Geoff Jenkins – Buddy
Born in St Helens in June 58 I am a Lancashire lad who became an adopted Scot when I met and soon married Pam a lovely lass from Kirkcudbright, best move I ever made. Another good move was deciding to get a PSA test despite having no symptoms, but more of that later.
I have been a maths teacher since the early eighties. Pam and I met when we started our teaching careers in Lancashire. We moved to Gatehouse of Fleet in 2007 and since then I have taught in several Schools in D&G.I supposedly retired in 2018 but have continued to do supply work virtually full time since.
My interests are mainly sporting activities particularly football, both codes of rugby and cricket. I no longer play competitively but now take part in walking football in Kirkcudbright. We like to regularly holiday in Crete and Madeira where one of the main attractions is the tremendous cuisine. Pam and I have 2 Pomeranians and they do provide such joyous companionship for us. Raven and Christal are our 7th and 8th poms.
My interest in cricket was one reason that prompted me to make an appointment to ask my GP to test my PSA. In the summer of 2022, I was listening to Test Match Special and there was an interview with a cricketer, explaining how he’d gone through the process of being diagnosed, despite having no symptoms and had been successfully treated. Pam and I agreed I should get a test.
On returning from a holiday in July 2022 I asked for a PSA test, feeling confident that ’everything would be fine’. This was certainly a good move in that it was a life enhancing decision.
From then there was the visit to the GP and referral to the Urology department at DGRI followed by the MRI scan, the bone scan in Carlisle and the biopsies at DGRI. That November we decided to go to a Prostate Buddies meeting, even though no diagnosis had yet been made. Pam and I were made most welcome and after that first meeting, we were reassured and confident about the process through which were about to go. Since then, there has always been someone there for us to confide in and obtain advice from, on a whole range of issues.
My diagnosis was made just before Christmas 2022. In some way it was a relief to get it, in that I had already felt reassured by the advice the Buddies had given me but also their complete trust in any treatment I would be offered.
By the end of January, I had been to the Western General in Edinburgh to hear about both Brachiatherapy and Robot Assisted Prostatectomy. Talking to Buddies helped me in my decision making and I chose to have the prostate removed.
The surgery took place at the end of April 2023, both operation and recovery going well. Again, there were times when the Buddies’ help and advice were only a phone call or email away.
From diagnosis to being informed that no further treatment was required was a mere 6 months. I am so grateful for the way I have been treated throughout. I was right to have complete faith in the surgeon and his team and having the support of Prostate Buddies D & G was and still is invaluable.
I hope, as a newly recruited Buddy, I can repay some of the good will to others in the same way Pam and I have been helped on this journey.