The Cancer Diaries

Prostate cancerIn February 2020, right when the COVID-19 pandemic was starting, my prostate serum analysis (PSA) test came back highly elevated. My doctor sent me to a urologist out of town, who saw the results and immediately ordered a biopsy. Twelve samples were taken, ten of which came back positive for prostate cancer. It was described to me as an aggressive “stage four” cancer. My diagnosis came only months after a very close friend had died of esophageal cancer — the same cancer that killed my father, a few years earlier.

By this time, the lockdowns were in place and getting in and out of medical offices and the hospital was challenging. The urologist booked me for surgery as quickly as possible during these trying times. I had a radical prostatectomy in early July, 2020, which removed the organ as well as nearby tissues. A few months later, I had a second procedure to attempt to improve my urine flow. Then in November, I went back to the hospital for seven weeks of radiation therapy. I have been on hormone therapy since mid-November as well.

Prostate cancerIn January 2021, my first post-treatment blood test showed an undetectable PSA value. My second one, in April, and my third, in October, all showed continuing improvement and no re-emergence of the cancer. But I will need blood tests every six months to be sure.

I began writing about my experiences in July 2020, shortly after my operation, and will continue to write about how cancer affected my life as I continue through treatment and — hopefully — recovery. I will attempt to keep this page updated with new posts, but you can always use the search feature to find more. I hope that what I have written may help others facing the same disease.

Here is my story:

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