Robert had no idea that when he walked into the doctor’s office in October of 2014, he would leave with the news that he had prostate cancer. He had a high Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) reading and thought it best to further investigate. To the best of his knowledge, there was no history of prostate cancer in his family, so why would he have cancer? After his mom told him that there was, in fact, a rather extensive history of prostate cancer in the family, with several members who had been diagnosed, he decided to go ahead with a biopsy. Even the newfound knowledge of his family’s history of cancer did not prepare him for his diagnosis.
“It was kind of a shock to find out the biopsy was positive, and I was really at a loss about how to let other people in my personal and work life know what was happening.”
Robert struggled with the right approach to tell people that he had cancer. He felt as though telling people up-front about his diagnosis was, in a way, forcing it on people when they didn’t ask.
“The first few months were difficult, as I felt uncomfortable telling people about my cancer and what I was going through without someone asking first,” Robert recalled. “it was very much a catch-22 situation.”
Until he found MyLifeLine, Robert was at a loss for the best way to update his friends and family. Through some google searches, he became acquainted with MyLifeLine and made his own website to share his experiences throughout his journey with cancer. His site was a perfect facilitator to allow him to update his loved ones without feeling pushy.
“I could almost use it like a diary and then let people read about it if they wanted to, which is exactly what happened. In turn this also made it easier for me to discuss my cancer with people because I could tell them that I had cancer, and that I was doing progress reports and updates on MyLifeLine.org which worked out really well. Getting the feedback through the site from my friends and co-workers was really great for my experience.”
After his surgery, Robert hoped that his life would return to the way it was before. However, he was surprised to find that even after the surgery, the cancer was bigger than his doctors had originally anticipated, and that it had already started to spread to his bladder. Upon this news, Robert started radiation therapy in order to stop the cancer from developing further or spreading. Throughout his treatment, Robert received unsurmountable levels of kindness, love, and support from his friends and family.
“Probably my most memorable experience was the radiation treatments; while I was taking them I had so much support from my friends and family to the point where it didn't seem like I was having any side effects.”
MyLifeLine was instrumental in creating a platform for all of his friends and family to be able to show Robert a kind of support that stuck with him throughout his experience with cancer.
“The feedback I got was really great in supporting me through my treatment and allowed me to keep everyone up to date easily even if they lived far away. I’ve recommended MyLifeLine to a friend who is going through cancer treatment and it’s been a wonderful benefit in dealing with my cancer.”
Luckily, the radiation has resulted optimal results and Robert has been cancer – free for over a year and a half.
Although he has been living cancer – free for over a year, his life is not back to exactly the way it was before he was diagnosed. He had to get used to the fact that every time he went into the doctor’s office for a routine check-up or a minor cold, he had to mention the fact that he had cancer.
“Everything about my health has to take that into account…it possible that it's returning, or has spread somewhere else.”
If you would like to connect with Robert, send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.