Prostate Cancer Survivors' Perspectives

Uploaded by paloaltomedical on 20.09.2010

Once you get the biopsy back, at that point, you know there isn’t -- you come to grips
with the fact that you do have this disease. It’s like being hit on the side of the head
with a four by four. It’s just a very sobering experience. Nothing else in the world mattered,
all of a sudden did I have a life and death issue.
I think when you are diagnosed with cancer, it’s scary.
I’d be hard pressed to understand how anybody can go through this and not be afraid. You
know, the doctors told me there is a way out of this, you just have to approach it and
say what am I going to do about that?
How am I going to go forward?
It’s a diagnosis that I had. I can’t do anything about it. All I can do is improve
on the situation as it occurs and the only way you can do that is to be optimistic. I
went to a movie that afternoon after diagnosis and thought I would think it over. So I sent
an email out to about 50 friends and said I have been diagnosed with prostate cancer
and I want you to be aware of it and da, da, da, da, here’s what’s going on.
I was quite concerned about how other people would deal with my diagnosis and so on. Would
they become unglued? Would they become hyper emotional? Would they suffer?
My wife was involved from the beginning. I didn’t tell the rest of the family until
I knew what it was. My wife knew and I have four boys, so I told them just to alert them
that they might have some concerns down the road.
Don’t be quiet about it. Talk to your friends about it and you might be surprised at how
much support they’ll give you.
Take a deep breath and try to get some perspective on it and have a chance to talk to your friends
who, surprisingly may have already had some prostate treatment without you even knowing
about it. I found a few friends of mine that both came out of the woodwork.
You’re stuck with this decision of what do I do? And you’re on your own and you’ve
got to make that decision and that’s a hard thing. I have quite a few contemporaries who
have been through a process are who were facing the same decision. I talked to them and you
can go around and around with a number of different treatments and I just determined
that I trusted my doctor and the people that have been here and I thought this was the
way for me to go and --
He said those are the alternatives, you know, take a look at it and think about it. Then,
talking to other people and seeing which way I had to -- which steps I had to take.
I had talks with, first a surgeon who did the traditional prostate surgery and then
a radiation specialist and finally the fellow who did my laparoscopic stuff as well as a
doctor, an urologist, oncologist --
What I was looking for was statistical analysis. They were saying these are my odds so I can
focus on them and learn what these terms and numbers and ratings mean to give them a more
realistic approach to making a decision.
I figured, I’m not a cancer expert. I’m not a surgeon. I don’t know anything about
drugs. I don’t, you know, I don’t even want to know. I gave all that worry, that
thought, that analytical concern to him and I said, okay well what do I do?
Not doing anything was not an option so I had to do something I guess. So the question
is what are you going to do?
I waited three years thinking that if I bought time, it would go away. Well it did not go
away. Why wait?
Waiting’s not going to do you any good. I mean all you’re going to do is build up
anxiety, build up apprehension. There’s a lot of people out there that have gone through
this process, enjoyed this ride and you find other people that show up and say, yeah, okay.
I understand. I don’t see any reason
you’re diagnosed, I probably made a mistake waiting for two years.