In January 2006, at the age of 46, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer (T1c, Gleason 6 with a PSA of 5.61). The urologist performed my first prostate biopsy informed of this fact as I was about to walk into my neighborhood dry cleaners. His first question: “Are you driving?” tipped me off that this conversation wasn’t going to go the way I’d hoped. His not-so-polished “you have cancer” speech began with “I see this all the time” before proceeding on to “we can schedule your surgery any time you’re ready, but we should do it within the next couple of months” and ended with “take a couple of weeks to think about it.” The sidewalk felt like it was coming out from under me.
For the next month, my life was a surreal freak out, including a week where suicide sounded like a pretty good option. Thanks to the love and care of friends, family, and my girlfriend at the time, I came out of that dark place and embraced life again—this time with renewed sense of appreciation. From then on, my life has become a focused effort to not only to heal from the disease, but embrace the truly healthy person I always knew was lurking somewhere inside me. As Dr. Jesse Stoff puts it in his book The Prostate Miracle, “a healthy prostate cannot exist in an unhealthy body.”
After five years of seeking out the experts, being poked and prodded and in places I never imagined, undergoing batteries of the latest images and scans, continually revising my diet, learning how to let go of my well-traveled emotional baggage, receiving hands-on healing, learning how to meditate, becoming a yoga fanatic, taking more supplements than most body builders, drinking God-awful Chinese herbal concoctions that could peel paint from the wall, trying every non-traditional healing approach that made sense (as well as a few that didn’t), even coming close to dying of Sepsis from a prostate biopsy gone wrong, my PSA continues to fall (it is now well under 2.0). Equally important: today, I feel happier, healthier, and more alive than ever.
How long will I live? I don’t know. Like Harrison Ford’s voice over at the end of the 1982 movie Bladerunner: “I didn’t know how long we had together. Who does?” My doctors reassure me, however, that I will die with whatever microscopic amount of cancer I have in my prostate—but not from it. And as anyone who has been diagnosed with cancer can attest, hearing those words reiterated by several internationally renowned physicians is about as good as it gets.