Updated: Aug 9, 2019
Short version: In mid-May of 2019, I had a total radical prostatectomy due to prostate cancer. It was really rough for a few weeks but now I’m happily back to work and back to singing and there is every indication that I am now free of prostate cancer.
Longer version: I was diagnosed with prostate cancer in January of 2019. It was my colonoscopy doctor who first felt a lump and insisted that I follow up. Had a biopsy. Positive for prostate cancer. I found a surgeon who has performed over 3,000 nerve-sparing prostatectomies using the Davinci surgical robot and who has one of the lowest complication rates of any prostate surgeon west of the Rockies. My research paid off. The outcome, so far, has been much better than average and the adverse side-effects have been much less than average.
My recovery has really been phenomenal. My wife, Chantel, gets all of the credit for that. She was the one who did all of the things. ALL of the things. She was already quite busy but she kept me alive and cheerful through some of the worst discomfort I have ever experienced. I am, however, having a hard time forgiving her for making me laugh so hard and so often while those 6 small incisions on my belly were healing. Not cool! I've heard that redheads need more pain medication to achieve the same level of analgesia as non-redheads. I now have more anecdotal evidence that this is true.
I am thankful for good health insurance and the best support system imaginable. My children, my siblings, my many parents -- especially Cheryl Waide, Aunt Carol, my employer, and mostly, my life partner and wife, Chantel…all of them kept my spirits up during my darkest hours.
I’m ready to get back to life!
While this has turned out to be one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done, I know that many who face cancer run a much more complicated and painful gauntlet of treatments and outcomes. I consider myself very fortunate.
Being told that you have one of the more “treatable” forms of cancer, (that sounds so cheerful--"treating" your prostate cancer :-) yet 1 in 41 men (and trans women) will die from it...it’s like being on an airplane that’s going down and being told “We’re out of parachutes but you get the largest napkin on board! Out you go!” Such good news.
If any of you or yours are facing prostate cancer and need to talk to someone, I’m here for you.
I find myself mindful that everyone we encounter is going through something huge right now. Something difficult. Something life-altering. Everyone. I am here for you too.
Kindness and compassion are the currency for a meaningful life. Those things have rained down on me over the past few weeks. Henceforth, my mission and my advice is to sprinkle that stuff EVERYWHERE every day.
“You gotta love livin’, baby, cause dyin’ is a pain in the ass!”
- Frank Sinatra
The lyrics to this song fit so well at this moment:
“That's life (that's life) that's what people say You're riding high in April - Shot down in May But I know I'm gonna change that tune When I'm back on top, back on top in June”