'Medical research has given me a second chance. It has allowed me to enjoy three more wonderful years packed with fun, laughter and magic memories.'

Your support will directly fund research into new and better treatments for people like Brian with advanced prostate cancer.

Brian’s story

‘We thought I was indestructible’

‘I first discovered I had prostate cancer in September 2016, when my wife, Barbara, and I were on holiday in Florida. I had real trouble going to the loo. Thinking it might be a urine infection, we went to the local walk-in clinic and were sent to hospital for further tests. We were given the stunning news that my PSA reading was 1,112 and I had Stage 4 prostate cancer. We were told that the cancer was incurable as it had already spread to the bones. It was a total shock.

The day I received the news was probably the strangest and most shocking day of my life. I had never been ill, had never visited my doctor, and in family folklore I was indestructible. I went from believing this myth to the prospect of having only a few years to live.

My wife and I flew back to the UK and I received fantastic treatment from my local doctor. Within 48 hours of arriving back I started a course of hormone therapy tablets. Initially my condition worsened and, for a few weeks, I was unable to walk and became totally dependent on Barbara for everything. I began to think I had little time left and that it could be a painful process.

Three school Grandparent’s Days and counting

But the tablets were working, and my PSA dropped dramatically to 0.38. To my great relief, I became more mobile and was no longer bedridden.

My consultants put me forward for upfront chemotherapy which had recently been approved as part of the worldwide STAMPEDE programme. I responded very well to this: it significantly reduced the underlying tumour and left no active cancer in the bones. I feel very grateful that I benefitted from this treatment, which would not have been available just a few short years before. The chemotherapy concluded in May 2017 and, since then, I have a hormone therapy injection every 12 weeks and a review with my oncology consultant every six months.

Physically and mentally I am in a good place and nearly three years after diagnosis I am able to lead a normal life.

A month prior to my diagnosis all the family had agreed to fly to Florida to celebrate my 65th birthday. While I was bedridden, I had plenty of time to reflect and came to the conclusion that I could become bitter and angry or could adopt a positive attitude and make the most of whatever time I had left. The promise of the Florida trip and my determination not to miss out gave me focus and I made it! Great times that I never thought I’d live to see.

My diagnosis has helped me refine and reinforce my outlook on life rather than change it. It has really focused my mind on the value of time and reminded me that family and friends are the truly important things in life. Being able to attend my grandchildren’s school for Grandparents Day was really special, because during my treatment I thought I’d miss out on this too. I’ve now been to three Grandparents Days – and counting!

Finding PCRC

‘I first heard about PCRC when my daughter’s boyfriend found the website and discovered that their research was relevant to me. He and my daughter have been actively involved in fundraising ever since, and the entire family is pulling together for a PCRC fundraiser in November.

My hope for future generations is that prostate cancer is given more attention and that medical research continues to be supported across the entire spectrum of the disease. I hope that early testing becomes as natural as it is for breast cancer, as clearly this is the best way to really hit the disease. At the same time, I hope that immunotherapy and targeted solutions such as those being worked on by PCRC become mainstream offerings in the near future.’

 

Three more wonderful years

‘As for my own future, my hope is that my current treatment remains effective for a considerable time. I hope that, if and when it becomes necessary, I am as lucky with one of the secondary treatments currently available or being tested. Medical research has given me a second chance. It has allowed me to enjoy three more wonderful years packed with fun, laughter and magic memories.’

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