a small boat out in the massive waves of the ocean in a storm.

When They Tell You, This Is It

This is a story my father shared with me recently; he had never shared any of this with me. On this journey, he had been diagnosed with metastatic stage four cancer years ago. He had just got over throat cancer and was diagnosed with COPD. There was blood in his urine, and he was having agonizing pain in his lower back when emptying his bladder.

His life and prostate cancer diagnosis

Initially, he was diagnosed with another condition known as acute sciatica, but the medication he was taking had no effect on him. His lower back was in such excruciating agony that the neurologist became worried and ordered more testing. He was given the news for a second time in his life that he never wanted to hear again: you are suffering from cancer – prostate cancer – at stage four.

He was taken aback but was more concerned about his new bride who he had wedded a few months earlier and his family. How could he tell anyone he had been diagnosed with a second cancer? His first thought was that everyone would think his life was over.

My father was always a very active person before both diagnoses; he is a father of three and had his own landscaping business. He worked 6 days a week up until the age of eighty-three. It was hard work in the scorching hot sun, but he still liked it. But with this cancer diagnosis, things changed.

Initially in denial

He didn't think it was vital to get regular checkups and watch his health. After all, he felt fine. He didn’t have a general practitioner at the time, since I didn't believe such a sickness could affect him, or he would ever get that sick again. My father was in complete denial when the doctor told him he was in stage 4.

He said the funny part about this story is that he had throat cancer at age 60. When he asked the doctor how long he thought he had been living with prostate cancer, he said around 10 or 12 years and that the situation was critical. This meant that the PC showed up right after he finished the throat cancer treatment. The doctor told him that his prognosis was not good, and therapy would not be easy.

My father questioned the doctors about his prospects of survival. He wanted to know how long he had. The doctor hesitantly said that he would only be alive for two years at best, and that his attitude would be a contributing factor in all of this.

Keeping a good attitude

The doctor talked him through the process and choices available to him, which included immunotherapy. He was prescribed a drug called Provenge. Immunotherapy derived from the leukapheresis procedure.

Yes, my father did keep that good attitude throughout the treatment process, since he had a lot of goals in life and didn't want anything to get in the way of attaining them.

My father was excited. His cancer was undetectable, and he would live a longer life.

He wants to express his gratitude to the physicians who guided him through the procedure, as well as his family and friends, particularly his wife.

His takeaway

He considers himself fortunate to be where he is at today. My father also recognizes that life is very valuable.

I think men should get checked and schedule regular health check-ups to ensure that everything is in order. He just turned eighty-eight this year.

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