The need to know…

I’m discovering more and more men are being diagnosed with prostate cancer. Just recently, I’ve managed to speak to and get emails from at least 4 men in the last 14 days. I have a comment from a brother way down under in Australia who is a fellow survivor (read the comment on Not Just For September. I was very encouraged with his note. Then a week later I get an email from a brother who just had surgery all the way from Croatia. Man, this thing is global!

group-of-menI want to help as many brothers as I can. That means in any part of the world! There are way too many men who choose not to know (read about that one here) and because of that they may be walking around with prostate cancer that’s slowly growing and then as time progresses it begins to grow at an alarming rate attacking other parts of the body.

Men, as long as you are aggressive about getting screened and doing something about it, being told you have prostate cancer is not a death sentence. It’s only a death sentence if you either ignore getting screened, ignore the symptoms, or just simply do nothing about what you know. Let’s be honest – it’s scary to have a doctor tell you that you’ve tested positive. But, not knowing doesn’t make it go away! AND, getting treated doesn’t take away your manhood! That’s another issue that keeps men from screening and treatment. They’re afraid of getting their manhood taken away. Look, if you base your MANity on what’s in your crotch, you’re not a man anyway. You may as well walk on all fours and communicate with a bark.

Please, brothers! Get rid of your pride, overcome your fears, and as much as it is within you, save your life. Make an appointment with your doctor. Find a good urologist. Get screened. If you test positive, get treated. Then you can heal and help the next brother.

I have to add something I just heard this week that’s quite disturbing. If your insurance company doesn’t cover prostate screening, let them know how many men are getting diagnosed with it and some are even dying because of it. Ask them if they cover breast cancer for women. If they do, then tell them how prostate cancer for men is just like great cancer if for women, and that they shouldn’t deny anyone coverage for something so vital. Then, if you’re able, go shopping for a better insurance company. I know in this day and age that’s not easy, especially with new laws and such. Ask your physician or specialist about any special provisions for coverage and treatment if your insurance won’t help. Most (if not all) insurance companies are just out to make money anyway. They don’t want to cover if they have to pay quite a bit. It’s sad, but a reality. But, even with all that said, please, please, please do not let anything or anybody keep you from getting screened – not even yourself. Your life depends on it. If you have a family, they depend on you, too. Even if you are single, your life is valuable. No one is expendable.

Please read my story here and contact me if you have questions, need support, or if you’d like me to come and speak. Peace!

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Another screening come and gone…

I had a great time on Saturday morning, November 2, at Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship. According to Tim Upshaw, Methodist Hospital’s manager of the Prostate Screening Program, there was a considerably larger turnout compared to last year. I know I had a great time talking to more guys this go around. They had lots of questions and I was blessed and excited to be able to answer them. I was able to speak to all of the men just before the screening to let them know I’m here for 2 reasons: one, because of the grace and mercy of God, and two, for all of them, so I can spread the word about getting screened and walk with those who test positive! There was even one brother there who recently tested positive and is having surgery first of December. He’s jumping on it! That’s what counts!

Speaking with Tim, he informed me there was a guy he’s been working with who has a PSA of 110! And I believe he said with no symptoms! Ok, when I heard that my thought was, “Wow. I’m still learning new stuff about this.” He also told me about another brother who started with a PSA of 15. He didn’t do anything about it, got screened again a year later and his PSA jumped up to 30-something. He still didn’t do anything about it and now it’s in the 60s! What’s the deal??? Not sure why he’s persistent to get screened but not as aggressive about getting the surgery. Tim said he made the move to get treated, but could have avoided the high possibility of it spreading to the rest of his body by treating it at 15. Early detection also means getting it treated without other procedures that wear you down physically and cost way more money. I was blessed to not have to undergo radiation. I get chills every time I consider that. I’m not deserving of such mercy.

Guys, this is nothing to play with. Frequent screenings is so vital for us. This pertains to both screening procedures – the PSA and the dreaded digital rectal exam (finger). Now, that’s the one guys hate to mention, let alone experience. Yes, it is uncomfortable, but it only lasts up to 10 seconds. Some guys think with the blood test there should be no need for the DRE. To clear the air on that, I know one guy who’s PSA was a 2 (normal), but while doing the digital exam, his doctor felt an abnormal lump on his prostate. He had a biopsy and turned out he test positive. By the grace of God he’s a survivor!

Again, brothers, please don’t neglect the opportunity to get screened as soon as possible, and get it done every year. Please ignore the negative talk about the inaccuracies of prostate screenings. While there may be false positives (meaning infections or just enlarged prostates that come with age), screenings are still extremely instrumental in finding out if you have prostate cancer or not and allows each of us to get the proper treatment with early detection. I’m a living witness to that!

First time here? Be sure to read my story at the Chronicle.