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Larry sits in a boat with a happy smile on his face

Movember Community Spotlight: Larry

For Movember, ProstateCancer.net is highlighting community perspectives on men’s health awareness. In Part I of this interview, we talked with community member Larry about his diagnosis story and experience starting treatment for prostate cancer.

Back and forth before a diagnosis

I had been complaining to a urologist about pain in my side for some time. He found a small kidney stone and took it out, but the problem just got worse. I was sent to a pain specialist and they couldn’t find much other than old back issues. They ordered a CT scan w/o contrast and didn’t find anything. The urologist decided to then order a blood test — I think it was a 3T. It came back with a 4 percent chance of aggressive cancer, even though my PSA had started up slightly 3.6. I might comment that I was on Avodart at the time and it kept my PSA down.

I finally went to my doctor, a nice young man who thought I was imagining all my issues. I developed a swelling in lymph nodes in my groin which he wanted to wait and see how it changed with more time. Two weeks later I went back and met with an older doctor I knew. I told him what was going on and he ordered my well-care blood tests. The test showed my alkaline phosphate level was 900. When he saw that he ordered a CT with contrast and an MRI. When those results came back the young doctor was back on duty. He had me come in and requested that my wife come with me.

My wife and I were in shock

The doctor showed us the pictures that day and explained that I had cancer but was not sure what type. My wife and I were in shock. He sent us to see an oncologist that I had met once. He ordered a round of tests including a bone biopsy. I had been planning a trip to a bike rally in South Dakota so I had the bike loaded in the pickup. Sher and I went in to meet him and discuss what he found. He told us it was indeed prostate cancer. We discussed what was available and gave me the option of pills first until they didn’t work. Or I could try chemotherapy. We decided to go with chemo. He gave me a script for Casodex and pain medication.

We were still in shock. My wife sent me on my trip and she went home. Sounds simple but we have been partners for 31 years and she wanted me to get the trip in case I couldn’t go again. Shock does strange things to you, but I can’t speak for my partner. She was very angry but I have yet to find that part.

Tackling treatments

The treatments went okay. I had Taxotere chemo with an anti-nausea medication, which I took all the way through treatment. The worst part about the chemo was the shot of Neulasta the day after because it would put me down for 3-4 days. Lots of naps helped. During the chemo process, I had a tough time eating. My nutritionist said to eat anything I could just don’t lose any more weight. My wife made a lot of potatoes and gravy, also pie and ice cream. The only thing I could drink was pink lemonade — strange I know. Can’t really think of anything that would have made it any easier with a 1 hour drive and Neulasta shots. Taking the anti-nausea pills morning and night was a big plus. Benadryl and Tylenol helped with the Neulasta shots.

I really depended on my doctor for recommendations. The fact that if I did it with chemo first then Xtandi I could always go to radiation or others when (or if) Xtandi fails. I always try to keep my options open.

Read Part 2 of Larry’s story in Movember Community Spotlight: Larry (Part 2).

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The ProstateCancer.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • kenneth1955
    2 months ago

    I was not going to say anything but I’m fed up with the doctors and all the treatments for prostate cancer.

    Don’t get be wrong I’m glad your doing good but the treatments need to change.

    With younger men getting prostate cancer now the treatments need to change for the better.

    The first thing they want to do is remove the prostate that will fix everything. That is bull. Doctors need to come up with a different approach. Why not treat the whole man not just the disease.

    They tell you have the prostate out it will fix everything and don’t worry about your sex life . All will be the same That is a lie.

    Sometimes after you can’t ever get a hold of the doctor he does not want to listen to you complain about not being able to get a erection or the lose of your ejaculation.

    Sometimes it can take up to 3 year to get a erection back. Some doctors forget to tell you that. They under play everything.

    That is why I say we have to treat the whole man. This can cause depression and a lot of stress not only for the man but his wife or partner. Some couples end up getting divorced because the men give up on sex because it is not the same and we men do not like change.

    I for one will never do anything to my prostate that will change by life in anyway unless things change for the better.

    God help us all

  • Will Jones moderator
    2 months ago

    Hi Kenneth, Would you consider sharing your personal experience with prostate cancer with us? Every man has a different journey and I think our community might benefit from learning more about yours. I had surgery and I share some of the frustration you express, but not to the same degree. I’d also like to point out that there are other treatments available, other than surgery. Many men choose radiation, either photon or proton, for example. Hoping to hear more from you.

  • kenneth1955
    2 months ago

    Hello Will

    First of all I did not say I had Prostate Cancer. I have been looking into prostate cancer in case I do get it. I like being ready

    I feel that what they do to a man is not right. The first thing they want to do to when they find out he has prostate cancer is to take it out and all will be the same. You know that is bull and so do I

    They treat men and women different. When a women get breast cancer they tell her not to worry we will give you new ones and all will be fine. Or even cervical cancer they remove it and tell her no problem. Your sex life will be fine. Now when a man get prostate cancer they say all will be fine get another hobby.

    I know all men are different and we all have different concerns but If I ever get prostate cancer they will not touch me. I will not have any treatment that will mess up my erection or take away my ejaculation. I’m 64 and it will stay right were it is.

    I read on another site over 50 post of men that had either Turps or had there prostate removed and over 40 of them what to strap the doctor to the table and do the same to them so they have to deal with side effects.

    Most prostate cancers and slow growing and most men are rushed into surgery before there doctors tell them everything about that they feel that it is better to get rid of the cancer. The doctors feel that the side effects should not matter.

    But it does. Who what to wait for a erection for 3 year and maybe it will never come back.

    Doctors need to start treating the whole man and start caring about his life after surgery.

    You talk about all the different treatments. Doctors do not care about a mans sex life and we men need to take control.

    I like this one guy that at 75 he was told he had prostate cancer. His doctor wanted to remove his prostate. He said no after he found out the side effects. He got a second opinion and had a FLA done. Within 3 weeks he had sex again for the first time and did not lose his ejaculation. He has sex 4 times a months

    Like I said for me there will be no treatment if I have to deal with any side effects.

    It’s up to us to have what we feel is right. Having the prostate out cannot be the answer it may save your life in one way but killing you in another

    Thank you for reading..Ken

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