Posted 10/14/2016 7:28 PM (GMT -7)
Hello, To You, Our New Friend ~
We've all stood at the spot in the road, where you now find yourself --- and suddenly hearing the news of a troubling health diagnosis.
With that being said, WE ARE HERE FOR YOU, starting RIGHT NOW. You are not alone --- we're here to comfort you, support you, listen to you, advise you, and most of all --- to share our collective first-hand experiences with you.
You've got more tests and scans coming up soon --- it's tough, waiting for those appointments, and waiting to hear the results. In some ways, though, it's almost a relief to find out exactly what you are dealing with, so that you can put on your BOXING GLOVES ... enter the BOXING RING ... and get started in the FIGHT against the opponent known as prostate cancer.
We've got members here from all across the country --- sharing their wisdom, compassion, and experiences --- as well as loyal members from across the globe, as well.
We've bonded together to form an online "Band Of Brothers --- AND Sisters" --- and there's no limit to the care and concern and support that can be found here, on any given day --- you've already seen the responses pouring in to your initial post --- and this is how the bonds of comradeship emerge among all of us here.
I was also diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer --- it's a tough blow, hearing those unexpected words. I was in my 40s, and had lived a life of perfect health up to that moment --- then began the series of seemingly endless tests and scans and consultations. The news was unexpected ... advanced prostate cancer that had already infiltrated both of my lungs upon diagnosis.
I am a school teacher and had JUST STARTED a brand new school year when I found out "the news" ...
My doctors told me that treatment needed to start IMMEDIATELY ... and my first step was the hormone shot known as LUPRON. Since then I've also pursued a series of chemotherapy treatments and I'm also on ZYTIGA --- one of the newer breakthrough medications for advanced prostate cancer.
I remember when I was first diagnosed. I looked ahead at the school calendar and honestly thought, "Will I even make it to Christmas?"
Looking back, the BEST STEP FORWARD after receiving the news of my cancer diagnosis was this ... getting STARTED on treatments ! I wanted to get started on something ... anything ! That FIGHTING SPIRIT seems to rally within us ... and getting started with a course of treatments is very helpful.
Looking back, my doctor gave me that first LUPRON shot ... it was a beginning ... a place to start. When I went back about a month later, my P.S.A. started tumbling down. That gave me tremendous encouragement and hope --- and then I began to pursue other forms of treatment, including a series of chemotherapy treatments, to REALLY start fighting back against the cancer.
You've got to stay strong --- physically and emotionally. It's hard sometimes, but do everything you can to "keep your head in the game" --- and then rally your "support team" around you.
I kept focused on my teaching --- support came flowing through from my family --- my friends --- my teaching colleagues --- members of the community --- my doctors and nurses and medical staff --- and MY SCHOOL STUDENTS !
Over time, several friends of mine have received a diagnosis of advanced prostate cancer --- and I have a strong bond of friendship and brotherhood with each of them. This website is also a tremendous form of support for members who check in here regularly.
I've continued to teach school every single day, as my treatments have continued over time. A year ago, I reached the milestone of teaching 25 years --- and I'm now starting my fourth year of teaching since being diagnosed. I've been thankful to have some meaningful successes from the treatments and medications that have become part of my course of treatments.
I feel it's important to tell you that there' no substitute for the importance of staying connected to your family, friends, and faith --- in whatever form that takes for you. Stay active and interested in the world --- stay active --- keep reaching daily goals --- and do whatever it takes to find peace and solace --- and most of all --- HOPE !
Several of us here on this website have documented our TREATMENT EXPERIENCES on a website entitled "YANA -Prostate Cancer Survivors" --- members from across the globe document their treatment experiences there, including experiences with advanced prostate cancer that includes patients with high P.S.A. numbers.
The website address is as follows: yananow.org
When you reach that website, you will want to find the section entitled "Survivor Stories" to gain insight from the experience of others. You will find a wealth of treatment stories and personal experiences shared there.
I would like to recommend another thread here on this forum. At the top of your current screen, you will see a SEARCH box at the top right-hand corner of your screen. Type in this thread title, as follows:
"LETTERS TO THE NEWLY DIAGNOSED" --- this thread is a collection of letters that several of us here have put together in recent months as a way to REACH OUT to our new members and friends here, who have just received a health diagnosis of prostate cancer.
I strongly encourage you to GO to that thread, READ the letters, REFLECT on their meaning, and I hope the life lessons shared in each letter will INSPIRE you the minute you read them. Seek out that powerful beacon called HOPE ... and keep living life to the fullest, each day.
Meanwhile --- please continue to update us, as you learn more from the tests and scans. I'm quite sure that the doctors on your case will recommend a proactive treatment strategy that will begin immediately.
It's important that you seek out a top-notch expert who specializes in advanced prostate cancer --- my team is comprised of my original urologist, my primary medical oncologist, and I've also added a urology oncologist who SPECIALIZES in advanced prostate cancer. My course of treatments is outlined in the space below my signature, for your reference.
We're here to support you, EVERY step of the way --- as evidenced by the responses you've already received.
I'm extending a handshake of support from across the miles --- you have my prayers, as your diagnostic tests continue in the days to come --- you have my thoughts of care and compassion, as you begin your medical journey --- and you have my unwavering loyalty, as you map out a course of treatments.
Sending you courage, determination, and HOPE,
"Cyclone Team Fan" ~ Iowa State University