As it stands

Greetings, some of you may remember me, but I'm not a frequent poster. I've been in the PC business since 2007, having fought it with radiation, surgery, ADT, and currently in a clinical trial for nanoparticle therapy.

I've been at the therapy for 3 months with little to no side effects. Unfortunately, now I'm experiencing some discomfort from neuropathy in my fingers. This is a side effect that's not surprising, but a bit tough.

Now, to the point of my post, I want to share some words from my general physician that I heard today. I don't seek your comment or endorsement, and if you don't believe this, that's ok too.

My doctor said to me, in response to my fighting spirit, the following, "You know, I started off in oncology and practiced oncology for 5 years before moving to general medicine. Now I have a career experience of 45 years and I’ve seen one thing that’s been consistent and it has been proven without fail. That is, the man who fights will not die of his disease; the man who gives up, does.”

Know well that this steeled my resolve to fight even harder. I hope that some of you may gain comfort and hope from my doctor's experience and wisdom.

Thank you, John


14 Replies

  • Burnett1948. Thanks jal. Nal's 10 Modalities to fight Pca gets me out from the corner.

  • Thanks for sharing that, jal. As a fighter, I love it!


  • I really don't like the word "fight" because it is used all the time. Particularly in obituaries.

    Some of the nonsense women with breast cancer are faced with in October is hurtful to those who have really serious cancer. All the stories about plucky survivors & so on. They cause feelings of guilt.

    My view of PCa is that many men simply endure treatment with stoicism. i.e. they have faith in the medical profession & get on with life as best they can, without complaint. "Fighting", if it means anything, is being an active participant. Learning about behaviors associated with improved survival & making lifestyle changes.

    I hate to hear statements such as "He was such a fighter, but he has given in." It isn't a matter of choice. Those physically overwhelmed by disease should not be accused of giving up.

    For the newly diagnosed, adjusting to the new reality can take its toll on the body. The immune system has a role in survival. Feeling depressed & run down is not helpful. Family & friends can help with the tansition. Doctors could do more. Support groups can be useful.

    One has a better chance of survival if comorbidities are addressed. Reverse metabolic syndrome symptoms, e.g. Restoring the body to optimum health is a big step forward IMO.


  • You know, Patrick, I think most cancer diagnosis' are taken as a death sentence, once you are told about it. It takes a lot of will power to stand up to it. I agree that "fight" is not what we do. We deal with it, we live with it the best we can. We do what our doctors tell us. We can use terms like, he/she was strong, powerful, etc. It's never a "fight", it's a put-up-with-it kind of thing. Those without Pca, or any other cancer, will never understand.


  • Patrick, I was sure that somebody would find a fault in my message of optimism. Some may find inspiration. If you can't, thanks for looking and I hope you find it elsewhere. It's all metaphor, and the battle metaphor works for me, ‎and perhaps others.

    Nor do I find a paradox in the juxtaposition of stoicism and combat. The patient can adopt both of these in turn or at once. I am in combat but making my mind at peace with reality, presuming there is a future that is real. (This alludes to a static predefined future, a philosophical stance that must be rejected to assume the battle metaphor. Even so, nothing is guaranteed, and a Stoic philosophy leads to acceptance, regardless of the outcome.)

    I can't know how I will behave in the future, but my resolve at this moment is to fight to my last breath, regardless of how oppressive the disease may get. Easy to talk big now, but now is all I know.

    All the best,


  • Hi John,

    When a good friend of almost 50 years now heard that I had cancer, she said "You'll be OK, you're so bloody minded ...". I was stung, but 13 years later, I'm hanging on.

    I suppose she recognized "attitude". While I accept that things will probably end badly, I don't feel powerless. There is a survival bell-curve out there for men in my condition, & I aim to be as far to the right as possible. The PCa literature gives me optimism. We can all have better than average survival -LOL.


  • Yes. We appear to be saying the same thing. My wife says, use "track meet". As long as I put on the track shoes, etc.

    As you imply, there has never been a better time in human history to have PC! Hell, I'm living it. I had to have salvage prostatectomy, something that was impossible some number (?) of years ago.

    I so agree with your assessment of skewing the curve. I think that's another manifestation of what my doc told me.

    We're all in the fight together, my friend!


  • Oh I believe that too, my husband was diagnosed in 2008 with NHL stage 4 and PC in the same week, he had chemo for the NHL first, then after he went into remission he had the radical prostatectomy, then the PC came back and he had radiation, that didn't work, he can not take HT it is just too hard on him, he gets extreme bone pain..I mean crying bone pain he says it feels like someone is twisting his shins..But he is a musician,and has good friends they fly him to where they are, but as his wife I feel that is the best gift to give him is letting him run all over the country and come on home like a Tom cat dragging his tail between his legs, he goes to warmer climates in the winter. He comes home for Dr appointments..and he says the cancer can't catch him,unless he lets it..So I feel a lot of it is mind over matter..

  • Reminds me of my yachting photography and long, hard days on boats. My wife isn't happy about it, but she stands aside for me to pursue a passion that keeps me active, rather than morose about my illness.

  • Its great to hear you are doing well 10 years on jal1954 I'm curious when you say that you've had radiation, surgery and ADT. My hubby has just finished 5 days of radiation for bone mets, and is on ADT with chemo coming up in a month. Was the surgery you mention - removal of the prostate. I'm wondering if this is done at all once everything else is under control. All the best with the trial

  • Thank you. Radiation as first line treatment early 2008 for a tumor diagnosed in 2007. Several years of peace followed by a biological failure in 2012. Salvage prostatectomy in 2013, Began failing in 2014.

    First line trearmts are normally done singularly. Pick one and it begins.

    My surgery was indeed a RP. My disease had retuned, so was no longer under control.

  • I am in a good spot now but nonetheless I found your post to be very uplifting and positive. I am going to refer to this whenever I feel down. Too much to live for to give up. Thank you for sharing!

  • Just what I was hoping for!

  • Hi John.

    Thank you for sharing these thoughts from your doctor with all of us here.

    While I don't think that everyone who fights their cancer will definitely not die from it, I am a firm believer that fightin helps. It helps the immune system, it helps our emotional and therefore our physical well-being, and it helps you through the tough times definitely.

    I love what Dr. Garbor Mathay says about the relationship between stress and chronic illness. If you don't know him, google him. I my opinion, he is a brilliant guy!


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