John is 72 years old. He retired from his career in banking in 2001. During those 36 years in the banking industry he worked in rural towns throughout Victoria, as well as 6 years in Melbourne. During those years John and his family were heavily involved in sport – especially football and netball – and numerous community activities associated with small towns. In addition to active involvement John and his family held various administrative, leadership and coaching roles.
John has led a generally fit and healthy lifestyle, and had been taking regular annual PSA blood testing. However, there was a lapse of four years prior to May 2016 when he was 69. A random blood test revealed a PSA of 4.8; a subsequent test indicated an increase to 6.4. John had experienced no symptoms.
John’s doctor referred him to a urologist. The urologist performed a DRE and after noting some hardness told John that “… we need to go further with this.”
John recalls that he underwent a range of testing, including biopsy and MRI. He had a Gleeson score of 7 (3 + 4), but the better news was that the cancer was contained within the prostate.
The urologist provided John with a number of options. “After agonising over which option to take we mutually agreed on a radical robotic prostatectomy”. This was done in October 2016. Pathology results showed that the cancer was contained and that no further treatment would be necessary. Like most men John was affected by the usual side effects – minor incontinence and ED.
Subsequent post- op PSA blood testing has revealed a slight rise in PSA from .03 to .08.
Not related to his prostate cancer, unfortunately John has recently contracted Polymyalgia Rheumatica disease. This has been treated, and hopefully cured, by a strict medical regime.
“Since joining the Geelong Prostate Support Group whilst endeavouring to attend as many meetings as I can, words cannot describe the feelings enjoyed through the fellowship, general positivity and reinforcement engendered by my fellow sufferers.”
John also appreciates the very strong family support he has received from his Jenny, his wife of 52 years and his three children.
Whilst John’s last game of football was with Derrinallum Football Club aged 42, he quickly transitioned to lawn bowls which he continues to enjoy. John has been Treasurer of Belmont Bowling Club for six years. “And when not watching the Mighty Bombers, I enjoy following the sporting pursuits of our grandchildren.” In more recent years John and Jenny have also held positions in groups and ministries at their church.