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CancerGuide: Inspirational Patient Stories

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John Martin - Stage IV Prostate Cancer

What is a "Cancer Success Story?" Perhaps I am one. It was in April, 1986, that I was diagnosed as having adenocarcinoma of the prostate, grade II... about a month after I'd laid out a lot of cash for a little motorhome, planning retirement.

Well, a follow-up on the TURP showed the genie was still in the bottle; so the protocol required radiation with 6 "gold seeds" in the offending (offended?) organ. Then two weeks of external radiation, ending in August of '86, and it appeared that I may have beaten the beast.

Not so! By November of '88, the PSA reflected 44, eleven times the high norm. Time for drastic measures: a bilateral orchiectomy. No flowers involved. It's also known as hormonal manipulation, no cure offered, but it buys time... the stuff that life's made of.

They told me that I might have two or three years then, and the PSA did come down slowly, to a fraction of one. After about that time, the PSA did begin to rise again, slowly again, but steadily in fractions. During that time, I've learned to live for each day at a time, thanking the Lord for each hour free of pain and ability to function. Being in touch with others who have cancer, I've been blessed to exchange information; learned patience, more love of others, sometimes awe of their courage.

Perhaps this is not a success story. Yet it is a part of my story. I'm still alive and enjoying life more than 9 years after the fearful diagnosis. Some have told me that I have helped them by the experience and advice shared. Certainly, that has been a reciprocated experience. May God bless you all. Much love. -John Martin

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This CancerGuide Page By John Martin. © John Martin
Last Updated: Oct 2, 1995