Andrew Edgar – Treasurer & Founder Member
Hello, my name is Andrew; I am happily married to Angela and have two sons, Ross & Ruaridh and a Grandson called Charlie.
Originally from the ”Muckle Toon” of Langholm I grew up appreciating right from wrong as my dad was one of the last guys to do National Service.
I have instilled the same principals in my lads and am delighted to say they are an absolute credit to Angela and I.
Dad was in the Air Force based in Norfolk. He passed his driving test in a Bedford Truck in France and while on leave he proceeded to take my now mum, out for a drive and drove on the wrong side of the road, so in a way, I am lucky to be here at all!
My Mum worked in the local mills firstly as a darner and latterly as a warper, she is enjoying her retirement, sadly without dad now, she really enjoyed visiting the Langholm Day Centre as often as she could, but now struggling to care for herself at home, she has happily settled into a lovely care home just outside Dumfries.
Growing up without any brothers or sisters I had to make a lot of decisions on my own – didn’t fancy University much, I wanted money in my pocket, so started work as a clerk for the Duke of Buccleuch on the estate in Langholm, before moving to Moffat in the early 80’s where I met Angela, as we both worked for what used to be Moffat Weavers – now Edinburgh Woolen Mill.
I lived and worked in Devon for a number of years, for Moffat Weavers, again making important decisions for the company, as they say, that was the real making of me – hence what you see is what you get.
Both my lads went to Uni, Ross wasn’t too keen and left after a year, but he now has a great job in Edinburgh working for a pensions & investment company and is married to Catherine and they have a gorgeous wee boy called Charlie (after my dad). They have purchased their forever home in a quiet area outside the city of Edinburgh, in Preston Pans, still close enough for me to stay for the Six Nations rugby. Ruaridh saw Uni out and with his Masters Degree he worked for a plastics company in Grangemouth as a Technical Manager. He has also purchased his first home but recently decided to go back to Uni and train to be a Physics teacher (a subject he much enjoyed at school). I am so proud of them both and enjoy their company especially when we go to Murrayfield to watch the rugby.
What follows is my story of how I am where I am as a Prostate Cancer survivor, all thanks to a ten minute blood test I had completed at the Doctors.
“I was in denial but now I’m on a mission!”
When my dad died aged 85 from Prostate Cancer a few years ago, he’d had symptoms for a number of years, but like many men unfortunately did not get himself checked out till it was too late! I went into total denial – refusing to believe I too could be at risk.
I was oblivious to the increased risk between father & son. Fortunately for me, my Aunt who is now a retired nurse, persuaded me to get checked. It only took ten minutes to get a PSA blood test, but that saved my life!
After further tests I was diagnosed with Early Stage Prostate Cancer on the Monday before Christmas 2017. I had had none of the symptoms which are listed on the Prostate Scotland website (https://www.prostatescotland.org.uk/symptom-checker) other than getting up once or twice during the night to the loo just like every other man does who’s my age!
That was nothing out of the ordinary as far as I was concerned, however, after speaking with the specialists at the DGRI & the Western General in Edinburgh I found that early diagnosis is crucial to catch this disease which can affect 1 in 8 men in Scotland and is increasing every year. I consider myself very lucky and would encourage men to understand the symptoms and seek help as soon as you can.
In May 2018 I underwent robotically assisted Prostate Cancer surgery and I am glad to say was given the ALL-CLEAR in the July. There are always potential side effects of any Prostate Cancer treatment – every man is different, and I would urge you not to Google the symptoms but visit your Doctor to get the best information to suit your condition. The advances in surgery and medication are helping to reduce these issues but you must start with yourself, anything that is, or does not feel right, means that your body is not doing what it should, when it should, so don’t leave it till it’s too late, your family need you to be there for them, you don’t want your family to have to be there for you!
My mission along with others now, is to raise the awareness of this disease and also funds for Prostate Scotland who literally saved my life.
I am not shy at talking about Prostate Disease and Prostate Cancer, raising awareness is important, as I have two sons of my own who need to be conscious of their greater risks as they get older. It only took 10 minutes out of my day to get a blood test at the Doctors which probably saved my life. If you are not sure about anything Prostate related please visit the Prostate Scotland website where you will find all the important information you will need. A personal thank you to all the people who have supported me and my family during my recovery.
Awareness is important, however early diagnosis is vital and you can recover too!