I made a new friend last week. You don’t always get to pick your friends ahead of time, and such is the case with Peter. He showed up during the course of my prostate surgery. I was totally unaware of his arrival, but he was greeted by everybody in attendance as one uniquely qualified for his task. By the time I regained my senses after the surgery, Peter had obviously become a fast friend. He cared for me deeply and touched me in ways I had never experienced before. And I found I couldn’t leave him behind. Upon my release from the hospital, my wife and I made a place for this new friend in my life.
Peter has been faithful; despite my outbursts and even wishing him harm, he as stuck by me without question or recrimination. Peter is giving; he retains nothing for himself but passes on all that he has every minute of every day.
These hot, fast friendships have their challenges. We found that Peter was a bit demanding and a bit clingy. And while his friendship tapped an inner well I rarely thought about, having him around each minute of each day is wearisome. Peter is an “up front” sort of friend, but admittedly very private. So, getting ready to leave the house with Peter is stressful and frankly exhausting.
My friendship with Peter is as close a relationship as I have ever experienced. It is also an ill-fated relationship, for today Peter and I must be parted. The reality is that I must move on in my recovery, and I have to go, alone. Peter cannot go for me. The absence of his indwelling presence will be a void in my life.
Farewell, my friend, Peter.
[During a radical prostatectomy, a foley catheter is inserted into the urethra. The catheter assists the surgeon during the transection and resection of the urethra and then supports the urethra as it heals. The patient keeps the foley catheter in place from 7 days to 3 weeks depending on the procedure and the surgeon involved. I named my catheter "Peter."]
Other posts in the Prostate Cancer Journal can be found under Categories in the sidebar of this blog.