My Dad was only 74 when he died from prostate cancer. You may be thinking that doesn’t sound all that bad, 20 years ago, the life expectancy for a man in Canada wasn’t much more than that.
Unless you are about to turn 60, and have recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer, just like your Dad.
I have prostate cancer. The chances that I will die from it, like my Dad did, are less than 5%. But knowing the statistic does not make the fear go away. A few years ago, a doctor took my blood pressure and proclaimed that I would live to be a hundred. I still had half my life ahead of me. That was then.
Now, I look at what my Dad went through and I ask myself, what if I only have 10 healthy years left. Ten years! That’s all.
Fifty years ago, our family emigrated to Canada. I planned to celebrate the milestone by cycling across the country. What better way to experience Canada and to celebrate being Canadian than to see the entire country (or at least a long, narrow swath of it) from a bicycle? That was then.
Now, that trip has become more important than ever before. I still hope to live a long, healthy life but knowing that I have cancer has made everything about life more important and more urgent.
You see, I could have given in to despair but the support I received from Island Prostate Centre helped me get from despair to hope. There, both Kathy and I had unlimited access to subject matter experts. We learned about both treatment and non-treatment options, we learned about the latest research and we met other individuals and couples that were going through the same emotions that we were experiencing.
Through that process we were able to make a treatment choice. A choice that was right for us. For now, our decision is “active surveillance” to ensure that the cancer isn’t becoming more aggressive and “supportive care” to give my body the best chance of fighting the disease.
Each year, Island Prostate Centre helps thousands of men like me. Men who have just heard the words, “you have cancer.” Men who are vulnerable, men who are overwhelmed and men with families who are as devastated as we were.
For many years, I have been running in Raymond James Father’s Day Walk / Run for Prostate Cancer to raise money for Island Prostate Centre. I did this in memory of my Dad and so that other men could have better outcomes. That was then.
Now, it’s personal.
At this stage, I would normally ask you to donate to Island Prostate Centre on behalf of the men in your life. That was then.
Now, it’s personal. I am donating to Island Prostate Centre because they are supporting us as we come to terms with the prospect of living the rest of my life with cancer. I am asking you to do the same.
Please click on this link to make your donation. My original goal was $2000 but thanks to the generosity of donors like you, we have more than doubled that.
For the men in your life and for me. Because men need support too.
This year, on Father’s Day, I will be somewhere between Victoria and St. John’s on the aforementioned bicycle trip. Wherever I am, I will park my bike and run in memory of my Dad, and to give back to the people that are supporting me.