Sunday, December 05, 2010

Five-years Cancer-free

Those are magical words to a cancer survivor.
I know.
I am one.

Five years ago today, a doctor carved out my cancerous prostate, sewed me back up with a couple of tubes hanging out for drainage, and sent me home a few days later. 
My life was changed. I believe it was extended.

I remember the first week at home was a painful blur.
The second week, I went back on the air, broadcasting from a makeshift studio in the "solarium" of The Clanton Hacienda--what I euphemistically called my bedroom.

Brent Clanton behind the mic
at The Clanton Hacienda
December 2005
My Bride was the best nurse in the world, even when she slept through the shows I performed not 5-feet from the bed.
My convalescence was not textbook ordinary. I had several complications, a few "re-takes" in the surgical suite to repair some plumbing issues.

Would I do it the same way, all over again?
Given the same set of circumstances, probably so.

If it were to happen today, however, I think the outcome would be vastly different. Prostate cancer is one of the most treatable soft-tissue cancers around. The key is early detection, which in my case came about as the result of a simple blood test. I was 50-1/2 years old when diagnosed.
That's pretty young.

Doctors used to think you didn't have to really worry about checking for prostate cancer under the age of 50. Guess they're re-thinking that...and if you have a history of cancer in your family (like my son now does), the wisdom is earlier and earlier testing.

Men with my diagnosis today don't necessarily have to even face the kind of surgery I endured. The technology has moved so quickly within the past five years, that if you must have surgery, it's done laproscopically, for that least-invasive feeling when you awake. Or you can opt for other treatments that have been developed that do not require surgery.

The point here is, get checked, fellas.
Do the blood test.

Now for my next challenge--finding health insurance coverage, since I'm Five Years Cancer Free!


sis said...

Along with myslef, I know a WHOLE BUNCH of people who could not be happier for you. I Love You, sis

Spencer Lord said...

wow, this is heavy. thanks for posting. and congratulations on 5 years of cancer-free.