“¡Salsa Divina!” – Prostate Cancer: A celebration of life with a Song in the Key of Life.
Victor Manuelle and Juan Luis Guerra, “Quiero Tiempo”
Yo quiero tiempo...
Tiempo pa' estar contigo
Tiempo pa' mis amigos
Tiempo pa' la familia
Que yo quiero que esté conmigo
No dejes que se te vaya
El tiempo no se regala
Disfruta la vida plena que no vas a llevarte nada.
My grandmother, doña Provi, who lived 112 years, 6 months, and 1 day, and my mother, doña Eleanor, who lived 93 years, used to say the refrán, “Al mal tiempo, buena cara”.
Sage advice from two influential women in my life, for whom my love continues to this day, that brings a huge smile to my face this morning.
For the past four weeks I have been out of pocket at home recovering from laparoscopic surgery for prostate cancer that took place on March 15. The good news is that the radical prostatectomy was a success and the greater news, thank God, is that my post op appointment with my doctor brought us the news that I am cancer free!
During this four-week period of recovery I’m feeling well overall, but my doctor reminds me that I had major surgery so I listen to my body and take things one day at a time. My first 48 hours after my one night stay at the hospital were the worst but medication helped for my excruciating pain. Since then my midsection is still somewhat sore from the five abdominal incisions and the larger one above my belly button through which my doctor removed my prostate gland that he described as being the size of a California walnut. Two extra strength Tylenols take care of any pain when needed. I loss weight from 168 to 163 pounds, but I’m gaining it back little by little and this morning I tipped the scales at 166 pounds.
Per my doctor’s orders, I’ve had to be disciplined during this period in regaining my health and energy and therefore I have purposefully channeled my energy inward spending my time resting, meditating, reading, writing, and listening to music with very limited outside communication. As much as I have wanted to be my usual super energetic self, engaged 360 degrees, Divina has been my savant in keeping me focused on my recovery.
She and our children have been great caregivers and the positive energy, thoughts, and prayers from my family, friends, and colleagues at Massport and WBUR have been uplifting and much appreciated.
So every day I’m getting stronger by the hour and my plans are to hopefully return to work tomorrow, Tuesday.
Prior to my surgery I pre-recorded “¡Con Salsa!” leaving five weekend’s worth of programming. This past Saturday, I stepped into a studio at ‘BUR for the first time in six weeks and recorded this past Saturday night’s program. I still don’t have the energy and stamina to hang in till 3:00am, so I will record the next three programs and look forward to hopefully being live the weekend of May 12th.
So if you haven’t heard from me, or I haven’t returned your emails or calls, now you know why. Little by little I’ll get back into the swing of things and reach out to you.
El tiempo cura todo
El tiempo quita enojos
El tiempo borra
Sana, sana cosas que tengas malas
Al tiempo buena cara
La vida no se para
No pierdas tiempo que eso acá sí no deja nada, nada, nada
As many of you know, in 2014 I was diagnosed and treated for a stage III nasopharyngeal cancer, a rare type of head and neck cancer in the upper part of my throat, behind my nose. I was completely cured, thank God, after 33 days of radiation and chemotherapy and my prognosis continues to be very good.
Your positive thoughts, energy and prayers were instrumental in my recovery.
Several years ago, I traveled to Puerto Rico to accompany my father who was diagnosed with prostate cancer. I spent a month with him during and after his operation and throughout his recovery period. He told me that when I turned 50 to make sure that my yearly physical included a prostate exam and also to prepare myself for a colonoscopy. My father lived for several years after that episode until the age of 93.
So every year, my doctor would draw blood to check my Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels and perform a digital rectal exam to check my prostate.
I maintained a healthy lifestyle to maintain a low PSA through my diet and exercise.
Yet, three years ago, after a steady rise in my PSA level, a biopsy resulted in my being diagnosed with this type of cancer, but the cancer cells were of the type that did not present an immediate concern, so we agreed to carry out an active control (active monitoring) with annual blood tests and another biopsy in three years. The cancer cells were the type that I could go on for up to ten years without needing to take action, but my last biopsy showed a new group of cancer cells that were much more aggressive and unpredictable.
As a result, I had an MRI and a full-body CT scan that, fortunately, turned out to be negative with regard to any spread of the cells beyond my prostate. We could wait until a year before taking action, but decided to address it now while I am healthy in other aspects that will help me with the recovery.
Three years ago, Divina and I met with all the teams of doctors who would attend to me, from traditional surgery to radiation and chemotherapy, and laparoscopic surgery. Having gone through radiation and chemotherapy, we decided to perform a laparoscopy because of our confidence in my doctor with whom we have been consulting for a period of time. We felt that the benefits of robotic-assisted surgery, faster recovery and shorter hospital stay, few stitches and less scarring, lower risk of complications and infections, less blood loss and need for transfusions and quicker return to normal activities were more to our liking.
I am very healthy, so I entered this with a positive attitude and as I mentioned, my previous cancer has healed, so life is good.
Yo quiero tiempo
Tiempo en tu pasatiempo
Tiempo que estés conmigo
Enamorarme de ti yo quiero
Y vivir el tiempo contigo
Tiempo para besarnos
Tiempo pa' enamorarnos
Tiempo de sobra para bailar, disfrutar y gozar contigo
Porque no te llevas nada
(Nada) Nada que tengas, nada
(Nada) No dejes que el tiempo transcurra en tu vida
Y sácale tiempo al tiempo
Vamos a disfrutar la vida
Porque la vida solo es una
Si quieres bailar, ven conmigo
Y hacemos tremenda bulla
Yo quiero tiempo pa' estar contigo
(Tiempo) Para mis viejos, para mis hijos
(Tiempo) Pa' mi familia, pa' mis amigos
(Tiempo) Recuperar al tiempo perdido
Tiempo pa' reflexionar
(Tiempo) Y tiempo también para llorar
(Tiempo) Y poder apreciar lo bello que es amar
(Tiempo) Ya que el tiempo se va y no vuelve jamás
El tiempo cura
El tiempo quita
El tiempo borra
Y no perdona
(El tiempo cura) La amargura
(El tiempo quita) Las cosas bonitas
(El tiempo borra) No dejes que corra, no
(Y no perdona) Hay que aprovechar el tiempo porque viene y se va
(Y no perdona) Disfruta cada minuto, cada hora
(Y no perdona) No dejes que el tiempo se vaya, todo tiene su hora
(Y no perdona) Disfruta el tiempo, valora el tiempo
Yo quiero tiempo
So my heartfelt thank you to all of you, my friends, and my colleagues at Massport and WBUR for your positive energy, kind thoughts and prayers on my behalf.
I am truly blessed!
© José C. Massó III 4.16.18