pain or other distress given the nature of the diagnosis.
There followed a series of hormone injections, radio therapy and yet another MRI Scan.
This was supported by physiotherapy and advice from a dietician to help prevent reoccurrence.
The NHS really showed their mettle in dealing with this scenario and the prompt response and reaction to the dilemma more than likely prevented a more severe outcome.
But it must be remembered that the initial test carried out by CHAPS was the “game changer”.
Without this test and Joseph not being aware of the inner workings of negative body chemistry on the Prostate gland, it may have been too late further down the line when treatment may have been more difficult and the consequences more severe.
A last word from W. Bro Joseph, “The moral of this tale is Don’t wait for symptoms, they often do not arrive. Don’t wait to be asked, if you see an opportunity for a PSA test take it and if you are not fortunate enough to be offered one ask your GP, because even now, when it would have been too late, I still have none of the symptoms associated with Prostate Cancer and I am looking forward to continuing my masonic career in Middlesex, Somerset and Devon Provinces.”
Indeed, the fact that one life may have been saved has made the whole exercise a credit to the Provincial Grand Lodge, The Middlesex Masonic Charity and not least CHAPS.
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