robert frost, prostate cancer, the decision and the road not taken…

Chloe in Forsyth Park Savannah

two paths but only one traveler can you be- with prostate cancer treatment decisions you have to do your homework, know your disease and make a decision. once you have “traveled down that road” of the prostate cancer decision, you can’t go back. that’s why its such a hard decision.

in the last stanza ” and that made all the difference” is usually interpreted as a positive difference. that someone took that path less traveled, maybe a harder path, and that because of that everything was better. the poem however does not say that. the paths are about the same and he reports on his decision with a “sigh.”

so too is the decision about prostate cancer, because you will never know how you would have done if you had chosen surveillance, surgery, or radiation if you did not choose that option.

frost died of complications of prostate cancer at age 88. he probably could not void, had a channel turp and then because of his age and other medical factors and complications died more of old age than of prostate cancer per se. it is however interesting how the poem relates to the prostate cancer decision and how patients will beat up themselves, the cancer and the doctor about how they do after a particular treatment. for surveillance-that the disease progressed, for radiation – some radiation side-effect or return of the cancer and then surgery- incontinence or erectile issues. “way lead unto way” and often the initial decision progresses on along it’s own defined path.

now you know the ” rest of the story.” sorry mom, you told me wrong on this one, however the road less traveled concept does work, i.e. taking the harder path can often work out for the best. but it doesn’t always and then you will never how the other way would have turned out. a tricky-tricky- poem indeed and a tricky-tricky disease as well.

read it again…..

Robert Frost (1874–1963). Mountain Interval.  1920.
1. The Road Not Taken
TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth; 5
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same, 10
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back. 15
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference. 20


2 Replies to “robert frost, prostate cancer, the decision and the road not taken…”

  1. john,i want to say thanks,you are a positive person,and that the way i have be,in order to fight this war on prostate cancer,i just hope they find a cure in our lifetime,you have the best sight online,i think walshs book is good,but a little out dated,i spoke to via email,i spoke to catalona in person,they both told me to get done open not robotic,at mayo i saw dr mike leiber,who does open,he said to get it done robotic,because of old hernia ops,and sent me to u of chicago,he said they were best shahav and zuigia,so the point is i did my homework and cant look back,just have to hope and pray things work out,and stay positive like you,thanks pat


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