My Experience: Why I joined the Anti-Cancer Challenge
In July of 2015 during a routine blood test I was told that my PSA was elevated--following a series of test, including a biopsy of the prostate--I was diagnosed with prostate cancer--the biopsy results indicated a moderately agressive form of the disease. I was stunned and like many people, did not fully process everything the doctor said during the remainder of my visit. Subsequently I read lots of papers, consulted with colleagues, asked lots of questions and ultimately opted for robotic assisted surgery--to be performed on Dec 30th (wanted to ring in 2016 without cancer).
Surgery went well and the post surgical pathology report was very good. However, my PSA began rapidly doubling within 8 weeks of my surgery--not what I had expected, indicating continued cancer growth and the possibility of micrometastatic disease. The good news was that a bone scan, a CT scan and MRI in June did not reveal any lesions—based on a variety of published clinical trials, we decided on a treatment plan that included changes in diet, increase in exercise and to hit the cancer "early and hard". In May of last year I began my transformation from being a carnivore to being a herbivore. Kay and I began cycling again in earnest (40-60 miles per week) and on the off days I went to the gym to lift weights. The clinical literature indicated that diet and exercise lessens the side effects of therapies and improves outcomes in prostate cancer.
In July of 2016 I started a six month regime of androgen deprivation therapy combined with 7 weeks of radiation therapy (reducing testosterone sensitizes prostate cancer cells to radiation). I had few side effects from either therapy (except for occasional hot flashes) and I am convinced that diet and exercise helped.
Fast forward to April 2017--my PSA is undetectable (good news), yet my testosterone is still depressed (not uncommon). My oncologist wants to see testosterone rise back towards normal levels and my PSA remain undetectable. I have my blood tested every three months and look forward to eventually hearing the words "cancer free".
In the meantime Kay and I have participated in several 50 mile cycling events with friends and family--Bike the Coast, Tour de Palm Springs, and the LA Resolution ride. Ironically, I have never felt better in my life--my aerobic capacity is improved, I have lost nearly 30lbs and I have renewed appreciation for everything in life.
Except for a few friends and family, I have not told many people of my experience. Not sure why I stayed in the "cancer closet"--but when I learned about the Anti-Cancer Challenge, Kay and I decided to join, and I have decided to open up about my personal experience with cancer. Cancer is not a single disease--but I do believe with continued research, we can find cures in all its forms and we can create a world where a cancer diagnosis will no longer be stunning news.
You can join me in the Anti-Cancer movement. Make a donation to help me meet my fundraising goals---knowing that 100% of every dollar raised will go directly to lifesaving cancer research at the UC Irvine Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Are you ready to rise to the challenge and put cancer behind us? Join me!
Learn more at Anti-CancerChallenge.org.
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