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by Brian A. Jones   |   September 10, 2018

From Patient to Advocate: My Life’s Journey with Prostate Cancer

In the fall of 2015 I passed out while working as a pharmacy manager. I can confidently say that I’m only alive today thanks to God and the medical team that has taken excellent care of me ever since that day. After that incident, my primary care doctor had me undergo a rigorous battery of tests to get to the bottom of why I was passing out.

A part of that testing cycle was a prostate exam, after which my primary care doctor told me I had an enlarged prostate. Within a week I had an appointment with a local urologist, who then scheduled a biopsy. The days preceding the biopsy I broke out my trusty legal pad along with my iPad to find out where the best urologist in the country worked, just in case I needed it. When I got the results of my biopsy – along with a high PSA level – my wife and I already had a plan in place.

Fast forward a little bit: I had a prostatectomy at the prestigious Johns Hopkins Medical Center in Baltimore. My stay was longer than expected and included two units of blood. During my time in the hospital I made a commitment to find out what it would take to become an advocate for prostate cancer awareness so that men in my community, state, country, and the world would know how important it is to undergo PSA testing.

As the recovery process started I did some research and found out about the ZERO Prostate Cancer Run/Walk event that was taking place in my city. My first event was seven months post-surgery in Harrisburg, PA in 2016.  My first ZERO Prostate Cancer Race of 2018 was in Lehigh Valley this past August. The staff and set up of the race was excellent and at that point I was hooked on getting involved. I broke my personal record for walking in a 5K!

My next event will be on September 21st in my hometown of Harrisburg, where I’m looking to break another record. I’ve learned a lot in my quest to raise awareness, and now my charge for all men is this: we are needed by our families, communities, and country. It’s paramount that we all know our PSA and listen to our medical team.  

In Bethlehem, as I closed in on the finish line, my mind flashed back to being in ICU and the commitment that I made to fight for all men with prostate cancer and their families. With the bells ringing and people cheering me on I walked faster and faster, praying for a cure for all types of cancer. The joy of finishing the race strong was one of my goals for the day. The other goal will remain doing what I can to be an advocate fighting for a cure.

Join me in saying “Count Me In!” during Prostate Cancer Awareness Month this September. Our fellow men need us!