Not My First Rodeo
Prostate Cancer is not my first rodeo.
In 2012 I was diagnosed with an incurable blood cancer named Multiple Myeloma
The median survival for that cancer was 3.5 years at the time for someone who was stage 3 like I was. Dealing with that cancer thought me to research and learn how that cancer affected me specifically and allowed me to make choices that I believe have allowed me to survive 8 years so far.
Then in 2019, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer
Last year I was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer. Fortunately, it was only in the left side and slow-moving. This allowed me to get second and third opinions and to choose the treatment that I felt was best for me.
I wanted nothing to do with a surgery that begins with the word radical! I had communicated with several patients that were still dealing with issues two or more years after the surgery that all seemed to be side effects of the procedure. My biggest concern was having to be on hormone therapy. This would reduce my testosterone and could put me at risk of relapse with my Multiple Myeloma.
Importance of knowledge and advocating for yourself
I needed to beat this cancer the same as I did with my first cancer. Arm myself with knowledge and advocate for myself rather than simply follow the directions of the first doctor. Cancer is scary, I don't care who you are or how strong you are, but how you respond to adversity is what will carry you a long way.
As a survivor, I run two FB support groups. One is for men only and for all cancers. I could not find a group that was exclusively for men with no women allowed in the group, just men.
Power in connecting with others
I decided to go with SBRT and completed it on July 22nd. So my first follow up PSA will be this next week. I am confident that I chose the right path and that the treatment is successful.
Have you experienced side effects from androgen deprivation therapy (ADT)?