Bob is 77 years old. He retired from the RAAF in the late 70’s, and became self-employed owning a driving school with several employees in Canberra. Bob came to Melbourne and worked as a Customer Service representative with Telstra. Following that he worked at the Northcote RSL as a barman and cellarman.
Eleven years ago, Bob retired from the paid work force and settled in Geelong. He played golf every day, and became very active in the East Geelong Senior Citizens club. Involvement with that Group saw Bob travelling through Victoria, South Australia, New South Wales and the ACT.
As a retiree, Bob was very conscious of his health. He maintained an active exercise program which involved 30 – 40 minutes of walking each day, as well as 20 minutes on his exercise bike, 50 sit-ups, weights, time on his abs machine and other types of exercises.
Two years ago (2014) Bob made an appointment with his GP; he was concerned at the frequency he had to urinate both during the day and at night. He was referred to a urologist, and in November 2014 had a biopsy – “… a very painful experience.” Bob was informed that a Gleason score of 9 showed that he had a very aggressive prostate cancer. He had been having annual PSA blood testing before this time. In December, at an appointment at the Andrew Love Centre he was advised that the only treatment available was Hormone Deprivation Treatment (HDT). Bob was told to take Cyproterone tablets for two weeks, and after that was to commence a course of Lucrin.
After commencing the Lucrin injections, Bob began participating in the Man Plan. He has nothing but praise for “… the marvelous physical and dietary support and feedback that was provided….” He met great people while on the Man Plan, and “… left there feeling much fitter than at any other time in my life!”
At one appointment in February last year Bob was informed that he would be able to participate in a trial. He was very excited to have that opportunity. Fifteen minutes later he felt extremely disappointed when he was told that he could not proceed with that trial. He was given no reason for the sudden change and felt let-down.
In May (2015) Bob had a bone scan and this was followed up in June with a series of five daily radiation treatments. In December he was feeling pain in his right hip area. Bob’s doctor sent him for an x-ray, and that night his doctor called and informed him that he had cancer on his femur. The x-ray was forwarded to the Andrew Love Centre, and in early January this year Bob received a call from the Geelong Prostate Nurse. She advised him to go and see his local GP for pain relief medication. His GP prescribed Targin tablets, which Bob is still taking. Also in January this year, having had three Lucrin injections at three-monthly intervals, Bob was taken off that medication. His PSA levels had shown a marked improvement, the last one being down to 0.39.
Bob found out about the Geelong Prostate Support Group from the Group’s web site; he rang one of the contact numbers. Geelong Prostate Nurse, Rebecca, also provided him with information about our Group. Bob attends most GPSG meetings.
Unfortunately the cancer on his femur and the effects of the medications have had a marked impact on Bob’s ability to engage in and enjoy exercise. He still exercises at home, but significantly less that before the cancer. A walk around the block once took him 10 minutes; it now takes 20. Daily games of golf, and competition, are down to maybe one hit a fortnight “… I now feel like sitting down after only a couple of holes!”
Bob is still a (less active) member of East Geelong Senior Citizens. He enjoys gardening, though he claims “… it is out of control!”
Bob is supported by his family. “My wife Mary provides me with great support…” “… I feel blessed by the support given by my daughters…” His family took him on a holiday to Bali last year, and Bob can’t wait to return there again this year with family.