Finally Not Having to Take Responsibility

The past few days have been eventful. Knowing that Barry’s PSA was a 7, I was concerned that the obvious next step was a biopsy, which would be painful with a risk of infection. At first, he seemed like he might do it if his sponsor suggested so, and that had me panicked. So…….his sponsor gets to make these huge decisions and I get stuck living with the consequences and picking up the pieces. Great. But Sunday evening he said he didn’t want to have a biopsy.

I rejoiced, not so much from the choice but rather from the fact that Barry was taking full responsibility for it. I had no idea how exhausted I was from making all the decisions and trying to figure out how to handle everything. I feel like I could collapse from carrying that burden for so long.

This morning, we went to doctor’s office. The nurse practitioner said that the normal next step would be a biopsy, but Barry had previously said no and he said no repeatedly today. She said there were probably a few cancer cells “down there” and that men often have prostate cancer for many years and that Barry’s seems slow-growing. We will do the PSA test every fall, just to monitor and see if it suddenly goes up. If Barry has any troublesome symptoms, we have a plan in place medication-wise. She even mentioned “comfort care” which tells me that palliative care is on her mind and that seems perfectly reasonable. I feel like we are all on the same page for once.

Does Barry have cancer? Probably. But his unwillingness to treat changes the next steps.

I feel so relieved. I am not crazy for thinking that a biopsy would be the next logical step. The best part is Barry making his wishes so clear today at the office.

I want to tell people everywhere: take responsibility for your own choices! If you don’t, you lay the burden on someone else, who will likely resent it and may not end up making the choices in your best interest, but, rather, theirs. Sometimes, there just are no good choices. Here’s a good rule of thumb: whoever bears the responsibility should have the authority. Responsibility without authority is slavery. Authority without responsibility is license. If something has a huge effect in your life, take responsibility for it. If you don’t, be prepared to pay a high price.

About cdhoagpurple

I live in Michigan. I was Greek Orthodox (and previously Protestant), but now am more Buddhist than anything. I am single now (through the till-death-do-you-part clause of the marriage contract). My husband Barry was a good man and celebrated 30 years in AA. I am overly educated, with an MBA. My life felt terminally in-limbo while caring for a sick husband, but I am free now. I see all things as being in transition. Impermanence is the ultimate fact of life. Nothing remains the same, good or bad.

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