Mike’s Story

Mike Sawkins shares his experience of prostate cancer

Research has of course has helped me over time, from PCR and others, and will continue to help myself and most importantly many others.

Well…where to start? The beginning, this was in hindsight a great surprise to me at age 52 one late November evening at my hotel, whilst visiting my company HQ in Denmark.

I had had some usual expensive Danish beer with colleagues at my hotel, not excessive amounts. I went to bed at circa 2300, then later in the night I needed to go to the toilet and noticed it was difficult to pass in the normal way, this got worse as the night progressed.

I checked out of the hotel and had an arranged taxi to the airport- a journey of 1 hour from the hotel. During all this, my issues with passing water became ever more difficult and painful.

A medical guy at airport checked me over after checking in, all was as planned. In hindsight I should have gone to the hospital at that point.

I was met by my wife and son at Stansted, I had called them from Denmark to meet me. My son drove my car home and my wife took me to my nearest A & E near home, a drive of 90 minutes from Stansted. I had ever increasing issues whilst on the journey.

At the hospital, they were great, eventually inserted a catheter, relief amazing…But why? What happened? My prostate had shut off the urine path so this became dangerous regarding possible kidney damage.

A doctor eventually checked me over and came to conclusion that my prostate gland was large and had misshaped parts.

From this point, I progressed to being told in the New Year that I had stage 3 -4 prostate cancer and my PSA was very high.

From this time until now, some 12 years, I have had, still have, the standard Hormone Therapy injections every 3 months, with added treatments, as follows:

  • Radiotherapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Abiraterone Acetate (via Cancer Drugs Fund)
  • Two immunotherapy Trials, (one stage 3, one stage 1)

These treatments above and other tablets have slowed progression and allowed me to work for the first 7 years, then I had to medically retire

The hormone therapy injections at this point in time seem to be becoming less effective, so we are monitoring, with my consultant in Guildford at St Luke’s every 2-3 months, the PSA and my general health.

Having had the treatment above, this has helped me contain the prostate cancer and live with the issues that can arise both physically and mentally.

I think the treatment over the years has not helped my bones, but keep positive and carry on as they say! Some 5 years ago, my left hip was replaced due to osteoarthritis. My lower back is also an issue; I have had 4 operations now and still have issues, yearly visits to a London hospital for reviews, options and solutions are ongoing.

Overall, I keep positive, alternatives always possible just ensure you have the support of close friends and family, this is 100% beneficial to me and us all.

Research has, of course, helped me over time, from PCRC and others, and will continue to help myself and most importantly many others I believe.

Keep positive is my thought to all of you!

Take care of yourselves.

Patient Voice

If you have been affected by prostate cancer and would like to share your experiences, email [email protected] or click here for more information.

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