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The “Laser-Willie” Saga

By John Counsel

Sometimes a decision to be open and honest with your progeny can lead to some unexpected interpretations… especially by an imaginative, five-year-old, Aspie* grandson!

This series of screen captures from the feedback site used by Eastern Health in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, tells the story most succinctly… enjoy!

It all started in September 2016. In a single week I was diagnosed with Severe Sleep Apnea (in excess of 70-80 episode per hour — life-threatening) and Grade 9 Prostate Cancer (the Gleason Scoring System only goes to 10).

I was placed on immediate hormone therapy for 4 years and scheduled for radiation therapy starting in late January 2017 for 39 sessions — 1 per week day for 15 minutes per session of 12 x 30-second bursts on a Linear Beam Accelerator Radiation machine. (That’s roughly three months of sessions.)

Varian Linear Beam Accelerator similar to the radiation machines with which I was treated in 2017

Prior to each session I had to drink 6-8 tumblers of water to ensure that my bladder was full and not obstructing the radiation beams. In the first few days we discovered that the usual processing cycle for fluids from mouth to bladder — 40-45 minutes — wasn’t the same for me. Mine is 20-25 minutes, making timing critical to avoid unfortunate accidents before the sessions ended. Where the average person needs 2-3 tumblers of water, my chronic dehydration required 6-8, which made the timing even more critical.

As a result of all this flushing of my system, a renal stone dislodged from my right kidney in early July 2017, requiring urgent removal from the ureter between my right kidney and bladder where it had become lodged, very painfully, and was threatening to cause kidney failure unless removed. The matter was further complicated by the fact that, due to the Severe Sleep Apnea and other health issues, I’d been unable to undergo a general anaesthetic for many years because of the poor prospects for my survival. So I was kept in hospital while further tests were done to assess whether seven months of CPAP machine use every night had improved my chances. Thankfully, they were acceptable and the surgery proceeded.

The following screen captures summarise what followed, when I was asked to provide feedback about my treatment.

I posted under the nom-de-plume “Laser-Willie” for reasons that will quickly become obvious…


That eldest grandson was 5 year-old Saxon. His younger brothers are Lennox 4 and Kael 3. All three are Aspies*.

All of them are mobile phone fanatics, too, and watch Youtube together regularly.

They’re also creative, prolific, competitive, motivated… and noisy!

Shortly afterward, the CEO of Eastern Health — the State Government organisation which operates health services and hospitals in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs — responded.


Within hours of these two posts, the number of viewers (mostly hospital staff) leapt to around 80 people.

About 10 days later, I had to go back into hospital to have the stent removed and I later posted…


The total views passed 400 or so after this, then I forgot about it until I was recently reminded by the boys, so I decided to post the saga to this blog for posterity.  😀

Gotta love creative young Aspies…!

*Aspies — a term used fondly by people diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome (see main menu for more information about this neurological condition).

©2017-2018 John Counsel. All rights reserved.


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