David is 70 years old. He has now been retired for seven years having worked most recently in the hospitality industry for twenty years, and before that for twenty-five years in banking.
At age 75 David’s father died from prostate cancer. Aware of the very strong genetic links to prostate cancer within families David initiated PSA testing from age 50.
When he was 58 David’s doctor noted that there had been an increase in PSA. A DRE indicated that his ‘prostate did not feel normal.’
David was referred to a urologist who arranged more PSA testing, another DRE and a hospital visit for a biopsy. Three of the 12 samples were positive. He was provided with a range of treatment options to consider, including surgery, radiation and active surveillance. David asked the urologist what he would do if he were in David’s shoes, and the urologist advised that with his father’s history he would have a radical prostatectomy (RP). This was just before Christmas.
In January David returned to the urologist having made up his mind that he would have an RP. The operation was scheduled for February. He spent three nights in hospital before returning home with a catheter in place.
David was well aware that he might have to deal with incontinence once the catheter was removed and was well prepared. In fact, he had no difficulties after only two weeks, and was left with a huge supply of unwanted pads! David attributes much of his post-surgery continence to his excellent level of fitness – three times a week in the gym. His urologist also referred him to a urinary physiotherapist prior to the RP.
David first heard of the Geelong Prostate Support Group from his urologist. “It has been really beneficial going along, especially in those early days.”
David is married to Estelle (48 years) who has provided enormous support to him throughout his prostate cancer journey. David and Estelle have three adult children; two are boys and they are now having regular PSA testing.
David is very conscious of his health and fitness. He still attends the gym three times weekly and squats and deadlifts 100kgs. As well, he walks three kms each morning to buy the paper.
David and Estelle enjoy cruising. They have just returned from a Singapore – Japan cruise, and will soon be off to South America for an Antarctic cruise. They also enjoy 4WD camping and caravanning (they love Happy Hour!) within Australia. Last year they travelled to Cape York.
This year David has applied to participate in August on an 8-day Burke – Birdsville – Flinders Ranges fund raiser for prostate cancer research. Each vehicle will have a target of raising $1500 in the course of that trip.
“After surviving prostate cancer it has given me a new perspective on life. I don’t want to sit around gathering dust; I want to enjoy what I can, while I can.”