Two weeks ago, a blood test revealed a whopping PSA of 47.8. This of course pushed the crisis button for a series of diagnostic tests at Tung Shin.
The ultra-sound scan was followed by a biopsy and then a bone scan at the Malaysian Cancer Society's Nuclear Medicine Centre. We've been on this scary road twice before but repetition and familiarity does not make the spouse's journey any less painful or easy.
The biopsy could not locate any tumours despite the high PSA. That left the Consultant quite nonplussed. The bone scan indicated no spread of the cancer to other parts of the body - no evidence of metastasis - only a severe degenerative osteo-arthritis of the hip joint, normal wear and tear for someone of that age.
We're not completely out of the woods because of the high PSA. Regular monitoring and check-ups would be our routine for the future.
But this is the best news we could ever get for what has been an annus horribilis. A terrible weight has been lifted from our shoulders. We can stop living a life in low gear - now it's possible to move on to third or fourth gear, albeit slowly.
We can now look ahead to growing old (-er) together for longer.
We can look at each new morning with greater hope and joy.
We can look forward to making optimum use of this extended time for each other and for others.
However this posting is meant as a paean for Tung Shin Hospital, both the Western Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Centres.
We had gone through the NHS in Leicester, Specialist Centres at two well-known University Hospitals in Kuala Lumpur but we had no faith or rather, lost faith in them. We owe Tung Shin especially the TCM Centre our deepest gratitude. There are no frills, no vases of flowers, no fancy decor and furnishing in this Hospital - just simple, efficient and caring service.
Without exception, all of Tung Shin's personnel - from the ladies at the Reception, the Nurses, the Technicians and up to the Consultants at both the Western Medicine and TCM Centres - were meticulous, competent, courteous and helpful, very, very professional men and women. We cannot praise them enough.
I can confidently say that the 1 Malaysia ethos is alive and kicking at Tung Shin. I somehow think that this has been in Tung Shin even before the branding was set in motion.
It's so heartening to observe this committed community of Malaysians - Chinese, Indians and Malays - almost in equal proportion - working conscientiously as one family to provide medical care for those in need of their professional skills.
As an elderly Malay who has makan banyak garam in Singapore, Brunei, UK and Malaysia I think I have the right to make this observation. I've often been told about how the work ethics of Malays leave a lot to be desired. And I have seen and experienced some of the negative aspects of their habits.
But the Malays working at Tung Shin Hospital, both men and women showed such dedication and diligence that they can wipe the floor of any of the more qualified and senior Malays in the other Hospitals I have been to. Why? I leave that to the younger and well qualified socio-political punters to analyze.
Prostate cancer is getting more and more common. But if it can be detected early enough there is room for optimism.