Mike Lowe, Prostate Cancer Survivor
After my prostate cancer diagnosis in 2005, my urologist gave me options, which I discussed with my wife. Initially, my wife and I opted for surgery, but because of my age and medical history, the surgeon said I'd be a better candidate for radiation. My prostate cancer treatment consisted of nine weeks of radiation. And guess what? It worked!
This was my first time as a patient at PAMF, and my entire cancer procedure, from the diagnosis straight through to completion, was excellent. The staff was great. The doctors were great. The equipment was great. So, even though it was not an enjoyable time, it was OK. I tell everyone everywhere to come to PAMF for their cancer treatment.
After my cancer treatment was completed, I approached Dr. Bassett with an idea for helping other prostate cancer patients. I offered to produce a DVD for him to give to all newly-diagnosed prostate cancer patients that would have people like me -– survivors who've gone through all phases of prostate cancer -– talking directly to newly-diagnosed patients.
With Dr. Bassett's support and funding from two foundations, we produced a nine-minute video that PAMF now gives to each newly diagnosed prostate cancer patients. It also appears on the Internet via YouTube.
The Prostate Cancer Survivors Perspectives video has guys who have gone through it talking directly to the new prostate cancer patients. I had to do it because I thought it was necessary, and this is my contribution to the welfare of others who get diagnosed with prostate cancer.
The project has been so well-received that I'm now in the process of producing a DVD with breast cancer survivors speaking directly to newly-diagnosed breast cancer patients. In talking with people and reading more about breast cancer, I'm seeing that breast cancer is 10 times more involved than prostate cancer. There's so much more to it.
It's hard talking about emotions when you haven't had that emotion yourself. The doctors are great, but they haven't personally "been there" as newly diagnosed prostate cancer patients, and they haven't gone through the ups and downs of cancer -– the anxieties, the fear, etc. That's why this new video is so important. It gives newly diagnosed prostate cancer patients first-hand experience of what it's like – what it feels like, what we go through and the roller coaster ride from day one when the doctor tells you that you have cancer.
These patients wonder, "OK, what do I do now? Where do I seek help? Where can I get information?" That's all covered on the DVD, and these prostate cancer survivors tell what they did when they received their diagnosis and how they coped. And that's what it's all about –- being able to say: "OK, I've got it. What do I do about it?"
View Mike Lowe's patient-produced prostate cancer video on YouTube.
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