The Blessings of a Redo

The Blessings of a Redo

Living & Loving with Prostate Cancer

Two days after my disastrous Florida vacation (read my last blog), I had a second vacation scheduled. My wife and I planned to meet our eldest son and his wife on a 10–day RV trip to Yellowstone. They were flying in, while we drove our RV.

Unfortunately, I returned home from Florida so sick that we had to cancel the trip. I was devastated. My illness ruined not one, but two vacations. Since our daughter–in–law is expecting in October, this was our first and last opportunity to camp together without children.

Sometimes life gives us a redo. To our delightful surprise, my son was able to change their flight reservations without penalty, and my daughter–in–law was able to reschedule her vacation.

My wife and I are meeting them in Yellowstone in two days! I’m on the road to Yellowstone as I write this blog. My heart is brimming with gratitude for this opportunity for a redo.

Sometimes life does not allow for redos. When that occurs, we are stuck with the negative, sometimes tragic consequences. A dear friend of mine was taking a shower when her phone rang. Rather than allow her answering machine to pick up the message, she decided to answer.

On her way out of the shower, she fell and broke her hip. She experienced multiple complications following surgery, which led to her death. She died because she hurried out of the shower to answer a phone call that didn’t need to be answered. She might still be here today had she allowed her answering machine to pick up the message.

In the last six years, I’ve heard from many widows whose husbands never bothered to have their prostate checked until they were experiencing symptoms of advanced prostate cancer. According to this survey, nearly seven in 10 men ignore these symptoms and further delay treatment.

There is an ongoing controversy whether prostate cancer screening does more harm than good.

As I drive my RV to Yellowstone to camp with my eldest son and daughter–in–law, we plan to create memories that will last a lifetime. In October, we plan to see them again to meet their first child.

Ironically, my diagnosis of prostate cancer is the reason this trip was possible. After recovering from my prostatectomy, I decided there were things I wanted to do that couldn’t wait until I retire. Buying an RV and traveling were two things on my bucket list I wanted to do while I was blessed with restored good health.

In June, we are scheduled to celebrate the first birthday of our second granddaughter with our youngest son and his wife. They asked us if we could host a swim party at our home.

I believe I owe my survival and opportunity to enjoy these blessings to my yearly prostate cancer screening. With early detection and treatment of my prostate cancer six years ago, I received the biggest and best redo of my lifetime.

When it comes to prostate cancer, the path for a redo involves early detection. I get a lot of flack whenever I advocate for prostate cancer screening, but it’s the only way I know for men with prostate cancer to get a redo.

So men, if you are over 30, I urge you to get tested for prostate cancer. I know this may sound crazy, out of touch, or paranoid, but the incidence of aggressive prostate cancer in younger men is on the rise.

There’s nothing to lose and everything to gain when you can rule out or treat aggressive cancer earlier, rather than later. Find me a widow who would disagree. They’d give anything to experience a redo. I wake up every morning feeling grateful for my redo.

If you’ve experienced the opportunity for a redo due to early detection and treatment of prostate cancer, I’d like you to share your story here. Perhaps with enough encouragement, we can motivate those men who’ve resisted prostate cancer screening to make an appointment for this potentially life-saving exam.

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Note: Prostate Cancer News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Prostate Cancer News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to prostate cancer.

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Rick Redner received his master’s degree in social work from Michigan State University. He has spent many years working as a medical and psychiatric social worker He is the author of the award winning book I Left My Prostate in San Francisco-Where's Yours? His second book Everything You Never Wanted to Know About Erectile Dysfunction and Penile Implants won the Beverly Hills International Book Awards in Men's Health in 2016.

One comment

  1. Timothy J Yarnall Sr says:

    In 2002 @ 40 I decided to have Urologist examine me and ask for my first PSA test. My brother At 55 in 2000 was diagnosed and had radical Prostectomy. The first known p/cancer in our family. He was in the military, Vietnam vet, exposed to agent orange, civilian life aft VN was working in a curing room of a major tire corp. when the factory closed he went back into the service.

    My dr didn’t want to do PSA because prostate was much real in size, no bumps or lumps, no symptoms. I demanded the test. PSA came back at 10.1, retested 10.1. Biopsies performed and had T1C (aggressive), Gleason Score of 4+3. Off to Johns Hopkins I went. Had radical prostectomy. Was told confined to prostate, 21 lympnodes clean, free area clean, one nerve bundle spared. PSA went below min detectable. No negative symptoms. Back to work in 8 weeks (did climbing so had to wait 8 weeks). I felt at 4 weeks I could return but hopkins said, no can do. 2009 PSA returned to 0.1, examined and said well monitor, 2010 PSA went to 0.2, examined and said we will wait but if it goes to .3. In 2011 it went to .3.

    9 yrs later I was considered reoccurring p/cancer. Many options again at Hopkins I chose hormone time release injection 60 days out then 37 radiation treatments over the next 5 weeks. PSA went below min detect.

    2017 April, PSA test scheduled and Medicare kicked it out. After some fancy coding and a phone call test approved. PSA less than 0.1, what it’s been since radiation treatments at hopkins in 2011.

    My advice, be aggressive in your testing. Don’t take no for an answer. I’ve had friends with much better numbers than me that are deceased. My younger brother (2 yrs younger than me at 60 was diagnosed and went robotics at hopkins. My father is 93, his brother 94, both in good health.

    Don’t take no for an answer. Be aggressive in treatments and testing.

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