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YellowRose
09-09-2015, 12:27 AM
Recently, we have had several Forum members who have been combating health issues of one type or another. Jed Zimmerman comes immediately to mind, and his battle with cancer. Over the years, several of our members have succumbed to one form of cancer or another. This includes our Founder, Alexander Sosiak, at age 50 several years ago. Followed by our Co-Founder, Sandy Block ~ SandyBoy and others. Cancer has touched the lives of any number of us on this Forum, myself included. It has been 17 years since I lost my Beloved Faye to Ovarian cancer. A website in her memory is still maintained by me as an educational and informational means of warning women of the dangers of this deadly disease. It can be viewed at: http://fayclark.home.texas.net/ It has been instrumental in the saving of many a woman's life. It is approaching a half million views now. All of you should bring it to the attention of the women in your lives... The life it saves could be someone you love...

As many of you know, I communicate with our membership all over the world, by email and phone. Just in the last few days, Lex Wares ~ lexdownunder, in Tasmania, Australia, told me of his battle with Prostate Cancer, and his victory over it. He asked if he could post some information regarding his experiences with it, and his eventually being declared cancer free. After consulting with several of our key Adminstrators and discussing this, we have decided to ask Lex to post his information in Anything Goes. I have reviewed his initial proposed post. The information he has may very well save the life of one of us on our Forum or other men in our lives. He will make an initial post and then will answer any questions you might have. Feel free to post and ask questions of him, once he makes his initial post.

lexdownunder
09-09-2015, 02:25 AM
I AM A CANCER SURVIVOR

I have been wanting to share my recent experience with cancer with my fellow TBirders for some time, so now I have decided to do just that.

My reason for sharing is to bring the importance of early detection to the attention of all you men out there….and wives & girlfriends. If by sharing my own experience, it encourages some of you to get tested & perhaps even save a life or two, then my writing this has been well worthwhile.

I CANNOT EXPRESS STRONGLY ENOUGH THE IMPORTANCE OF EARLY DETECTION.

I will start by just giving a brief overview of my personal experience however please feel free to ask any question you wish. I am sure any questions & answers will be of benefit & interest to all our forum members.

OVERVIEW
Since turning 50 years of age, I have had an annual blood check like most guys do checking for the usual cholesterol, liver, iron, heart, kidneys etc. Always came back O.K. Then at age 58, my G.P. called to tell me my PSA level was higher than he liked & would like me to have further tests. I didn’t even know what PSA was but soon found it was an indicator in the blood that meant all was not well with my prostate. Basically it indicated Prostate Cancer.

I was sent to a specialist (urologist) & it was decided to monitor the progress of the cancer over the next few years. This was decided because my PSA reading was not in a “dangerous” area.

Over the next four years, I had six monthly blood tests & an annual biopsy. The biopsy was a day procedure in hospital. The cancer was slowly increasing as indicated by the rising PSA readings so after consulting with my specialist & my Beautiful Susan, I decided to have the prostate removed, known as radical prostatectomy.

My result after the operation showed that all the cancer was contained within the prostate & none had gotten into the surrounding tissue. However it is the next five years after the operation that decides if the cancer is completely gone.

I had a blood test every three months for two years & every six months for the next three years.
It was after the final test at five years that my specialist told me he no longer wanted to see me.
That felt like winning the Lottery!!!!

It is now seven years since my operation & I’m happy to say that I Am Cancer Free!!!!!!
I’m still having my normal yearly blood tests & I make sure that it still includes a test for PSA.

In Summary. Like most cancers, prostate cancer is silent. If it wasn’t for the early detection through a blood test, I wouldn’t have known I had it. No symptoms, no pain, no indication that I had prostate cancer.

So Please Guys…. go to your G.P. & request a blood test & make sure you have further blood tests at least once a year. I know that here in Australia they now encourage men to have prostate cancer blood tests from age 40.

As I said earlier, please feel free to ask any question you wish & I will answer to the best of my ability from my own experience.
Cheers
Lex

Ca58tbird
09-09-2015, 12:04 PM
Lex, this is wonderful news and very encouraging for me to learn of yours and other's successes. Your cancer was silent and fortunately detected early. My cancer caused me pain so that's why I got checked out for what I thought was a hernia. Turned out to be metastatic 4th degree pancreatic cancer and had spread widely thru out to my liver and lung. After 5 months of chemo the Drs can find no cancer in my body. I am humbled by everyone's thoughts and prayers for me. The Lord has healed me once again. The cancer is incurable and I am scheduled for more chemo next month and then another scan to see what they can then find. Modern medicine and the Drs' knowledge is incredible. It's great to be alive today! For the next 20 days in September I'll look at your '59 Bird on the calendar above my desk and think of you. Congratulations Lex!

Joe Johnston
09-09-2015, 08:52 PM
I usually don't venture into areas or discussions like this, BUT, I think this is an awesome place to discuss these issues!!!!

Those who follow the forum on a regular basis grow to know each other and I'm sure many here correspond with Personal Messages or even phone calls. (I know I have!) and certainly would be willing to privately discuss anything so related. Its almost a family after time, and if this "familiarity" is all it takes to initiate communication and break down hesitation, what an opportunity to do so, even if its hiding behind a computer screen!

As such: I had the privilege of several personal correspondences with "Sandy Boy" - certainly wish I could have met him and had him as a personal friend or neighbor. I honestly feel honored just to have had an online acquaintance with him!

Any communication along these lines which helps someone is another benefit which makes a group a real pleasure to be part of. It doesn't always have to be car or Thunderbird related, we have other common bonds as well! Ray's website with nearly 500,000 hits is tribute to this!!

I am 65, and have had only minor issues to date, but my best friend (64) just lost his brother (66) to bladder/prostrate cancer. Turns out he had "problems" for some time but ignored them. After his bladder, prostate and many nymph nodes were removed, the Doctors thought cancer was under control as he responded well to chemo. We thought he would have 2, possibly 3 years or even longer, but the cancer spread very rapidly and he only survived a few months!!! Fortunately my friend flew home to his brother and had 2 good days together here in FL. Could his outcome been different if his problems were addressed early? Hard to say, as we will never know, and his family will always have that question in their minds.

If any discussion between a couple of guys online or via a phone call or two can provide help, guidance or whatever it takes to provide help, I applaud Lex for taking this step to provide the opportunity to encourage communication and early detection!!!

WAY TO GO RAY AND LEX FOR THIS OPPORTUNTY!!!

Dan Leavens
09-09-2015, 09:38 PM
Lex as Jed and Joe have said it is great news and you are to be commended for taking the time to send your post. If this can reach out to just one person then another to get checked earlier to detect and irradiate this disease, it is worth it.
Our squarebird family is no different than any other family, strength and guidance comes from within and well, family is family.

I also had the privilege of having both Alexander and Sandy as friends and as such talked to them during their fight against cancer. We can only hope that your message being posted worldwide on our site will have an impact moving forward.

lexdownunder
09-10-2015, 11:51 PM
Many thanks to Jed, Joe & Dan for your remarks & encouragement.

Although replies to my post are only a few, it's great to see there has been over 100 views. That's not bad for a post that has only been up for 3 days.

Hopefully there will be many more views still to come & hopefully too that of those 100 views, I may have encouraged some to at least have a blood test. After all, that was the intention of my post, to raise awareness & encourage testing.

I liked your comments Dan that the squarebird family is no different to any other family.

The squarebird family is just that, a family that cares & wants to help & guide our members where we can.

I would also like to add that if anyone would prefer to contact me via a PM to discuss any issue privately, please do so.

Cheers
Lex

lexdownunder
12-11-2015, 11:45 PM
Hi Fellow TBirders

It's now been 3 months since my original post & I'm happy that there has been almost 450 views to date.
I haven't had any questions or feedback from members but if I have convinced just a few to at least have the blood test, then I feel pleased that this post has been worthwhile.

I have just had my annual blood check for the usual cholesterol, liver, iron, heart, kidneys etc. & of course included another PSA test too.
I do the PSA even though it isn't really necessary once it has been 5 years since the operation.
I do it for my own peace of mind & it is now more than 7 years since the op.

Pleased to say my PSA was 0.01 which is the lowest reading possible.
All other blood tests were normal too so an early Christmas present for me!!!

As I have said in earlier posts, please feel free to ask any question you wish & I will answer to the best of my ability from my own experience.

Cheers Guys
Lex

YellowRose
12-12-2015, 12:10 AM
Hi Lex, thanks for posting the latest results. I have been checking the views from time to time and I see that a lot of people have read this thread, which is great. A few months ago, I had my annual physical, and of course, one of the things my doc checks is that PSA level. I don't remember the number off hand now, except that I know it is in the normal range, as was pretty much everything else. It is important to at least have an annual check up and if anything unusual pops up in between, please get it checked out. Thanks again for starting this thread, Lex!

Dan Leavens
12-12-2015, 10:53 AM
Lex glad to hear the positive results and early Christmas presents are a good thing:rolleyes:

bird 60
12-12-2015, 08:02 PM
Great to hear the good news Lex.

Chris....From OZ.

simplyconnected
12-12-2015, 09:28 PM
Lex, your posts DO mean a lot, whether you know it. On the strength of that I had the 'full work-up' done less than a month ago. Looks like Robin isn't getting rid of me yet. The doctor even threw in a flu shot.

My father had problems with his prostrate when he was in his 80s. (He made it to 98.) So he was a big advocate for early detection, especially to his sons. So, even though I have not had any problems, I still check often. Thank You for reminding us because it could save lives through early detection. - Dave

Ian M Greer
12-12-2015, 11:59 PM
Jed and Lex , my thoughts and prays are with you always . I've been completely out of touch fighting auto immune pancreatitis type 2 , I had a very close call and was choppered down to Toronto General , in the end I pulled through to everybody's amazement . Since returning home after a month down there I ended up with severe chest pains ( I figured it was strained lungs ) wrong four coronary stents . After making through that I have just returned from 33 Radiation sessions for prostate . I had , had radical prostate surgery 4 years ago but my PSA as minor as it was ( .011 ) at the last count was considered to need radiation . I still have to what a month before my next PSA test . After being treated with prednisone for my auto immune , I seem to be doing ok but over a five year period 'I started as a type 2 diabetic and I am now a full blown type 1 , insulin dependent as a result of the auto immune . Life goes on and we become more appreciative of life and family and friends and I 've always considered the group at Square Bird . Org a great group . I haven't been around , now you know why but I'm with you guys a 100% . Ian M Greer

YellowRose
12-13-2015, 12:09 AM
Thanks for posting, Ian! I have been aware of some of Ian's health issues for some time, but they were more than I was aware of. You have certainly been through some very tough times, but you have survived. As the old saying goes, "When the going gets tough, the tough gets going". You are tough, so keep going. We will add you to our prayers! Thanks for sharing, Ian.

Dan Leavens
12-13-2015, 09:53 AM
Ian great news, glad to see you back on the site and all the very best to you over the holidays.
Remember not all birds fly south:rolleyes:

Ca58tbird
12-16-2015, 09:43 PM
Ian, wow, I had no idea of your medical issues. I don't know if I should be shocked or in awe of your courage and stamina. You've shown how character and endurance is built. Since I had read your post several days ago you've been on my mind and in my prayers, and such will continue. My empathy walks with you. All my best to you, Jed

lexdownunder
10-04-2016, 08:01 PM
Hi Fellow TBirders

It's now been just over 12 months since my original post & I'm happy that there has been more than 1900 views to date.

I haven't had many questions or feedback from members but if I may have encouraged some to at least have the blood test, then I feel pleased that this post has been worthwhile.
After all, that was the intention of my post, to raise awareness & encourage testing.

This may already be news in U.S.A. but an article appeared in the news here in Australia today.
I felt it appropriate to post the article in this thread as it relates to Ben Stiller & his experience with prostate cancer.

The way he describes it is just so similar to how I described my experience in my original post.

Well worth a read because he also emphasizes the importance of early detection & how he was unaware that there was a problem.

Here is the article from today's Australian news:


Ben Stiller may be known for his comedic talent, but the Zoolander star got serious as he revealed the secret he's been keeping for the last two years.

The actor, 50, was diagnosed with prostate cancer at the age of 48, and because he survived it, he wants to spread the word about the importance of getting tested.

"It came out of the blue for me. I had no idea," Ben said during an interview on Howard Stern's SiriusXM radio show.


"At first, I didn't know what was going to happen," he added. "I was scared. The one thing that it does is it just stops everything in your life when you get diagnosed with cancer because you can't plan for a movie – you don't know what's going to happen."

The comedian had no family history of prostate cancer and no symptoms, but his doctor suspected that Ben might have it after he took a Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) test during his annual physical.

His levels were high, and while the doctor wasn't immediately concerned, he tested him again six months later. Ben's PSA had increased even more.

"After the second time, I started to get a little worried," Ben said.

"If I hadn't gotten the test - my doctor started giving it to me at 46 - I still wouldn't know. I wanted to talk about it because of the test, because I feel like the test saved my life.

Following that second round of testing, Ben went through a series of procedures, including an MRI and biopsy, to determine if he had prostate cancer, and he did.

"As my new, world-altering doctor spoke about cell cores and Gleason scores, probabilities of survival, incontinence and impotence, why surgery would be good and what kind would make the most sense, his voice literally faded out like every movie or TV show about a guy being told he had cancer… a classic Walter White moment, except I was me, and no one was filming anything at all," Ben wrote in an essay about his diagnosis for Medium, name-dropping Breaking Bad's cancer-stricken main character.

Six weeks after he was diagnosed with a "mid-range aggressive cancer", Ben had surgery to remove his prostate.

"I was diagnosed on Friday the 13th, then I had until August 23rd to get ready for the surgery. So I just had the summer to hang out and think about it," he said.

Following the surgery, Ben was given another PSA test and all was well. Now, he is encouraging other men to get tested despite PSA critics who claim the controversial test leads to overdiagnosis.

"Without this PSA test itself, or any screening procedure at all, how are doctors going to detect asymptomatic cases like mine, before the cancer has spread and metastasized throughout one's body rendering it incurable?," he wrote in Medium.

"This is a complicated issue, and an evolving one, but in this imperfect world, I believe the best way to determine a course of action for the most treatable yet deadly cancer is to detect it early."

So Guys, if you haven't already done so, please at least have the annual blood test & encourage your friends to do the same.
It may very well save a life!!!

Take care TBirders
Lex

Dan Leavens
10-04-2016, 10:24 PM
Lex glad to hear all is well. Your post has certainly raised awareness and the importance of testing and early awareness.
Take care and the 1900 views is a testament in itself to the awareness of prostrate cancer by all.

simplyconnected
10-05-2016, 01:56 AM
After reading your post I did two things, kept you in my prayers and I had another PSA test. So, your post peeked my awareness because cancer is ruthless and early detection can save your life.

Since Jed's post (just below yours), he has passed from cancer. We found out because he didn't answer my phone calls and his answering machine filled to capacity.

If we stand a chance against cancer's many forms we must do as you suggest and get tested on a regular basis. Thanks again for your voice and genuine concern. - Dave

lexdownunder
07-10-2017, 11:28 PM
I was happy that after 12 months there had been 1900 views of my original post.

It's now been almost two years since that post & now it has had more than 6600 views.

I am overjoyed that my post is still being read & hopefully has lead to many fellow TBirders having the annual prostate cancer blood test that could very well save their life through early detection.

Just had my annual blood tests including PSA & it is now more than 9 years since my operation.

Pleased to say my PSA was 0.01 which is the lowest reading possible.
All other blood tests were normal too.

I haven't had many questions or feedback from members but if I have encouraged some to at least have the blood test, then I feel pleased that this post has been worthwhile.
After all, that was the intention of my post, to raise awareness & encourage testing.

So Guys, if you haven't already done so, please at least have the annual blood test & encourage your friends to do the same.
The life you save may very well be your own!!!

Take care TBirders
Lex

jopizz
07-10-2017, 11:42 PM
Lex,

Thank you for reminding us how important it is to have a PSA test as well as a prostate exam each year. I believe it's been about twelve years that I've been having it done. I recommend that all men over fifty be tested annually.

John

bird 60
07-11-2017, 04:13 AM
I've been having my annual & anal:eek: check-up every year. So that I don't forget, I have it done around the same week as my birthday.

Chris......From OZ.