Mike and Cancer: One Year Later
About a year ago, I heard those words that nobody ever wants to hear.."You Have Cancer" I had hoped to announce to the world by now that I was cancer free....unfortunately, that's not yet the case.
In the year since my diagnosis, I've lost two friends to cancer. One of which some of you know from his time on the radio here in the Treasure Valley including with us here on Mix 106. Bill Baily was our traffic director here at Mix 106 for a few years and his daughter Clair Day did traffic and was a part of the Mix Morning show for years too. Bill died last month of lung cancer...He was diagnosed late last year.
I promised when I began this journey, that I would share my experiences with all of you, in hopes that some of you would better understand what I and maybe someone you know may be going through. And to also get you or yourself of if your a woman, to get your husband to get a check up when it's time, even if you have to drag him. I'm lucky they found my cancer early because I was having yearly blood tests done. Had I not been getting yearly blood tests of my PSA, I would still not be aware that I had cancer....and that would have been bad, because the best way to beat prostate cancer is by early detection.
One in six men will be diagnosed with Prostate Cancer....250,000 men will be diagnosed this year and my doctor explained that if a man lives long enough he will either die from prostate cancer or die from something else, but with prostate cancer in his body
In case you don't remember or are a new listener to our show here's how I got here:
I was diagnosed with prostate cancer last March after some abnormal blood tests and a follow up biopsy. My cancer was diagnosed as a high grade cancer and my doctor suggested surgery would be my best option.
So in June I entered the hospital at St Al's for a Radical Prostatectomy to remove my cancerous prostate and surrounding lymph nodes, just in case the cancer had spread there (luckily, it hadn't spread) The surgery was a success and I even got a little more good news, with the Doctor downgrading my Gleason Score from an 8/9 to a 7.
My hope was that after a recovery period, that would be it...cancer gone and I could get on with the rest of my life.....Unfortunately I found out a few months ago that apparently cancer is still present inside my body. The doctor told me at the time of my surgery that this might be the case since the tumor had broken the margins of the prostate and that there may still be some microscopic cancer cells left behind. In my follow up blood tests, I should have had an undetectable PSA level, because, well I had no prostate any more..but since that had never happened in any of my follow ups, my doctor broke the news that I would be need to undergo further procedures to hopefully get rid of the cancer cells once and for all.
So at the end of March, I began an 8 week regiment of daily radiation....Yep every afternoon after I get off work, I make the drive to Idaho Urological for my daily dose of radiation designed to kill the cancer cells still left in my body.
In addition to the daily radiation treatments, my doctor also suggested I combine the radiation with Hormone Therapy. Hormone therapy basically shuts down your body's ability to make testosterone. The lack of Testosterone helps to slow or stop the growth and spread of cancer.
In a long term study just published in The New England Journal of Medicine combining radiation with Hormone therapy increases my chances of being alive in 10 years by another 5 to 7 percent, so anything to increase my odds....even thought the side effects of really suck.
So...my prognosis is still good for recovery, it's just apparently going to take a little longer than I had hoped.
I'd like to apologize to all my family, friends, co-workers and the 12 Mix 106 listeners in advance if I happen to be crabby, irritable, moody or depressed over the coming months, because those are some of the side effects of my treatment.
If you'd like to help fight cancer, remember the 2017 Susan G Komen "Race for the Cure" is coming up on May 13th. You can get all the info and sign up to be a member of the Mix 106 Peeka-boo-bees team team by clicking on the link below