Every year, the results of my annual physical exams were routine. PSA blood test results were normal. The digital rectal exam found no signs to worry about. Like most men, there was no need to ask questions.
That mindset changed in December 2012, when the results of a PSA blood test were elevated. My general practitioner suggested that it “might” be a good idea” to visit the urologist. I dreaded the prospect of undergoing exams but at my wife’s insistence, I made an appointment. Shortly thereafter I discovered and reconfirmed I had an aggressive form of prostate cancer. I now faced 3 options – surgery, radiation or active surveillance. I chose surgery knowing if my cancer returned, additional options were available. Following surgery on April 15, tests indicated my cancer was gone.
Two years later a post-surgery hypersensitive test detected a slow rise in PSA. My prostate cancer was returning. As it progressed it was suggested that before my PSA reached 0.2 I might want to consider a combination of hormone therapy along with IMRT, an advanced form of external beam radiation used to treat prostate cancer. Typically, these treatments are given 5 days a week for 40 days.
Five years following the removal of my prostate as my PSA approached 0.13 my second battle began as I started radiation treatment.
Before my initial surgery, I had an opportunity to speak with many men about their experiences. The return of my prostate cancer and the thought of someone “zapping”” my insides was troubling. It was difficult to locate men who were willing to talk about their experiences with radiation and hormone treatment.
Following treatment, I am once again cancer free. I also gained a deeper understanding of the long term physical and emotional impacts prostate cancer can have on a man and his family.
It was during my first radiation treatment when the idea of The Prostate Cancer Coach struck me. Why not record the details of my 40 days of radiation so that others could see how the protocol might impact them? Watch the videos.
Moving forward I will continue to post the stories of other men and their partners who like me are alive today because they made a choice to speak up. I encourage you to be proactive about your health and understand how ignoring the often subtle warning signs associated with prostate cancer can impact your life and the lives of those you love.
Thank you for joining me.