The First 10 Days

Awareness ProstateIt's been ten days since my new urologist, Dr. Marquez, confirmed what we both suspected. That was the day he told Cindy and I that the biopsy he'd performed confirmed that I have prostate cancer. It was the day that I found myself in a place that was both familiar and unknown. While the setting and doctor were different, the conversation was eerily similar to the one I'd listened intently to when we were told about Cindy's breast cancer and later about her lymphoma. Unknown, because this time the words were about my body and the cancer that was attacking it. This time I would be the fighter and, just a few days after learning that her cancer was finally in remission, Cindy would be in my corner. Our roles were now reversed.

During the time that has passed since having that conversation, I've had the opportunity to think, share, pray, learn, and pray some more. I've learned about being an 8 in the Gleason scoring system that is used to measure the severity of prostate cancer on a scale of 1 to 10. I've learned that I have a bonus cancer called "focal intraductal carcinoma" that is found in about 4% of prostate cancer patients. And I've learned that there isn't a definitive medical protocol for determining the best treatment for what I have inside of me. 

That's a lot to learn in just a little more than a week and it could have been pretty heavy.
But I learned more than that.

Bone Cancer NoI learned that far more people care about me than I would have ever imagined. I learned that by telling my story and being transparent I'm inspiring men to get their annual examinations and even more people to contribute to help change the face of men's health. And, after being told that I would need a full body bone scan, I learned today that I don't have bone cancer!

Dr. Marquez gave Cindy and I the good news this morning and we reviewed what my next steps will be. He feels that I should make the decision on my course of treatment so that it can begin within the next 30 days. While not urgent, the sooner we get underway with treatment the more confident we can be that it won't travel to new locations. I've given myself a target of December 15th. 

Between now and then I will meet with five specialist of the highest caliber - a medical oncologist, two radiation oncologists, and two surgeons. If my body was a business and I was the CEO, these five specialists and Dr. Marquez would be my board of directors. There are several options to consider and none of them are perfect. At the end of the day, I'll need to make the decision that Cindy and I are most comfortable with. I'm so fortunate to have her at my side.

During these first ten days my attitude and confidence have both been positive. I've been told that the cancers I'm dealing with are curable - a word that fills me with enthusiasm, hope, and promise. I've been blessed with true friends and family who are both encouraging and generous. In just ten days they have rallied to help me raise nearly $4000 for the Movember Foundation and pledges and checks continue to arrive on a daily basis.
I know that there will be some challenging days ahead of me, but the first ten days have been more rewarding than disappointing. 

If you'd like to be part of the fight against prostate cancer and other men's health issues, please make your contribution to the Movember Foundation today. Thanks! 

Here's the link to my Movember donation page.
Movember banner








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  • Tony
    Nov. 20, 2015
    You've got this pal!! We COUGs are tough, we love completely and are loved in return! Cindy and the team of docs will get you all fixed up! Go COUGS!!

The Fine Print

Rod Brooks (that's me) is VP & CMO of PEMCO Mutual Insurance Company and serves as Immediate Past Chair of the Board of Directors for the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA).  It's important to disclose both of those relationships and to be clear that this is my personal blog where I share thoughts and opinions that are solely my own.  Contact me!

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