Jim is 82 years old, and retired. He began his working life as a fitter and turner, “but I hated that,” and turned to the carpentry/building trade. He came to Geelong when he was 20 to run a milk bar and later a licensed grocery store.
A move to Ballarat to run a small business also saw him meet his wife Lorinda. After returning to Geelong when he was 36 Jim built squash courts, and ran them for 14 years. Work continued after that with buildings and renovations, as well as 11 years in security with the Defence Department at Point Wilson.
In 2005, when Jim was 70 he received a telephone call from his brother to report that he had prostate cancer.
He advised Jim that he should have a check-up, and this was followed through with a visit to his doctor. Jim heard nothing more. His brother called again and was very concerned that Jim didn’t have any test results. So Jim rang the doctor back and was told that he had a PSA of 24. The doctor arranged for another blood test, and an ultra-sound at the hospital. The ultra-sound revealed nothing untoward, but with the elevated PSA Jim was referred to a urologist.
Following a meeting with his urologist, Jim was booked in to the hospital for a biopsy. When later provided with the results, Jim recalls the urologist’s words “a score of 10 is a death sentence, and you have 9. You have incurable, inoperable prostate cancer.”
Whilst Jim responded with “Well you’ve got to die from something, bring it on,” the urologist suggested that he could have radiation treatment. Jim accepted this, and radiation commenced late 2005. He had 35 treatments, from Monday to Friday for seven weeks. Following the radiation Jim was administered HDT (Hormone Deprivation Therapy) by drip at the Andrew Love Cancer Centre, once a week. When told that his cancer was inoperable and incurable, Jim reflects that he went through “a very dark period, and was often feeling quite aggressive.” This persisted until he commenced taking hemp oil.
By early 2006 Jim’s PSA had dropped to less than 1.
In 2007 Jim caught up with a friend who had been a concrete contractor. That friend had had to give up his job due to pain. At this time Jim was suffering significant pain in his knees, back and neck. His friend had begun taking hemp oil – one teaspoon in the morning, and one at night – and he suggested that Jim might give it a go. After 3 months of taking hemp oil, Jim reported that his PSA had dropped to being undetectable. But Jim also attributes the hemp oil to reducing his pain, and leading to a total and very positive change in his manner and emotions.
Since 2007 Jim has not visited his urologist, nor has he had any more radiation. He now takes a dessertspoon of hemp oil, once a day. In March this year his PSA was .05. Jim puts a recent PSA rise to .1 as being attributable to having a bladder infection, and to not having had the hemp oil for 5 weeks.
Jim first heard about the Geelong Prostate Support Group from one its founding members, Rolly Armstrong.
He began attending every meeting, enjoying listening to the guest speakers, and also talking with other members about what they had gone through. Jim now finds it very difficult getting to meetings due to mobility issues he has with his knees.
Jim appreciates the tremendous support that has been provided by his wife Lorinda, and his boys.
Whilst he is constrained from physical activity, in his spare time Jim enjoys watching movies, listening to music and playing computer games.