Ian Wilson – Buddy
Born in December 1950 in Irvine, the son of an N.C.B. colliery manager I lived in various locations dictated by his job. Tragically, my mother passed away suddenly before I was one year old.
‘Educated’ at Lesmahagow Higher Grade school, I left a month before my sixteenth birthday for a junior position in the British Linen Bank in Lanark with no long-term plans. Following my father’s final job move, I was transferred to Sanquhar where I met Mary, my wonderful wife of forty-seven years and in 1975 we were married and settled in Dumfries, again moved by the Bank, thinking the house moves were over.
But after only two years the Bank moved me again to the Inspection Department in Glasgow, spending much time on the road and away from home. Seven years later we found ourselves in Birmingham, then Newcastle before retiring, back in Glasgow. Mary is a retired music teacher who was able to teach wherever we went, always uncomplaining and we both enjoyed the experiences each move brought.
We’ve now lived in Mabie for over twenty years with our beloved Chow-Chow, sharing many delightful hours savouring the beauty of the forest, the wildlife and changing seasons.
With no family, we’ve spent a great part of our lives travelling, visiting all seven continents and having many adventures in remote places with the challenges these bring. We’ve seen wildlife on safari in Africa and also, as a boyhood dream, visited the grave of Shackleton in Antarctica, as well as a voyage to the Geographic North Pole on a Russian nuclear powered ice-breaker.
My Prostate Cancer journey began in 2016 when my PSA was checked while attending my GP for an unconnected ailment, and the reading proved it to be abnormally high at 5.6. Subsequent biopsies taken at DGRI revealed nothing but over the next five years my PSA was checked regularly, until in August 2021 it had reached 10.5 and I was referred for an MRI scan. With no other symptoms it was simply ‘routine’ but after six months, the scan result showed I had a lesion on my prostate. I was referred for a Biopsy at East Lothian Community Hospital, conducted by the consultant who would subsequently carry out my surgery.
This confirmed it was prostate cancer, and although devastating, I was reassured it was encapsulated within the prostate. I opted for a Prostatectomy, (removal) and this was performed successfully at the Western General in Edinburgh. Post surgery, my PSA results to date have been ‘undetectable’ and the checks will continue regularly. Throughout the treatment, I received nothing but the highest level of care, attention and professionalism from all involved.
The support I have received from Mary during the journey has been wonderful, as has that from family and friends. I’ve found being completely open not only extremely therapeutic, but makes it easier for people to talk freely to me about it without being uncomfortable.
When I first heard of Prostate Buddies, I wasn’t exactly sure about it, however we’ve realised that the meetings attended fit in with how I handled this journey, enlightening and encouraging, with everyone having a relevant story to tell.
If not for my GP 2016, I often wonder where I would have been today. I had no symptoms other than the raised PSA and without that blood test, the cancer may well have spread and life could have been completely different.