As we complete our November dedication to that wonderful local book, We Turned Tears Into Laughter: Strangers Linked By A Diagnosis, we talk to Greystones Cancer Support’s unofficial stud, Paddy Monaghan.
Paddy is a man who clearly knows what he’s doing. He’s got a gansey load of fine women around him in GSC, all to himself. The sight of Paddy and the girls together at the recent book launch in Parkview Hotel would make you think, just for a minute, that you had walked into the Playboy mansion. And there, right in the middle of all those lovely ladies is Greystones own Hugh Hefner, the mighty Paddy Monaghan.
You can read the opening page of It Only Takes Ten Seconds…, Paddy’s touching chapter in We Turned Tears Into Laughter here, and find out where to grab yourself a copy of this beautiful book below…
I suppose it could be said that this thing kind of ‘crept up on me’. There was no particular time or place or occasion that could be described as a seminal moment. I felt in great shape, no health worries apart from the usual slowing down that most men of a certain vintage might experience. I was retired from work about five years and was having annual check-ups that I had promised myself at that time. My exercise regime was good; lots of walking, running and cycling, as well as managing and training/coaching football teams.
My wife and I had decided that we would take on the loking after our second grandchild, which was exciting, as our first one was now living far away in Perth, Western Australia.
All my tests were normal for someone of my age; sixty-four at the time. Blood readings were fine and within the limits. The only thing that might have raised a flag was the fact that my urine flow was not as strong as it used to be. “Not hitting the wall with the same velocity,” was the way someone put it.
I wasn’t particularly worried about this as it could be considered to be something that happened to men as they grew older. After all, there are very few men of my age invited to participate in the High Peeing Competition behind the school shed. I doubt if I would have got out of the qualifying stages.
Anyway, after this check-up, my GP asked me to make an appointment with a urologist, to back up his opinion, and to more or less assure me that all was good. This was the first indication that there might be something amiss. One test led to another, and I soon found myself on this journey of worry, uncertainty, fear and, I suppose, secrecy. The secrecy bit came about in a roundabout sort of way, as the odd thing about all this is there seemed to be no rush or panic, or indeed, urgency about the process, even if the outcome might not be good.
I had more blood tests, physical examinations, flow checks, and, in the middle of all this, was supposed to go away on a holiday with my son and his family during one of their visits home from Australia. Thus the secrecy bit, as I made up some excuse not to go become one of my tests was happening around the same time, and why worry people unnecessarily?
Added to this, one of my daughters was getting married in a few months, so the timing of treatment or surgery, or whatever, was to follow was a concern. At the same time, I would have been worried enough not to postpone or put off the tests…
To read the rest of Paddy’s story – and many more like it – pick up We Turned Tears Into Laughter (only €12) at the Greystones Cancer Support HQ on La Touche Place, plus The Village Bookshop, Roche’s Chemist and Doyle’s Butchers. Outside of Greystones, you can also buy Tearsat Dubray Books in Bray, Fishers and Ann Duffy Florist in Newtownmountkennedy, and both the Post Office the chemists in Kilcoole. You can also purchase the book on Kindle right here. You can find out more about GSC – including their contact info – here.