Robert was diagnosed with Stage IV prostate cancer on his 60th birthday. It was February 2015, and he’d visited the local ER due to severe pain. Though doctors initially thought this pain was gallbladder-related, scans showed that he actually had cancer, and it had metastasized to his legs, hops, ribs, spine, shoulder, lymph nodes, and lungs. His PSA before that evening had never rose above a 3.8.
He saw his urologist the next day. He was told that had advanced prostate cancer and needed to begin androgen depravation therapy immediately, followed shortly thereafter by chemotherapy. Robert’s doctor initially gave him only a few months to live, but a year and a half after his diagnosis; he was still receiving treatment and celebrating his 40-year wedding anniversary with his wife.
Through his battle, Robert remained positive with the support of his family and friends. Shortly after his diagnosis, Robert’s brother visited his doctor and informed him about Robert’s diagnosis. When his brother asked if he needed to be tested for the disease, his doctor told him no – he didn’t exhibit any indications for prostate cancer. His brother pushed them to test anyway, and they discovered that he also had prostate cancer. His disease was Stage I and was treated with radiation. Early detection and persistence for a second opinion is why Robert’s brother has a good prognosis.
“Through good, bad, happy, and sad, [my wife] has been right there beside me, keeping my attitude where it needs to be and helping me stay on top of this lousy disease.”
After his brother’s diagnosis, Robert shared his story ZERO to raise awareness of the disease and the need for early detection. Though he struggles with the pain of his disease, Robert is able to keep a positive attitude through his faith and the strength of his family, who keep him fighting every day.
“This disease is as much a mental struggle as it is a physical struggle. It is awfully difficult to be positive when I hurt all over and struggle for the energy to just walk a short distance… My friends and family keep me going and fighting every day.”