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Winning the Prostate Cancer Battle

When WebMD community member Chuck Warren was diagnosed with prostate cancer, he turned to friends to find the strength to fight it.

continued...

Before my own operation, however, I got more bad news. Dr. Marshall found a tumor in my kidney. When I heard this, I was devastated and probably scared for the first time. I recall I asked the old question, “Why?” and knew I needed to find the fight in my soul that I had when preparing for prostate surgery. A part of the strength came from my wife, who is incredibly strong. She comes from a family of doctors. She was kind when I needed a word of kindness and she could also give me that kick I needed when it was time to fight.

Even with this setback -- not one, but two cancers -- Dr. Marshall said the outlook was good. Ten days later, I had surgery to remove half my kidney. The kidney surgery was very difficult and painful, and the recovery was months. Every time I would ride in the car and hit a small bump in the road, I would get tears in my eyes. It was difficult getting any work done and I had to take a nap every day. After about three months, I started feeling fairly normal, but then it was time for prostate surgery. Getting over prostate surgery was easier and I was even able to attend my son’s little league baseball games with my catheter and bag!

I often tell people that prostate cancer saved my life. Had I not been diagnosed with prostate cancer, chances are the kidney tumor may never have been discovered. To this day, I thank Dr. Marshall for his thorough pre-op exam. And I also discovered the answer to my earlier “Why” question -- we are all mortal.

Today, I celebrate three years of being cancer-free. Through my experience, I've learned that beating cancer is a combination of things: good medicine, a good attitude, and good family and friends. These days I spend my free time serving as chairman of Emory's Urology Board of Advisors, raising money for prostate cancer research and being a mentor and pal to cancer patients. It's my way of saying “thank you” to the team of doctors, family, and friends that helped me along my cancer journey.

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