Pay It Forward This Father's Day with the Gift of Information

How open are you about your prostate cancer?
I never talk about it--it's a private matter. - 0.0%
Only close family members and friends know. - 0.0%
I am farily open about it. - 25.0%
I am a PCa advocate and spread the word whenever I can. - 75.0%

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Dan Zenka
Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 44
   Posted 6/17/2011 12:07 PM (GMT -6)   
Happy Father's Day to all the father's in the world. To those who have shown us the way, to those who are now leading those to come, and to those who will someday take the lead, may you be forever blessed with the love of family and abundant health going foward.

I know I am preaching to many choir members here but, men as a group, are often our own worst enemies. We tend of neglect our health more than women, putting off regular visits to the doctor. We often measure our masculinity by all wrong measures. Thus, when it comes to diseases below the belt, many men shut down and shut up. They receive treatment quietly and go on as if nothing ever happened. That is why prostate cancer is often the least talked about cancer even though it is the second most common cancer for men after melanoma.

With such unmanly behavior, we are doing a great disservice to our families, sons, relatives and friends, especially since early detection and treatment delivers a five year survival rate greater than 95 percent.

We are humans. We get cancer. Some of us get prostate cancer. Isn’t it time ALL of us stepped up and more openly said things like “I have prostate cancer…” or “I survived prostate cancer…” or, even “did you know prostate cancer is to men what breast cancer is to women..?”  The more we do, the more we can help change the landscape of this disease and save lives.

Believe it or not, I once heard of a man who actually said, ”What business is this of my son’s? I’m not going to tell him I have prostate cancer.”  While I can sympathize with the potential awkwardness of such discussions, I have to counter with, “Excuse me, you provided a piece of genetic code that may someday affect your son and his family.”

I’ve made my point. Now I offer a solution.

This Father’s Day and throughout the summer at family reunions and gatherings, make it a point to open the discussion and help make prostate cancer something to talk about. Share family histories and personal experiences. Like our breast cancer sisters clad in pink, don our blue colors and wear a ribbon. By passing it forward, you’ll be helping so many other men and their families by letting them know they are not alone and making future diagnoses easier to understand and cope with.

I admit that working for the Prostate Cancer Foundation, made it easier to go public with my experience and start this blog. After directing communications messages that we need to talk more about this disease, I readily saw the moral imperative. But every man can start in a small way with a simple phrase and short but frank discussion. Find the opening line that works for you. Easier yet, just forward this post to friends and family member as a starter.

Consider this: with nearly 2.5 million American men and their families currently living with prostate cancer, if each man spoke with just three people, 7.5 million discussions would take place. If those three talks turned into three more, an additional 22.5 million would get the message for a total of 30 million. It’s a very small yet important investment to help those you care about.

We must move forward. Surely, we can “man up” to this challenge

Steve n Dallas
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 4849
   Posted 6/17/2011 1:12 PM (GMT -6)   
Preach on Brother....

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 3172
   Posted 6/17/2011 1:42 PM (GMT -6)   

I am indebted to the knowledge and experience of others who gave me counsel, especially in those first few scary weeks/months after diagnosis.  They were “paying it forward.”  As I am not able to “pay them back,” I do look to “pay it forward” with like knowledge, experience and wisdom to others.

Having some, and perhaps more than the average, interest in history, I found this letter by Benjamin Franklin interesting. It was written while Franklin lived in Paris (for 9 years, through the duration of the Revolutionary War) as he helped another American he met get re-started life after a rough patch, and conveys his description of the “pay it forward” concept:


Passy [outside Paris; now absorbed into Paris], April 22d, 1784

Dear Sir,

I received yours of the 15th Instant [the current month], and the Memorial it inclosed. The account they give of your situation grieves me. I send you herewith a Bill for Ten Louis d’ors [French money]. I do not pretend to give such a Sum; I only lend it to you. When you shall return to your Country with a good Character, you cannot fail of getting into some Business, that will in time enable you to pay all your Debts. In that Case, when you meet with another honest Man in similar Distress, you must pay me by lending this Sum to him; enjoining him to discharge the Debt by a like operation, when he shall be able, and shall meet with another opportunity. I hope it may thus go thro' many hands, before it meets with a Knave that will stop its Progress. This is a trick of mine for doing a deal of good with a little money. I am not rich enough to afford much in good works, and so am obliged to be cunning and make the most of a little. With best wishes for the success of your Memorial, and your future prosperity, I am, dear Sir, your most obedient servant,

B. Franklin.

Elite Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25393
   Posted 6/17/2011 1:54 PM (GMT -6)   
Dan, a great post, with a great plan, for a great purpose. I fully agree with you.
Age: 58, 56 dx, PSA: 7/07 5.8, 10/08 16.3
3rd Biopsy: 9/08 7 of 7 Positive, 40-90%, Gleason 4+3
open RP: 11/08, on catheters for 101 days
Path Rpt: Gleason 3+4, pT2c, 42g, 20% cancer, 1 pos margin
Incont & ED: None
Post Surgery PSA: 2/09 .05,5/09 .1, 6/09 .11. 8/09 .16
Post SRT PSA: 1/10 .12, 4/8 .04, 8/6 .06, 2/11 1.24, 4/11 3.81, 6/11 5.8
Latest: 6 Corr Surgeries to Bladder Neck, SP Catheter since 10/1/9, SRT 39 Sess/72 gy ended 11/09, 21 Catheters, Ileal Conduit Surgery 9/10

Tim G
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 2365
   Posted 6/17/2011 2:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Several months ago I was talking with a man whose wife's work involves prostate cancer treatment with Provenge, the new vaccine against advanced prostate cancer. I mentioned to him that I had been treated for prostate cancer and have been cancer-free for 5 years.

Recently he emailed me and asked to talk to me about his own PSA result and upcoming visit to a urologist. We talked and He said he felt much better and less alone after our discussion.
Age 62 Pacific Northwest
PSA quadrupled in one year (0.6 to 2.6)
DRE negative Retested at 3 months (2.5)
1 of 12 biopsies positive (< 5%) G6
Nerve-sparing open surgery June 2006 Organ-confined
Prostate Cancer Foundation supporter
5 years PSAs < 0.1

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 328
   Posted 6/17/2011 2:28 PM (GMT -6)   
Great Post!!! I agree we need to speak up about this disease not only for oruselves but for our children and their children!!!!!

HAPPY Father's Day to all my fellow brothers!!! Enjoy the Weekend!!!!

Age Dx 37, 7/2008, First PSA : 4.17 5/2008
Second PSA After 2 weeks of antibiotics : 3.9 6/2008
DRE: Negative 5/2008, Biopsy: 6 out 12 Postive all on right side, Gleason 7 (3+4).
Bone Scan/CAT Scan: Clear 7/2008
Da Vinci Surgery 7/2008, PostOp: T2c (On Both sides), margins clear, seminal clear, nodes, clear. Gleason 6(3+3).
8 Post Op PSA’s from 9/2008 to 5/2011: <0.1
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