Before all else I want to send each of you my deeply felt Thank you over the past year since my last public writing. So many things have happened over the year that I have no choice but to share the knowledge I have gained and the unique perspective I have as a survivor of this monster inside me.
Being told that I had Stage IV metastatic prostate cancer was news that no man would want to hear. After a short time of denial, I quickly realized that I needed to be proactive in my care and take respondsability for all my future choices regarding my care. I needed to have an oncologist, urologist and perhaps a radiation oncologist as well. My very first step was to fire all my doctors and began the search for only the best physicians I could find in the Fort Myers area. I am very proud to say that I have found those doctors and now I have a PSA of 0.01. Getting to this point has not been easy aside from the search for physicians, there was the radiation treatments to my spine and then my prostate. The procedure of external beam radiation itself is not painfull at all, except the permanent tatoo markers on my skin where the radiation beams were to be directed. There were many side effects, especially gastro-intestinal which are not pleasant and nothing I tried or that was prescribed seemed to alliviate the symptoms.
The most painful aspect of my treatment was the high dose radiation, also known as HDR or Brachytherapy. Even though I was completely sedated during the insertion of the 27 needles, I was fully awake when it was time to remove to needles. The removal were the most painful medical experience I have ever had in my life. I had HDR two times and it saved my life.
I am very particurlar when it comes to choosing my doctors, afterall, they work for me, not the other way around. Remember that you must be in charge of who you choose to advance your well-being. For me, I have chosen Michael Strickland as my urologist, Michael J. Katin as my radiation oncoligist and Lowell L. Hart as my oncologist, I believe that my faith combined with their understanding, knowledge and empathy have saved my life. While I will be under treatment probably for the rest of my life, I feel that I am in the care of the finest hands available anywhere.