Men of Courage

cancer de la prostate PROCURE

Here are testimonies written by men affected with prostate cancer.  Should you wish to share your story, please contact us at info@procure.ca or at 1-855-899-2873.


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Give a helping hand and make a difference

by Winston McQuade

W.McQuade(Richard Bélanger)

When I was diagnosed in 2003, I pulled no punches but put all chances on my side. I first stopped smoking, I started exercising at the gym and I changed my diet:  less alcohol and more green vegetables…

It is important to take charge, and to follow the necessary therapies. As you know, it takes fortitude and a loving partner to get through this kind of ordeal. My girlfriend at the time fully supported me in what I was doing. I underwent many therapies; this is perhaps why I can talk about it without embarrassment or discomfort today.

Even though I won a great victory after my relapse in 2006, I remain cautious, but confident nevertheless. I usually speak to women about this, since men often tend to push critical matters under the carpet. I tell women to urge their spouses to undergo the required examinations. We must not kid ourselves:  it is the only way to know if a prostate is healthy or not.

It is also necessary to raise awareness about this disease and educate people about the risk factors. In this sense, our outreach and information activities, wearing the Bowvember bowtie during the campaign and the establishment of November 19 as the day devoted to prostate cancer, these are all factors that may encourage men to take charge of their health in order to keep this disease at bay.

The best thing in life is to be comfortable in one’s skin, body and soul. Giving yourself a boost can make a difference.

You have questions? Speak to one of our health professionals.
Contact our toll-free 24/7 line at 1 855 899 – 2873

Advice to a family member, colleague or friend

by Victor Glazer

v_glazer

You are in the process of choosing a treatment or you know someone who has just received a prostate cancer diagnosis?  Mr. Victor Glazer, who chose brachytherapy in 2014, shares with us the advice he would give to a family member, colleague or friend: Here is his advice.

To view his testimony and the conference with Dr. Daniel Taussky, click here.
To view the top three advices from Dr Taussky, click here
See as well What are my treatment options?

You have questions? Speak to one of our health professionals.
Contact our toll-free 24/7 line at 1 855 899 – 2873

A daughter’s perspective

by M.L.

My father was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1994, when he was 65 and I was 29. There is no question that my first reaction upon hearing the news was outright fear. To some extent, it was news I found hard to believe, but when I did think about it, I was afraid. I also did not, at least in the beginning, seek out too much information on the subject of prostate cancer — it seemed that to do so was to admit it was all real. However, as soon as we found out about my father’s cancer, it seemed that it was all around me: my uncle (my father’s younger brother) was diagnosed soon after, and I found out that my (then new) boyfriend’s father had recently had surgery to remove his prostate.

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What a shock to discover that I had prostate cancer

by Gaspard Fauteux

Gaspard_Fauteux_et_Jack_LaytonWhat a shock to discover, in November 2006, that I had prostate cancer. You think it’s something that only happens to other people, and don’t feel vulnerable yourself. I realized I was now part of that statistic: the one in seven Canadian men who are affected. Once I had absorbed the news I had to decide what to do about it. Should I have surgery? Go through radiation? Given the results of my PSA test and biopsy, my urologist suggested that I try watchful waiting for six months. I started doing some research on the Internet, read everything I could find and consulted a radiation oncologist. I would soon have to make a choice between ablation and radiotherapy, both of which sounded like sensible options.

Two years later, my urologist looked at the results of my latest PSA and biopsy and told me it was time to proceed with treatment. After a few more weeks of deliberation, in June 2009 I chose to undergo radiotherapy. The few weeks of treatment went well, with very few side effects, and I was able to keep on with my work as a real estate agent and other activities.

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Keeping up to par

by Alex Mackay, 59 years old

golf

I am an avid golfer; I love the game for the many challenges it brings. Anybody playing this sport will agree that the feeling of executing a good shot, breaking the 100’s, the 90’s and the 80’s or beating one’s own best score is very gratifying. On the other hand, when I was diagnosed with prostate cancer, I was far from being ready to face the many challenges implicated by this disease.

Let me go back a decade, when, at the age of 59, at my annual check-up, I was found to have a PSA reading of 59. I was then referred to a urologist who sent me for a trans-rectal ultrasound and prostate biopsies. I was diagnosed with prostate cancer and a Gleason score 10/10.

 

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Like so many of my colleagues on the police force, I felt invincible

by Gilles Falardeau, 56 years old

Gilles_Falardeau_2I was 56 and had never been sick a day in my life. Like so many of my colleagues on the police force, I felt invincible. Then, two years ago, a set of routine tests revealed I had prostate cancer. After undergoing an operation, hormone therapy and radiation treatments, I followed my doctor’s advice and decided to devote all my energies to the process of healing. I reduced professional activities that were a source of daily stress, changed my eating habits, and started an intensive exercise program. I bicycled over 5,000 kilometres through the summer, and finally took the time to relax and appreciate my family.

I also became involved as a volunteer with PROCURE and the prostate cancer support group at CHUM in order to share my experiences and give hope to others diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Promoting screening and early detecting, and taking an active role in one’s own healing — these are the winning tickets, and the way to gauge success.

Learning that it has come back for a third time is terrible

by Claude Marsolais

Procure Marche de Courage 2010 / Procure Walk of Courage 2010Finding out you have cancer is a shock. Learning that it has come back for a third time is terrible. You get back on your feet but nothing will ever be the same again.

Support from my family, my friends and the Procure team helped me get back on my feet. I now look at life differently and take the time to savour precious moments with the people I love and do things that are important to me.

I also changed my diet, incorporating more organic produce, and cut back on my working hours until I finally took early retirement. Carl Jung said that illness is life’s way of telling us to heal ourselves. I’m not sure that’s true but I’m now living in the moment and am serene and filled with happiness. Every day I appreciate growing older.

Encouraging research gives us the hope and the energy to go on.

Always known that I was at risk for prostate cancer

by Benoit, 53 years old

I was afraid of the truth, I had always known that I was at risk for prostate cancer since my father was diagnosed and operated on at the age of 69. I must say I hoped for a different fate. I spoke to my family doctor about this at each annual check-up. When I reached 53, he gave me a complete physical.

The examination did not reveal an abnormally enlarged prostate however, the blood test showed a PSA level of 4.6, a level sufficiently high to raise my doctor’s suspicions. He requested a transrectal ultrasound and a prostate biopsy.

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Diagnosis, advanced prostate cancer, with possible metastasis in the bones

By Michel, 62 years old

April 19, 2004: Although my urologist routinely required a blood test in order to complete my medical chart, this time the results were very unsettling. The 48 PSA level was high according to the doctor who immediately ordered a biopsy. The procedure was done quickly – three days later. While I began to feel apprehensive, I kept a business engagement outside of Montreal. Two weeks later I returned to the hospital to get the results of my biopsy. I was concerned when I entered the urologist’s office, yet I felt confident, in spite of everything.

The diagnosis was advanced prostate cancer, with possible metastasis in the bones. Perplexed, I could not understand what I heard, asking the doctor to repeat it three times so that I could somehow understand. I felt stunned, practically senseless, incapable of speaking or mentally registering the diagnosis. It was for me unthinkable, incredible and, above all, completely unexpected. I had always thought of cancer as a disease that affected others for whom I could express profound sympathy, but it was not supposed to happen to me – I was terrorized merely hearing the word cancer. In my mind, a diagnosis of cancer amounted to a sentence of imminent or immediate death.

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My experience with radiation therapy

by Joseph, 67 ans

This is my brief story of the experience I had with prostate cancer, its consequent treatment and its effect on my life:

My family doctor had been keeping an eye on my enlarged prostate until one day he decided I needed a more intensive investigation; he then referred me to a urologist. The latter ordered a specific ultrasound test in order to evaluate more precisely my prostate’s condition and, should there be a need for further testing, biopsies. Such was the case and, at the age of 67, on April 26, 2001 I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Needless to say I was simply stunned when the urologist gave me the news. After he explained to me what they had found and various treatment options were presented, I was given some time to think about it and decide what to choose. I knew at that time, as much as I hated it, the only thing I could do was to accept the situation and to fight it with all the strength and support I could get.

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A challenge for the couple

by Ben, 56 years old

When I was 56 and having my annual check up my family doctor mentioned that he felt a small lump on my prostate. He did not think it was anything serious, but should be followed up. First was a PSA blood test: the result was 2. He referred me to a urologist who also didn’t think it was anything serious, nor did the specialist who did the prostate biopsy. I was not ready for the final report of a prostate cancer when the results came back. I felt that my world had changed and I was having difficulty taking everything in. I asked the urologist first to speak slowly so that I could write it all down and second to explain all those strange terms like Gleason score (mine was 6).

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A prostate cancer odyssey

by J. C. (Jack) Lynch, 65 years old

jacklynch

Things were going well in the early ’90s. Our team had won the Quebec Senior Men’s curling championship in 1992; I had helped to sell curling as an official Olympic sport to the International Olympic Committee and I was preparing to go the Atlanta Olympics in 1996 as an advisor to the CBC and Radio Canada.

My 1994 annual medical changed the outlook. I had turned 65 and my doctor decided to get my PSA reading. It came back at 8.2, more than twice the concentration considered “normal”. A urologist detected a “definite nodule” by digital rectal examination and a biopsy confirmed that I had prostate cancer.

My reaction was: so, I have prostate cancer. Let’s find out more about it and make a plan. One thing I had been told was that, even if I did nothing, it would take 10 to 12 years to kill me. I tried not to let the family worry.

After watching a PBS special, reading some literature on the subject and going through a couple of urologists whose personalities and manners did not encourage me, I wound up at the Montreal General Hospital. There, on May 27, 1995, after three months of hormonal therapy, I underwent a radical prostatectomy.

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Only time will tell whether or not this approach was best for me

by Anonymous, 59 years old

Unknow_manIn 1996 at the age of 59, at an annual check-up, my PSA reading was found to be 4.3. My doctor referred me to a urologist who suggested a trans-rectal ultrasound and biopsies. The result indicated prostate cancer and a gleason score of 3/10, occupying roughly 10% of sample #3. The fragment of cancer found was insufficient in size to permit accurate scoring.

Before I underwent the diagnostic procedure, my urologist had told me I had a 90% chance of having prostate cancer. What an odd thing to tell a patient, kind of annoying I thought. With this in mind, the news came to me as no surprise.

 

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