My mother was a breast cancer survivor as well as two of her sisters. Thus when I met my wife finding out she was only months out of chemotherapy for breast cancer didn’t get in the way. We’ve been married for 17 years and now we are facing it again. It is in the same breast but a new tumor that fortunately was small and estrogen positive. She has been followed all these years at the UW and that always gives us a sense of being taken care of by the best. Getting cancer a second time in the same area does change ones treatment options but our care givers are the best and expect a great outcome…..and so do we.I’m waiting for my turn and hope and that I can be half as brave as my wife. My grandfather and father both had prostate cancer.
My brother who is 10 years younger has already had surgery for prostate cancer. Most men who live long enough will have prostate cancer and as I approach my 7th decade I expect the diagnosis is coming. If and when it does my 40 years working as a pharmacist at the UW will find me crossing that threshold again. I know of no better place for medical care.
With two of three older brothers having been diagnosed and treated for prostate cancer, I was fairly certain I knew my fate. Closely watching my PSA elevate from borderline to higher over a three-year span, we did a biopsy and discovered I too had prostate cancer. I was fortunate my surgeon had a quick date available, so there was not a lot of time to worry and wonder. The post-surgery results revealed the cancer was confined to only to the prostate with no outside impact to anything else. In a year that I lost my father to small-cell cancer, my situation seems to pale in comparison, but nonetheless, important and not something to take lightly. I was fortunate and early detection was key. Had I procrastinated, things could have been much different.
I was a 54 year old active, soccer-playing, golfing, and bike-riding, father, grandfather, brother and husband. I’m now a 55 year old, cancer-free, active, soccer-playing, golfing, and bike-riding, father, grandfather, brother and husband. I will be the best prostate cancer surviving flag-bearer I can be.
Pay attention to your body, be aware of the signs, talk with our doctor, and get a PSA.
P.S. Cancer Sucks.
A routine mammogram in January 2011 resulted in a diagnosis of breast cancer. It couldn’t be me, I have no family history, I was very healthy and active, I didn’t smoke and only had “an” occasional cocktail. How could I be at risk? Well, it was me! When they “said” 1 in 8 will develop breast cancer, I realized it may have been my destiny to be diagnosed so that I would be able to help others in the future. If what I went through three years ago helps just one person, then it was worth it.
With the amazing support and care of my medical team, family and friends I survived the journey. It caused me to take a step back and explore who I was and what is important. I am determined to give back to those who gave to me.
When you experience the tough times as you go through your treatments, keep your thoughts positive.
My surgeon told me when I was first diagnosed, “You are the lucky one”. At the time I thought she was crazy…… today, I am the “lucky one! Cancer can be survivable!