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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.
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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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