Prostate cancer is something most of us have heard about, but until it effects you directly...it's one of those things "other" people have to deal with. In my case, I have heard about PSA numbers and radiation and chemotherapy for years because my father was diagnosed in 1993. Still, it was my dad dealing with the cancer, and although I was very supportive, it did not hit home. Now it has.
The moment your doctor tells you, he's found something, life changes forever. I will never forget that moment. I was frozen, stunned, and in disbelief. This could not be happening. I am in the best physical shape of my life. My wife sat next to me, but I did not want to look at her. I couldn't imagine how she felt and looked.
The shock started to wear off after about a week or two. At the same time, I made the decision to get busy, and do something about this. I also decided to go public...to make my situation as public as possible so I might help other men and their families. It is the second most common cancer in men so we have a lot of company. I am also a text book case of how early detection might result in my cancer being cured. If there is a message I can deliver, it is this one: prostate cancer is likely curable if you find it early enough, and take action.
Guys, we have to trade 15-seconds of discomfort for many years of cancer free living. The digital rectal exam is uncomfortable, but quick and essential. Add the PSA test which involves taking your blood, and you have a prostate exam. Neither the digital exam or the PSA test can prove you have cancer, but both are critical steps in watching what develops (or doesn't).
I am not on this journey alone. My wife, Noelle, and my family have been very, very supportive. I also know God has a hand in this, and I am trying to let go of that which I can not control. I hope in the coming days, and months, my experience will help others. I would love to hear from some of you who have been through this battle, or who are just now dealing with it. Together we can be stronger and more knowledgeable about prostate cancer. God Bless you and your families!