“Aside from my wife and children, cancer was the greatest gift I was ever given.” This outstanding and emotional testimony of a struggle with prostate cancer was given by actor and singer Mandy Patinkin. Being diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2004, when he was 51-years-old, Patinkin faced the disease in a unique way and decided to completely alter his lifestyle.
The moment that shot Patinkin to stardom was playing the role of Inigo Montoya in the movie “The Princess Bride,” in 1987, but he is just as famous for his other projects as well, including playing Saul Berenson in Homeland, and launching the album Mamaloshen in Yiddish. In addition, he also became recognized as a cancer survivor.
When Patinkin was diagnosed with prostate cancer, he was about the same age his father was when he died due to pancreatic cancer. After receiving the diagnosis, Patinkin felt lightheaded and overwhelmed, as he recalled in an interview with Coping With Cancer magazine. However, 30 years had gone by between his father’s cancer diagnosis and his own, which meant that research in the field had greatly advanced.
Given his young age and the fact that the prostate cancer was diagnosed at an early stage, Mandy Patinkin’s physicians recommended a radical prostatectomy. The actor admitted that his biggest concern was regarding the potential side effects of surgery until he realized that the most important thing was to get rid of the cancer. Now, Patinkin considers going through prostate cancer as an enriching experience, which helped him change his views on life and cherish each moment differently.
“Ever since I got cancer and went through the surgery and recovered, I’ve realized that aside from my wife and children, cancer was the greatest gift I was ever given,” stated Mandy Patinkin. “I always appreciated my life, my wife, my kids, my music, the fact that I get to do what I love. But I took my life for granted. I would say I didn’t, but I did. I was kidding myself.”
“I’m so very aware, as I never was before cancer, that I may live to 100. I hope I do. I probably will never die from prostate cancer; I don’t have a prostate anymore. But I know that life could be over in 5 seconds, or 50 minutes, or 50 years. I just hope I get 50 years rather than 50 minutes,” added the actor, who has made a full recovery. He has also drastically changed his nutritional habits to reduce the risk of cancer recurrence, and now lives by the mantra of being happy.
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