I look forward to it every year. What has become for me an annual visit to the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences. This year was my first time in the school’s beautiful, new building, which opened last summer.
Also invited was Dr. Brent Williams. He’s a Sanford Health urologist in Fargo, a UND Med School graduate and a native of Cavalier, N.D.
We were there to answer questions from second-year medical students about prostate cancer. I used to have it. Dr. Williams knows what to do about it.
Dr. Williams fielded the heavier medical/scientific questions. I mainly got to talk about myself for an hour and actually have people listen.
In their first two years of med school, students will take part in 64 doctor/patient discussions like ours in weekly wrap-up sessions. I never fail to learn something about prostate cancer and myself from them.
The questions are always interesting. What were your symptoms? Answer: none. What was it like in the hospital? Answer: good. What medications were you on after surgery? Answer: Sorry. I can’t remember.
To their credit, the students didn’t so much as smirk when I told them that at my lowest point, sick and depressed after surgery, the only thing that felt remotely good to me was listening to reggae music, which I spent hour after hour doing. Later, one of the doctors-to-be asked for a playlist. True story.