When the doctors told me I had Prostate Cancer I did not want to leave the story up to the media. I wanted to put my story out there the way I thought it should be told, with honesty, with integrity and with raw emotion.
Bob Welch from the Register Guard interviewed me shortly after my diagnosis. A few days after the article appeared in the paper I got a call from Dave Frohnmayer. He too had Prostate Cancer but was fighting his privately and asked that I keep it that way. He talked with me on the phone for an hour about his treatment, his thoughts and life after cancer.
When you find out you have Prostate Cancer the world is silent. Many men, with the disease, don’t want to talk about it they just want to get rid of it. It’s embarrassing to some because there’s an assumption that Prostate Cancer also means a loss of your ability to achieve and erection.
So when your number is called others with the disease will tell you they are sorry but talking about what happens or the aftereffects is often not an issue up for conversation.
For me, that is all I wanted to talk about. I was like a sponge for information. I had a decision to make and I needed help.
Dave Frohnmayer wasn’t like most people. He called me. I needed someone to talk with openly and honestly with no BS and Dave was one of those guys.
He admired the idea that I would speak publically about my disease even though he could not.
When his cancer returned he met with me to tell me in person. When someone with the same cancer you have, who also underwent the same treatment, finds out the cancer is back it freaks you out. It sent me into a tailspin and I think he knew that might happen.
This week when I heard Dave died a wave of sadness washed over me and depression keeps nipping at my mind as I fight to stay away from the “What if’s” and focus on what I know to be true.
One of the things that keep me from slipping is the public awareness campaign I’m doing with the Willamette Valley Cancer Institute.
To you it may seem like just another ad campaign but to me it gives me hope.
This weeks show we will air another one of the messages about Prostate Cancer. We will also air more of our special documentary from 2005 when we traveled with a medical team to Guatemala.
Somehow this is all put into perspective when you take a more global look at life. But the reality is death is painful and leaves us feeling a sense of loss. It can also give fear a voice in the conversation and that is what we must fight to silence.
I hope you enjoy the show. I hope you are thankful for the life you have been given. Today, I am very thankful I’m still here. For those who stuck with me through this blog here is Sunday’s show, right now.