My Journey with Prostate Cancer and Active Surveillance
I was diagnosed with prostate cancer in June of 2009, with a Gleason score of 6 and a second opinion of Gleason 7. A biopsy showed one core at 80%. The next step was chemo or radiation. I declined, and told the urologist that I needed to find out where my prostate was before I could make any decisions. I did my research and never looked back. For the last 10 years, I have been in the best shape of my life.
I accomplished this with lots of faith, a positive attitude, training my brain to help me (instead of being extremely negative), eating only cancer-fighting foods, taking supplements, drinking the healthiest water available, and exercising at least 5 days/week. I have designed a protocol for me, and have professional assistance from doctors who agree with what I am doing.
Over the past 12 years, my PSA started at 2.9 and rose to 29.4 two years ago. My PSA has been stable now for three years in the 20s, and is currently at 30.2. I have had no treatments on Active Surveillance. Instead, I do lots of experimenting with protocols.
I started a business in automotive and collision repair equipment 36 years ago. My wife, Barb, has been at my side from the start. We have been married for 56 years. Together we have one son, one daughter, and four grandchildren. I am one of four founding partners of Active Surveillance Patients International (ASPI), where I currently serve as President. ASPI will keep me busy until my journey here ends. We support and empower men with rising PSA, newly-diagnosed with Prostate Cancer (PCa) or on Active Surveillance (AS) and serve as a partner on their PCa journeys.
What is your greatest personal or medical accomplishment achieved during your AS journey?
I started to research. I asked God to be my partner on my journey with cancer, and decided to change my life in a 180-degree direction. I have had 10 years of excellent health, and am so happy and proud of my quality of life.
Is there a misconception that you had originally believed about PCa or AS that you have since debunked?
The misconception that I originally overcame was that I was going to die from PCa. Through research, the help of friends and my own attitude, I looked at PCa as an opportunity to change my life for the better. My whole body was deteriorating, and I knew I had to fix my weight, brain, physical condition, attitude, lifestyle, diet, supplements and exercise – in order to design a plan for life.
Can you describe one lifestyle change that has helped you effectively follow AS?
I have implemented a food plan for life, eating only cancer-fighting, plant-based foods. This will not be enough to fight cancer, but is one of the major participants in the war. It is like a tank in battle.
How did your family or friends respond to the news about your PCa diagnosis, and your decision to follow AS?
My family members only knew about treatments, and that my initial meeting did not go very well. There were lots of tears. I had been reading reports for about a year, and knew enough to be dangerous about what options I had to treat cancer. I stuck to my guns and said I was going to find out what would be best for me.
There was one death due to breast cancer in our family. I was determined that I was not going to die from cancer, or cause issues for my grandchildren. I had to start reading all of the labels before I bought anything. I became the shopper and I did the cooking. I did the research that started me on my AS journey, and I never looked back.
I continued to work 10 and 12-hour days, and do my research at night and on weekends. As it turned out, I had to do some research at the office, too. We have a great team, and that gave me time to double my research efforts. I needed to train my brain to give me positive solutions, and no negative thoughts about PCa.
Do you have a motto or quote that gives you inspiration?
“God and I can do anything together and accomplish everything.”
I read a youth Bible from cover to cover, and found this statement in it. This motto has been with me for 10 years, and it will be with me for the rest of my life.